Arlington, VA

Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Arlington became a suburb of the District in the 1930s when it grew substantially. During World War II the county experienced even more growth and in the years following it voiced opposition to the traditionalist fiscal policies of the state legislature in Richmond. Urban and suburban areas, such as Arlington, were proportionately underrepresented in Richmond where rural counties continued to have greater power based on old formulae for representation. The resulting imbalance in state services for transportation and education helped launch a "Young Turk" revolt in the legislature. Arlington refused to participate in state funding for secondary roads and maintained its own roads. Arlington also had the only elected school board in the state, and its representatives carefully managed the move to desegregation in the face of the massive resistance laws. When the school desegregation issue developed after Brown v. Board, there was a small segregationist minority in Arlington and a Defenders of State Sovereignty and Individual Liberties chapter was founded there. Still, the majority backed the Arlington Committee to Preserve Public Schools, a group dedicated to open public schools and compliance with the Brown decision. Arlington desegregated its schools in February 1959, the first community in Virginia to do so.