- 1850- Roberts v. City of Boston rules separate
educational facilities are acceptable.
- 1870- Virginia establishes a public school
- 1896- Plessy v. Ferguson upholds segregation
of races in public transportation.
- 1902- New State Constitution.
- 1938- Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada- The
U.S. Supreme Court ruled Gaines must be allowed to attend the
University of Missouri Law School.
- 1940- African-American Teachers in Virginia
initiate suit for equal pay.
- October 1947- Virginia State Board of Education
determines Moton High School inadequate.
- 1948- Sipuel v. Board of Regents of the University
of Oklahoma-The University set up separate classrooms and separate
access to the law library at the state capital. The U.S. Supreme
Court was illegal and Sipuel was allowed to enroll.
- 1948-49- Prince Edward County builds tar-paper
shacks as temporary buildings for Moton High School. Also appoints
committee to find site for new building.
- 1950- Bolling v. Sharpe-A case filed as part
of a crusade to end segregated schools in Washington, D.C.
- 1950- Briggs v. Elliot, Clarendon County,
South Carolina-Parents asked the county to provide school buses
for the black students as they did for whites. When their petitions
were ignored they filed a suit challenging segregation itself.
- 1950- McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents for
Higher Education- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that George W.
McLaurin, a student who was required to eat and study at separate
tables, must be treated the same as white students.
- 1950- Sweatt v. Painter- The U.S. Supreme Court
decided 9-0 that the “separate but equal” doctrine
established in the Plessy case was unworkable and ultimately doomed.
- 1951- Belton (Bulah) v. Gehhart, Delaware-Students
were transported daily on a twenty mile round trip to school in
an undesirable location and in poor conditions and a suit was
- April 1951- Barbara Rose Johns, a high school
student in Farmville, Virginia, organized a student strike to
protest poor school conditions.
- 1951- Davis v. Prince Edward County-Spottswood
Robinson and Oliver Hill from the Virginia NAACP filed suit on
behalf of one hundred seventeen students.
- 1954- Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision was handed down the Supreme Court “We conclude
that in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate
but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities
are inherently unequal.
June 26th 1954 Senator Harry F. Byrd announces he will use all
legal means to continue segregated schools in Virginia. Governor
Stanley pledges opposition.
- 1955- Governor Stanley appoints a Commission
to figure out how to desegregate the public schools.
- 1955- The Gray Report is published. It encouraged
local option and tuition credits for white children who did want
to attend integrated schools.
- 1956- The Gray Plan received support by the
voters in a special referendum.
- 1956- Governor Stanley took this vote to mean
that Virginians still wanted separate schools.
- 1956- The Richmond News Leader ran editorials
on “Interposition” a pseudo-legal theory that allowed
a state to place itself between the federal courts and its citizens
when it thought the federal government had overstepped its bounds.
February 24th 1956-Byrd calls for “massive resistance.”
- 1956- Governor Stanley calls a Special Session
of the Virginia General Assembly. The body passes laws that give
the Governor the power to withdraw funding and close schools that
attempt to comply with Brown v. Board of Education.
- 1957- Desegration of Little Rock, Arkansas
Public Schools by the Little Rock Nine.
- 1959- The legal maneuvering comes to an end.
More courts rule against Massive Resistance.
- 1959-1964- The Board of Supervisors for Prince
Edward County refused to appropriate any funds for the County
School Board, effectively closing the public schools rather than
integrate them. Prince Edward County schools remained closed for
- 1960- Governor Almond capitulates and directs
all school districts to integrate.
- 1964- Griffin v. Prince Edward County School Board. In 1964, The Virginia Supreme Court ruled in Griffin v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, that the public schools in Prince Edward County had to reopen on an integrated basis.