• 1850- Roberts v. City of Boston rules separate educational facilities are acceptable.
  • 1870- Virginia establishes a public school system.
  • 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 filed.
  • 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 five years.
  • 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.


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