On this day in 1956, Governor Marvin Griffin addressed a joint session of the General Assembly and urged lawmakers to invoke the doctrine of interposition and declare the Supreme Court’s school desegregation decisions null and void in the state. The House immediately did so and further maintained that Georgia had never surrendered its sovereign right to have racially separate schools and that there was a contest of powers between the state and the Supreme Court.
Lawmakers also authorized Griffin to close any public school ordered to integrate, and to use public school buildings and money for private schools. Griffin kept his campaign promise: school desegregation didn’t begin in Georgia until 1961.
Conflict between the states and the federal government continues and is as old as the republic, a contest exemplified by the dramatic events of February 6, 1956, Today in Georgia History.
twentieth century, Civil Rights, interposition, desegregation, government, legislature, Governor, Time Continuity and Change, Individuals groups and Institutions, Power Authority and Governance, Civic Ideals and Practices
Georgia was the first state in the deep South to integrate public schools in 1961.