Miscellaneous Papers

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version

January 1963


Presented to the Faculty of the University of Pennsylvania in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Arts in Human Relations, 1963.


The doors of public schools in Prince Edward County, Virginia, were closed at the end of the spring term of 1959 and have remained closed to both the county's white and Negro students ever since. This action followed some five years of defiance of the famous U.S. Supreme Court decision of 1954 and has, as of this writing, made Prince Edward County the only locality in the United States which does not provide its youngsters with some kind of public education.

To the social scientist or to those who might be alarmed by such an extreme situation several questions are immediately raised - Why were public schools closed and how did closing come about? What kind of locality is this which would resort to such an extraordinary measure? What generally are the attitudes and arguments underlying the issue? Also, what has happened to the county's people and its schools? And finally, what can we expect to happen in the future to public education in this Virginia county? It is these questions which this paper will attempt to answer.



Date Posted: 30 November 2007