Governor Almond 1959 Address to General Assembly

  • Date: April 6, 1959
  • Creator: J. Lindsay Almond
  • Archive: House Document No. 1, Extra Session 1959, House and Senate Documents, 1959, Commonwealth of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia

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In April 1959, Governor Almond called an extra session of General Assembly to present the findings of the Perrow Commission on Education regarding the school integration/segration issue in Virginia. The primary findings of the report suggested that the state needed to approach the problem in such a way that did not ignore its obligation to follow through with federally mandated orders. "It points out�that the police power cannot be exercised by any agency of a state to reverse or negate a federal decree," Almond summarized. Almond and the Perrow Commission turned to "freedom of choice" for each locality and individual student. While not calling for Constitutional Amendments to remove the section 129 provision to maintain free and open public schools, Almond argued that the Commission dealt "with fact--not fiction." Almond conceded that the massive resisters saw him as a lame surrenderer, but he reversed the charge, argued that "abandonment of public education everywhere in Virginia at this time would smack of defeatism and surrender." Almond considered his and the Perrow Commission's plans the best possible means to continue resistance and uphold segregated schools.