Governor Almond's Inaugural Address to Legislature

  • Date: January 11, 1958
  • Creator: J. Lindsay Almond
  • Archive: Senate Document No. 3, 1958 Session, House and Senate Documents, 1958, Commonwealth of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia

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During his inaugural address before the General Assembly and people of Virginia, Almond outlined his expectations and observations for the state on the issues of public education, national security and state sovereignty. Almond issued his infamous call for massive resistance, defined as a "resolute defense against the catastrophe that threatens to overwhelm our public schools." Almond's rhetoric drew attention to a larger struggle, one shaped by the Cold War, and asked Virginians to begin "resisting external aggression [in an effort to] preserve domestic tranquility." Although Almond declared his intention to do every thing possible to "promote and sustain an efficient progressive and well functioning system of public free schools," he consistently equated "efficiency" and "well-functioning" to segregated schooling.