January 11th, 1960

Georgia Governor Threatens to Withhold Funds From Integrated Schools

After the United States Supreme Court struck down public school segregation in Brown v. Board of Education, many Southern states rushed to implement new laws to circumvent the ruling. In 1955 and 1956, the Georgia legislature passed a series of laws that prevented any integrated school system in the state from receiving or spending state funds.

Ernest Vandiver, Jr., a staunch opponent of integration, was elected Governor of Georgia in 1958. Maintaining segregation within the school system was so core to his candidacy that his election motto was "No, not one," referring to the number of black children that should be allowed to attend schools alongside white children.

During the Vandiver administration, a federal court in Calhoun v. Latimer found that the Atlanta school system remained unlawfully segregated and ordered the school district to integrate. Vandiver defied the court order and continued Georgia's policy of school segregation, stating that he would comply with existing state law and withhold funds from the offending school district rather than see segregation end.