Victory Corps: World War II Home front

Maryland State Archives
350 Rowe Boulevard,
Annapolis, MD 21401

Introduction

World War II Home frontAs Americans became more involved in the escalation of World War II, volunteer organizations began to form. Seeing the need for high school students to become involved, Commissioner of Education John W. Studebaker, on September 25, 1942, upon the recommendation of his advisory Wartime Commission, established the Victory Corps.

The purpose of this student organization was to prepare high school students to aid in the war effort on the homefront and the frontlines.  Both girls and boys from white and African American schools participated.  In order to be a member, a student needed to participate in a physical fitness program, enroll in a war-effort class, and volunteer for at least one extracurricular wartime activity.  Engaging in a physical fitness program was essential because military officials were alarmed by the poor condition of recent enlistments.  At the advent of the war, high school curriculums in Maryland had been altered to accommodate war-effort classes.  By modifiying industrial arts and vocational-industrial classes, students could learn about machinery, fundamentals of electricity, radios, canning of food, aeronautics, first aid, and other pertinent topics.

Due to its proximity to Washington, D.C., Maryland had the first three Victory Corps programs: Ellicott City High School in Howard County and Sherwood High School and Montgomery Blair Senior High School, both in Montgomery County.  As the war progressed, 126 of the 145 Maryland county high schools and all of Baltimore City’s high schools had established Victory Corps.

As the war drew to a close, the Victory Corps program was phased out beginning in June of 1944.

National History Standards

Materials compiled in this document can be used by educators to fulfill the following National History Standards for Grades 5-12:

Era 8:  The Great Depression and World War II (1929-1945)

STANDARD 3:  The causes and course of World War II, the character of the war at home and abroad, and its reshaping of the U.S. role in world affairs. 

Standard 3C:  The student understands the effects of World War II at home.

5-12 Explain how the United States mobilized its economic and military resources during World War II. [Utilize visual and quantitative data]
7-12 Evaluate how minorities organized to gain access to wartime jobs and how they confronted discrimination. [Formulate a position or course of action on an issue]
7-12 Analyze the effects of World War II on gender roles and the American family. [Compare and contrast differing sets of ideas]
9-12  Evaluate the war’s impact on science, medicine, and technology, especially in nuclear physics, weaponry, synthetic fibers, and television. [Utilize quantitative data]

Primary Resources

  1. DESCRIPTION: Photograph, Montgomery Blair High school Victory Corps. Montgomery Blair High School girls are being trained for positions in war industry. As part of the Victory Corps activities in this Silver Spring, Maryland school, Shirley Noonan learns how to weld. John Studebaker, U.S. Commissioner of Education, watches her work. He, along with several Army, Navy, and civilian officials, reviewed Victory Corps maneuvers at the high school.
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1942 Oct
    REPRODUCTIONS: How to order reproductions
    COPYRIGHT: Copyright and other restrictions
    SOURCE: America from the Great Depression to World War II: Black-and-White Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945
    REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division Washington, DC
  2. DESCRIPTION: Photograph, High school Victory Corps. Home economics students at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland, make their contribution to the school’s Victory Corps program by preparing and serving food in the student-operated cafeteria
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1942 Oct.
    REPRODUCTIONS: How to order reproductions
    COPYRIGHT: Copyright and other restrictions
    SOURCE: America from the Great Depression to World War II: Black-and-White Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945
    REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division Washington, DC
  3. DESCRIPTION: Photograph, High school Victory Corps. Domestic governing body at the Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, Maryland, is the student council which cooperates with school officials and the parent-teachers association in determining policies for their Victory Corps.
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1942 Oct.
    REPRODUCTIONS: How to order reproductions
    COPYRIGHT: Copyright and other restrictions
    SOURCE: America from the Great Depression to World War II: Black-and-White Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945
    REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division Washington, DC
  4. DESCRIPTION: Photograph, Montgomery Blair High school Victory Corps. Members of the Victory Corps exhibited their best formations before Army, Navy, and civilian officials in Silver Spring, Maryland. The girls being reviewed are students of Montgomery Blair High School.
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1942 Oct.
    REPRODUCTIONS: How to order reproductions
    COPYRIGHT: Copyright and other restrictions
    SOURCE: America from the Great Depression to World War II: Black-and-White Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945
    REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division Washington, DC
  5. DESCRIPTION: Photograph, High school Victory Corps. To release housewives in Silver Spring, Maryland, for war work, girls in the Victory Corps of Montgomery Blair High School operate a day nursery. Besides helping the community, the project ties in with the school’s home economics course.
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1942 Oct.
    REPRODUCTIONS: How to order reproductions
    COPYRIGHT: Copyright and other restrictions
    SOURCE: America from the Great Depression to World War II: Black-and-White Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945
    REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division Washington, DC
  6. DESCRIPTION: Photograph, Montgomery Blair High school Victory Corps. Victory Corps girls of Montgomery Blair high school in Silver Spring, Maryland stood erect when “superior officers” reviewed their maneuvers. Students wear their uniforms three times a week and have their extra- curricular activities directed towards war work.
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1942 Oct.
    REPRODUCTIONS: How to order reproductions
    COPYRIGHT: Copyright and other restrictions
    SOURCE: America from the Great Depression to World War II: Black-and-White Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945
    REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division Washington, DC
  7. DESCRIPTION: Photograph, High school Victory Corps. James Parsley and Bill Sabin do their clean-up chores for the day in Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, Maryland. Because of labor shortage, Victory Corps members at Montgomery Blair are taking over some of the janitor, mechanical and electrical repair activities at the school.
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1942 Oct.
    REPRODUCTIONS: How to order reproductions
    COPYRIGHT: Copyright and other restrictions
    SOURCE: America from the Great Depression to World War II: Black-and-White Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945
    REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division Washington, DC
  8. DESCRIPTION: Photograph, High school Victory Corps. Young Americans study the problems of Democracy at war to prepare them for their future usefulness to their country. This panel discussion on inflation is typical of those held in social studies classes at Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, Maryland, in which members of the Victory Corps learn what they are organized to fight.
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1942 Oct.
    REPRODUCTIONS: How to order reproductions
    COPYRIGHT: Copyright and other restrictions
    SOURCE: America from the Great Depression to World War II: Black-and-White Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945
    REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division Washington, DC
  9. DESCRIPTION: Photograph, Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, Maryland. Victory Corps boy learning bench metal mathematics.
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1942 Oct.
    REPRODUCTIONS: How to order reproductions
    COPYRIGHT: Copyright and other restrictions
    SOURCE: America from the Great Depression to World War II: Black-and-White Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945
    REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division Washington, DC
  10. DESCRIPTION:
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1942 Oct.
    REPRODUCTIONS: How to order reproductions
    COPYRIGHT: Copyright and other restrictions
    SOURCE: America from the Great Depression to World War II: Black-and-White Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945
    REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division Washington, DC
  11. DESCRIPTION: Photograph,  Buying war stamps at the booth maintained by the Victory Corp at Woodrow Wilson High School
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  October 1943
    REPRODUCTIONS: How to order reproductions
    COPYRIGHT: Copyright and other restrictions
    SOURCE: America from the Great Depression to World War II: Black-and-White Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945
    REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division Washington, DC
  12. DESCRIPTION: Records of the High School Victory Corps Records of the Office of Education
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  1942-1944
    SOURCE:  Records of the Office of Education (Record Group 12) 1870-1983
    RESPOSITORY:  U.S. National Archives & Records Administration
  13. DESCRIPTION: Photograph,  High school Victory Corps. Members of the Victory Corps of Roosevelt High School, Los Angeles, California, have an opportunity to learn first aid. Here, one of the groups practice on a classmate.
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  September-October 1942
    REPRODUCTIONS: How to order reproductions
    COPYRIGHT: Copyright and other restrictions
    SOURCE: America from the Great Depression to World War II: Black-and-White Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945
    REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division Washington, DC
  14. DESCRIPTION: Newspaper article, “Victory Corps: School Units Planned”
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: September 25, 1942
    SOURCE: Evening Sun (Baltimore)
    NOTE: Also located in flat file in Maryland Room, Enoch Pratt Library
  15. DESCRIPTION: Newspaper article, “Pace setters in War Effort”
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: September 27, 1942
    SOURCE: Sun (Baltimore)
    NOTE: Includes photographs of Ellicott City High School; Also located in flat file in Maryland Room, Enoch Pratt Library
  16. DESCRIPTION: “High School Victory Corps”
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: March-June 1943
    SOURCE: Baltimore Bulletin of Education, Vol XX, No. 3
    NOTE: Also located in flat file in Maryland Room, Enoch Pratt Library
  17. DESCRIPTION: Victory Corps. Along with their English course, this class at Benjamin Franklin High School in New York City is learning the basic principles of first aid
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: October 1942
    SOURCE:  Archival Research Catalog of U.S. National Archives & Records Administration
    RESPOSITORY:  Franklin D. Roosevelt Library (Hyde Park, NY)
    NOTE: Search by title listed above
  18. DESCRIPTION:  “Cardozo High School, Washington, DC.” High School Victory Corps
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED:  June 1943
    SOURCE:  Archival Research Catalog of U.S. National Archives & Records Administration
    RESPOSITORY: National Archives at College Park – Archives II
    NOTE: Search by title listed above

Additional Instructional Resources

Resources on Incorporating Primary Sources and Historic Sites in Classroom Instruction

On the Homefront: America During World War I and World War II. From the Learning Page, American Memory.

Secondary Resources

Andrus, Ethel Percy. High School Victory Corps Journal of Educational Sociology (December 1942): 231-240.

Ugland, Richard M. “Education for Victory: The High School Victory Corps and Curriculum Adaptation during World War II.” History of Education Quarterly, Vol. 19, No. 4. (Winter, 1979), pp. 435-451.

Uhler, Jr., William P., “The Impact of the War Upon the School Health Program.” Journal of Educational Sociology, Vol. 16, No. 7. (Mar., 1943), pp. 411-416.
NOTE: describes the changes outlined for a National Physical Fitness program

Password Access to Journal Articles

Some journal articles linked to this site require password access due to copyright and other restrictions. Teachers participating in the Teaching American History in Maryland program with a valid University of Maryland (UMBC) Library card can access these materials through ResearchPort.

Credits

Teaching American History in Maryland is a collaborative partnership of the Maryland State Archives and the Center for History Education (CHE), University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), and the following sponsoring school systems: Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Baltimore City Public School System, Baltimore County Public Schools, and Howard County Public Schools.

Other program partners include the Martha Ross Center for Oral History, Maryland Historical Society, State Library Resource Center/Enoch Pratt Free Library, with assistance from the National Archives and Records Administration and the Library of Congress. The program is funded through grants from the U.S. Department of Education.

This document packet was researched and developed by Traci Siegler.

From Segregation to Integration

The Donald Murray Case, 1935-1937

Maryland State Archives
350 Rowe Boulevard
Annapolis, MD 21401

Introduction

Donald Gaines Murray was the subject of the court case University v. Murray, 169 Md. 478 (1936).  In 1936, Murray petitioned for a writ of mandamus ordering that he be admitted to the segregated University of Maryland School of Law.  Thurgood Marshall, Murray’s lawyer, argued that Murray was denied “separate but equal” treatment because he was denied access to an accredited local law school.  Court of Appeals Judge Carroll T. Bond ruled that, in order to accommodate Plessy v. Ferguson, Murray could attend the institution but he had to remain separated from white students.  Marshall, who sought to undermine segregation on the level on higher education, later helped ban racial segregation in public schools by arguing in Brown v. Topeka Board of Education (1954) that “separate but equal” was an impossible principle to realize.

SOURCE: Archives of Maryland (Biographical Series) Donald Gaines Murray, MSA SC 3520-12494

National History Standards

Materials compiled in this document can be used by educators to fulfill the following National History Standards for Grades 5-12:

Era 8: The Great Depression and World War II (1929-1945)

STANDARD 3:  The causes and course of World War II, the character of the war at home and abroad, and its reshaping of the U.S. role in world affairs. 

Standard 3C: The student understands the effects of World War II at home. 

7-12: Evaluate how minorities organized to gain access to wartime jobs and how they confronted discrimination. [Formulate a position or course of action on an issue]

Primary Resources

  1. DESCRIPTION: Article by Africanorum
    CREATED/PUBLISHED:  May 15, 1783
    SOURCE: Maryland Gazette Collection, MSA SC 2311-18
    REPOSITORY: 
    Maryland State Archives, Documents for the Classroom Series, MSA SC 2221-11-1.
  2. DESCRIPTION: de facto and de jure segregation: Augusta and Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
    CREATED/PUBLISHED:
     1896
    SOURCE: Maryland State Archives, Documents for the Classroom Series, MSA SC 2221-11-18.
  3. DESCRIPTION: Photograph of Donald Gaines Murray from his 1934 Amherst yearbook, Olio
    CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1934
    SOURCE: Archives and Special Collections, Amherst College Library
    REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Documents for the Classroom Series, MSA SC 2221-11-2.
  4. DESCRIPTION: Profile of Donald Gaines Murray from his 1934 Amherst yearbook, Olio
    CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1934
    SOURCE: Archives and Special Collections, Amherst College Library
    REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Documents for the Classroom Series, MSA SC 2221-11-2.
  5. DESCRIPTION: Plaintiff’s exhibit number 1 (Donald G. Murray to Dean of the Law School) 
    CREATED/PUBLISHED:  December 8, 1934
    SOURCE: BALTIMORE CITY COURT (Court Papers) MSA C 174-2-6. 
    REPOSITORY: 
    Maryland State Archives, Documents for the Classroom Series, MSA SC 2221-11-2.
  6. DESCRIPTION: Baltimore City Atlas, 1906, showing McCulloh Street and environs. MSA SC 2179-1-1, MSA SC 2221-11-3.
    CREATED/PUBLISHED:
    SOURCE:
    REPOSITORY: 
  7. DESCRIPTION: Plaintiff’s exhibit number 2 (R.A. Pearson to Donald G. Murray) 14 December 1934; petitioner’s exhibit A (admission application) n.d.; plaintiff’s exhibit number 4 (W. M. Hillegeist to Donald G. Murray) 9 February 1935; plaintiff’s exhibit number 5 (Donald G. Murray to the Board of Regents) 5 March 1935; plaintiff’s exhibit number 6 (R. A. Pearson to Donald G. Murray) 8 March 1935; petitioner’s exhibit A (postal money order) . MSA C 174-2, .
    CREATED/PUBLISHED:  1934-1945
    SOURCE: BALTIMORE CITY COURT (Court Papers) MSA C 174-2.
    REPOSITORY: 
    Maryland State Archives, Documents for the Classroom Series, MSA SC 2221-11-4
  8. DESCRIPTION:  Docket entry of Petition of Donald G. Murray for a Writ of Mandamus directed to the President, the Registrar, and the Board of Regents of the University of Maryland requiring them to accept the application of the petitioner for admission as a first year student in the Day School of the School of Law of the University of Maryland.
    CREATED/PUBLISHED:  April 18, 1935
    SOURCE: BALTIMORE CITY COURT (Petition Docket) GCL #13, 1930-1936, p. 284 [MSA T 549-10]
    REPOSITORY: 
    Maryland State Archives, Documents for the Classroom Series, MSA SC 2221-11-5
  9. DESCRIPTION: Stenographer’s Record, Donald G. Murray vs. Raymond A. Pearson, et al. 18 June 1935; plaintiff’s exhibit number 10; writ of mandamus 25 June 1935.
    CREATED/PUBLISHED:  1935
    SOURCE: BALTIMORE CITY COURT (Court Papers) [MSA C 174-2]
    REPOSITORY: 
    Maryland State Archives, Documents for the Classroom Series, MSA SC 2221-11-6
  10. DESCRIPTION: Baltimore Afro-American.
    CREATED/PUBLISHED:  Week of June 22, 1935
    SOURCE: Courtesy of the McKeldin Library, University of Maryland
    REPOSITORY: 
    Maryland State Archives, Documents for the Classroom Series, MSA SC 2221-11-7
  11. DESCRIPTION: Number 53 October Term 1935: petition to advance case for an immediate hearing 6 August 1935
    CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1935
    SOURCE: COURT OF APPEALS (Miscellaneous Papers) [MSA S 397-94]
    REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Documents for the Classroom Series, MSA SC 2221-11-8
  12. DESCRIPTION: Number 53 October Term 1935: answer to petition to advance 31 August 1935
    CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1935
    SOURCE: COURT OF APPEALS (Miscellaneous Papers) [MSA S 397-94]
    REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Documents for the Classroom Series, MSA SC 2221-11-8
  13. DESCRIPTION: Number 53 October Term 1935: opinion, filed 15 January 1936
    CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1936
    SOURCE: COURT OF APPEALS (Opinions) [MSA S 393-229]
    REPOSITORY: Maryland State Archives, Documents for the Classroom Series, MSA SC 2221-11-8
  14. DESCRIPTION: Folder labled “National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, 27th Annual Conference, Baltimore, June 30 to July 5th, 1936,” containing correspondence between Governor Harry W. Nice and Thurgood Marshall, and between Governor Nice and Mrs. Lillie M. Jackson in March 1937, with enclosures.
    CREATED/PUBLISHED:  1936-1937
    SOURCE: GOVERNOR (Subject File) #613-L-M [MSA S 1046-97]
    REPOSITORY: 
    Maryland State Archives, Documents for the Classroom Series, MSA SC 2221-11-9
  15. DESCRIPTION: Commencement announcement, University of Maryland
    CREATED/PUBLISHED: June 4, 1938
    SOURCE: SPECIAL COLLECTIONS (Thurgood Marshall Memorial Collection) MSA SC 4565
    REPOSITORY: 
    Maryland State Archives, Documents for the Classroom Series, MSA SC 2221-11-17
  16. DESCRIPTION: Esther McCready, Charles Houston, Donald Gaines Murray, and the desegregation of the University of Maryland School of Nursing
    SOURCE: Maryland State Archives, Documents for the Classroom Series, MSA SC 2221-11-16
  17. DESCRIPTION: Photograph of Thurgood Marshall
    CREATED/PUBLISHED:  ca. 1989
    SOURCE: SPECIAL COLLECTIONS (Thurgood Marshall Research Collection) National Geographic Society photograph. MSA SC 2219-1
    REPOSITORY: 
    Maryland State Archives, Documents for the Classroom Series, MSA SC 2221-11-10

Additional Media Resources

Thurgood Marshall: Reference Materials prepared for the Consideration of the Commission on the Thurgood Marshall Memorial Statue in Annapolis

The Thurgood Marshall Memorial, State House Square, State Circle, Annapolis, Maryland

“Frustrations that Overcame Marshall” by Denton L. Watson, Baltimore Sun, 1 July 1991, MSA SC 2221-11-15.

“The Most Important Lawyer of the 20th Century” by Garland L. Thompson, Baltimore Sun, 30 June 1991, MSA SC 2221-11-14.

Baltimore Sun, obituary of Floyd McKissick, 30 April 1991, MSA SC 2221-11-13.

“Victory in Baltimore” Clarence Mitchell Jr. and the Struggle for Civil Rights by Denton L. Watson, Baltimore Sun, 20 June 1990; and letter to the editor re Denton Watson’s article, Baltimore Sun, 6 July 1990, MSA SC 2221-11-12.

Baltimore Sun, obituary of Donald Gaines Murray, 10 April 1986, MSA SC 2221-11-11.

Selected Chronology

The United States Constitution and Individual Civil Rights

1776– Declaration of Independence
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, …

1783, May 15Vox Africanorum in the Maryland Gazette (Annapolis)
We have lately beheld, with anxious concern, your infant struggles in the glorious cause of liberty — We attended to your solemn declaration of rights of mankind — to your appeals, for the rectitude of your principles, to the Almighty, who regards men of every condition, and admits them to a participation of his benefits — We admired your wisdom, justice, piety, and fortitude.

Though our bodies differ in colour from yours; yet our souls are similar in a desire for freedom. Disparity in colour, we conceive, can never constitute a disparity in rights. Reason is shocked at the absurdity! Humanity revolts at the idea!

1788, May 16Othello in the Maryland Journal and Baltimore Advertiser:
SLAVERY, unquestionably, should be abolished, particularly in this country; because it is inconsistent with the declared principles of the American Revolution. … This is the least we can do, in order to evince our sense of the irreparable outrages we have committed, to wipe off the odium we have incurred, and to give mankind a confidence again, in the justice, liberality, and honour, of our national proceedings.

1791, December 15– the first ten Amendments (Bill of Rights) to the U.S. Constitution are declared officially ratified.

1802– Universal white manhood suffrage adopted by Maryland. Free Blacks excluded from voting.

1833Barron v. Baltimore. Opinion written by Chief Justice John Marshall: amendments to the Constitution do not protect individuals from actions taken by the respective states or local jurisdictions.

1857Dred Scott v. Sandford (not fully overturned until 1954-1955). Opinion written by Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney of Maryland: the negro had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.

1864– Slavery abolished in Maryland with the adoption of a new State Constitution.

1865– 13th Amendment abolishes slavery.

1868– 14th Amendment calls for due process for all.

1870– 15th Amendment extends voting rights to black men, naturalized males of age.
The initial review of the 13th through the 15th Amendments by the Supreme Court left interpretation and enforcement largely to the states.

1883U. S. v. Singleton (Civil Rights Cases). left enforcement of civil rights to the states, but a vigorous dissent was written by Justice John Marshall Harlan, using (according to tradition) Roger Brooke Taney’s inkwell.

1896Plessy v. Ferguson (overruled in Gale v. Browder, 1956). Established separate but equal doctrine in civil rights; dissent by Justice John Marshall Harlan.

1908Berea College v. Kentucky. States could order segregation in private colleges; dissent by Justice John Marshall Harlan.

1915– Voting rights cases decided by the Supreme Court including Meyers v Anderson in which the voting rights of a black Civil War veteran from Annapolis, Maryland were reinstated. In 1908, the Maryland Legislature passed a new City Code for Annapolis that denied blacks the right to vote if they had less than $500 worth of property or if a parent, grandparent, or direct ancestor was not permitted to vote before 1868 (known as a grandfather clause). The Supreme Court found this and other similar laws contrary to the provisions of the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, but left the door open for other kinds of restrictions such as those based upon literacy tests and the nonpayment of poll taxes.

1920– 19th Amendment grants women the right to vote.

1935-1936– [Maryland Courts] Murray v. Pearson. Court orders integration of the University of Maryland Law School.

1936-1937– NAACP fails in its attempt (with Thurgood Marshall as counsel) to integrate Catonsville High School in Baltimore County, Maryland. NAACP successful in obtaining equal pay for black teachers in segregated schools in Calvert County, Maryland. State of Maryland greatly increases funding to black colleges in Maryland and to scholarships for blacks. NAACP successful in preventing an amendment to the Black Scholarship Fund that would have required recipients to attend out-of-state colleges.

1954-1955Brown v. Board of Education (2 cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court). Court ordered integration of secondary public schools and, on matters of individual rights, the Court adopted as its majority opinion that the Bill of Rights does apply to individuals in disputes between individuals and their state and/or local government, and that enforcement of those rights can be a federal matter.

1964– 24th Amendment abolishes poll taxes as a means of preventing participation in federal elections.

1971– 26th Amendment gives 18 year-olds the right to vote.

Additional Instructional Resources

Resources on Incorporating Primary Sources and Historic Sites in Classroom Instruction

The Learning Page: Lessons by Themes, Topics, Disciplines or Eras

Secondary Resources

    • Bland, Randal W.

Private Pressure on Public Law: The Legal Career of Justice Thurgood Marshall.

    • New York: Associated Faculty Press, 1973.

Elwood, William A., Producer/Director. The Road to Brown. San Francisco: California Newsreel, 1990. 47 minutes.

Kuebler, Edward J. “Desegregation of the University of Maryland,” Maryland Historical Magazine, vol. 71, no. 1, pp. 37-49.

Kluger, Richard. Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America’s Struggle for Equality. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1975.

Marshall, Thurgood. “Court Action as a Means of Achieving Racial Integration in Education:  An Evaluation of Recent Efforts to Achieve Racial Integration in Education Through Resort to the Courts.” The Journal of Negro Education, Vol. 21, No. 3, The Courts and Racial Integration in Education. (Summer, 1952), pp. 316-327.

Riggs, Marlon, Producer/Director. Ethnic Notions. San Francisco: Resolution Inc./California Newsreel, 1987. 56 minutes.

Rowan, Carl Thomas. Dream Makers, Dream Breakers: The World of Justice Thurgood Marshall. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1993.

Shnayerson, Robert. The Illustrated History of the Supreme Court of the United States. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1986.

Watson, Denton L. Lion in the Lobby. Clarence Mitchell, Jr.’s Struggle for the Passage of Civil Rights Laws. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1990.

    • Weaver, Bill and Oscar C. Page. “

The Black Press and the Drive for Integrated Graduate and Professional Schools

Phylon (1960-)

    , Vol. 43, No. 1. (1st Qtr., 1982), pp. 15-28. [Password required]

Associated Heritage Sites and Preservation Organizations

  • The Thurgood Marshall Memorial on Lawyers’ Mall in AnnapolisIn 1996, the State of Maryland erected a monument to Thurgood Marshall in Annapolis near the site of the old Court of Appeals building where he argued the Murray case in 1935. Notice how the statue depicts a younger Marshall than often seen in photographs or other monuments which show Marshall later in his career, as a Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Murray’s client Esther McCready, for whom Murray and co-counsel Charles H. Houston won admission to the University of Maryland School of Nursing in 1950, attended the dedication ceremony. The Archives presented historical materials on the career of Marshall in preparation for the opening of the memorial.
  • Clarence Mitchell Courthouse
    111 N. Calvert St.
    Baltimore, MDThurgood Marshall argued the Murray case in this historic building, since renamed for one of Maryland’s most prominent African-American lawyers. Mitchell was renown for his civil rights legal efforts.
  • 1522 McCullough St.
    Baltimore, MDThe Murray family townhouse still stands, but is not known or marked as the home of a pivotal character in the history of desegregation in Maryland.
  • University of Maryland
    Corner of Lombard and Greene Streets
    Baltimore, MDThe building which now houses the School of Nursing served as the law school in the 1930s.

Credits

The Archives of Maryland Documents for the Classroom series of the Maryland State Archives was designed and developed by Dr. Edward C. Papenfuse and Dr. M. Mercer Neale and was prepared with the assistance of R. J. Rockefeller, Lynne MacAdam, Leigh Bond, Matt Brown, Laura Lisy, and other members of the Archives staff. MSA SC 2221-11. Publication no. 1844.

The Cambridge Riots of 1963 and 1967

Introduction

H. Rap Brown and the Cambridge RiotsIn the early 1960s, the pattern of peaceful sit-ins to protest unequal public accommodations and racial discrimination began to shift toward angrier and more violent protests. Cambridge resident Gloria Richardson, a recent Howard graduate, quickly became a local leader advocating more militant boycotts and sit-ins. While peaceful protests were generally tolerated as long as they did not impede access to buildings and accommodations, the transformation towards more aggressive protesting resulted in police action and arrests. In June 1963, Cambridge Mayor Calvin Mawbray asked Richardson to stop the demonstrations in exchange for end to the arrests of protestors, but Richardson angrily refused. On June 11, 1963, the town erupted into violent rioting after black youths began throw rocks at white-owned businesses. After shooting broke out between the opposing elements, Governor Tawes declared martial law and troops arrived in Cambridge to restore order.

When talks between Richardson and state officials broke down, U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy negotiated a deal that would provide immediate equal access for blacks in public accommodations in Cambridge in return to a one-year moratorium on demonstrations. Although Kennedy thought Richardson had accepted the deal, Richardson publicly announced the civil rights gains achieved while denying that she had made any promises to end the demonstrations.  In response, Governor Tawes dispatched additional troops to Cambridge. An open accommodation amendment to the city charter failed to pass, but the passage of state and federal laws brought the issue to a close.

Throughout the country, militant rioting and demonstrations continued. On July 24, 1967, the National State Rights Party held a rally in Cambridge during which H. Rap Brown delivered a now famous speech advocating increased violence and unrest:

Ain’t no need in the world for me to come to Cambridge and I see all them stores sitting up there and all them honkies owns them. You got to own some of them stores. I don’t care if you have to burn him down and run him out. You’d better take over them stores. The streets are your. Take ’em. They gave you the streets a long time ago; before they gave you houses. Then gave you the streets. So, we own the streets. Take ’em…. 

Immediately after Brown left town, fires broke out in the black wards of Cambridge. White firemen refused to enter the area without police protection. Black leaders appealed for help, but in the end, two blocks of the black district burned to the ground. The militant movement in Cambridge was crushed and Richardson left town. In September, H. Rap Brown was indicted for arson and inciting a riot. Brown jumped bail and continued the movement underground, but was captured in 1971 after a shoot-out with police in New York.

National History Standards

Materials compiled in this document can be used by educators to fulfill the following National History Standards for Grades 5-12:

Era 9: Postwar United States (1945 to early 1970s)

STANDARD 4: The struggle for racial and gender equality and for the extension of civil liberties. 

Standard 4A: The student understands the “Second Reconstruction” and its advancement of civil rights.

9-12: Assess the reasons for and effectiveness of the escalation from civil disobedience to more radical protest in the civil rights movement. [Marshal evidence of antecedent circumstances]

Primary Resources

  1. SPECIAL COLLECTIONS (Maryland State Archives Map Collection) Map of Cambridge, ca. 1960. Highways of Dorchester County, Maryland Department of Transportation. MSA SC 1427-215, MSA SC 2221-12-16.

  2. A collation of transcripts of a speech given by H. Rap Brown on 24 July 1967 in Cambridge Maryland, by Lawrence Peskin and Dawn Almes, and a recording of part of the speech provided by Wayne E. Page, MSA SC 2221-12-8.

  3. DORCHESTER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT (Criminal Papers) #2116 Maryland vs. H. Rap Brown, September 1967, MSA T 2091. The Annotated Code of the Public General Laws of Maryland Horace E. Flack, ed., Vol 1, Sec. 7, Art. 27 (Baltimore: King Bros. Inc., 1952). ATTORNEY GENERAL (Criminal Investigation Papers) #1028, 1968, transcript of reports concerning H. Rap Brown’s speech, MSA T 2094, MSA SC 2221-12-12.

  4. Early newspaper accounts relating to the arrest of H. Rap Brown, MSA SC 2520, MSA SC 2221-12-35.

  5. Excerpts from Die Nigger Die! by H. Rap Brown (New York: Dial Press, 1969), MSA SC 2221-12-13.

  6. Excerpts from the Addresses and State Papers of Spiro T. Agnew (Annapolis: State of Maryland, 1975), MSA SC 2221-12-6.

  7. GOVERNOR (General File) Letters to and from Delegate Aris Allen in 1968 concerning Governor Agnew’s remarks to the African American leadership in Baltimore, 11 April 1968. MSA S 1041-1713, MSA SC 2221-12-15.

Secondary Resources

Brugger, Robert. “Land of Pleasant Living” In Maryland: A Middle Temperament. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press in association with the Maryland Historical Society, 1988.

Callcott, George. “The Black Revolution” In Maryland & America 1940-1980. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press , 1985.

Foeman, Anita K. “Gloria Richardson: Breaking the Mold” Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 26, No. 5, Special Issue: The Voices of African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement. (May, 1996), pp. 604-615.

Levy, Peter B. Civil War on Race Street: The Civil Rights Movement in Cambridge, Maryland. University Press of Florida, 2003.

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Credits

Teaching American History in Maryland is a collaborative partnership of the Maryland State Archives and the Center for History Education (CHE), University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), and the following sponsoring school systems: Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Baltimore City Public School System, Baltimore County Public Schools, and Howard County Public Schools.

Other program partners include the Martha Ross Center for Oral History, Maryland Historical Society, State Library Resource Center/Enoch Pratt Free Library, with assistance from the National Archives and Records Administration and the Library of Congress. The program is funded through grants from the U.S. Department of Education.

The Archives of Maryland Documents for the Classroom series of the Maryland State Archives was designed and developed by Dr. Edward C. Papenfuse and Dr. M. Mercer Neale and was prepared with the assistance of R. J. Rockefeller, Lynne MacAdam and other members of the Archives staff. MSA SC 2221-12. Publication no. 2395.