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Muscle Shoals was the site of a major civil-rights campaign in the 1960s. In May 1961, Rev. James Bevel, SCLC activist and director of its "Project C" (Communications), organized local African-American residents to register to vote in defiance of Alabama's segregationist laws that disenfranchised most blacks since 1901 by raising barriers such as poll taxes and literacy tests for voter registration; they were met with violence from police officers at the county courthouse on June 9–10, which resulted in several arrests. On June 11 federal district judge Frank Johnson ruled that Alabama's constitutional amendments requiring segregated schools were unconstitutional because they deprived black children access to equal educational opportunities under Plessy v Ferguson (1896). The first three black students entered previously all-white Phillips High School on August 30; white mobs gathered outside but did not enter school property or attack them physically inside school grounds during this period when tensions remained high across much of America due to desegregation efforts throughout the South following U.