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Governor Stanley Response to Decision in Brown v. Board of Education, Audio Clip, 1954


Following nearly two decades of legal challenges to the effects of racial segregation in public schools and higher education, the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, on May 17, 1954, that state laws requiring the separation of races in public schools were unconstitutional. Integration was a long process in the United States, however. The Commonwealth of Virginia led a "massive resistance" movement, threatening to close public schools rather than desegregate.

In this audio clip, Governor Thomas Stanley addresses Virginia’s first steps toward making the changes demanded by the Brown v. Board of Education decision.

“This news today calls for cool heads, calm study and sound judgment. I'm sure the people of Virginia and our elected representatives can find the right solution. I hope all will cooperate to afford this opportunity for the careful development of a program which will be in the best interests of the entire citizenship.”

Citation: Governor Thomas B. Stanley Response to the United States Supreme Court Decision in Brown v. Board of Education. May 17, 1954 (WRVA–386). WRVA Radio Collection, Accession 38210, Library of Virginia.



VS.1, VS.9, USII.1, USII.8, VUS.1, VUS.13, VUS.14

Suggested Questions

Analyze: How would you rate Governor Stanley's statements on school integration. Does he make his point clearly?

Social Media Spin: Create a series of tweets and hashtags that you would have used in favor of school integration as if you were a grassroots leader.

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