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High School Rival Game of 1970 Mural

About High School Rival Game of 1970 Mural

This mural is about the 1970 basketball game played between two racially segregated high schools: Gallatin High School and Union High School. The very next year Union High would be closed and the US federal government would force the two Gallatin schools to merge into one as part of the 1969 Civil Rights Law. This was the only game the two cross-town schools ever played against each other in any sport. The teams’ two captains Eddie Sherlin (Gallatin) and Bill Ligon had been friends since early childhood. For some Gallatin residents the game symbolized long racial struggles held for generations. For many, however, the game symbolized a new way forward. This was especially true with the two friends who played against each other that night.

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This mural was created by artist Bryan Deese. Learn more about the High School Rival Game of 1970.

The book More Than Rivals: A Championship Game and a Friendship That Moved a Town Beyond Black and White highlights the the story that the mural depicts.