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The Online Encyclopedia of Wyoming History

Phil White

Phil White

Phil White grew up in Cheyenne, graduating from Cheyenne Central in 1963. He received a B.A. in history and a J.D. at the University of Wyoming. His interest in civil rights was sparked in October 1969 when he was editor of the Branding Iron, the UW student newspaper at the time all 14 black players on the UW football team were dismissed from the team by the coach for wearing black armbands on their street clothes the day before a game. He has worked as a reporter for United Press International, High Country News and the Casper Star-Tribune and has also practiced law in Cheyenne, Jackson and Laramie during his career. He and his wife, the former Kathleen Dekanek, a Laramie native, live in Laramie.

Former University of Wyoming Football Player Mel Hamilton on his life and the Black 14

In October 1969, University of Wyoming Head Coach Lloyd Eaton dismissed 14 black football players from his team when they donned black armbands to protest certain policies of Brigham Young University. The incident stirred controversy in Wyoming and throughout the nation. Here, player Mel Hamilton shares his recollections of that time and of much of the rest of his life with interviewer Phil White, who was a UW student in 1969 and the editor of the student newspaper, The Branding Iron.

Encyclopedia | In March 1965, clergyman James Reeb, a graduate of Natrona County High School and Casper College, marched in Selma, Ala., with the Rev. Martin Luther King to protect black voting rights. Reeb was murdered soon afterward. Publicity surrounding his death helped move Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act later that year.
Oral Histories | In October 1969, University of Wyoming Head Coach Lloyd Eaton dismissed 14 black football players from his team when they donned black armbands to protest certain policies of Brigham Young University. The incident stirred controversy in Wyoming and throughout the nation. Here, player Mel Hamilton shares his recollections of that time and of much of the rest of his life with interviewer Phil White, who was a UW student in 1969 and the editor of the student newspaper, The Branding Iron.
Encyclopedia | In October 1969, University of Wyoming Head Coach Lloyd Eaton dismissed 14 black football players from his team when they showed up at his office wearing black armbands over their street clothes, to protest what they saw as racist policies of Brigham Young University. The incident sparked widespread controversy and swung the national news spotlight on Wyoming.
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