Dear Congressman Abbitt

“Dear Congressman Abbitt”

Virginians and National Politics, 1948-1973

Civil Rights


Civil Rights


A collection of documents related to judicial cases related to civil rights, legislative efforts to protect Constitutional civil rights, and legislative and popular efforts to resist these rulings and laws. The collection focuses primarily on "massive resistance" in Virginia and other places in the South to the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board and efforts to desegregate public schools.



Items in the Civil Rights Collection

A resolution by the Farmville District Parent Teachers Association which commended Governor Thomas B. Stanley and Virginia legislature on their leadership and supporting measures adopted by the General Assembly in its special session of 1956. …

In a March 1959 letter marked "personal and confidential," Senator Harry F. Byrd briefed Abbitt on his efforts to have the Internal Revenue Service rescind the tax-exempt status of the NAACP and grant tax exempt status to to new segregation academies…

A model General Assembly bill drafted by the Defenders of Segregation for a new state law stipulating that "white and colored children shall not be taught together in the public schools of Virginia” and that “no state funds shall be expended in…

Six months after the Brown v. Board decision, constituent Howard Vinson of Franklin, Virginia, wrote Abbitt that “my kids and several others will not attend school. “If a law can be made to cast aside the white man rights it all so can cost…

In a joint letter, five Southerners (including a retired bishop from South Carolina, a presiding judge in Alababa, a church rector from North Carolina) objected to a resolution condemning segregation and racial discrimination by the Bishops of the…

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