Desegregation in New Orleans
Despite the Supreme Court’s decision ordering school districts to integrate public schools, many areas in the South were still segregated in the early 1960s. New Orleans, for example, erupted in violence in 1960 when the school board decided to stop challenging the federal order to integrate its schools. In the fall of that year, when schools were integrating students from the Ninth Ward, one of the poorest sections of the city, riots broke out over the integration of the four African American girls into the previously all-white school. In protest, white parents pulled their children from public schools and transferred them into private schools. This event garnered national attention, causing backlash against the segregationists from across the country. The governor eventually sent in the National Guard, but the damage had already been done. Public opinion over the situation in New Orleans was negative, and the New Orleans school district did not integrate until 1964.