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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
New Orleans in Orleans Parish, Louisiana — The American South (West South Central)
 

Civil Rights Pioneers / History

McDonogh No. 19 Elementary School

 

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

 
Civil Rights Pioneers / History Marker image. Click for full size.
October 28, 2016
1. Civil Rights Pioneers / History Marker
Civil Rights Pioneers side
Inscription.
Civil Rights Pioneers
On 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.

History
The 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
Civil Rights Pioneers / History Marker image. Click for full size.
October 28, 2016
2. Civil Rights Pioneers / History Marker
History side
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.
 
Erected by Crescent City Peace Alliance and The Plessy & Ferguson Foundation.
 
Location. 29° 57.627′ N, 90° 0.757′ W. Marker is in New Orleans, Louisiana, in Orleans Parish. Marker is on Saint Claude Avenue (State Highway 46) east of Alabo Street
Civil Rights Pioneers / History Marker image. Click for full size.
October 28, 2016
3. Civil Rights Pioneers / History Marker
, in the median. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5909 St. Claude Avenue, New Orleans LA 70117, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Saint Maurice Church (approx. 0.4 miles away); First Ward Justice Courthouse and Jail (approx. 0.9 miles away); The Historic Lower Ninth Ward / Industrial Canal Flood Wall (approx. one mile away); Olivier Plantation House (approx. 1.4 miles away); Ninth Ward WWI Memorial (approx. 1½ miles away); The Kentucky Rifle (approx. 1.6 miles away); Batteries Seven and Eight (approx. 1.6 miles away); Batteries 5 and 6 (approx. 1.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Orleans.
 
Categories. African AmericansCivil RightsEducationPeace
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 12, 2017. This page originally submitted on November 12, 2016, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. This page has been viewed 182 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 12, 2016.
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