WSB-TV newsfilm clip of governors Lester Maddox of Georgia and John Bell Williams of Mississippi speaking to reporters about a strategy to end forced school busing after a meeting with Southern senators in Washington, D.C., 1970 February 17

WSB-TV newsfilm clip of governors Lester Maddox of Georgia and John Bell Williams of Mississippi speaking to reporters about a strategy to end forced school busing after a meeting with Southern senators in Washington, D.C., 1970 February 17

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Creator:WSB-TV (Television station : Atlanta, Ga.)
Title:WSB-TV newsfilm clip of governors Lester Maddox of Georgia and John Bell Williams of Mississippi speaking to reporters about a strategy to end forced school busing after a meeting with Southern senators in Washington, D.C., 1970 February 17
Date:1970 Feb. 17
Description:

In this WSB newsfilm clip from February 17, 1970 Georgia governor Lester Maddox and Mississippi governor John Bell Williams speak to reporters about education after meeting with Southern senators in Richard Russell's office to map a new strategy to end forced school busing. The clip begins with Mississippi governor John Bell Williams answering reporters' questions. Williams suggests that not allowing a child to choose the school she attends violates that child's civil rights. He says he will not meet with anyone from the White House while he is in Washington, D.C.; the clip breaks and the end of a reporter's question is not recorded. Reporters next speak to Georgia governor Lester Maddox and ask him about balancing the rate of school integration in the North and in the South. Maddox says he supports neighborhood schools throughout the country, regardless of integration status, and is hopeful that others in the country agree with his position. When asked what was discussed in meetings, Maddox refers to school integration as a problem in much of the nation, not just the Southeast. Maddox believes that freedom of choice is an essential part of freedom. He reports that efforts around the country are being coordinated and appreciates that others in the country feel the same way about freedom. He concludes by emphasizing that Southerners oppose the loss of freedom of choice more than integration. Macon city and Bibb County schools were first desegregated by United States district court judge William A. Bootle in 1964. Although African Americans sought to increase the pace of desegregation, the Bibb county school board implemented a "Freedom of choice" plan, allowing African American parents to request school transfers although relatively few were granted. In late 1969 judge Bootle approved the school board's freedom of choice plan only to be reversed by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in December which ordered a full integration and faculty merger by the beginning of the 1970 school year. Responding to a petition by the Macon branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the United States Supreme Court ordered full integration without additional delays on January 14, 1970. A compromise plan approved by judge Bootle required immediate integration of elementary schools and desegregation of middle and high schools by the end of the year. Parents opposed to the integration plan invited Georgia governor Lester Maddox to speak at a Macon rally where he encouraged parents to keep their children home from school rather than accept the integration plan. The February 16 integration took place without violence, although nearly five hundred parents, including mayor Thompson, refused to take their children to the newly-assigned schools. After a week of parents taking their children to the old schools, judge Bootle issued a restraining order blocking schools from issuing credit to students who were not assigned to that school and creating the possibility of fines and imprisonment for uncooperative parents. Mayor Thompson announced his decision to obey court orders, encouraging others to do the same, and filed a lawsuit which continued the fight for "freedom of choice" schools.

Title supplied by cataloger.

The Civil Rights Digital Library received support from a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for digital conversion and description of the WSB-TV Newsfilm Collection.

Types:Moving images | News | Unedited footage
Subjects:Maddox, Lester, 1915-2003 | Williams, John Bell, 1918-1983 | Governors--Georgia | Governors--Mississippi | Legislators--United States | Segregation in education--Georgia | Segregation in education--Mississippi | School integration--Georgia | School integration--Mississippi | School children--Civil rights--Georgia | School children--Civil rights--Mississippi | Reporters and reporting--Washington (D.C.) | Press conferences--Washington (D.C.) | Intervention (Federal government)--Mississippi | Intervention (Federal government)--Georgia | Federal government--Georgia | Federal government--Mississippi | School integration--Massive resistance movement--Georgia | School integration--Massive resistance movement--Mississippi | Busing for school integration--Law and legislation--United States | School choice--Law and legislation--United States | Washington (D.C.) | Macon (Ga.) | Bibb County (Ga.)
Collection:
Institution:Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection
Contributors:Maddox, Lester, 1915-2003 | Williams, John Bell, 1918-1983 | Digital Library of Georgia | Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection | Civil Rights Digital Library Collection (Digital Library of Georgia)
Online Publisher:Athens, Ga. : Digital Library of Georgia and Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, University of Georgia Libraries | 2007
Original Material:

1 clip (about 1 min.): color, sound ; 16 mm.

1 clip (about 1 min.): color, sound ; 16 mm.

1 clip (b-roll): color, sound ; 16 mm.

Original found in the WSB-TV newsfilm collection.

Rights and Usage:

WSB-TV newsfilm clip of governors Lester Maddox of Georgia and John Bell Williams of Mississippi speaking to reporters about a strategy to end forced school busing after a meeting with Southern senators in Washington, D.C., 1970 February 17, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 1617, 45:00/46:03, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.

Related Materials:

Forms part of: Civil Rights Digital Library.

Persistent Link to Item:http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/crdl/id:ugabma_wsbn_58843