James M. Buchanan, Segregation, and Virginia’s Massive Resistance

When segregationists fought against school integration, libertarian economist James Buchanan saw an opportunity for his private education plan

In her 2017 book Democracy In Chains, historian Nancy MacLean traced the impact on economics and public life of the ideas of Nobel Prize winning economist James M. Buchanan. A critical moment in the book involved Buchanan’s first involvement in a major policy issue—Virginia’s campaign, known as massive resistance, to thwart racial desegregation of its public schools. MacLean’s interpretation of this event has drawn critics who challenge both her facts and her conclusions.[1] Placing Buchanan’s actions within the context of massive resistance can help clarify the truth. What follows is an effort to do that, to place his actions generally within the period and particularly within the sequence of events in the spring of 1959.

A demand by Black parents in the late 1930s that Virginia make its grossly unequal segregated schools more equal was the prelude to the massive resistance era. Represented by lawyers from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the parents’ lawsuits scored victories in the federal courts by the late 1940s. The rising danger this posed to the dual school system led Virginia’s white leadership to consider resorting to private schooling before accepting desegregation. The threat became more explicit in 1951 and white thinking on creating publicly subsidized private schools took more definite form.[2] That year the NAACP filed a federal court suit directly challenging segregation on behalf of Black high school students who had staged a strike in rural Prince Edward County.

Grouped with desegregation suits from three other states, Virginia’s case became part of the landmark 1954 U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown decision outlawing separation based on race in public education. Though the Court’s 1955 implementation decree had a note of ambiguity, without question Brown posed the clearest and gravest challenge to Virginia’s governing elite since the end of slavery in 1865.[3]

The fundamental structural changes in social patterns required by the desegregation mandate came in the midst of a decade when the Old Dominion was experiencing more slow-moving and subtle changes of demographics and economics.[4] Politically, it was a one-party Democratic state in which one faction held predominant power. The ruling group was headed by U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd and known as the Byrd organization. Local elites drawn from rural counties, mostly those with large Black populations, formed the Byrd organization’s key element. Poll taxes and registration rules disfranchised almost all Blacks and many whites. Threats to white supremacy and segregation thus threatened the Byrd organization. The new challenge came just as the surge of post-World War II population growth in the state’s cities and suburbs was already disquieting the traditional social and political order. The possibility that what eventually did happen was already clear to many observers: That Virginia would enter the 1950s with a rural majority and end with an urban one.

Senator Byrd denounced Brown as an outrageous attack on states’ rights; the organization’s leaders below him followed his pattern. James J. Kilpatrick, young editor of the Richmond News-Leader, whose views often both reflected and influenced the organization’s thinking, attacked the constitutionality of the Court’s decision, employing his characteristicly fiery and colorful language. At the same time, Kilpatrick spoke of creating a private school system that could perpetuate racial segregation. In Prince Edward County planning and fundraising for a private school for whites began in earnest as soon as the 1955 implementation order was announced. In the wake of Brown, The Defenders of State Sovereignty and Individual Liberties (The Defenders) formed in southern Virginia. A strongly pro-segregation pressure group, it had close ties to Byrd organization leaders. The Defenders’ June, 1955 “Plan for Virginia” called for the state to pass various pieces of legislation to block public school desegregation and to amend the state constitution’s education article (IX) to permit the creation of a publicly assisted private school system (which of course would be segregated).[5] It was the latter proposal that would become the segregationists’ leading goal in 1959 and for which James Buchanan would provide an economic defense.

White Virginians’ responses to the prospect of school desegregation in 1955 divided broadly along two lines. In the rural counties with substantial Black populations, the structures of overt segregation were considered essential to the social order. Any change in the racial rules in those places would likely meet adamant resistance. In the urban areas, in contrast, suburbanization was dividing populations by distance and by socio-economics. To residents there, formal segregation laws were less important; economics and business practices were segregating their neighborhoods. The governor appointed a commission of thirty-two legislators to devise a new educational plan for the state. Popularly referred to as the Gray Commission from its chairman, the legislators and their counsel produced a plan that attempted to compromise the polarized views among whites. Their primary recommendation was a local pupil assignment plan which fit the urban view; it would limit desegregation but not totally block it. As a concession to those unwilling to accept any desegregation, the Gray Plan proposed modifying compulsory attendance laws and, more importantly as a “safety valve,” offering a state tuition grant for attendance at private schools. The proposed constitutional change was a limited one narrowly tailored to alter the single constitutional section prohibiting the use of state funds for private education.

For the Defenders and their allied legislators, the Gray Plan was not what they wanted. It breached white solidarity by permitting minimal desegregation. Moreover, it did not propose the extensive constitutional changes they sought to facilitate creation of a private school system. The only aspect they supported concerned tuition grants. Senator Byrd shared their views and they held the upper hand in the organization.

The senator and his followers backed a Yes vote in the January, 1956 referendum on tuition grants, which carried by a 2-1 margin, but they had additional moves in mind. During the short, intense referendum campaign, arguments were presented along the lines of points made in economist Milton Friedman’s 1955 essay on school vouchers, and the essay itself was recommended to Virginians by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce chief economist.[6] Kilpatrick, however, had turned his attention to using states’ rights ideology against the Brown decision. In an editorial series, he sought to revive the antebellum doctrine of Interposition, relying chiefly on the thought of John C. Calhoun with a dash of the 1798 writings of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, to make the case for interposing state sovereignty to block federal actions. The concept found supporters in Virginia’s General Assembly where a resolution of interposition passed nearly unanimously. Though it was clearly meant as a protest without legal standing, it nevertheless encouraged the idea that the federal courts could and should be defied. Senator Byrd followed up with a call in the U.S. Senate chamber for “massive resistance” to school desegregation.

Just as they were announcing their resistance stand, Virginia’s white leaders—long accustomed to managing race matters—found that the initiative had passed from their hands. The NAACP filed desegregation suits in federal court against four localities in the state. In Charlottesville, in particular, the federal district judge ordered desegregation to begin in September, 1956.[7] Segregationist legislators reacted with a fervent cry for action, and the governor responded by calling a special legislative session. On the eve of the session’s convening, a majority of the Gray Commission voted to disavow their commission’s earlier recommendations in favor of more draconian measures. Infused with neo-Confederate sentiment, the special session passed a hastily drawn package of massive resistance legislation. The resistance plan was multifaceted but at its center was a law requiring the governor to seize and close any public school under federal desegregation orders. It was a measure of direct defiance; the only mention of tuition grants involved payments to students from the closed schools. The aim was to persuade the Court or the Congress to reverse Brown. If that failed, at least the litigation would buy time for creation of a private school system.

During the following two years, Virginia’s leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the defiance embodied in massive resistance. At the same time, the school desegregation cases were working their way through federal judicial appeals. The appeals were rejected and the reckoning came in September, 1958, when federal district judges ordered desegregation of nine schools in three localities. Virginia Governor J. Lindsay Almond closed all of them, locking out nearly 13,000 white students to block the enrollment of fewer than fifty Black classmates. Within a month, a group of white parents in Norfolk challenged the school closing laws in federal court and the state government filed its own case in the state’s highest court to determine the law’s consonance with the Constitution of Virginia.

Starting in Arlington, a Washington, D.C. suburb, white parents in Virginia’s urban areas began organizing in the fall of 1958 against the growing threat massive resistance posed to their public schools. Calling themselves committees for public schools, in December they formed a state-wide group, Virginia Committee for Public Schools (VCPS). Anticipating a future referendum campaign on the state constitution’s education article, they decided to stress the issue of the economic harm that would come to the state from damaging public education. The manager of two large General Electric plants in Virginia made the point in speeches for VCPS that his company would not have come to the state if it had not had a good school system. The threat to the schools and the economic argument resonated with the urban middle class and by spring 1959 VCPS’s 15 local affiliates had 25,000 members.[8]

The public school committees were not the only ones making what they called “the economic argument.” A strong case was made by Dr. Lorin A. Thompson, an economist who headed the University of Virginia’s Bureau of Population and Economic Research. His paper, “Some Economic Aspects of Virginia’s Current Education Crisis,” outlined how weakening the public school system could do serious harm to the state’s economy.[9] He noted several reasons, such as accreditation, why it would not be feasible to substitute private schools for a public system. Additional impediments to creation of a private system were the substantial bonded indebtedness of localities for public schools and the major changes in state and local tax structures required by a switch in school systems. Thompson was personally touched by the school closings. Charlottesville, where two schools were closed, was one of the three impacted localities. Two groups formed to supply schooling to the locked out students. One was an offshoot of the Defenders and aimed to create permanently segregated private academies; the other, a parents’ group mostly in the university community, considered the schooling offered in their basements a temporary solution until public schools reopened. Thompson hosted a class in his basement, and he was also a member of the Charlottesville Committee for Public Education (part of VCPS). His paper was sent to all 140 members of the Virginia General Assembly.[10] The study was also distributed to a select group of the Old Dominion’s business and industrial leaders. Organized by Lewis Powell, a prominent lawyer, and J. Harvie Wilkinson, Jr., a leading banker, this group held a dinner with Governor Almond in December. They urged him to retreat from massive resistance for the sake of Virginia’s economy. Almond appeared to rebuff them, but, later, when push came to shove, followed their advice.[11]

As soon as the New Year began the courts issued their rulings. On 19 January 1959, a three-judge federal panel in Norfolk found that the school closing laws violated the 14th Amendment guarantee of “equal protection of the laws.” On the same day, the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals ruled in a 5-2 decision that the closing laws violated section 129 of the Constitution of Virginia, which required a state-wide system “of efficient public free schools.” At first, Almond sounded a racist and pugnacious note, called a special session, but then retreated from massive resistance. The special session repealed the closing laws, allowing 21 Black students to enter schools in Norfolk and Arlington.

The overt defiance phase of massive resistance was over, a new approach was needed. The special session was to find a solution and do so within the statutory confines of the following schedule. It convened on 28 January, recessed on 2 February, reconvened to receive a report on 31 March, recessed until 6 April and remained in session until 24 April, when it adjourned sine die. On 5 February, Almond appointed forty legislators to a new commission on education, named the Perrow Commission after its chairman. Unlike the earlier Gray Commission, the new commission’s members were equally drawn from the state’s ten congressional districts, better reflecting the state’s urban-rural balance. [12]

This was the point at which James M. Buchanan became involved. Buchanan had joined the University of Virginia’s Economics Department in 1956 and the next year created his Thomas Jefferson Center for Studies in Political Economy and Social Philosophy. His goal was promotion of the libertarian economic and social ideas he had acquired in his University of Chicago education.[13] The Virginia school crisis offered a major opportunity to further that goal. On the school matter, Buchanan worked in parallel with Leon S. Dure, a retired newspaper editor who lived near Charlottesville. For almost a year, through letters to the editor, op-eds, and self-published pamphlets, Dure had advocated his own solution to the school problem. The practical aspect was the payment of tuition grants to parents for private schooling, a much discussed idea, but his ideological justification was new and different: “Freedom of Choice of Association.” The constitutional right of association, Dure reasoned, carried the corollary right not to associate. Both urban and rural whites found the idea congenial. Dure personally favored creation of private segregated schools and attracted the support of E.J. Oglesby, a university math professor and leader of the local Defenders chapter.[14] In a 14 February letter to the Richmond News-Leader, “Freedom of Choice is Key to Dilemma,” Dure advised the new commission, “The best way to do this [preserve segregated education] is to write new principle into our own State Constitution.” He added, “A half-dozen amendments designed to do this will be submitted to the Perrow Commission. I hope you can support them.”[15]

To convince the legislators to adopt the constitutional changes, a counter argument was needed to the economic points raised by the public school committees and, especially, to those of Lorin Thompson. Thompson’s paper had gone to the legislators, and the only large Virginia newspaper that opposed massive resistance, the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, ran the piece on its editorial page on 21 February.[16]

The answer came in a 10 February paper, “The Economics of Universal Education,” by James M. Buchanan and G. Warren Nutter, published as a Report of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Study of Political Economy. Nutter was an economics department colleague who shared Buchanan’s libertarian views. They argued that a publicly subsidized private system could be just as effective and more cost efficient than the current public school system. It could do so without doing harm to the state’s economic development while adding a desirable element of choice for parents. Copies of the report were sent to all members of the Perrow Commission.[17]

On 11 February, the Perrow Commission held its organizational meeting, creating several subcommittees including one on constitutional reform.[18] For the time being, however, consideration of change in the education article of the state constitution was off the table. The chief contention of Virginia’ s attorney general in the state case decided in January was that the Brown decision had wiped out section 129 and the entire education article by invalidating the segregation section (140). As noted, the state’s high court rejected the argument on a 5-2 vote, but the attorney general, based on the two dissents, petitioned for a rehearing, thus foreclosing consideration of the constitutional question until the state court denied the rehearing on 11 March.[19] In the meantime, the Perrow Commission held an all-day public hearing on 6 March with Leon Dure as lead witness and his “Freedom of Choice” concept setting the hearing’s tone. On 12 March, the Charlottesville Daily Progress, whose editor was influenced by Dure, ran an editorial calling for amending the education article, “When that [revision] is done our Constitution will recognize both the need for universal education and the right of the individual to freedom of choice in the education of his children.”[20] The wording appears drawn from the Buchanan and Nutter report.

When the commission’s constitution subcommittee took up the matter, it rejected, 4-3, the proposed constitutional change. By a vote of 22-16, the full commission turned down the proposed constitutional amendments. The Perrow Commission released its report on 31 March. To contain desegregation, the main recommendation was a pupil assignment plan, but it included several concessions to the massive resister bloc: state tuition grants for private schooling and changes in compulsory attendance and school budgeting law. But it expressly denied the need for a constitutional change. That omission caused some commissioners to reject the report: 31 signed it, 9 dissented, based on the constitutional issue. Strongly pro-segregation Delegate James M. Thomson of Alexandria, who was State Senator Harry Byrd, Jr.’s brother-in-law, declared in his dissenting statement: “The question is, are the people of Virginia ready to make the necessary amendments to the [State] Constitution and continue a program of massive resistance?”[21]

The special session reconvened for a day to receive the report then recessed until 6 April. Almond and his legislative allies were stalling to prevent forcing legislators to cast controversial votes before the mid-April filing deadline for the July Democratic primary, hoping thereby to avoid drawing extreme segregationist challengers. Kilpatrick weighed in on 2 April with an editorial arguing that the state would be in a stronger legal position if it “were not compelled to operate any public schools at all,” a position he clearly favored. “But to get the State out of the public school business would require wholesale amendment or outright repeal of a dozen sections of the State Constitution.”[22]

After the session reconvened, the “massive resistance bloc,” as The New York Times termed the group, did not hesitate long in offering proposed constitutional amendments. On 9 April, Delegate C. Stuart Wheatley of Danville offered a package of constitutional changes in a resolution co-sponsored by Delegate Thomson and 27 other delegates in the 100 member chamber. The Wheatley Resolution repealed section 129 and replaced it with this wording: “Every county, city, or town…is authorized to establish and maintain public schools or to provide other means of education for school age children, or both.” It went on to strip most of the education article, substituting broad, non-specific wording regarding education, leaving only the State Board of Education in place.[23] In a long editorial the same day, “Constitutional Roadblocks,” Kilpatrick made a case for the resolution and even more specific changes.[24] The next day, Dure published a letter supporting the changes in the Roanoke Times and a similar letter on 14 April in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.[25]

On 10 April, because it involved a constitutional change, the Wheatley Resolution was referred to the House Privileges and Elections Committee. A public hearing was scheduled for 16 April and public education advocates, such as VCPS and its local committees, could be expected to lobby strongly against any weakening of the education article.[26] Their strongest points were that a private system was unfeasible and that any weakening of public education would damage the state’s economy overall and discourage new industries from coming to Virginia. Supporters of the Resolution of course could turn to Buchanan and Nutter’s February report as a counter. For that purpose, they needed it in a shorter, summarized form that could reach an audience extending from the legislators to a broader swath of the middle class public.

Buchanan and Nutter obliged with two pieces published in the Times-Dispatch on 12 and 13 April.[27] Why the Times-Dispatch? It was the only Sunday paper in Richmond (the 12th was a Sunday), and, as a morning paper, it had a larger circulation than the News-Leader, particularly its Sunday edition. Leon Dure had been an editor at the Times-Dispatch and may have been a factor in the decision. Both Richmond newspapers had the same owner and management and both had supported massive resistance.[28]

The scheduled public hearing on the 16th went as expected. Twenty witnesses testified: sixteen opposed the resolution, most from the school committees; four spoke in favor, characterizing the other side’s warnings as “an imaginary fear.”[29] The following day the Privileges and Elections Committee favorably reported the resolution to the House floor by a 9-4 vote. When the floor vote came on the 20th, the Almond-Perrow bloc mustered greater numbers than the massive resisters and voted down the Wheatley Resolution 53-45.[30]

The special session wrapped up its work on 24 April, basically adopting the recommendations of the Perrow Commission. Its leading feature, a pupil assignment plan, limited desegregation to a token pace over the next eight years, and its rationale, “Freedom of Choice,” allowed white suburbanites to believe that economics and consumer choice, not racial prejudice produced the segregation in their neighborhoods. The rural segregationists got some of what they wanted: generous tuition grants and changes in the school budgeting laws. Prince Edward County’s local government used the latter change to defund and close its public schools from 1959 to 1964. The massive resisters, however, did not get all of what they wanted—the constitutional changes facilitating creation of a private school system with public support. In Charlottesville, Leon Dure, who was fundraising for the private academies, learned how hard it was to create a private system, even with tuition grants, when you could not acquire parts of the public system. By 1965, only a dozen segregation academies, mostly in rural counties, were in operation. Few of them survived when the federal courts ended the tuition grant program in 1969. [31]

What then to make of Buchanan’s lobbying efforts in the spring of 1959? His personal racial views are hard to determine; moreover, they are beside the point. Without doubt, he saw the massive resistance private school initiative as an opportunity to promote his libertarian education doctrines, as an example to showcase those ideas. It offered a chance to create a functioning alternative to the existing public system. That it perpetuated segregation did not seem to trouble him, though as much as possible he wanted to remain behind the scenes, preferring to have Dure as spokesman. From a pragmatic standpoint, Buchanan was on the wrong side in the momentous shift in the state’s power structure that the school crisis brought to a head—the shift from control by a rural, courthouse elite to that of an urban, business elite. The urban elite wanted to break free of the fiscal austerity and policy orientation of Harry Byrd’s rural dominated organization. They wanted the state to be able to borrow money and to raise taxes that could fund improvements in public education, create a community college system, and build infrastructure needed to promote economic development and metropolitan growth.[32] Buchanan’s doctrinaire libertarian economics were not what they wanted as the 1960s began. In fact, his center at the university shutdown in the 1960s, and he briefly left the state. In a series of reforms the urban elite accomplished their goals. What alarmed them next were larger trends in the state and nation, such as growing voter registration and a rise in labor and consumer political activism— a surge in democracy— that threatened to carry the staid Old Dominion to the left.[33] When Buchanan returned to Virginia, he found a more welcoming audience among the Commonwealth’s leaders in the 1970s.

[1] Nancy MacLean, Democracy In Chains: The Deep History Of The Radical Right’s Stealth Plan For America (New York: Viking Press, 2017), 61-75. For a sample of the critics, see: Steven Horwitz, “MacLean on Nutter and Buchanan on Universal Education,” Bleeding Heart Libertarians, 28 June 2017; Michael G. Munger, “On the Origins and Goals of Public Choice: Constitutional Conspiracy?” The Independent Review, 29 June 2017; Brian Doherty, “Just How Much Did Nancy MacLean Get Wrong?” Hit&Run [email protected], 25 Oct. 2017; Phillip W. Magness, Art Carden, and Vincent Geloso, “James M. Buchanan and the Political Economy of Desegregation,” Southern Economics Journal, 85 (3) (January 2019): 715-741; Jean-Baptiste Fleury and Alain Marcino, “The Making of a Constitutionalist: James Buchanan on Education,” History of Political Economy, 53 (3) (2018): 511-548; Jean-Baptiste Fleury and Alain Marcino, “The Sound of Silence: A Review Essay of Nancy MacLean’s Democracy In Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, Journal of Economic Literature, 56 (4) (2018), 1492-1537.

[2] Benjamin Muse, “Abrupt Halt of Segregation Feared,” Washington Post and Times Herald (hereafter cited as WP), 3 June 1951, B6; Walter F. Murphy, “Private Education With Public Funds?” The Journal of Politics, 20 (4) (Nov. 1958): 636-639.

[3] Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954); 349 U.S. 294 (1955).

[4] Information is drawn from James H. Hershman, Jr., “Virginia on the Cusp of Change,” in Historians in Service of a Better South: Essays in Honor of Paul Gaston, Robert J. Norrell and Andrew H. Myers, eds. (Montgomery, AL: New South Books, 2017), 63-89.

[5] “A Plan for Virginia,” p. 5, J. Segar Gravatt Papers, Special Collections, Alderman Library, University of Virginia. See also, “Private School System Proposed in Chesterfield,” Richmond Times-Dispatch (hereafter cited as RTD), 9 June 1955, 1.

[6] Milton Friedman, “The Role of Government in Education,” in Economics and the Public Interest, Robert A. Solo, ed. (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1955), 129-144. From the WP, see: Emerson P. Schmidt (economist at U.S. Chamber of Commerce) “School Administration,” 29 Jan. 1956; Harley M. Williams, “Virginia School Proposal,” 18 Oct. 1955, E4; “Legality of Gray Plan Causes Sharp Dispute,” 22 Dec. 1955, 25; and “The Gray Proposals: Pro and Con,” 18 Dec. 1955, E4. Kilpatrick also spoke in favor of tuition grants, “’Smoke Screen’ Of Report’s Foes is Assailed by Richmond Editor,” WP, 13 Dec. 1955, 17. Steve Suitts, Overturning Brown: The Segregationist Legacy of the Modern School Choice Movement (Montgomery, AL: New South Books, 2020) focuses on similar developments primarily in the Deep South.

[7] J. Douglas Smith, Managing White Supremacy: Race, Politics, and Citizenship in Jim Crow Virginia (Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 2002); Brian J. Daugherity, Keep On Keeping On: The NAACP And The Implementation Of Brown V. Board Of Education In Virginia (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2016), 49.

[8] James H. Hershman, Jr., “Massive Resistance Meets Its Match: The Emergence of a Pro-Public School Majority,” in The Moderates’ Dilemma: Massive Resistance to School Desegregation in Virginia, Matthew D. Lassiter and Andrew B. Lewis, eds. (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1998), 104-133.

[9] A copy of Thompson’s study is on file with Special Collections, Alderman Library, University of Virginia.

[10] “School Crisis Seen Damaging Economy,” RTD, 10 Dec. 1958, 4; Robert E. Baker, “Economic Peril Cited in Closing of Schools,” WP, 11 Dec. 1958, 17. On Charlottesville’s schools, see Benjamin Muse, “Aspects of Private School Education,” WP, 12 Oct. 1958; Andrew B. Lewis, “Emergency Mothers: Basement Schools and The Preservation of Public Education in Charlottesville,” Moderates’ Dilemma, 72-103. The Richmond News-Leader reported that G. Warren Nutter had a classroom in his basement but, unlike Thompson, he was not a member of the Public School Committee.

[11] Hershman, “Virginia on the Cusp of Change,” 78.

[12] George C. Cochran, “Virginia facing reality: The 1959 Perrow Commission,” Augusta Historical Bulletin, 42 (2006); telephone interview with Kossen Gregory, 24 Jan. 2012. Former Delegate Gregory was the last surviving member of the Perrow Commission, and he supplied me with a copy of the Cochran article on which he had assisted.

[13] James M. Buchanan, “The Thomas Jefferson Center for Studies in Political Economy,” University of Virginia News Letter 35, no.2 (15 October 1958). In “Economists’ Role Limited,” WP, 25 July 1956, C8, Buchanan is quoted as saying, “The economist may point out ways of reorganizing social institutions to achieve certain goals, but it is not his task to choose those goals.”

[14] James H. Hershman and the Dictionary of Virginia Biography, “Leon S. Dure (1907-1993),” Encyclopedia Virginia, last modified 6 October 2016,; two articles in Charlottesville Daily Progress (hereafter cited as CDP), “Dure Tuition Grant Plan May Win Local Defenders’ Backing,” 20 Feb. 1959, 17, “When Is a Private School Public? Forum Argues ‘Free Choice’ Plan,” 27 March 1959, 17.

[15] RNL, 14 Feb. 1959, 8.

[16] Hershman, “Massive Resistance Meets Its Match,” 123,125.

[17] C. Harrison Mann Papers, Special Collections and Archives, George Mason University.

[18] On the day the commission was organized, Governor Almond told them that he did not want section 129 repealed or damaged, Gregory interview.

[19] “Court Denies Review Of Schools Decision,” WP, 12 March 1959, A26.

[20] “Section 129 Stands,” CDP, 12 March 1959, 4.

[21] “Education in Virginia: Report of The Commission On Education to the Governor of Virginia,” (Richmond: Commonwealth of Virginia, 1959). Thomson’s quote is on p. 24.

[22] “The Perrow Report,” RNL, 2 April 1959, 10.

[23] “Constitution Change To Be Offered Today,” The Roanoke Times (hereafter cited as RT), 9 April 1959, 1; “Virginians Divide On School Bills: Integration Foes Ask Repeal of Constitutional Basis for Public Education,” The New York Times (hereafter cited as NYT), 10 April 1959, 30; Robert E. Baker, “Anti-Perrow Forces File Rival Plan: State’s Control of Education Would Be Ended,” WP, 10 April 1959, D1.

[24] “Constitutional Roadblocks,” RNL, 9 April 1959. 12.

[25] “The Freedom of Association,” RT, 10 April 1959, 6; “General Assembly Seen Ripe for Compromise,” RTD, 14 April 1959, 16. See also, Leon Dure, “Reveille in Richmond,” WP, 8 April 1959, A16.

[26] “Schools Group Opposes Constitutional Changes,” RTD, 16 April 1959, 2.

[27] “Different School Systems Are Reviewed,” RTD, 12 April 1959, D3; “Many Fallacies Surround School Problem,” RTD, 13 April 1959, 7.

[28] In my 1978 doctoral dissertation, I attributed the articles to the RTD. In a 1998 essay I cited them as in the RNL. The explanation is that in 1975 I found the articles as clippings in the papers of a member of the Perrow Commission. They had no date and newspaper identification, though evidence indicated they were from the Richmond newspapers. On my notes, I wrote either RTD or RNL. When, later, I found the longer report in another collection, I assumed that the shorter versions had appeared at the same time, part of a lobby effort to influence the Perrow Commission. On closer examination, it turns out that the shorter pieces were indeed a lobby effort— but one for the Wheatley Resolution.

[29] James H. Hershman, Jr., “A Rumbling in the Museum: The Opponents of Virginia’s Massive Resistance,” (Ph.D. diss., University of Virginia, 1978), 366-367; “Bill Abolishing Schools Backed by House Unit,” WP, 18 April 1959, A3.

[30] “Segregation Bill Loses In Virginia: House of Delegates Rejects Plan to Eliminate State’s Public School System,” NYT, 21 April 1959, 25. Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Extra Session, 1959 (Commonwealth of Virginia: Richmond, 1959), 120, contains the text of all nine amendments proposed in the Wheatley Resolution. As a joint resolution, Wheatley’s legislation did not require the governor’s signature. Passage in identical form in two consecutive sessions could send the amendments directly to a popular referendum.

[31] “Dure Says CEF Fund Drive Is to Establish Freedom Here,” CDP, 27 April 1960, 17; “Private Schools’ Fund Drive Lags,” WP, 14 Jan. 1967, C7; Helen Dewar, “Tuition Grants Are Outlawed,” WP, 3 Feb. 1969, A14. Information on the segregation academies in 1965 can be found in Edward H. Peeples Collection, James Branch Cabell Library, Special Collections and Archives, Virginia Commonwealth University.

[32] Hershman, “Virginia on the Cusp of Change,” 77-85.

[33] Helen Dewar, “Unions Gaining Political Influence, “WP, 20 May 1968, B1; Memorandum, Lewis F. Powell to Eugene B. Sydnor, 23 August 1971, “Attack On American Free Enterprise System,” As a state senator, Sydnor supported the Perrow Plan in 1959.

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