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Milford in Sussex County, Delaware — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Milford's Struggle for Educational Equality

 
 
Milford's Struggle for Educational Equality Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), November 11, 2019
1. Milford's Struggle for Educational Equality Marker
Inscription.  On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Brown v. Board of Education, declaring racially segregated public schools unconstitutional. In August 1954, a petition was submitted to the Milford Board of Education requesting integration. A plan for gradual desegregation was adopted, and on September 8, eleven African-American 10th grade students were admitted to the district's High School at this location. On September 17, approximately 1500 persons met to discuss the situation. Many signed a petition opposing the action. This was the first overt public resistance to integration since the Brown ruling. The school was closed the following Monday so that a public meeting could be held. A large crowd gathered to express their opposition, and the closure of the schools was extended. Failing to receive the support of the State Board of Education, members of the Milford Board resigned. On September 26, several thousand people attended rallies organized by segregationist Bryant Bowles advocating a boycott of the schools. Less than one third of the students attended when the schools reopened. The boycott spread, and several
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Sussex County schools were closed as a result. With the national media focused on events in Delaware, two of the members of the Milford Board resumed their positions and appointed replacements for the others. The Board reconvened on September 30, and decided to remove the eleven students "in the interest of the welfare of the children and the community as a whole." Eight years would pass before integration of Milford's schools were resumed.
 
Erected 2004 by Delaware Public Archives. (Marker Number SC-184.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCivil RightsEducation. In addition, it is included in the Delaware Public Archives series list. A significant historical date for this entry is May 17, 1954.
 
Location. 38° 54.243′ N, 75° 26.251′ W. Marker is in Milford, Delaware, in Sussex County. Marker is on Lakeview Avenue (Delaware Route 36) just north of Kent Place, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 607 Lakeview Avenue, Milford DE 19963, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Milford (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Vaules-Grier Home (approx. half a mile away); Temple Lodge No. 9 A.F. & A.M. (approx. 0.6 miles away); Mispillion River Greenway Historical Sites
Milford's Struggle for Educational Equality Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), November 11, 2019
2. Milford's Struggle for Educational Equality Marker
(approx. 0.6 miles away); a different marker also named Milford (approx. 0.6 miles away); Parson Thorne Mansion (approx. 0.7 miles away); Vale-Williams Memorial City Hall (approx. 0.7 miles away); a different marker also named Milford (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Milford.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 13, 2019. It was originally submitted on November 13, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 179 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 13, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Feb. 25, 2024