Lead: The reaction of the Virginia’s leaders to desegregation orders in the 1950s was massive resistance. Surprisingly, the most effective opposition to this course came from white moderates seeking to save the public schools.

Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the aftermath of the 1954 Brown v. the Board of Education decision declaring segregated schools unconstitutional, Virginia political leaders led by Senator Harry Byrd and Governor Thomas B. Stanley, following the principal of massive resistance, passed the Stanley laws in the General Assembly of 1956. They denied state funding to integrated schools and gave the Governor power to close schools that attempted integration. When the NAACP secured Federal Court orders integrating schools in Norfolk, Charlottesville and Warrenton in 1958, then Governor Lindsay Almond closed those schools. Only then did Virginia’s moderates react.

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