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enrollment. In September 1960, Air Base School enrolled 25 Negro and 771 white students. 14
Dr. Joe Hall, Superintendent of Schools of Dade County, Fla., testified at the Commission's Gatlinburg conference that there are four airbases in Florida with desegregated schools within their confines. Some of them at one time were operated by county school boards, but Dr. Hall reported that when they desegregated the counties turned them over to the Federal Government. 15
Two additional schools were desegregated in Miami during the 196061 school year when one Negro was assigned to a formerly white elementary school and another to a junior high school. There were about 1,633 white pupils in attendance at the 2 schools. 16
Before the school year 1960–61 there were no instances of public school desegregation in any of Louisiana's 67 parish school districts, although 3 suits were pending before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, seeking desegregation in the parishes of Orleans, St. Helena, and East Baton Rouge." When it appeared in the summer of 1960 that the Federal court order to desegregate the first grades of the New Orleans schools in the fall of 1960 would be enforced, the Governor and General Assembly of Louisiana resisted by every means at their command. The chronology of events leading up to the admission of four first-grade Negro girls to two formerly white New Orleans schools on November 14, 1960, is recounted in detail in a report of the Commission's Louisiana Advisory Committee. 18
Mrs. N. H. Sand, president, S.O.S. (Save Our Schools, Inc.), New Orleans, testified at the Commission's Williamsburg conference that the Governor called the legislature into the first special session in 1960 on November 4, and that in 5 days of “hysteria,” 21 emergency bills were passed to preserve segregation. (For details see chapter 5.) Mrs. Sand reported: 1
Save Our Schools appeared at the hearings before the House committee and before the Senate committee. We opposed every bill that would lead to closing even one school in the State of Louisiana. We prepared a summary and legal analysis of the bills on the spot and had copies of these in the hands of the legislators before they voted on the bills, but the legislature voted in favor of all 21 bills. Even legal minds found it difficult to keep up with the spate of legislative activity that began with these bills and has flowed ever since or with the Federal injunctions that were used to counter some of them.
The General Assembly was called into such special sessions five times during 1960–61 (at a total cost to the taxpayers of $934,000) * in a vain attempt to prevent the admission of Negro children to the white schools.
New Orleans has a total population of 627,525, of whom 233,514 are Negroes. The violence that occurred there in conjunction with school desegregation stands out in striking contrast to the city's reputation for gaiety. The court order provided merely that the first grade should be desegregated in the fall of 1960. To implement the order, the school board voted to use the recently enacted Louisiana pupil placement law to select the first-grade Negro pupils to be admitted to formerly white schools. This law establishes the same criteria as the Alabama law which the Supreme Court of the United States had ruled was not unconstitutional on its face 2 years before.23
The registration of first-grade pupils in the city was 6,482 Negroes and 3,335 whites 24 (the majority of public school pupils in New Orleans are Negro). Only 137 Negro children had applied for admission to white schools.2 After more than 2 weeks of testing, the school superintendent announced on October 27, 1960, that five Negro children had met all the criteria for admission, and that the two first-grade classes scheduled for racial desegregation would be segregated on the basis of
When the school opened, the legislature dispatched State policemen (hastily converted into sergeants-at-arms) to the city's 148 elementary schools to implement a new statute giving control of the New Orleans public schools to the State general assembly. The school principals, however, refused to comply with the demands of policemen and proceeded to carry out instructions from the president of the Orleans Parish School Board to open school as usual. On November 14, four 6-yearold Negro girls, accompanied by U.S. marshals, enrolled in William Frantz and McDonough 19 elementary schools. The schools were promptly boycotted by most white pupils. Mrs. Sand reported to the Commission:
What happened after November 14 is widely familiar in this country and probably also abroad—the day of rioting by white high school students who, thwarted in their ambitions to "get the mayor" and march on Frantz, nevertheless succeeded in burning the American flag; the screaming mobs of women in front of the two schools; the heroism of Mrs. James Gabrielle and Rev. Lloyd A. Foreman in bringing their daughters to Frantz in defiance of these mobs.
A few white pupils finally returned to William Frantz, but the majority (about 675) transferred to public schools in the adjoining St. Bernard Parish. The school board estimated that nearly 300 white children belonging in these schools received no schooling whatsoever throughout the school year. While the number of white students attending William Frantz with 1 Negro girl reached a high of 23 in December, McDonough 19 was completely boycotted by white pupils until January 27, 1961, when a 9-year-old white boy joined the three Negro girls. 29 A few days later the boy's 8-year-old brother also started attending McDonough 19. But a sudden surge of harassment and violence against the boys' family induced its departure from New Orleans on January 31, 1961.80 Then overt disorder subsided until June 1, 1961, when about 75 white pickets, the first in several months, appeared at William Frantz protesting desegregation. At the end of the school year only 15 white pupils were enrolled at William Frantz with 1 Negro girl and only the 3 Negro girls attended McDonough 19.82 Obviously the problem remains unsolved.
The Commission has received a complaint from parents of a child attending a public school in another Louisiana parish serving white dependents of military personnel who live on base. 32a The parents object to the indoctrination the child is subjected to in school concerning the inferiority, dishonesty and unreliability of Negroes. The Complainant says:
I think that service children located in the South should be protected from the narrow, bitter, highly prejudiced and dangerous teachings prevalent in the South. I think a system of schools or Federal supervision of schools attended by service dependents must be established. ... unless our children are brought up in the proper intellectual climate—this problem must get worse. Prejudice is heightening and the gulf widening at a time when this country can least afford it.
PREVIOUSLY DESEGREGATED STATES
Forty-two school districts experienced school desegregation for the first time during this period in eight States that previously had some desegregated schools. Twelve of them acted in response to Federal court orders (plus Orleans Parish, discussed above); the remaining 30 acted voluntarily. However, desegregation suits were pending in seven of the latter, including Dade County discussed above. Three such suits were pending in North Carolina against school boards in Durham,*8 Chapel Hill," and Raleigh; 85 two in Virginia against Richmond 86 and Fairfax County; 87 and one in Arkansas against the Dollarway School District. 88 The desegregation move in Delaware was not clearly voluntary nor involuntary. In a sense, all of the Delaware school districts that desegregated in September 1959 were carrying out a district court order
in the case of Evans v. Buchanan," which by its terms applied to all segregated districts in that State. However, only two of the seven desegregating in 1959 actually were defendants in the suit. In 1960 after a reversal of a lower court decision,"five districts admitted Negro pupils to previously all-white schools, but only one of them was a defendant in the action.
Although only 13 school districts desegregating for the first time in 1959-61 were actually under court order, another 15 were at least pressured by pending suits or orders that could be extended to them." Indeed, litigation dominated the desegregation in this period. Voluntary desegregation occurred in small districts with relatively small Negro populations in Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Texas.
In September 1959 the high schools of Little Rock, closed during the previous school year by order of Governor Faubus after desegregation in 1957-58, reopened on a desegregated basis. This was the result of a Federal court order * (later affirmed per curiam by the Supreme Court)“ invalidating the laws that authorized the Governor to close public schools upon desegregation of and to transfer State funds from
44 them to other public or private schools. The net effect of the order was to reopen the Little Rock high schools under the original desegregation plan. While the appeal was pending before the Supreme Court, the Little Rock School Board, fortified by the appointment of new members and supported by community leaders and citizens groups, decided to reopen the high schools in August 1959 on a desegregated basis. This was to be done by use of the pupil assignment law enacted that year, and the implementing resolution adopted by the board in July 1959. Out of approximately 60 Negro applications, 3 were admitted to previously desegregated Central High and 3 to the then allwhite Hall High School.47
Mr. J. Gaston Williamson, then chairman of the Commission's Arkansas Advisory Committee, testified at the Gatlinburg conference: *
Reported attempts were made in 1959, to again assemble a mob, as was done in 1957, to protest the opening of integrated high schools in Little Rock on August 12. A crowd of about 1,200, some two-thirds of whom, according to the Governor's own State police, were from out of town, gathered on the State capitol grounds and were addressed by Governor Faubus. About 200 of these people then marched on Central High, but were dispersed by the city police.
For resisting the mob's attack and maintaining law and order in Little Rock, the city police were bitterly denounced by Governor Faubus and by the capital citizens council, but on the other
hand, they were openly—this time openly—praised and supported by the majority of the responsible organizations of the city.
Little Rock's second year of uninterrupted school desegregation, 196061, began with seven additional Negroes assigned to the desegregated high schools. Later i of the 7 requested a retransfer to an all-Negro school, leaving a total of 11 Negro pupils in 2 formerly white high schools.“ The desegregated schools opened in September 1960 for the first time without incident and without crowds.
One school in Arkansas' Pulaski County School District opened in September 1959 with white and Negro pupils in attendance for the first time. This was an elementary school situated on county-owned property, and under the management of the county board of education, although built with Federal funds for the use of children of military personnel stationed at Little Rock Air Force Base. 50 The Pulaski County School District is comprised of the rural areas surrounding the city of Little Rock. The school for airbase children was first opened in 1958. At that time only white children were admitted; the Negro children of airbase personnel were transported to a segregated school 11 miles away.51 It is reported that the Federal Government notified the county that if all children of military personnel were not admitted during the 1959-60 school year, the property would be condemned and annexed to the airbase, and the Air Force would operate the school. This would have meant a loss to the county of about a million dollars a year in Federal impact aid. 52
In the fall of 1959 an agreement was reached whereby the school was leased to the Air Force for a nominal sum and operated by the county under contract on a desegregated basis. By this arrangement the county could continue to receive Federal aid and still not desegregate one of its own schools. The school opened quietly in September 1959 with 10 Negro, and 828 white pupils.”
The 1960-61 school year opened peacefully in Arkansas for the first time since 1956. The long-litigated case of Dove v. Parham made Dollarway School District the 11th community in Arkansas to experience desegregation. Although assignment of a Negro pupil to a formerly white school was not imposed by court order, it was precipitated by the pending action. The school board "voluntarily” admitted 1 Negro pupil to the first grade of a school with some go white pupils.57 To date that is the extent of desegregation in Dollarway School District which includes part of the city of Pine Bluff and suburban areas in Jefferson County. About 50 percent of the school population is Negro. 68
Delaware opened the 1959-60 school year with 19 of its 51 biracial districts operating on a desegregated basis, an increase of 7 over the