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Fact #17353


Short story:

Connie Francis and Mike Clifford appear on tv's Ed Sullivan Show in New York City, USA. During this edition of the show, there is also an appearance by The All-America football team, who are seen dancing with eleven girls. The team features one black player, Bobby Bell, and the show specifically hires a black girl, Myrna White, to dance with him. When Sullivan learns that hundreds of letters criticising the decision have been sent to Jet magazine, he defends the segment, saying, "What's wrong with having Myrna White dance with Bobby Bell? Bell is a fine young man, two-time All-American, and any girl would be proud to dance with him." (White is subsequently hired as a permanent member of the show's chorus line, making her the first permanent negro chorus girl on television.)