Education Under Jim Crow II

Lead:  Gradually the South began to climb out of the devastation of the Civil War. By 1900 even public education was making progress, but that was only for white students.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Educational philanthropic foundations such the Peabody Fund, the Slater Fund, and the General Education Board had made some progress in jump starting public education in the South in the decades spanning the turn of the twentieth century. These foundations offered challenge grants to communities willing to commit local taxes and contributions to the construction and maintenance of public schools which would operate for a certain number of months during the year. Not surprisingly, however, the vast majority of schools constructed in the early years were white schools. It was era of Jim Crow and white political leaders were in the business of suppressing the aspirations of black Americans. Schools that elevated their status hardly fit into the plan. Black public education was far behind.

Education Under Jim Crow I

Lead: During the early decades of the twentieth century, educational opportunities for African American children in the South were meager. Community leaders had to be creative.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the late 1800s industrial and commercial prosperity in the United States produced a significant number of entrepreneurs with enormous personal fortunes. Ford, Carnegie, Rockefeller, Harrison, Huntington, Vanderbilt are the names that immediately come to mind. Their accumulation of wealth led to the establishment of many philanthropic foundations and one of the favored objects for giving was education. In 1867 the Peabody Fund was established to promote public education in the South. It is considered by scholars to be one of the first truly modern philanthropies because of the way it went about giving its money.

Morrill Act (Education)

Lead: In 1862 higher education in the United States received a boost from the gentleman from Vermont, Justin Morrill.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Before Justin Smith Morrill was elected to Congress on an anti-slavery ticket in 1854 he had been a store clerk, merchant and a farmer. As a congressman he shifted to the new Republican Party and gradually moved up in the leadership, serving as Speaker of the House beginning in 1865. Moving over to the Senate he represented Vermont in that body for 31 years before his death in 1898. In the Senate he was Chairman of the Finance Committee and there insured the completion of the Washington Monument and a major expansion of the Library of Congress.

 

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GI Bill of Rights

Lead: Originally conceived as a way of keeping unemployed ex-servicemen off the streets, the GI Bill transformed the campuses of American colleges.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Fearful that returning veterans would not be able to find jobs after World War II, Congress passed the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944. The main feature of the bill was a provision for unemployment benefits at the rate of $20 per week for a year. Almost as an afterthought, the bill's sponsors tossed in a section guaranteeing any qualified veteran the chance to attend college for 48 months, at least in part, at government expense.

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Baruch Spinoza

Lead: One of the most creative thinkers of the seventeenth century was an Amsterdam lens maker, Baruch Spinoza born on November 24, 1632.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Spinoza's father and grandfather were Portuguese. The regime of the Spanish Inquisition forced them to convert to Christianity even though privately they retained their Jewish faith. The Union of Utrecht in 1579 decreed that in Holland there would be religious freedom and the Spinoza clan migrated to Amsterdam, becoming there prosperous merchants and respected members of the Jewish community.

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