GALLERY IV

VIRGINIA RESPONDS

“If we can organize the southern states for massive resistance to this order I think in time the rest of the country will realize that racial integration is not going to be accepted in the South.”

— United States Senator Harry F. Byrd, 1956
Virginia was determined not to be like Little Rock. In 1957, after a showdown with Arkansas state officials, President Eisenhower ordered units of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division to protect students desegregating Central High School. Virginia state officials wanted none of the shouting mobs, federal government intervention, or media attention.

Instead, in 1956, the Virginia General Assembly had empowered the governor to close any schools under court order to desegregate. This statute was the linchpin of Virginia’s program of Massive Resistance, which sought to prevent the implementation of the Brown decision. Citizens groups, such as the Defenders of State Sovereignty and Individual Liberties, pressured state politicians to take a hard line. Virginia’s congressmen called for defiance in Washington, while newspaper editors bolstered the resistance.

The NAACP, however, was intent on fulfilling Brown’s mandate. Massive Resistance culminated in the fall of 1958, when Governor J. Lindsay Almond closed schools in Norfolk, Charlottesville, and Warren County. Those schools remained closed until January 1959, when both federal and state courts declared the 1956 laws unconstitutional. Statewide Massive Resistance was dead, but the General Assembly adopted tuition grant programs and “freedom of choice” plans that succeeded in delay-ing widespread desegregation for almost a decade.

VIRGINIA

RESPONDS

“I am confident the people of Virginia will receive the opinion of the Supreme Court calmly and take time to carefully and dispassionately consider the situation before coming to conclusions on steps which should be taken.”

— Gov. THOMAS STANLEY

LOCAL RESPONSE TO

BROWN II

LOCAL RESPONSE TO BROWN II

“It could be said that the courts ruled at noon that Negroes must be admitted to Prince Edward public schools, to which the county responded at 8 o’clock—there will be no public schools.”

— THE RICHMOND NEWS-LEADER
JUNE 1, 1955

“In our resoluteness let us maintain our perspective. We have taken a stand for principle which we believe is right, namely, separate schools for the white and Negro races in Virginia. Because the county of Prince Edward was chosen as defendant in the integration suit, it has become the focal point of the Court’s implementation. The people of Prince Edward believe they have acted in the best interest not only for this County but for the State of Virginia. Let it be said also that the people of this county are education conscious… ”

FARMVILLE HERALD EDITORIAL
JUNE 7, 1955

MEETING AT JARMAN HALL

DEFENDERS OF STATE SOVEREIGNTY

“The organization will act with determination and firmness to retain by all honorable and legal means segregated schools.”
— WILLIAM B. COCKE, JR., SECRETARY OF THE DEFENDERS

Robert Crawford

A nominating committee including Farmville Herald editor J. Barrye Wall and Congressman Watkins Abbitt selected Prince Edward County School Board Chairman Robert Crawford (ABOVE) to be president of the Defenders.

“Nothing could hurt our cause more than bloodshed.”

“[the real villains are] International Socialists and Communists.”
“The worst obstacle we face in the fight to preserve segregated schools in the South is the white preacher.”
— ROBERT CRAWFORD, SPEAKING BEFORE THE CHARLOTTESVILLE DEFENDERS

BOB SMITH,
THEY CLOSED THEIR SCHOOLS,

1965

“In a speech to local Defenders in November, 1954, Editor Wall listed the objectives of the organization as “sovereignty of the states according to spirit of the Constitution,’ ‘salvation of our Republic,’ and ‘preservation of segregated schools, our immediate object.’”
“...the Negro organization of the NAACP has made right much progress in recent years. It’s not the type of progress that we like but it’s done in an orderly way, legally, and with plenty of money and smart lawyers. We ought to organize the same way and see what we can do.”
— J. BARRYE WALL, SPEAKING TO ROBERT CRAWFORD

“Unless something be done, and unless something be done now, integration will begin in Virginia, and, once begun, it like every other vile pestilence, will spread to the point where it has covered the whole body politic. Whether it comes in our day, our children will see the death of our Anglo-Saxon Civilization”

— DEFENDERS "THE PLAN FOR VIRGINIA,"
JUNE 9, 1955

LOCAL

VOICES

THE ALLEN DECISION

[We require] the defendants to receive and consider the applications of such persons for admission to the white high school of the County on a non-racial basis without regard to race or color; and to take immediate steps in this regard to the end that the applications be considered so as to permit the entrance of qualified persons into the white school in the school term beginning September 1959.
— OPINION OF THE U.S. FOURTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS, ALLEN V. COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD OF PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY.

“In short, the constitutional rights of children not to be discriminated against in school admission on grounds of race or color declared by this Court in the Brown case can neither be nullified openly and directly by state legislators or state executive or judicial officers, nor nullified indirectly by them through evasive schemes for segregation whether attempted ‘ingeniously or ingenuously.’ ”

— CITATION OF THE CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS OF THE 1958 SUPREME COURT DECISION COOPER V. AARON IN ALLEN V. COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD OF PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY

JUDGE STERLING HUTCHESON

PRINCE EDWARD SCHOOL FOUNDATION

District Judge Sterling Hutcheson ruled in 1958 that Prince Edward County could take up to ten years to implement the desegregation requirements of the U.S. Supreme Court as issued in May of 1955: “In the present state of unrest and racial tension in the county it would be unwise to attempt to force a change of the system until the entire situation can be considered and adjustments gradually be brought about.”

In the wake of this decision, the Prince Edward School Foundation prepared to call in its pledges totaling over $2,000,000, in order to put in place a county-wide system of private schools. Hutcheson’s decision was appealed to the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, where it was overturned on May 9, 1959, and the school board ordered to open integrated schools the following September.
“I believe the problems to be capable of solution but they will require time and a sympathetic understanding. They cannot be solved by zealous advocates, by an emotional approach, nor by those with selfish interests to advance.”
— JUDGE STERLING HUTCHESON

“An interrupted education of one year or even six months at that age places a serious handicap upon a child which the average one may not overcome. It is my belief that at this time, a continuation of present methods could not be so harmful as an interrupted education.”

— JUDGE STERLING HUTCHESON

MASSIVE

resistance

“If we can organize the Southern states for massive resistance to this order I think, in time, the rest of the country will realize that racial integration is not going to be accepted in the South.”

— SEN. HARRY F. BYRD

THE GRAY COMMISSION

“I shall call together as quickly as practicable representatives of both State and local governments to consider the matter and work toward a plan which will be acceptable to our citizens and in keeping with the edict of the Court."

— GOV. THOMAS B. STANLEY

Senator Garland Gray

Senator Garland Gray was chosen by Governor Stanley to head a panel, officially known as the Virginia Public Educational Commission, to explore alternate ways for the state to respond to the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board. The commission issued its report on November 11, 1955. It included two primary recommendations: the use of educational grants to students who wanted to attend private schools and continued segregation of schools by means of “pupil placement” based on such standards as aptitude, health, or location. Many legislators felt that the Gray Commission recommendations were insufficient or legally indefensible. The legislative session ended in March without any action, only five months before the schools were supposed to begin desegregation.
“Compulsory integration should be resisted by all proper means in our power.”

“We must leave a large measure of autonomy to the localities, even though that may result in the closing of public schools.”
— GRAY COMMISSION REPORT
“...imposed segregation, whether practiced by law or by custom, is a totalitarian collectivistic concept. It is the outmoded doctrine that might makes right and depends upon violence, falsehoods, and misrepresentation for its sustenance.... We are in a titanic ideological struggle to capture the minds and hearts of men...”

— ATTORNEY OLIVER HILL
“The proponents of desegregation look at life from the present into the future, while the proponents of segregation look at life from the present into the past. Gentlemen, face the dawn and not the setting sun. A new day is being born.”
— ATTORNEY OLIVER HILL, PUBLIC HEARING BEFORE THE GRAY COMMISSION, NOVEMBER 1954

VIRGINIA PREPARES TO RESIST

“We desire to have recorded our unalterable opposition to the principle of integration of the races in the schools. ”

— RESOLUTION ISSUED BY 20 STATE LEGISLATORS FROM VIRGINIA'S FOURTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT,
WHERE PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY IS LOCATED, JUNE 20, 1954

“… But I do know that the mill wheels of the courts grind exceedingly slow and we can litigate a long, long time before mixed schools ever become a reality in eastern Virginia."

— EDITOR JAMES KILPATRICK

VIRGINIA'S MASSIVE RESISTANCE

THE SOUTHERN MANIFESTO

MARCh 12, 1956

“It’s no secret that the NAACP intends first to press Virginia.

“...If Virginia surrenders, if Virginia’s line is broken, the South will go down, too.”

— SEN. HARRY F. BYRD
The “Southern Manifesto,” formally known as the Declaration of Constitutional Principles, was signed by 101 congressmen, including the entire congressional delegations of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Virginia. Virginia Congressman Howard Smith introduced the resolution, which called the Brown v. Board decision an “unwarranted exercise of power by the Court,” and vowed the states would use “all lawful means to bring about a reversal of this decision.”

HE RUNS VIRGINIA

“He runs Virginia."

“Although many Virginians are too genteel to use the term, Senator Byrd is the boss of the machine and of the state.”

— POLITICAL SCIENTIST V. O. KEY, SOUTHERN POLITICS IN STATE AND NATION (1949)

“PAY AS YOU GO"

HARRY FLOOD BYRD

1887 - 1966

Born in Martinsburg, West Virginia and moved to Winchester, Virginia

Attended public schools and Shenandoah Academy in Winchester

Left school at 15 to take over his father’s failing newspaper, the Winchester Evening Star

Virginia state senator 1916–1925

Virginia’s 50th governor 1926–1930

United States Senator from Virginia 1933–1965

Harry F. Byrd was a descendant of the colonial Virginia family of William Byrd. His father had served as the speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates and his maternal uncle had served in the Virginia State Senate before being elected as a Virginia congressman. He had a lifelong aversion to debt of any kind which guided his approach to government at the state and national levels.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN VIRGINIA
· Extensive reorganization of state government
· Revisions of the state constitution
· Creation of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Development
· Creation of the Virginia Department of Public Welfare

THE HERALD SPEAKS

“Again, we repeat that the sociologists, the psychologists, and the do-gooders are not those who will suffer from strong racial prejudices, but it is we, the people, who make our homes in the South, who will become the victims, socially, religiously, economically—our way of life will have been destroyed."

“Stand steady.”

“For several generations the white and Negro races have lived together to prosper together in the South. A kindly feeling one for another, and a genuine racial respect in the South has formed the basis for a working program beneficial to both races. The keystone in this progress has been the segregation of the races for mutual understanding and happiness.”

— J. BARRYE WALL

JOSEPH BARRYE WALL

1898 - 1985

Born in Farmville, Virginia

Attended Prince Edward County public schools

Graduated from Hampden-Sydney College in 1919

Purchased Farmville Herald in 1921

Member of Johns Memorial Episcopal Church, as well as the following community organizations: Prince Edward Ruritan Club, the Farmville Masonic Lodge #41, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Modern Woodmen of America. Participated in the founding of Southside Community Hospital, the Weyanoke Hotel, and the Farmville Area Development Corporation. At his death in 1985, held the record for longest term of service on the Farmville Town Council—26 years from 1928 to 1954.

“We regret that it is necessary to devote so much of the editorial space to the discussion of the race problem,... it is our hope that information in these columns will cause enough people to think to the end that our community, its progress and its fine institutions will not be pulled asunder by a few in their misguided zeal.”

1957

“So we begin the Second Reconstruction of the South. So descends the military heel…
This Republic has not known a blacker day. ”

RICHMOND NEWS LEADER
Democratic candidate for governor J. Lindsay Almond declared that a Republican victory at the polls would be regarded as “approval of the invasion…of Arkansas” and would “constitute an invitation for the creation of many ‘Little Rocks’ in Virginia.”

THE SPACE RACE

“This is a new and dangerous world."

— ROY WILKINS

“The Sputnik satellite casts a shadow not lightly to be brushed aside...”

EAST MEETS WEST

THE DAYS OF ROCK AND ROLL

VIRGINIA CLOSES ITS SCHOOLS

“The agonizing study I have given this problem over a period of many months has persuaded me that so far as a state system of public education is concerned, integration anywhere means destruction everywhere....

I have not been elected Governor to preside over the liquidation of Virginia’s schools.”

— GOVERNOR J. LINDSAY ALMOND, JR. IN HIS INAUGURAL ADDRESS, JANUARY 11, 1958

JANUARY 11, 1958

J. Lindsay Almond, Jr. becomes governor of Virginia.

SEPTEMBER 1958

In three of the NAACP’s State Supreme Court cases involving Virginia localities, Charlottesville, Norfolk, and Warren County, the court ruled that desegregation must begin immediately.

Rather than see them integrated, Governor J. Lindsay Almond,v Jr. closed these schools, leaving nearly 13,000 Virginia children without public education.

“If school closings were needed to bring Virginia to its senses, then the sooner we reach that crisis, the better.”

— NAACP ATTORNEY OLIVER HILL

“FRONT ROYAL, Va., A group of Negro students who tried unsuccessfully to enroll in Warren County High School which has been closed down to avoid integration, and their parents, met at a nearby Negro church afterwards. Oliver Hill, NAACP attorney, is shown addressing the gathering. Hill said the NAACP would seek Federal Court action to force the county to admit Negroes in compliance with a court order.”

— UPI, 1958

NORFOLK

CLOSED—september 27, 1958

“Not As Segregationists Or Integrationists But As Students Who Want An Education, We Ask You To Please Keep Our Schools Open.”

THE COLLAPSE OF MASSIVE RESISTANCE

JANUARY 1959

The Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals and a federal panel of judges declared Virginia’s massive resistance and school closing laws to be invalid.
TO THOSE whose purpose and design is to blend and amalgamate the white and Negro race and destroy the integrity of both races.

TO THOSE who disclaim that they are integrationists but are working day and night to integrate the schools.

TO THOSE who don’t care what happens to the children of Virginia. To those false prophets of a ‘little or token integration.’

TO THOSE in high places and elsewhere who advocate integration for your children and send their own to private or public segregated schools.

TO THOSE who defend or close their eyes to the livid stench of Satanism, sex, immorality, and juvenile pregnancy infesting the mixed schools of the District of Columbia and elsewhere.

TO THOSE who would overthrow the customs, mores, and traditions of a way of life which has endured in honor and decency for centuries and embraced a new moral code prepared by nine men in Washington whose moral concepts they know nothing about.

TO THOSE who would substitute strife, bitterness, turmoil, and chaos for the tranquility and happiness of an orderly society.

TO THOSE who would destroy our way of life because of their pretended concerns over what Soviet Russia may think of us.

TO ALL THESE and their confederates, comrades, and allies, let me make it abundantly clear for the record now and hereafter as governor of this state; I will not yield to that which I know will be wrong and will destroy every rational semblance of public education for thousands of the children of Virginia. I call upon the people of Virginia to stand firmly with me in this struggle, be not dismayed by recent judicial deliveries.
— GOV. J. LINDSAY ALMOND, JR., RADIO ADDRESS, JANUARY 20, 1959

FEBRUARY 28, 1959

A week after his defiant speech in support of “massive resistance” Gov. J. Lindsay Almond called an emergency session of the Virginia General Assembly, during which he orchestrated the repeal of the Stanley Plan legislation, noting that massive resistance “has run its course.”

In February 1959, schools that had been closed in Charlottesville, Norfolk, and Warren County reopened as integrated schools.

FEBRUARY 2, 1959

“BLUE MONDAY”

INTEGRATED SCHOOLS OPEN PEACEFULLY IN NORFOLK, AND ARLINGTON COUNTY