Civil Rights Pioneers / History Historical

Civil Rights Pioneers / History Historical (HM1VN6)

Location: New Orleans, LA 70117 Orleans Parish
Country: United States of America

N 29° 57.627', W 90° 0.757'

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McDonogh No. 19 Elementary School

—Site of the Integration of Southern Elementary School November 14, 1960 —

Civil Rights PioneersOn November 14, 1960, four six-year-old children in New Orleans became the first African-Americans to integrate "white only" public elementary schools in the Deep South. On that day, three girls enrolled in McDonogh No. 19 School at 5909 St. Claude Avenue. A fourth girl began classes at William Frantz School at 3811 North Galvez Street.The integration of New Orleans public elementary schools marked a major focal point in the history of the American Civil Rights Movement. With worldwide attention focused on New Orleans, federal marshals wearing yellow armbands began escorting the four girls to the school at 9 am. By 9:25 am, the first two public schools in the Deep South were integrated. As front line soldiers in the Civil Rights Movement, the four girls, their families, and white families who kept their children in integrated schools endured taunts, threats, violence and a year-long boycott by segregationists. Despite danger, the four children successfully completed the school year. Their courage paved the way for more peaceful expansion on integration into other schools in the following years. HistoryThe integration of New Orleans schools was part of a larger action by the NAACP to end segregated schools nationwide. Since the Plessy v Ferguson decision in 1896, schools across
the Deep South were rigidly segregated based on race. Although they were supposed to be equal in quality to white schools, the black schools received subpar facilities and educational material. In September 1952 with assistance of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, New Orleans attorney A.P. Tureaud initiated a suit on behalf of Earl Benjamin Bush calling for an end to the segregated school system in Orleans parish. In 1954, the United States Supreme Court set aside the Plessy decision and ruled that segregated schools are unconstitutional. The high court ordered that public schools be desegregated "with all deliberate speed." In 1956, the US Court of Appeals dismissed multiple attempts by the Louisiana Legislature to thwart integration efforts. In 1959, Federal Judge J. Skelly Wright ordered the Orleans Parish School Board to integrate its schools. After a series of aptitude tests, the four girls were selected to integrate McDonogh 19 and William Frantz schools in the New Orleans Ninth Ward.
HM NumberHM1VN6
Placed ByCrescent City Peace Alliance and The Plessy & Ferguson Foundation
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, November 12th, 2016 at 9:01pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15R E 788306 N 3318158
Decimal Degrees29.96045000, -90.01261667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 29° 57.627', W 90° 0.757'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds29° 57' 37.62" N, 90° 0' 45.42" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)504
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 5926 St Claude Ave, New Orleans LA 70117, US
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