October 11, 2011

Remembering Massive Resistance

It felt odd seeing that an event from my childhood is now considered history. This historical marker in Front Royal deals with "Massive Resistance" to school integration.
Warren County High School, a Public Works Administrative project, was constructed in 1940. In 1958, the local NAACP chapter, lead by James W. Kilby, won a federal suit against the Warren County School Board to admit African Americans for the first time, in response, Gov. Jame Lindsay Almond Jr. ordered it closed in Sept. 1958, the first school in Virginia shut down under the state's Massive Resistance strategy. Following the 1959 Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals ruling that Massive Resistance was unconstitutional, a U.S. Circuit Court ordered it reopened. On 18 Feb. 1959, 23 African American students walked up this hill and integrated the school.

The marker was dedicated in June 2011. See the HMDB listing for this Warren County sign. You might also want to read the marker about massive resistance in Prince Edward County.
Former Warren Co. High School
I remember that my parents were shocked by the idea that Virginia would close it's public schools rather than integrate them. My dad went to meetings to support keeping the schools open. Our schools in Fairfax County did not close and were integrated peacefully although at a slow pace.

2 comments:

  1. Gosh! I bet that did feel odd - you're now historical :) xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yeah... this almost makes me feel as old as when I got my AARP card!

    ReplyDelete

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