The diehard segregationist campaign of "massive resistance" took many forms. In Virginia's Prince Edward County, location of one of the original school-segregation cases, local authorities evaded court-ordered integration by closing the public schools and supporting new, white-only, private schools. The U.S. Supreme Court reviewed these actions in 1964. This handwritten draft ruling by Justice William O. Douglas indicates his frustration with “over a decade” of delays since Brown v. Board of Education: "Afterward numerous opinions were written by the District Court and the Court of Appeals but our mandate in the Brown case has never been implemented."
Transcript of Griffin v. County Board of Prince Edward County Ruling
- How did the county of Prince Edward, Va., attempt to evade compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ban on segregated schools?
- Describe the tone of Justice Douglas’ ruling. Why do you think he used such strong language? What was Justice Douglas trying to communicate?
Douglas, William O., draft per curiam opinion, U.S. Supreme Court of the United States, January 6, 1964. Courtesy of Library of Congress