Author: Norfolk Virginian-Pilot

PRIMARY DOCUMENT

“The Course for January 9: Set the Tuition Idea Aside” (January 6, 1956)

In this editorial, dated January 6, 1956, Lenoir Chambers, editor of the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, criticizes the recommendation of the Gray Commission to use state money to pay the tuition at private schools for students refusing to attend desegregated schools. This commission was established by Governor Thomas B. Stanley in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision prohibiting racial segregation in public schools. Chambers’ editorial efforts were unsuccessful. On January 9, 1956, a statewide referendum favored calling a constitutional convention to approve the tuition payment plan. Chambers continued to criticize the policy of Massive Resistance, winning a Pulitzer Prize for his editorials in 1960.

PRIMARY DOCUMENT

“The Special Session’s Aftermath” (September 23, 1956)

In this editorial dated September 23, 1956, Lenoir Chambers, editor of the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, criticizes the Stanley Plan, named for Governor Thomas B. Stanley, as unconstitutional, damaging to the public education system, and administratively challenging. The Stanley Plan was adopted by the General Assembly on September 22. This came months after Harry F. Byrd Sr. rejected the Gray Commission report because it allowed for some desegregation: giving localities the power to desegregate schools by assigning students to schools. Chambers was a constant critic of Massive Resistance, winning a Pulitzer Prize for his editorials in 1960.