Massive Resistance

Virginia literally closed its schools to prevent integration. On February 3, 1959, Arlington County re-opened Stratford Junior High1. That same semester, schools in Charlottesville, Front Royal, and Norfolk re-opened as well. Two supreme courts, at both the state and Federal levels, had ruled the school closings to be unconstitutional. Governor Almond had considered refusing to comply, and the leaders of Prince Edward County did proceed to close all of the public schools in a last-ditch effort to block desegregation, but Massive Resistance died a very public death in early 1959.


1- Lechner, Ira M., "Massive Resistance: Virginia's Great Leap Backward," Virginia Quarterly Review, pp. 631-640, Vol. 7 No. 4 (Autumn, 1988)

Race and Virginia
The Byrd Organization
Virginia Government and Politics
Virginia Places