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WDBJ September Showdown Interview with William McKendrie
(WDBJ Television, Roanoke, VA)

William McKenrie was a parent of a Bayview School student and active in the PTA eventually becoming the president of the Bayview School PTA. McKendrie characterized the Brown v. Board decision in 1954 as one that "counfounded and dumbfounded the people of America." He helped found the Tidewater Educational Foundation, a private school initiative set up to continue segregated schools for white children, and said that it stood ready to begin schools should the state or the city fail to provide students with what he considered to be adequate instructional settings. McKendrie considered his church, his Masonic lodge, the PTA, and the Tidewater Educational Foundation as similar but separate organizations all dedicated to protecting the values and interests of "patriotic Virginians." McKendrie considered "forces of opposition to Virginia and our cause" responsible for the difficulties facing the schools, and while he never referred directly to the issue of segregation McKendrie's careful language of preserving "good" schools and the educational system as it stands clearly meant maintaining segregation. McKendrie's final statement in this interview referred to "the opposition" and suggested that "good citizens" of the state were working to repair and prevent damage to the state from the "contrary manuevers" of these opponents. McKendrie's language and reasoning in this statement proceeded from his view that the status quo and white schools were patriotic, good, normal, valuable, and essential to Virginia while opponents to segregated schools were somehow damaging and threatening these basic beliefs.
About the film
  • Date: July 13, 1958
  • Sound: Yes
  • Duration: 05:40
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