Edward O. Diggs
1951 – Black Student Admitted to Medical School
Baltimore Afro-American, May 5, 1951
The University of North Carolina admitted Edward O. Diggs as the first black to attend its medical school.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Acknowledging that "it is best not to fight the supreme law of the land," the board of admissions of the Medical School of the University of North Carolina last week approved the application of Edward O. Diggs, 30, to enter the school and sent to him a letter of acceptance.
Diggs thus becomes the first person of his race to be accepted as a student by the University of North Carolina in its 62-year-old history. His admittance also marks the first time a Deep South state supported institution of high learning has admitted a colored student to its classes without having been ordered to do so by the courts.
The medical school's admissions committee voted 6 to 1 to admit Diggs. Approval of Diggs came three weeks after the university board of trustees voted to admit any student to a graduate or professional school "without regard to race or color" when the state does not provide separate facilities for minority races.
Glad He's Accepted
Diggs, a premedical student at A and T College, has not yet received his letter of acceptance, but he said upon learning of his achievement, "I am glad I was accepted."
A graduate of Winston Salem Teachers College in 1938, Diggs taught school before going to the service during World War II. He is the father of three children and a part-time post office worker while attending school.
" In Order For Black History To Live, We Must Continue To Breathe Life Into It." -- Hubert Gaddy, Jr.