What was the last public school to desegregate in the US? And when?

What was the last public school to desegregate in the US? And when?


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What was the last public school to desegregate in the United States? What was the date of completion for that schools desegregation?


In 1979, the American Civil Liberties Union reopened the Brown suit, asserting that the existence of 13 racially segregated schools on either side of Topeka Boulevard violated the 1954 High Court ruling. Signing on to the suit was Linda Brown Thompson, who was 11 when her father and other black parents brought the first Brown suit.

After years of legal maneuvering, in 1993 a Federal court agreed with the A.C.L.U. Now the Topeka district is proposing to close some of the segregated schools, bus more of its 15,000 students across neighborhood lines and create magnet schools, all in the name of integration.

This information is also shown on the museum of Brown Vs Board of education which I recently visited and they have a board that say the last school was desegregated in 1994.

Source: NYTimes


Boston Massachusetts was the Last to desegregate. Mississippi was forced to desegregate at gun point before the Schools in the North were forced to by riots. The riots in Boston, 1974-1976, were Worse than any in Mississippi.


May 17th 1954 congress decided it was against some amendment and you can find the details on PBS website however from what I could find it seems that Mississippi as a whole did not want integrated schools but stuck out for freedom of choice and it's worth reading about how racist people were and it seems it eventually came about in Mississippi in 1970,


How Berkeley’s busing program changed Kamala Harris’ life — and the presidential race

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Kamala Harris and her sister Maya in 1970. (Courtesy of Kamala Harris)

Kamala Harris with her mother Shyamala, center, her sister Maya, bottom left, and her maternal grandparents, P.V. and Rajam Gopalan. (Courtesy of Kamala Harris)

Kamala Harris and her sister Maya on Christmas in 1968. (Courtesy of Kamala Harris)

Kamala Harris with family in Jamaica during a visit. (Courtesy of Kamala Harris)

Kamala Harris with her newborn baby sister, Maya Harris, who's now the chair of her presidential campaign. (Courtesy of Kamala Harris)

A baby Kamala Harris with her great-grandmother Iris Finegan during a visit to Jamaica. (Courtesy of Kamala Harris)

A baby Kamala Harris with her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, and her paternal grandfather, Oscar Joseph, during a visit to Jamaica. (Courtesy of Kamala Harris)

Kamala Harris' parents, Shyamala Gopalan and Donald Harris, with her as a baby. (Courtesy of Kamala Harris)

Kamala Harris' mother Shyamala Gopalan, left, and college friend Lenore Pomerance at a protest on the UC Berkeley campus. (Courtesy of Kamala Harris)

Kamala Harris' parents, Shyamala Gopalan and Donald Harris, immigrants from India and Jamaica, in an undated portrait. (Courtesy of Kamala Harris)

The future presidential candidate and California Sen. Kamala Harris, left, with her younger sister Maya and mother Shyamala Gopalan Harris. Her parents -- immigrants from India and Jamaica -- shaped the senator's life, and their story has become a key part of her campaign message. (Courtesy of Kamala Harris)

Kamala Harris, right, with her mother Shyamala Gopalan at a Chinese New Year parade in San Francisco in 2007. (Courtesy of Kamala Harris)

Kamala Harris with her paternal grandmother, Beryl, in Jamaica. (Courtesy of Kamala Harris)

Shyamala Gopalan, the mother of Kamala Harris, addresses the crowd at the kickoff of her daughter's campaign for San Francisco district attorney. (Courtesy of Kamala Harris)

Kamala Harris, right, after graduating form UC Hastings law school in 1989, pictured with her mother Shyamala, center, and her first-grade teacher, Frances Wilson. (Courtesy of Kamala Harris)

Judy Robinson, 73, holds up a book about California Senator Kamala Harris as she recalls living two doors down from her while her mother ran a daycare Harris attended growing up. (Dylan Bouscher/Bay Area News Group)

Senator Kamala Harris (center) depicted beside Ruth Asawa, Anne Frank, Dolores Huerta, Malala Yousafazai, Serena Williams and Anne Frank in a mural at Thousand Oaks Elementary School, Harris' alma mater, in Berkeley, California. (Dylan Bouscher/Bay Area News Group)

Senator Kamala Harris (center) depicted beside Ruth Asawa, Anne Frank, Dolores Huerta, Malala Yousafazai, Serena Williams and Anne Frank in a mural at Thousand Oaks Elementary School, Harris' alma mater, in Berkeley, California. (Dylan Bouscher/Bay Area News Group)

BERKELEY — When Kamala Harris got on a Berkeley school bus for the first time five decades ago, she was taking part in one of the nation’s earliest efforts to use busing to integrate public schools. The yellow bus took her up from her home in the flatlands to Thousand Oaks Elementary at the base of the hills, linking neighborhoods that were cleaved by race and income.

Now, Harris has turned that experience into a breakout moment for her presidential campaign. Her show-stopping confrontation with frontrunner Joe Biden in Thursday night’s debate over his history of opposing busing programs instantly reshaped the race for the Democratic nomination.

The moment resonated especially deeply with former Berkeley students who, like Harris, had experienced busing and were watching Thursday night.

“She was spot-on,” said Doris Alkebulan, 58, who was among the first black students bused to white schools during the city’s 1967 pilot program. “It gave me such joy and pride that I still have confidence in our country.”

A FiveThirtyEight and Morning Consult poll conducted before and after the two nights of debates showed Harris rising from 7.9 percent to 16.6 percent and Biden falling from 41.5 percent to 31.5 percent. The post-debate poll still had Biden, who is in the Bay Area for private fundraisers this weekend, leading the field. But Harris had vaulted over Sen. Elizabeth Warren into third place and was less than a percentage point behind Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Just a few years after Harris got on her first school bus, Biden was arguing against busing, calling the concept “asinine” and fighting efforts in the Senate to impose it around the country.

Harris, the only black candidate on the debate stage, highlighted that record in raw and personal terms, leaving the former vice president rattled and his sheen of frontrunner status damaged.

“It was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country,” the California senator said, referring to his recent, controversial comments about his partnership with former Sens. James O. Eastland and Herman Talmadge, as she turned to look straight at Biden. “It was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose busing.”

“There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public school and she was bused to school every day,” Harris continued, with the debate hall pin-drop silent. “And that little girl was me.”

Sen. Kamala Harris and former Vice President Joe Biden speak during the Democratic debate. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The five-minute exchange appeared to be the most significant of the 2020 campaign so far, with commentators across cable news and social media declaring Harris a runaway debate winner and calling into question Biden’s position atop more than two dozens Democratic hopefuls. Harris’ attack took aim at a key constituency she and Biden are both fighting for support among, older African-American voters, and seemed likely to deflate the long-standing criticism of her as too cautious.

Harris’ campaign took quick advantage of the attention, blasting images of a young Harris across social media and adding a $29.99 “That Little Girl Was Me” T-shirt with her childhood photo to the campaign merchandise store.

Alkebulan said the Facebook group for her Berkeley class was blowing up Thursday night with former students amazed at Harris’ performance, and she sent Harris an online contribution right after the debate. Getting to go to Cragmont Elementary was a transformative opportunity, she said, with the times tables she learned there setting her on the path to becoming an engineer.

“I still remember it so clearly — I can still hear the sound of the bus,” she said.

Berkeley Unified School District started voluntarily busing its elementary students on a widespread level in 1968, under the direction of a progressive superintendent, Neil Sullivan. Black students would be bused up to the white schools in the hills during kindergarten through third grade, and white students went down to schools in the flatlands for grades 4 through 6. The program was one of the first of its kind in the country and was praised by Martin Luther King, Jr. — who was assassinated that year — and other civil rights leaders.

The future presidential candidate and California Sen. Kamala Harris, left, with her younger sister Maya and mother Shyamala Gopalan Harris. Her parents — immigrants from India and Jamaica — shaped the senator’s life, and their story has become a key part of her campaign message. (Courtesy of Kamala Harris)

A member of the second class to go into the program, Harris took the bus every day from her mother’s yellow duplex on Bancroft Way in the more diverse, less affluent flats of northwest Berkeley up to Thousand Oaks elementary in a wealthier and whiter neighborhood at the edge of the hills.

Harris started the busing program as a kindergartener in 1969, Berkeley school officials confirmed. Her parents were UC Berkeley grad students and immigrants from India and Jamaica who were deeply involved in the civil rights movement, and the family lived on Bancroft Way in a redlined area of Northwest Berkeley. The busing program took Harris to a school that previously had been more than 90 percent white, in a neighborhood where her family would likely have only recently been blocked from buying a home.

Senator Kamala Harris (center) depicted beside Ruth Asawa, Anne Frank, Dolores Huerta, Malala Yousafazai, Serena Williams and Anne Frank in a mural at Thousand Oaks Elementary School, Harris’ alma mater, in Berkeley, California. (Dylan Bouscher/Bay Area News Group)

“I only learned later that we were part of a national experiment in desegregation,” Harris wrote in her recent memoir. “At the time, all I knew was that the big yellow bus was the way I got to school.”

Her first-grade class was a pioneering picture of diversity, from students who grew up in public housing to the children of UC Berkeley professors, she wrote. Going to Thousand Oaks had a profound impact on her life: Her first-grade teacher, Frances Wilson, showed up to Harris’ law school graduation two decades later, a story she often tells voters on the campaign trail. (Harris, her mother and sister later moved to Montreal when she was in middle and high school.)

Judy Robinson, whose mother often took care of Harris and her sister and dropped a young Harris off at her bus stop in the morning, said she wasn’t surprised the senator’s debate performance made waves.

Judy Robinson, 73, holds up a book about California Senator Kamala Harris as she recalls living two doors down from her while her mother ran a daycare Harris attended growing up. (Dylan Bouscher/Bay Area News Group)

“She was that little girl — I remember it like yesterday,” Robinson, 73, said Friday with a laugh on the steps of her house two doors down from Harris’ childhood home. “What I saw was, that’s Kamala. Go, girl!”

Research has shown that busing and similar integration policies can have generations-long positive impacts on students, experts say, with African-American students benefiting from better educational and job attainment and students of all races — including white students — becoming less likely to form racial prejudices.

During the debate over Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation last year, Harris argued that school integration was a big factor in the fact that she was able to become a prosecutor and eventually run for public office.

“I wouldn’t be part of Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings had Chief Justice Warren not been on the Supreme Court to lead the unanimous decision in Brown v. Board,” Harris tweeted last year. “Had someone else been there, I may not have become a U.S. Senator.”

Kamala Harris, left, stands with John McGaffie, center, his daughter Kenya, front center, her mother Shyamala Gopalan and her sister Maya outside the McGaffie home in Berkeley, California, in the 1970s. MUST CREDIT: Photo courtesy of Sharon McGaffie Photo courtesy of Sharon McGaffie

Berkeley’s plan was highly controversial at the time, provoking an unsuccessful attempt to recall the school board, and some white families left the district for private schools or elsewhere in the Bay Area.

“Oftentimes, the burden of how busing is used fell on African Americans when integration happened,” said Erica Frankenberg, a professor of education at Penn State University, who has studied integration efforts in Berkeley and other school districts. “What Berkeley recognized is that it was important to share that, that white students needed to go to black schools as well.”

Biden took office as a senator from Delaware in 1973, just four years after Harris’ first experience with busing, and he was a staunch opponent of using the practice for desegregating public schools. That put him in line with prevailing public opinion at the time: A 1973 Gallup poll found just 5 percent believed busing was the best means to desegregate public schools — and only 9 percent of African-Americans were in favor.

In 1975, Biden authored a successful anti-busing measure that blocked federal grants to public schools that would use the money “to assign students or teachers by race.” He flatly told a local newspaper in an interview that year that “I oppose busing,” calling it an “asinine concept.”

The following year, Biden introduced a proposal to block the Justice Department from using busing to desegregate schools, and in 1977 introduced a bill opposing court-ordered busing. That legislation, which didn’t pass, was supported by Eastland — the segregation-backing Mississippi senator who Biden has talked about working with in recent weeks.

In the debate Thursday, Biden defended himself by saying Harris was mischaracterizing his position, declaring, “You would have been able to go to school the same exact way because it was a local decision made by your city council.” He said he was opposing efforts to get the federal government to impose busing on school districts.

Not everyone who went through the Berkeley busing program was impressed with Harris’ broadside. Brandon Baum, a white lawyer who credits the program for helping him build a multicultural friend group he’s still close with today, said he didn’t fault Biden for representing the will of his Delaware constituents at the time.

“I don’t think (Biden is) a racist, and I hate to see Democrats attacking each other in this manner,” Baum, 59, said. “We know who’s going to be throwing a lot of mud pretty soon, and I’d like to see us take a higher approach.”

Today, debates over school segregation and integration programs still roil cities around the country. Berkeley got rid of its busing program in the 1990s, and now has a different school system based on neighborhood.


What was the last public school to desegregate in the US? And when? - History

As governor of Oklahoma from 1919 to 1923, J. B. A. Robertson narrowly avoided impeachment, used martial law numerous times, faced an indictment in a bank scandal, and called a special session of the Oklahoma Legislature to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment for women's voting rights. The turbulence of his administration has long obscured his accomplishments. Born at Keokuk County, Iowa, in 1871, James Robertson transplanted to Chandler, Oklahoma Territory, twenty-one years later. A former teacher in Iowa, Robertson had begun studying law. In Chandler he renewed his studies, passing his bar exam in 1898. The next year he married Olive Stubblefield.

In 1900 Lincoln County residents elected him county attorney, the first of many elective posts before his gubernatorial inauguration. Defeated in bids for territorial councilman in 1903 and for the 1906 Constitutional Convention, Robertson assisted in drafting initiative and referendum legislation for the state constitution.

In 1909 Gov. Charles N. Haskell appointed him temporary (later permanent) judge of the Tenth District after authorities charged Judge W. N. Maben with accepting bribes. Robertson resigned in 1910 to challenge Lee Cruce and "Alfalfa Bill" Murray for the Democratic governor's nomination. Robertson withdrew from the race and supported Cruce, creating ill will between Murray and Robertson. Later that year Governor Haskell appointed Robertson to the Oklahoma Capitol Commission. Disagreeing with commission policies, he resigned his post. In 1911 he began a stint as a commissioner to the Oklahoma Supreme Court Commission Number One. In 1910 three new U.S. representative seats opened for Oklahoma. In 1912 Robertson challenged William Murray, Joe Thompson, Claude Weaver, and others for the Democratic nomination but placed seventh. In 1914 Robertson resigned his commissioner's seat and again ran for governor. Former Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Robert L. Williams, former bank robber Al Jennings, State Treasurer Robert Dunlap, and R. E. Herring bid against him in the Democratic primary. Despite his wife's death during the campaign, Robertson fought hard and lost by only 2,101 votes. He contested the election results but, afraid it would hurt the Democrat's chance for election, he withdrew his claims.

In 1918 Robertson finally ascended to Oklahoma's highest office. Defeating William Murray in the primary, he then overwhelmed the Republican candidate, Horace G. McKeever. Becoming the first governor from former Oklahoma Territory and the first inaugurated at the new Capitol, in his inaugural speech he discussed the close of World War I, federal government restoring states' rights, aggressive road building, and the unemployment plight of returning veterans.

Improvement of Oklahoma roads topped Robertson's list. He proposed a fifty-million-dollar good roads bond that, unfortunately, Oklahomans eventually voted down. His administration still created more than 1,550 miles of hard-surfaced roads.

Education represented another priority for the governor. Administration-sponsored legislation strengthened the compulsory education law, added appropriations for rural schools, gave scholarships to two persons per county to attend Oklahoma A&M and to twenty-five African Americans to attend Langston University, created teachers' old-age pensions, authorized rural school busing, authorized part-time adult education classes, and extended state aid to African American rural schools. During Robertson's first legislative session, 315 bills were passed by the relatively friendly legislature, with the Seventh Legislature approving the first state budget law, later abandoned in 1921. The governor and legislators passed other, less liberal, laws to curb radicalism, teach only English in schools, display proper reverence to the flag in school, prohibit the display of a red flag or emblem of disloyalty, and prohibit the desecration of the American flag.

In 1920 Robertson called a special session to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment, allowing Oklahoma women voting rights. That same year the Republican Party had its greatest success, capturing a number of national political offices, and electing Warren G. Harding president. Republicans gained the majority in the state's House of Representatives, although Democrats continued to control the Senate. The Republican-dominated House impeached Lt. Gov. Martin Trapp and then attempted to impeach the State Treasurer A. N. Leecraft and Governor Robertson. These all failed, and the Senate quashed the charges against Trapp. The session produced no appropriations bill, and the House adjourned while the Senate was still in session. The governor had to call a special session to get the House to approve the budget.

In 1921 a dispute with Texas occurred over the boundary between the two states. Oil discovery at the Burkburnett Field on the south bank of the Red River caused both states to issue overlapping leases to oil companies. For several months Oklahoma National Guardsman faced Texas Rangers violence loomed. Robertson met with Texas governor W. P. Hobby, but settlement was only reached after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Oklahoma's claim.

The governor also tackled the problem of race relations. Racial violence terrorized not only Oklahoma but also the nation after World War I. The revival of the Ku Klux Klan and the emergence of African American returning war veterans with a new sense of independence fueled the flame of violent outbreaks. After lynchings and attempted lynchings occurred in Oklahoma City, Okmulgee, Tulsa, and other towns during his first year in office, Robertson created a commission on race relations that consisted of five prominent whites and three African Americans, including Roscoe Dunjee, editor of the Black Dispatch in Oklahoma City. This did not stem the violence, and in 1921 one of the worst outbreaks of interracial violence in the nation's history occurred in Tulsa. The governor declared martial law there and sent Gen. Charles F. Barrett and the National Guard to control the city.

This was not the only incident of mob violence during Robertson's reign. In 1919 violence erupted at Drumright during a telephone operator strike. Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and socialists were active in the area and used this opportunity to demonstrate. Turning violent, the mob apparently held the mayor, chief of police, and a councilman in the city jail and threatened to lynch them. Robertson sent out the Guard to control the town. The governor took a strong position against strikers, especially public officials, and had harsh words for the twenty-eight Tulsa police officers who struck early in his administration. The governor threatened to send the Guard to Sapulpa in June 1919 to control a streetcar strike. Telegraphing the sheriff, he claimed that peace officers might be advising, assisting, and encouraging citizens to violate the law, and he threatened to investigate.

The culmination of Robertson's stand on strikes and the government's role in strikebreaking occurred during the coal strike of October 1919. Citing dissatisfaction with the conditions in coalfields, miners announced a national walkout. Seeking to prevent the Oklahoma miners from joining this strike, Robertson called industry leaders and miner representatives to McAlester on October 29. Talks failed, and eight thousand miners walked out, causing the governor to declare martial law in six southeastern counties. National Guardsmen protected mining operations and threatened to use convict labor to keep the mines producing. The mining industry settled the strike on December 10, and the governor eventually lifted martial law. Other strikes occurred during his term, but Robertson did not again use troops until the railway shopmen's strike of 1922 in Shawnee.

In 1922 District Judge Mark Bozarth called a grand jury to investigate the failure of Okmulgee's Bank of Commerce. Robertson was one of the thirty persons indicted. The grand jury charged that state officials, including the governor, had accepted bribes to keep the bank operating after they knew it to be insolvent. Robertson did not clear himself of the allegations until after leaving office. In 1922 he was succeeded by John C. Walton. Robertson again ran in the 1926 governor's primary, and he was defeated by Henry S. Johnston. In 1930 Robertson lost bids for the Oklahoma Senate and for the Oklahoma Supreme Court. His last public service came as attorney for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. He died of cancer on March 7, 1938. His second wife, Isabelle, and two children survived him.

Bibliography

J. B. A. Robertson Papers, State Archives Division, Oklahoma Department of Libraries, Oklahoma City.

Jimmie L. White, Jr., "James Brooks Ayers Robertson, Governor of Oklahoma, 1917–1923," in Oklahoma's Governors, 1907–1920: Turbulent Politics, ed. LeRoy H. Fischer (Oklahoma City: Oklahoma Historical Society, 1981).

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The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
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Civil Rights Movement: Desegregation Timeline

Benjamin Roberts sues the city of Boston for refusing to allow his five-year-old daughter to enroll in a local all-white elementary school. The Massachusetts Supreme Court dismisses the case, thereby validating segregation in Boston public schools.

Plessy v. Ferguson

In Plessy v. Ferguson, the United States Supreme Court upholds a Louisiana law that mandates "separate but equal" facilities for Blacks and whites.

Black Student Refused at Missouri Law

The University of Missouri School of Law refuses to admit Lloyd Lionel Gaines, a Black college graduate, on account of his race. The state offers Gaines a scholarship to attend a school outside Missouri, but he refuses the funding and files a lawsuit. Although he loses his case, the NAACP would appeal to the Supreme Court two years later.

Gaines v. Canada

After hearing arguments in Gaines v. Canada, the United States Supreme Court rules in favor of Lloyd Lionel Gaines, ordering his admission to the University of Missouri.

War Segregation Protest

A. Philip Randolph, the leader of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters union, and Bayard Rustin, a political activist and one-time organizer for the Young Communist League, propose a March on Washington to protest racial discrimination in the expanding war industries and in the military. They hope to organize 10,000 African Americans to march in Washington, D.C. "for jobs in national defense and equal integration in the fighting forces."

Roosevelt Balks

President Franklin D. Roosevelt learns of the March on Washington plan. Despite meeting with A. Philip Randolph months before, the president refuses to negotiate with him, fearing that by doing so he may antagonize southerners in Congress. Randolph raises the stakes of the March, promising 100,000 protestors.

Roosevelt Desegregates

Greatly concerned with the prospect of thousands of angry African Americans descending upon the nation's capital, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issues Executive Order 8802, which states that there shall be "no discrimination in the employment of workers in defense industries or Government because of race, creed, color, or national origin." The Order also creates the Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC) to investigate discrimination complaints in wartime.

Randolph Postpones March on Washington

A. Philip Randolph announces in a radio broadcast that the March on Washington, originally scheduled to take place on July 1st, will be "postponed."

Tuskegee Air Field Opens

The United States War Department opens the Tuskegee Army Air Field in Tuskegee, Alabama, a segregated military base and the first U.S. Air Force facility to train Black servicemen to be fighter pilots.

Desegration Pressure Grows

A. Philip Randolph believes much more can be done to end employment discrimination, lynching, and barriers to voting and equal education. He seeks to expand his original protest strategy and plans for the following year a series of "colossal and dramatic" nonviolent rallies in major cities throughout the country.

Mass Gatherings

Led by A. Philip Randolph, the March on Washington Committee successfully organizes mass gatherings in New York, Chicago, and St. Louis.

Huge Demonstrations Planned

Following a summer of protest, A. Philip Randolph calls for the organization of "millions" of African Americans. Inspired by mass civil disobedience in India, Randolph tells a gathering of March on Washington Movement (MOWM) members, "We must develop huge demonstrations because the world is used to big dramatic affairs. [. ] Nothing little counts."

War Aide Resigns in Protest

William H. Hastie, an African-American aide to Secretary of War Henry Stimson, resigns in protest of continued segregation in military training facilities.

Explosion at Port Chicago

An explosion at Port Chicago, a northern California naval base, kills 320 munitions workers and injures 400 more, most of whom are Black. 50 Black seamen refuse to continue loading munitions under unsafe conditions. They are court-martialed for mutiny, dishonorably discharged, and imprisoned.

Irene Morgan Resists on Greyhound

Irene Morgan, a young mother of two living in Virginia, boards a Greyhound bus headed for Baltimore, Maryland. She sits in a row in the "colored" section, but when a white couple needs seats the bus driver demands she stand and move further back. Morgan refuses she is promptly arrested, jailed, and fined.

What the N**** Wants Published

The University of North Carolina publishes What the N**** Wants, a collection of essays written by Black leaders calling for an end to segregation, for voting rights in the South, unionism, and for a solution to the problems of poverty, lynching, and imperialism.

An American Dilemma Discusses Race

Gunnar Myrdal, a Swedish social scientist, writes An American Dilemma, a book encapsulating a five-year study sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation. The encyclopedic study utilizes hundreds of interviews with Black people, scholarly studies, and statistics in order to describe almost every major facet of Black life at the time and the conflict between American racial policies and the American belief in freedom and justice for all. Myrdal concludes that World War II may very well be the catalyst for change.

Roosevelt Dies

With the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Vice President Harry S. Truman becomes the 33rd President of the United States.

Japanese Surrender

The Japanese formally surrender, ending World War II.

Desegregation Protests Continue

Unsatisfied with the temporary nature of the Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC), the government organization created to investigate discrimination complaints during wartime, A. Philip Randolph once again rallies the masses in protest. Seventeen thousand people gather in Madison Square Garden, New York, to call for a permanent FEPC. Despite later efforts by President Harry S. Truman and Congress, the U.S. government fails to renew the FEPC in peacetime.

Irene Morgan v. Virginia

In Irene Morgan v. Virginia, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that segregation in interstate travel is unconstitutional. Many southern states refuse to enforce the new law.

Black Student Denied Admission to University of Texas Law

Heman Sweatt, a Black mail carrier from Houston, Texas, is denied admission to the University of Texas School of Law on the basis of race. Sweatt sues the university. Four years later, the NAACP would argue his case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Journey of Reconciliation

Bayard Rustin and the Committee on Racial Equality (CORE) decide to force the South to comply with the 1946 Supreme Court decision in Irene Morgan v. Virginia. Rustin, along with an integrated group of passengers, board buses in protest Black protesters take the front seats and white protesters take the rear. The protesters, along with Rustin, are arrested and jailed, some sentenced to labor in chain gangs. These acts, collectively called "The Journey of Reconciliation," would provide a model for the Freedom Riders of the 1960s.

To Secure These Rights

The United States Commission on Civil Rights issues To Secure These Rights, a scathing report on racial inequality in America.

Brooklyn Dodgers Sign Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson is recruited by the Brooklyn Dodgers and becomes the first African American to play for a major-league baseball team. His success earns him the Rookie of the Year award.

Truman Tries on Civil Rights

President Harry S. Truman attempts to pass an extensive civil rights program including a permanent Fair Employment Practices Commission, national laws against lynching, and measures to ensure voting rights and equal access to education. Congress rejects it.

Truman Desegregates Armed Forces

President Harry S. Truman issues Executive Order 9981 desegregating the armed forces.

Truman Reelected

President Harry S. Truman is elected to a second term.

University of Oklahoma Jim Crow Admission

George McLaurin, a Black teacher, gains admission to the University of Oklahoma's School of Education, but he is admitted under Jim Crow arrangements. McLaurin is forced to sit in a small room separated from the regular classroom, to work in a segregated space in the library, and to eat at a designated table and only at a time when white students would not be using the university's cafeteria. Two years later, the NAACP would argue this case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Housing Act

Congress passes the Housing Act, authorizing funds to local governments for the construction of public housing to provide a "suitable living environment" for every American family. Under programs of "urban renewal," cities clear poor neighborhoods to construct retail centers, middle-class housing complexes, public universities, roads, and parks.

Jo Ann Robinson Expelled from Alabama Bus

Jo Ann Robinson, a professor at an all-Black college and member of the Women's Political Council (WPC), is expelled from an Alabama bus for taking a seat directly behind the driver.

Integrated Units Fight in Korea

In the Korean War, Black soldiers fight alongside whites in integrated units for the first time since the American Revolution.

Heman M. Sweatt v. Theophilus S. Painter et al.

In Heman M. Sweatt v. Theophilus S. Painter et al., the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the University of Texas School of Law cannot reasonably create an all-Black law school that would be truly "separate but equal," and orders the university to admit Sweatt.

George W. McLaurin v. Oklahoma Board of Regents for Higher Education

In George W. McLaurin v. Oklahoma Board of Regents for Higher Education, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the segregation practiced by the University of Oklahoma's Graduate School of Education violates the Fourteenth Amendment, which provides that "no state shall. deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Eisenhower Elected

Democrats nominate Adlai Stevenson for president and John Sparkman, a southern segregationist, as his running mate. Stevenson loses the election to Republican candidate Dwight D. Eisenhower and his running mate Richard M. Nixon.

Brown v. Board of Education

In Oliver Brown et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, the United States Supreme Court rules that segregated schools are "inherently unequal" and foster "feeling[s] of inferiority" in Black children. The Court orders the desegregation of public schools but does not provide a firm timeline.

White Citizens’ Council Formed

In Indianola, Mississippi, a group of largely middle- and upper-class whites found the White Citizens' Council to oppose desegregation.

Martin Luther King Becomes Pastor

Martin Luther King, Jr. becomes the pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.

Claudette Colvin Resists on City Bus

In Montgomery, Alabama, Claudette Colvin, a 15-year-old Black girl on her way home from school, refuses to relinquish her seat on the city bus to a white man. Police must drag her off the bus. She is convicted of violating segregation laws and for assault on a police officer.

George Lee Murdered for Voting

In Belzoni, Mississippi, George Lee, a grocery store owner and NAACP member, is fatally shot while leaving the courthouse after attempting to vote. Lamar Smith, another Black Mississippi citizen, is killed in front of the county courthouse after casting his ballot. No one is arrested in connection with the murders.

Emmett Till Killed

Emmett Till, a 14-year-old Black boy, is kidnapped by J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant. The two white men believe Till had whistled at Bryant's wife in the family's grocery store. They brutally beat Till, take him to the Tallahatchie River, shoot him in the head, fasten a large metal cotton gin fan to his neck with barbed wire, and push Till's body into the water. One month later, Milam and Bryant are acquitted of the murder by an all-white, all-male jury.

Emmett Till Photographs in Jet

Photographs of Emmett Till's mutilated corpse appear in Jet magazine, a nationally distributed Black publication.

Mary Smith Resists City Bus Segregation

In Montgomery, Alabama, Mary Louise Smith, 18, is arrested, jailed, and fined for refusing to give up her seat on the city bus to a white woman.

Rosa Parks Arrested

Rosa Parks, a seamstress and member of the NAACP, is arrested and jailed for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a city bus, launching the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott. The boycott lasts 381 days.

Montgomery Bus Boycott

Rosa Parks is convicted for violating bus segregation laws. The Women's Political Council in Montgomery calls for a one-day boycott of city buses. Black ridership drops by a whopping 90%. Leaders of the boycott form the Montgomery Improvement Association and elect Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. president. The Association votes to continue the boycott.

Montgomery Carpools

The Montgomery Improvement Association organizes a carpool to assist those participating in the boycott of Montgomery city buses.

King Home Bombed

A white vigilante group bombs the home of Martin Luther King, Jr., who escapes unharmed along with his wife, and his infant daughter. A crowd of Black citizens gathers to tell King they are ready to retaliate, but King urges them to disarm.

Alabama Support for Segregation

In Montgomery, Alabama, thousands gather at a White Citizens' Council rally to show support for city officials who refuse to revamp segregation laws.

The Southern Manifesto

Segregationist senators Strom Thurmond of South Carolina and Harry Byrd of Virginia draft and distribute "The Southern Manifesto," a document declaring the southern white ruling elite's opposition to the Brown v. Board decision. "We commend the motives of those States," it reads, "which have declared the intention to resist forced integration by any lawful means."

Court Refuses Segregation

The U.S. Supreme Court refuses to reconsider a lower court's ruling against bus segregation in South Carolina.

Montgomery Resists Desegregation

In response to the Supreme Court's decision, several southern cities desegregate seating on buses. The mayor of Montgomery, Alabama, however, remains committed to segregation on public transportation and threatens to arrest any bus drivers who do not comply with his orders.

Robert Graetz Home Bombed

The home of Robert Graetz, a Lutheran minister and a white member of the Montgomery Improvement Association, is bombed. He, his wife Jeanie, and their children are unharmed.

Supreme Court Strikes Alabama Segregation

The Supreme Court strikes down Alabama's bus segregation laws.

Bus Boycott Ends

The Supreme Court decision to end segregation on public transportation goes into effect. The Montgomery Improvement Association votes to end the bus boycott.

Montgomery Church Bombings

In Montgomery, Alabama, First Baptist, Mount Olive Baptist, Bell Street Baptist, and Hutchinson Street Baptist Churches are bombed. The homes of bus boycott organizers Ralph Abernathy and Martin Luther King, Jr. are also targeted.

Southern Christian Leadership Conference Founded

In Atlanta, Georgia, ministers from eleven southern states meet to discuss the success of the boycott, the vitality of nonviolence, and the importance of Christian leadership. The group, including Ralph Abernathy and Martin Luther King, Jr., founds the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Ghana Gains Independence

The African nation of Ghana gains independence from British colonial rule.

Eisenhower Passes Civil Rights Bill

Under President Dwight D. Eisenhower the U.S. federal government passes the first civil rights bill since 1875.

Arkansas Blocks Integration

Governor Orval Faubus of Arkansas announces on a statewide television broadcast that he intends to use National Guardsmen to block the court-ordered integration of Little Rock Central High School.

Eisenhower Sends Troops

Previously reluctant to intervene, President Dwight D. Eisenhower orders the deployment of federal troops to enforce the integration of Little Rock Central High School.

Little Rock Students Suffer

Minniejean Brown, one of the nine Black students who integrated Little Rock Central High School, is suspended for pouring chili on the head of white student who had been harassing the group, calling them the "n" word. Brown would be expelled the following February after a white girl called her the name, and Brown responded by denouncing the young woman as "white trash."

First Graduate of Little Rock Nine

Ernest Green becomes the first of the Little Rock Nine to graduate from Little Rock Central High School. Green would remember that upon hearing his name announced at the graduation ceremony, "there was eerie silence. Nobody clapped. But I figured they didn't have to. [. ] I had accomplished what I had come there for."

Woolworth Sit-in

Four students from the all-Black North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, enter a local Woolworth's department store and sit down at a lunch counter in an area reserved for whites. They return, along with other students and a few whites, to protest day after day for five months until Woolworth's agrees to serve Black customers at its lunch counters. Others use similar tactics in cities across the country.

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

In Raleigh, North Carolina, Ella Baker, a civil rights organizer, gathers a group of student activists to discuss strategies for ending segregation. The group founds the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

Senegal Gains Independence

The African nation of Senegal gains independence from French colonial rule.

Nigeria Gains Independence

The African nation of Nigeria gains independence from British colonial rule.

John Kennedy Elected

Democrat John F. Kennedy defeats Republican candidate Richard M. Nixon to become the 35th president of the United States.

Sierra Leone Gains Independence

West African nation Sierra Leone gains independence from British colonial rule.

Kennedy Meets on Civil Rights

Civil rights organizations meet with Attorney General Robert Kennedy to discuss the obstacles to Black voter registration in the South.

Freedom Rides

The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) organizes "Freedom Rides," in which integrated groups travel on buses and trains into the Deep South.

Interstate Transportation Desegregated

In response to the "Freedom Rides" organized by the Congress of Racial Equality, the Interstate Commerce Commission orders the desegregation of all buses, trains, and terminals.

Jamaica Gains Independence

The island nation of Jamaica gains independence from British colonial rule.

Kennedy Federalizes Mississippi Troops

At the urging of Medgar Evers and the NAACP, President John F. Kennedy federalizes Mississippi troops to enforce a federal court ruling to allow James Meredith, a student at the all-Black Jackson State College, to enroll at the all-white University of Mississippi.

University of Mississippi Riots

Upon the arrival of James Meredith at the University of Mississippi, the first Black student to enroll, students riot and federal troops must be deployed to quell the mayhem on campus. A reporter and a bystander are killed.

Emancipation Proclamation Centennial

The date marks the centennial anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Birmingham Boycott

Martin Luther King, Jr. and the SCLC convene to discuss a new boycott campaign to integrate downtown Birmingham businesses.

Martin Luther King, Jr. vs. Bull Connor

Martin Luther King, Jr. helps launch a series of nonviolent anti-segregation protests in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. Police chief Eugene "Bull" Connor orders his police department to use fire hoses, police dogs, and night sticks to break up the demonstrations. Images of these violent episodes are disseminated worldwide.

Birmingham Desegregates

A council representing businesses in downtown Birmingham reaches an agreement with Martin Luther King, Jr. and the SCLC. The council agrees to desegregate and hire Black clerical workers and sales associates.

Kennedy Bans Public Discrimination

President John F. Kennedy appears on national television to announce a new bill that will ban discrimination in all public places.

Medgar Evers Assassinated

A sniper kills Medgar Evers, field secretary of the Mississippi NAACP. He is shot in the back in the driveway of his home in Jackson.

Kennedy Discusses Civil Rights

Civil rights leaders meet with President John F. Kennedy to discuss planning for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

More than 250,000 demonstrators, Black and white, gather at the nation's capital for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.


It took this Texas school district 48 years to desegregate. Now, some fear a return to the past.

This story about school segregation was produced by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that provides free news, data, and events on Texas public policy, politics, government, and statewide issues.

LONGVIEW — At the first Friday football game in the first school year since the school district in this East Texas town had been declared racially integrated — nearly 50 years after a federal court order — thousands of spectators dressed in forest-green Lobos gear filled the stadium.

Enduring the late-August heat, fans filed into creaky fold-down seats they’d reserved for years. Some who had attended segregated white or black schools in Longview decades ago now shared the same rows. When the marching band played the school’s fight song, most of the crowd formed an “L” with their fingers and rocked them back and forth in unison.

Ted Beard, a longtime Longview Independent School District board member, watched the football players race across the field and wondered how long the commitment to integration would last.

The district is at a pivotal moment now that a federal court has released it from decades-long supervision of its policies for educating students of color. It has made progress to topple the barriers still holding black and Hispanic students back from the same academic success as white students.

Loading…Whether it continues a commitment to student equity now depends solely on the collective will of a school board that could change with a single election cycle. And that worries Beard, whose father was part of the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965 and faced threats and violence along the way. Beard is black and had two kids go through Longview schools.

“The board could change and then the direction could change, and those that are ultimately affected are going to be the students,” Beard said.

Ted Beard, pictured at an August board meeting, has served on the Longview ISD school board since 1998. Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

The U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision declared school segregation unconstitutional in 1954, but Longview ISD — along with hundreds of other Texas school districts — resisted until federal judges intervened and imposed detailed desegregation plans across large swaths of the state.

In 1970, an East Texas-based federal court mandated Longview ISD tackle a long list of tasks designed to make sure its black students were learning and playing in the same classrooms and playgrounds as their white peers — including closing four all-black schools and busing black students to formerly all-white schools throughout the district.

Forty-seven years later, Longview was one of only three Texas districts that remained under a federal court order, along with San Angelo and Garland.

A federal judge fully released the district from that order in June, and just weeks before the school year started, Beard and the rest of the board unanimously approved a voluntary plan to keep the district’s schools desegregated and ensure that students of color have equal opportunities to graduate and succeed beyond high school.

But Beard and others know the district has yet to overcome the deep disparities that have defined so much of its history. In Longview ISD, white students — who make up a fraction of the district’s enrollment — still outpace their black and Hispanic peers in many ways. They are roughly half of the students enrolled at Longview’s specialized elementary school, which has higher academic standards. And they are more likely to take classes and tests meant to prepare them for college.

And district leaders also have struggled with a new education challenge that federal judges couldn’t have foreseen in 1970 — adequately providing a burgeoning group of Hispanic students with crucial services they need to learn English.

Order from the court

Sixteen years after the Brown ruling, the federal government sued the state of Texas for refusing to integrate most of its schools. In 1970, a federal judge almost 40 miles from Longview placed nearly the entire state under court order and threatened sanctions against defiant school districts — resulting in one of the largest series of desegregation orders in the nation’s history.

Longview ISD Superintendent James Wilcox said the desegregation order was in many ways outdated by the time he started in 2007. Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

The same court ordered Longview to integrate both its faculty and students. That meant busing more than 600 black students to white schools and the consolidation or closure of several all-black schools. If white students tried to transfer, the court order mandated that they could only be reassigned to schools in which they would be in the minority.

Longview ISD was unlikely to have integrated without a court order. Like people in much of the state, folks in Longview saw the federal push for integration as a threat to their autonomy.

The effort to improve facilities across the district was slow. Board members began pushing to renovate some of the old school buildings in the late 90s. Since the integration order, white families — who still made up the majority of Longview’s population — had left the school district in droves for private schools, and white voters actively resisted paying to renovate the district’s schools.

“If you’re an Anglo family and you’re taking your kid out of school, why would you vote yes to float a bond?” said Chris Mack, a white board member first elected in 1993 who was a middle school student in Longview ISD when it was forced to integrate.

By many accounts, the turning point came when James Wilcox was hired as superintendent in 2007.

With Wilcox at the helm, the community approved — in a measure that passed in 2008 by fewer than 20 votes — a $266.9 million bond to finance a massive overhaul of the district’s schools. Longview ISD built eight schools, renovated three others and upgraded technology across the district.

The district made more progress integrating black students after 2008 than it had in the previous 15 years, according to an analysis of school segregation data by Meredith Richards, an assistant professor of education policy and leadership at Southern Methodist University.

Loading…While overhauling schools, the district went back to the federal court to argue that it no longer needed an extensive busing system, which district leaders argued had become tedious.

“We did what was best for our students while meeting the requirements of the desegregation order,” Wilcox said from his office earlier this year. “But it was a dinosaur, a pyramid, or whatever you want to say — something that in our mind has lost its function because it’s a totally different district.”

In 2014, the courts released the district from some of the restrictions of the original 1970 court order. In exchange, the district’s leaders promised to spend the next three years working to improve in areas where Longview still needed to make progress after more than four decades: monitoring racial disparities in student discipline, preventing students from transferring to schools where their race was the majority, hiring a more diverse staff and ensuring students of color had equal opportunity to take advanced classes.

A strategy with a Montessori in mind

Since 2017, most pre-K and kindergarten students in Longview have begun their education at East Texas Montessori Prep, a $31 million, 150,000-square-foot building in the middle of the district.

“We have the same exact expectations for every student,” Wilcox said.

Widely considered an exclusive educational program more common in private schools, Montessori prioritizes self-directed, hands-on student learning.

Troy Simmons, who became Longview ISD’s second black board member in 1985, saw East Texas Montessori Prep as a way to give students of color a competitive advantage early in their lives. Community members often responded to the district’s pitch to create the Montessori school by complaining about how much it would cost, he said.

“People don’t believe in educating all children. They believe in educating their kids, not your kid,” Simmons said.

Troy Simmons, a Longview ISD school board member, has long pushed for equity for students of color and faced backlash from a majority white community. Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

Among the strongest objections to a district-wide Montessori school came from parents at Johnston-McQueen Elementary School, located in the whitest part of the school district, where parents successfully advocated to keep a traditional pre-K and kindergarten program for students zoned there.

Loading…To Simmons, the separate program is a figurative foot in the door, impeding the district’s plan for a cohesive education system.

If the decision had been left up to Beard, Longview ISD would not have given up court supervision at all.

His opposition is recorded in a few lines in the minutes from the November 2017 board meeting: “Knowing that at a drop of a dime the board could change and take…its sight off what is best for ALL students, he will not support this motion.”

Beard voted no, joined by Shan Bauer, who is also black.

Longview ISD leaders consider the East Texas Montessori Prep campus a pillar of progress, starting all students in the same place. Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

Simmons, joined the majority in the 5-2 vote to ask the court to fully release the district — a decision he later regretted.

In June 2018, Judge Robert Schroeder lifted Longview ISD’s court order.

Another challenge emerges

The district was also confronting a new challenge that the courts in 1970 had never anticipated: Providing an equal education to an exploding population of Hispanic students — many of them immigrants or first-generation citizens, and many of them Spanish speakers.

Without a court order hanging over them, the district’s leaders, by their own admission, have struggled to lift Hispanic students like they did, belatedly, for black students.

Hispanic enrollment in Longview schools has almost doubled in the last 13 years alone. The district has included them in many of its desegregation measures, particularly in its efforts to recruit students for advanced classes, said Jody Clements, an assistant superintendent at Longview ISD.

Loading…But in Longview, most Hispanic students need bilingual or English as a second language instruction — hundreds more students enrolled in those programs between 2009 and 2017, state data shows.

The number of teachers for those programs only increased by about five.

“We haven’t cracked that nut yet,” Mack said after an August school board meeting during which the issue was discussed in executive session.

Chris Mack, a Longview ISD board member, said many white residents resisted paying for school renovations because their children were not enrolled in the district. Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

The new reality

In August, Longview’s school board unanimously approved a seven-page voluntary desegregation plan that it plans to implement with the help of a $15 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Starting this year, five predominately black and Hispanic schools will offer special programs, such as advanced engineering or college preparatory courses, to attract higher-income students and white students living in the district but attending private school or homeschool.

The plan is self-enforced, with no federal judge serving as referee.

Longview ISD leaders will no longer limit student transfers to certain schools based on race or set goals for the percentage of white, black or Hispanic students for each school. Instead, if they notice a school is becoming more segregated, they will correct the problem using “race-neutral” strategies, such as recruiting students from low-income neighborhoods — which some experts say is not as effective in achieving racial integration.

About 56.2 percent of white students graduated ready for college English and math in 2016, according to state data, compared with a dismal 23 percent of Hispanic students and 16 percent of black students. That disparity is similar among students who take Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes in high school.

Will the momentum continue?

The community’s commitment to equity could soon be tested. Though Mack was just re-elected to another three-year term, he will likely step down after handing his daughter her diploma at graduation this spring, after nearly 20 years on the board.

Longview ISD was recently declared desegregated, but still hasn’t toppled the barriers keeping black and Hispanic students from success. Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

Simmons, who now has the longest tenure on the board, regularly considers whether it’s time to retire. He’s tired, he says, but leaving is not a decision he can make without considering the impact on Longview’s progress.

“I have a lot of faith in our superintendent. I have a lot of faith in the core of our board, the way it operates, but I also know that one change, one blip, one glitch can turn the board into something completely different and basically destroy everything that we’ve built in these past years in doing this,” Simmons said solemnly at the start of the year. “And so that makes me hesitant about not seeking re-election, but at the same time I am tired of fighting this the way I have to.”

Four months later, Simmons ran for — and secured — another three-year term.

Ryan Murphy contributed to this report.

Disclosure: Southern Methodist University has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.


SCHOOL SEGREGATION IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

One of the most striking developments in school segregation at the national level has resulted from a transformation in race and ethnicity in U.S. society. At the time of the Brown decision, the racial debate was most often cast in terms of black and white. This was the case, in significant part, because the legacy of slavery in the South and racial intolerance in the North had long been a biracial issue dealing primarily with the interactions between former slaves and white Americans of European ancestry. Also, throughout the twentieth century, black people comprised the largest racial minority in the country.

However, in the closing decades of the twentieth century, educational discrimination against Latinos began to draw more attention as two things happened. First, Latinos began migrating in greater numbers from the western United States, where they had always been a significant presence, to the Midwest, South, and East. Secondly, Latinos in the United States continued to grow in numbers over these decades, ultimately surpassing African Americans as the single largest minority group in the United States. While issues of school segregation had been of significance in western state courts long before Brown ever made its way to the Supreme Court (see Alvarez v. Lemon Grove [1931] and Mendez v. Westminster [1946]), because of the growing number of Latinos in the United States, the school desegregation debate has become black, white, and brown.

In the first decade of the twenty-first century, schools across the United States continue to be separated along racial, ethnic, and economic lines that are drawn primarily to the advantage of white Americans and to the disadvantage of African and Latino Americans. As Nanette Asimov writes, “ Even though no board of education still has the power to exclude students based on ethnicity, the schools ’ racial barrier lives on in the segregated lives of the rich and the poor ” (2004). In states like California, where changes in state policy have eroded the property tax base, one of the traditional mainstays of educational funding for all public schools, affluent communities have used their economic and political resources to ensure that the schools serving their children have adequate learning materials, technological resources, less overcrowding, and qualified teachers. In comparison, poor and minority school districts without these resources have found themselves left behind. Asimov continues, “ Today ’ s Linda Browns [the lead petitioner in Brown v. Board of Education ] are students whose parents cannot afford to supplement schools with computers, books, art classes and equipment as parents in wealthier communities do ” (2004).

Even in situations where white and minority children attend the same school, studies have shown that they do not necessarily receive the same quality of education. For example, educational tracking — the placement of students into courses based on their performance in standardized achievement tests — has been criticized for effectively segregating white students, who are more commonly placed on high-achievement tracks, from students of color. Further, there is evidence of teachers being more helpful toward white students and of differential grading of students favoring white students over their minority peers (Feagin et al. 1996)

In the early twenty-first century, most African American and Latino children attended predominantly minority schools, and nearly 40 percent of these children attended schools that are at least 90 percent minority (Brown 2005). These resegregated schools exist in the former Jim Crow South as well as the “ liberal ” North and the progressive West. The end result of resegregated education in America is an “ opportunity gap ” that has significant consequences for the educational and life chances of poor students and students of color. As Judith Blau notes in Race in the Schools (2003), public schools operate to the detriment of all students because they are racial settings that reproduce white advantage, rather than equalizing forces in U.S. society.

A 2006 report from the the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University indicates the gap between whites and minorities in education only seems to be widening, and doing so with the tacit support of government officials and the courts (Orfield and Lee 2006). Kozol writes, “ the dual society, at least in public education, seems in general to be unquestioned ” (1991, p. 4). UCLA ’ s Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access (2004) adds that this widespread resegregation not only fails the promise for equality made in Brown these schools do not even live up to the pre- Brown doctrine of “ separate but equal ” set forth by the Court in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896).

SEE ALSO Brown v. Board of Education, 1954 Brown v. Board of Education, 1955 Desegregation Segregation


Liberty Bell Timeline

William Penn issued the Charter of Privileges, which many historians believe was being celebrated 50 years later with the ordering of what would become the Liberty Bell.

Construction on the state house began (see next).

Construction on the state house is completed. This was Colonial America's grandest public building and would be home to the Liberty Bell. At this time, however, the building had no bell.

The Assembly, "Ordered, That the Superintendents of the State-House, proceed, . to carry up a Building on the South-side of the said House to contain the Staircase, with a suitable Place thereon for hanging a Bell."

The Pennsylvania Assembly issued an order for the bell.

Isaac Norris, Assembly Speaker and the Chairman of the State House Superintendents asked the Assembly's agent in London, Robert Charles, to buy a bell.

    Let the Bell be cast by the best Workmen & examined carefully before it is Shipped with the following words well shaped in large letters round in vizt. /By order of the Assembly of the Province of Pensylvania for the State house in the City of Philada 1752// //and Underneath//Proclaim Liberty thro' all the Land to all the Inhabitants thereof. - Levit. XXV.10

Some historians believe that the inscription was meant as a commemoration and celebration of Penn's extraordinary 1701 Charter of Privileges, which put legislative power in the hands of the Assembly and took it from William Penn and the Proprietorship (those supporting the Penn family). So it would make good sense for the Assembly to pay homage to the rights granted fifty years earlier.

Yet other historians pointedly note that Norris himself was known for his opposition to the Penn family (perhaps explaining why Pennsylvania is spelled "Pensylvania" on the bell). If the Bell were intended to celebrate the 50th anniversary why would it specify 1752, instead of 1751 which would have been the 50th anniversary? Perhaps, Norris recognizing that the Bell would not arrive until 1752 thought it would be curious to backdate his inscription. Or, perhaps, the fiftieth anniversary of the Charter was simply a coincidence. The historical record does not provide us an answer.

Either way, agent Robert Charles ordered a bell from London's Whitechapel Foundry. The cost of the bell including insurance and shipping was 150 Pounds 13 shillings 8 pence.

The Bell was sent from England on the ship Hibernia , captained by William Child.

The Bell arrived. On September 1, 1752 Norris wrote the following to Assembly Representative Robert Charles: "The Bell is come ashore & in good order." He continued, "we have not yet try'd the sound."

On March 10th Norris again wrote Agent Charles.

After adding a dash more copper into the mixture of the Bell, the workmen were ready to try the new casting. It didn't sound good, apparently. Isaac Norris noted that "they were so teized (teased) by the witicisms of the Town that they. will be very soon ready to make a second essay."

It seems they had added too much copper to the detriment of the tone of the bell.

It was reported in the New York Mercury that "Last Week was raised and fix'd in the Statehouse Steeple, the new great Bell, cast here by Pass and Stow, weighing 2080 lbs. The steeple had been built in March of 1753 by Edmund Woolley, a member of Philadelphia's Carpenters' Company, and the master-builder who had overseen the construction of the State House.

Pass and Stow charged slightly over 36 Pounds for their repair job. According to their bill, the Bell weighed 2,081 pounds.

Not everyone was happy with the way the new Bell sounded, however, most significantly Isaac Norris. He wrote yet again to Robert Charles, "We got our Bell new cast here and it has been used some time but tho some are of opinion it will do I Own I do not like it." Norris suggested returning the metal from the Bell to England to be recast.

Agent Robert Charles ordered a new bell from Whitechapel.

The Assembly resolved to pay for the new bell while keeping the Pass and Stow bell.

When the new bell arrived most folks agreed it sounded no better than Pass and Stow's recast Bell. The Pass and Stow Bell remained in the State House steeple. The new Whitechapel bell was hung in a cupola on the State House roof, attached to the State House clocks. It was this bell which rang the time for Philadelphians. The Pass and Stow bell rang for special events.

It tolled for the meeting of the Assembly which would send Benjamin Franklin to England to address Colonial grievances.

The Pennsylvania Gazette reported that the Bell was rung upon the arrival of Lord Loudon from New York.

It tolled in honor of King George III ascending the throne.

The Assembly permitted nearby St. Paul's Church to use the bell to announce worship until their church building was completed and their own bell installed.

It tolled upon the repeal of the Sugar Act.

The Bell was rung to call the Assembly in which Benjamin Franklin was to be sent to England to address Colonial grievances.

The Bell was "muffled" and rung when ships carrying tax stamps sailed up the Delaware River.

The Bell was rung to summon citizens to a public meeting to discuss the Stamp Act.

After the ringing of the Bell, merchants of Philadelphia held a gripe session condemning regressive Parliamentary measures which included a prohibition on the manufacture of steel in the Province of Pennsylvania as well as a ban on hat making.

It tolled after a resolution claiming that Parliament's latest taxation schemes were subversive of Pennsylvanian's constitutional rights.

It was rung to call the Assembly together to petition the King for a repeal of tea duties.

People living in the vicinity of State House petitioned the Assembly to stop ringing the bell so often, complaining that they were "incommoded and distressed" by the constant "ringing of the great Bell in the Steeple."

Shortly after the Boston Tea Party (12/16/1773), the Bell rung the news that the ship Polly was bringing "monopoly" tea into Philadelphia. At this time the Assembly resolved that Captain Ayres of the Polly would neither be allowed to land nor bring his tea to the custom house.

It was noted that the steeple in the State House was in need of repair.

A muffled tolling announced the Intolerable Acts which included the closure of the Port of Boston.

It tolled for a town meting whrein the citizens of Philadelphia pledged over 4,000 pounds in aid for the suffering residents of Boston.

It pealed to announce the Battle of Lexington and Concord.

The Liberty Bell did not ring on July 4, 1776 for the Declaration of Independence. The reason? The Declaration is dated July 4, 1776, but on that day, the Declaration was sent to the printer. See next.

The first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. Bells tolled throughout the city on that day. Tradition holds that the Liberty Bell rang out this day. However, the steeple was in bad condition and historians today doubt the likelihood of the story.

War came to the Philadelphia region. The British had won the Battle of Brandywine on September 11 and were poised to move into Philadelphia. Philadelphians tried to remove anything the British could make use of, including bells. Bells could be melted down and recast into cannon. On September 23, the State House Bell was taken down and shipped inland. A member of the Carpenters' Company was put in charge of the physical removal. The bell was hidden in the basement of the Zion Reformed Church in Allentown (where you can visit today). On its journey, the Bell was guarded by Colonel Thomas Polk of North Carolina who was in command of 200 North Carolina and Virginia militiaman.

The Bell was brought back to Philadelphia but not rehung. The rotten steeple didn't allow it. The Bell was put into storage for seven years. Some believe the Bell was stored in one of the munitions sheds that flanked the State House.

The State House steeple was torn down.

The Bell was rehung in the rebuilt State House steeple.

The Bell was rung upon ratification of the Constitution.

It was rung throughout the year to call students of the University of Pennsylvania to classes at nearby Philosophical Hall.

Rung during the inauguration of John Adams.

Pennsylvania's state capital moved to Lancaster. The Bell remained in Philadelphia and was used to call voters, to celebrate patriotic occasions, and to toll on the deaths of famous Americans.

The state of Pennsylvania announced its intention of selling the State House and yard. When it was learned that the yard was going to be subdivided for building lots, the city of Philadelphia was scandalized. It responded by purchasing the building and yard from the state for $70,000.

Philadelphia City Councils (there were two at the time) bought a new bell to be used for the clocks on the State House. The Liberty Bell would remain on the fourth floor of the brick part of the tower.

Bell rung for Lafayette's triumphant return to Philadelphia.

A letter to the Philadelphia Public Ledger on May 4, 1915 (nearly 100 years after the event) claimed that the Bell cracked on this occasion. There was no mention in the contemporary press that the bell cracked at that time, however.

Tolled at the deaths of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson (both of whom died on July 4).

Philadelphia decided to reconstruct the State House steeple. Council also decided to replace the State House clock with a new one in the steeple. It was decided the new clock should have a new bell.

A foundry owner named John Wilbank cast a 4,000 pound bell. In December, Wilbank's bell took the place of the old State House Bell, and the Liberty Bell was moved to a different part of the new tower. The bell that was installed as a clock bell in 1821 disappeared -- It's assumed that Wilbank took it as part of his payment. Wilbank was also supposed to haul away the Liberty Bell at that time.

The city sued Wilbank for breach of contract -- because he did not take the Liberty Bell with him. Wilbank argued that draying (hauling) costs exceeded the $400 the Bell was assessed at. They haggled in court before a judge ordered a compromise: Wilbank would pay court costs the City had to keep the Bell, which was technically considered "on loan" from Wilbank.

Over the years, Wilbank's heirs have agitated the city of Philadelphia to give them the Bell which they considered rightfully theirs. In a 1915 agreement, the family agreed to keep the bell on loan as long as it hung in Independence Hall.

In 1984, an heir of Wilbank named James McCloskey claimed the Bell for himself, noting that it had moved to a pavilion a block north of Independence Hall. He claimed that he wanted to display it in his hometown of Baltimore, or barring that, melt the Bell down "and make seven million rings -- all cracked -- and sell them for $39.95 each."

Rung to celebrate the Catholic Emancipation Act. A newspaper article from 1914 claims the Bell cracked on this occasion. Again, the story was written nearly 100 years after the event. There was no mention in the comtemporary press that the bell cracked at that time, however.

City Councils agree to let the youths of the city ring "the old State House Bell" on July 4th.

Rang for the Centennial birthday celebration for George Washington.

Tolled at the death of the Marquis de Lafayette

In an interview in the Sunday New York Times of July 16, 1911, one Emmanuel Rauch claims that when he was a boy of 10, he was walking through the State House Square on Washington's Birthday when the steeple-keeper, Major Jack Downing, called him over. Rauch, along with several other boys were asked whether they wanted to ring the Bell in honor of Washington's Birthday. The boys started the ringing, and after the clapper had struck about a dozen times, both the lads and Major Downing noticed a change in the Bell's tone. Upon examining the Bell, they discovered a hairline crack, over a foot long. Major Downing sent the boys on their way.

Long-believed to have cracked while tolling for John Marshall, who had died while in Philadelphia. However, this is historically questionable.

The Bell was used as a frontispiece to an 1837 edition of Liberty, published by the New York Anti-Slavery Society.

William Lloyd Garrison's anti-slavery publication The Liberator reprinted a Boston abolitionist pamphlet containing a poem about the Bell, entitled, The Liberty Bell, which represents the first documented use of the name, "Liberty Bell."

Muffled and rung upon the death of William Henry Harrison.

The most famous crack in history , the zig-zag fracture occurs while the Liberty Bell is being rung for Washington's birthday.

The Philadelphia Public Ledger takes up the story in its February 26, 1846 publication:

Some historians believe that a squabble over money led to this final crack. Christ Church claimed an exclusive priviledge of ringing the bells on Washington's Birthday, as that was the church Washington was affiliated with while he lived in Philadelphia. The city paid the church a $30 bell-ringing fee for "service to the illustrious dead."

However, in 1846, it seems other churches wanted in on the action. Why should Christ Church get all the money and glory? The debate was played out in the newspapers. Ultimately it was decided to press the Liberty Bell into service and discontinue paying for patriotism.

The Bell was brought down from the steeple and placed in "Declaration Chamber" of Independence Hall.

Displayed at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia

Bell traveled by train to New Orleans for a World Industrial and Cotton Exposition and to help foster national unity.

Bell traveled to Chicago for World's Fair.

Bell traveled to Atlanta for the Cotton States and Atlantic Exposition Exposition.

Bell traveled to Charleston for the Interstate and West Indian Exposition. On its way there, it was involved in a train wreck, according to an unsubstantiated story.

Bell traveled to Boston to take part in a celebration of the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Bell traveled to St. Louis for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition.

Procession through the streets of Philadelphia to celebrate Founders Week.

The Liberty Bell was recorded. This is from Harry O. Sooy (ref), "I, accompanied by Raymond Sooy and Marcus Olsen, two members of the Recording Department. took a recording equipment to Independence Hall, Philadelphia, and made a record of the Taps of the Liberty Bell (tapping being done by Mayor Smith of Philadelphia) which were transmitted by wire to San Francisco, Cal., as the official opening signal of the Pan American Exposition. Don't ask me whether or not the liberty Bell sounds like a bell, because I shall tell you 'It does not.'" Newspaper article

Bell traveled to San Francisco for the Panama-Pacific Exposition (see our Photo Essay)

City officials were initially reluctant to send the Bell on this trip because they thought all the recent traveling and handling had damaged the Bell. Newspaper editorials across the country weighed in on the pros and cons about moving the Bell. Ultimately a petition signed by several hundred thousand school children helped sway Philadelphia officials to allow the Bell to travel.

The Bell traveled over 10,000 miles on the San Francisco trip, stopping in many towns and cities along the way. Vibrant, patriotic crowds greeted the Bell waving flags, blowing whistles, with brass bands, and gun salutes.

Enthusiastic Philadelphians welcomed the Bell back upon its return to Philadelphia. It was the Bell's final rail journey.

Justice Bell (today at the Washington Memorial Chapel, Valley Forge) is a 2000-pound replica of the Liberty Bell, forged in 1915 to promote women's suffrage. It traveled the country with its clapper chained to its side, silent until women won the right to vote. On September 25, 1920, it was brought to Independence Hall and rung in ceremonies celebrating the ratification of the 19th amendment.

Mounted on a truck and driven through the streets of Philadelphia for a WWI Liberty Bond sale.

To help celebrate the 150th anniversary of Independence, it was decided that the Liberty Bell should help usher in the New Year with a ceremonial tap. Microphones were placed round the Bell, and at midnight it was struck with a specially designed mallet by the mayor's wife.

D-Day: The Bell tapped with rubber mallet twelve times by Philadelphia Mayor Bernard Samuel during a national radio program to symbolize "Independence." At the show's end the Bell was tapped seven times to symbolize "Liberty."

Tapped on the first anniversary of the Berlin Wall to show solidarity with East Germans.

12:01 A.M. To help celebrate America's Bicentennial, the Liberty Bell was moved from Independence Hall to a pavilion across the street on Independence Mall. The Pavilion which allows visitors to view the Bell at any time during the day was designed by Mitchell/Giurgola and Associates.

The National Park Service instituted a "fee demonstration program" at three less-visited locations in Philadelphia. It is speculated by people in the know that the ultimate plan is to impose visitor fees at the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.

Plans are considered for development of the mall area, which includes moving the Liberty Bell closer to Independence Hall.

Tourist attacks Liberty Bell with hammer
READ MORE.

The new Liberty Bell Center (see 2 above) comes under a blistering attack when it is revealed that the President's House in Philadelphia, used by Washington and Adams from 1790-1800, had slave quarters right where the entrance to the new Liberty Bell Center would be in the redesign.
READ MORE.

Historians meet to discuss the proposed Liberty Bell Center, the President's House, and the issue of slavery at the site.

The Park Service held a public meeting to unveil the preliminary site design for its treatment of the President's House, adjoining the Liberty Bell center, in Philadelphia.
READ MORE

About 10,000 people (according to the Philadelphia police) participated in an Anti-war rally at the Liberty Bell.

Avenge The Ancestors Coalition protests prior to the opening of the new Liberty Bell Center, demanding a marking in the pavement 5 feet from the entranceway the location of slave quarters President Washington had built.
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The new Liberty Bell Center, costing $12.6 million, is opened to the public.

To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy (see June 1944), the Normandy Liberty Bell was cast. It is a reproduction of the Liberty Bell, made from precision measurements &mdash without the crack. Now, we can hear how the bell was intended to sound! The project was a collaborative effort, using the best technology available, with the cooperation of the National Park Service.


Last Public Address

Louisiana was the central location for many of the controversies concerning Reconstruction. Among the first states brought under Union control, it was also among the first states organized under President Lincoln’s plan for amnesty and reconstruction. Louisiana organized a constitutional convention according to Lincoln’s plan in 1864 and the convention ratified a constitution that abolished slavery. Yet that convention did not go too far in other directions. It petitioned the U.S. Congress to compensate loyal planters for the loss of their slaves, it failed to disenfranchise those who had joined the rebellion, and it did not extend the franchise to freed slaves and blacks. Elections in 1864 were held under this new state constitution and Congress faced the question of whether to seat Congressmen and Senators who had been elected pursuant to it. Radicals, who had pushed a much different plan for reconstruction, opposed seating Louisiana’s delegation. The war was over when Lincoln publicly weighed in on this question. (General Robert E. Lee had surrendered two days before, April 9, 1865.) There was no longer any reason to offer lenient terms in the hopes for an early Confederate surrender. So, in response to a group gathered outside the White House, Lincoln delivered a somewhat informal address on the matter.

Source: Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Roy Basler, Volume 8 (The Abraham Lincoln Association, 2006), 399–405. https://goo.gl/kdg3Jd

We meet this evening, not in sorrow, but in gladness of heart. The evacuation of Petersburg and Richmond, and the surrender of the principal insurgent army, give hope of a righteous and speedy peace whose joyous expression cannot be restrained. In the midst of this, however, He, from Whom all blessings flow, must not be forgotten. A call for a national thanksgiving is being prepared, and will be duly promulgated. . . .

By these recent successes the re-inauguration of the national authority – reconstruction – which has had a large share of thought from the first, is pressed much more closely upon our attention. It is fraught with great difficulty. Unlike the case of a war between independent nations, there is no authorized organ for us to treat with. No one man has authority to give up the rebellion for any other man. We simply must begin with, and mold from, disorganized and discordant elements. Nor is it a small additional embarrassment that we, the loyal people, differ among ourselves as to the mode, manner, and means of reconstruction.

As a general rule, I abstain from reading the reports of attacks upon myself, wishing not to be provoked by that to which I cannot properly offer an answer. In spite of this precaution, however, it comes to my knowledge that I am much censured for some supposed agency in setting up, and seeking to sustain, the new State Government of Louisiana. In this I have done just so much as, and no more than, the public knows. In the Annual Message of Dec. 1863 and accompanying Proclamation, 1 I presented a plan of reconstruction (as the phrase goes) which, I promised, if adopted by any State, should be acceptable to, and sustained by, the Executive government of the nation. I distinctly stated that this was not the only plan which might possibly be acceptable and I also distinctly protested that the Executive claimed no right to say when, or whether members should be admitted to seats in Congress from such States. This plan was, in advance, submitted to the then Cabinet, and distinctly approved by every member of it. . . . The new constitution of Louisiana, declaring emancipation for the whole State, practically applies the Proclamation to the part previously excepted. It does not adopt apprenticeship for freed-people and it is silent, as it could not well be otherwise, about the admission of members to Congress. . . . The Message went to Congress, and I received many commendations of the plan, written and verbal and not a single objection to it, from any professed emancipationist, came to my knowledge, until after the news reached Washington that the people of Louisiana had begun to move in accordance with it. From about July, 1862, I had corresponded with different persons, supposed to be interested, seeking a reconstruction of a State government for Louisiana. When the Message of 1863, with the plan before mentioned, reached New Orleans, Gen. Banks wrote me that he was confident the people, with his military co-operation, would reconstruct, substantially on that plan. I wrote him, 2 and some of them to try it they tried it, and the result is known. Such only has been my agency in getting up the Louisiana government. As to sustaining it, my promise is out, as before stated. But, as bad promises are better broken than kept, I shall treat this as a bad promise, and break it, whenever I shall be convinced that keeping it is adverse to the public interest. But I have not yet been so convinced.

I have been shown a letter on this subject, supposed to be an able one, in which the writer expresses regret that my mind has not seemed to be definitely fixed on the question whether the seceded States, so called, are in the Union or out of it. It would perhaps, add astonishment to his regret, were he to learn that since I have found professed Union men endeavoring to make that question, I have purposely forborne any public expression upon it. As appears to me that question has not been, nor yet is, a practically material one, and that any discussion of it, while it thus remains practically immaterial, could have no effect other than the mischievous one of dividing our friends. As yet, whatever it may hereafter become, that question is bad, as the basis of a controversy, and good for nothing at all – a merely pernicious abstraction.

We all agree that the seceded States, so called, are out of their proper practical relation with the Union and that the sole object of the government, civil and military, in regard to those States is to again get them into that proper practical relation. I believe it is not only possible, but in fact, easier, to do this, without deciding, or even considering, whether these states have even been out of the Union, than with it. Finding themselves safely at home, it would be utterly immaterial whether they had ever been abroad. Let us all join in doing the acts necessary to restoring the proper practical relations between these states and the Union and each forever after, innocently indulge his own opinion whether, in doing the acts, he brought the States from without, into the Union, or only gave them proper assistance, they never having been out of it.

The amount of constituency, so to speak, on which the new Louisiana government rests, would be more satisfactory to all, if it contained fifty, thirty, or even twenty thousand, instead of only about twelve thousand, as it does. It is also unsatisfactory to some that the elective franchise is not given to the colored man. I would myself prefer that it were now conferred on the very intelligent, and on those who serve our cause as soldiers. Still the question is not whether the Louisiana government, as it stands, is quite all that is desirable. The question is “Will it be wiser to take it as it is, and help to improve it or to reject, and disperse it?” “Can Louisiana be brought into proper practical relation with the Union sooner by sustaining, or by discarding her new State Government?”

Some twelve thousand voters in the heretofore slave-state of Louisiana have sworn allegiance to the Union, assumed to be the rightful political power of the State, held elections, organized a State government, adopted a free-state constitution, giving the benefit of public schools equally to black and white, and empowering the Legislature to confer the elective franchise upon the colored man. Their Legislature has already voted to ratify the constitutional amendment recently passed by Congress, abolishing slavery throughout the nation. These twelve thousand persons are thus fully committed to the Union, and to perpetual freedom in the state – committed to the very things, and nearly all the things the nation wants – and they ask the nation’s recognition, and its assistance to make good their committal. Now, if we reject, and spurn them, we do our utmost to disorganize and disperse them. We in effect say to the white men, “You are worthless, or worse – we will neither help you, nor be helped by you.” To the blacks we say, “This cup of liberty which these, your old masters, hold to your lips, we will dash from you, and leave you to the chances of gathering the spilled and scattered contents in some vague and undefined when, where, and how.” If this course, discouraging and paralyzing both white and black, has any tendency to bring Louisiana into proper practical relations with the Union, I have, so far, been unable to perceive it. If, on the contrary, we recognize, and sustain the new government of Louisiana, the converse of all this is made true. We encourage the hearts, and nerve the arms of the twelve thousand to adhere to their work, and argue for it, and proselyte for it, and fight for it, and feed it, and grow it, and ripen it to a complete success. The colored man too, in seeing all united for him, is inspired with vigilance, and energy, and daring, to the same end. Grant that he desires the elective franchise, will he not attain it sooner by saving the already advanced steps toward it, than by running backward over them? Concede that the new government of Louisiana is only to what it should be as the egg is to the fowl, we shall sooner have the fowl by hatching the egg than by smashing it. Again, if we reject Louisiana, we also reject one vote in favor of the proposed amendment to the national constitution. To meet this proposition, it has been argued that no more than three fourths of those States which have not attempted secession are necessary to validly ratify the amendment. I do not commit myself against this, further than to say that such a ratification would be questionable, and sure to be persistently questioned while a ratification by three fourths of all the States would be unquestioned and unquestionable.

I repeat the question. “Can Louisiana be brought into proper practical relation with the Union sooner by sustaining or by discarding her new State Government?”

What has been said of Louisiana will apply generally to other States. And yet so great peculiarities pertain to each state, and such important and sudden changes occur in the same state and, withal, so new and unprecedented is the whole case, that no exclusive, and inflexible plan can safely be prescribed . . . . Such [an] exclusive, and inflexible plan, would surely become a new entanglement. Important principles may, and must, be inflexible.

In the present “situation” as the phrase goes, it may be my duty to make some new announcement to the people of the South. I am considering, and shall not fail to act, when satisfied that action will be proper.

Study Questions

A. What defects does President Lincoln identify in the Louisiana constitution? What does he suggest be done about those defects? What is the broader theory of reconstruction within his statement?

B. How does President Lincoln’s policy as stated in his “Last Public Address” differ from the Radical policies as found in the Reconstruction Acts? How does it compare with the theory implicit in the speeches of Representative Thaddeus Stevens (See Speech on Reconstruction and “Damages to Loyal Men“)? What are the pitfalls of each policy?


A&M-Commerce Renames Library, Lake

Two prominent features of the Texas A&M University-Commerce campus have new names. The main library building and the small lake on the west side of campus, both previously named after former university president James Gilliam Gee, have been named in honor of two African-American students who played historic roles in the university’s desegregation. The change was announced on Aug. 21 after being approved by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents on Aug. 20.

From the university’s news release:

The library will be renamed Velma K. Waters Library. In 1964, Velma Waters was the first undergraduate African American student to enroll at East Texas State College (now A&M-Commerce). She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the university in 1968 and taught in Carthage, Texas. She passed away on January 10, 1999.

The lake will be renamed Charles S. Garvin Lake. Charles Garvin became the first African American to earn a degree at East Texas State University (now A&M-Commerce) when he received a master’s degree in elementary school administration on January 25, 1966. He went on to teach at Park public school in Pickton, Texas, before serving as principal of Ralph J. Bunche school in Royse City. Mr. Garvin passed away on June 30, 1993.

The university also announced that a group of anonymous donors have helped to fund “an unrestricted library endowment,” intended “to provide a voice to under-served student communities via multicultural programs.”

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, no official ribbon cutting event has been scheduled, the university said, but a ceremony will be scheduled when conditions allow.

Gee, the fifth president in the school’s history, held the office from 1947 to 1966. Under Gee’s tenure, East Texas State Teachers College changed its name to East Texas State College (1957) and then East Texas State University (1965).

During most of his tenure, Gee maintained segregationist policies, as did many other Texas public college and university presidents of his era. No historically white four-year college or university in Texas desegregated voluntarily.

East Texas State College was desegregated in 1964, along with Sam Houston State Teachers College and Stephen F. Austin State College. Those three schools were the last public four-year institutions in Texas to desegregate. The desegregation of Texas public colleges and universities was a gradual process that took more than a decade, beginning with Midwestern University (1954) and Texas Western College (1955).

East Texas State was part of the Texas State Teachers College system during the beginning of the Civil Rights Era. Four days after the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling, which generally mandated the desegregation of public education in the U.S., Texas State Teachers College System president Charles P. McGaha sent a letter to member institution presidents stating a response to be given to all African-American student applicants stating “so far as Board rulings and state laws are concerned in Texas, Negroes are still not permitted to register.”

A&M-Commerce history professor Dr. Jessica Brannon-Wranosky welcomed the name change.

“The renaming of the library to Velma K. Waters Library and the lake to Charles S. Garvin Lake is an important for the university to commemorate watershed moments in the university’s own history,” Brannon-Wranosky said.

“Historians point out that commemoration is not about the past as much as it is the present and the future, and the recognition of Waters and Garvin in this way stands as a way to celebrate the Texas A&M University-Commerce community and culture that exists now and the continued aim for increased inclusion and diversity into the future,” Brannon-Wranosky said.

Gee oversaw the development of the institution’s first doctoral programs in 1962. During his tenure, the school enjoyed a rapid development of its facilities, academic programs, and role in the region’s public life.

Gee earned a bachelor of science degree from Clemson Agricultural and Mechanical College (Clemson, S.C.) in 1917. He later received a master’s degree from Cornell University (Ithaca, N.Y.) in 1919 and a doctor of philosophy from Peabody College for Teachers (Nashville, Tenn.) in 1933.

A United States Army veteran, Gee served during both world wars, advanced to the rank of Colonel, and was awarded both the Decorated Bronze Star medal and the Army Commendation medal. Gee was stationed in the U.S. during World War I. During World War II, Gee was deployed in the European Theatre, and received four combat stars for his service there.

Born in 1896 in South Carolina, Gee died in 1982 and is buried in Huntsville.


Watch the video: Examples of the Desegregation of Texas Schools