Title

Women's Emergency Committee records, 1958-1963

Creator

Date Original

1958-1963

Description

This collection contains correspondence, membership lists, information on other organizations interested in maintaining public schools, and other material related particularly to the issues of public education, civil and voting rights, and the economic effect of the school crisis. Additionally, there are booklets, pamphlets, magazines, and newspapers concerning these important issues of the time period.

Biographical/Historical Note

The Women's Emergency Committee to Open Our Schools was formed in Little Rock, Arkansas, in September 1958. It was established in response to the closing of Little Rock's four public high schools by Governor Orval Faubus. The organization was founded by a group of women led by Adolphine Fletcher Terry, a member of a prominent Little Rock family. Mrs. Terry, Vivion Brewer, and Mrs. J.O. Powell organized the first meeting, which fifty-eight women attended. The stated purpose of the committee was to inform the people of Little Rock, and Arkansas, of the need for public education and of the price of not having public schools. After the schools were reopened in September 1959, the name was changed to the Women's Emergency Committee (WEC). The membership of the WEC eventually grew to over 1600 women. In the five years of its existence, the WEC opposed Governor Faubus and his forces on numerous occasions. The most successful confrontations for the WEC were the Little Rock School Board recall election in May 1959, in which three Faubus-supported segregationists were removed from the board, and the defeat of Amendment 52, which would have abolished the constitutional guarantee of free public schools, in November 1960. The WEC was also involved in school board and political contests through much of its history, principally the Joe Hardin-Faubus race in 1960 and the Sid McMath-Faubus race in 1962.

Physical Description

Document, 8.5" x 11"

Geographical Area

Arkansas

Language

English

Identifier

MS.000952

Resource Type

Text

Collection

Women's Emergency Committee records, MS.000952

Publisher

Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Women's Emergency Committee records, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.

Rights

Use and reproduction of images held by the Arkansas State Archives without prior written permission is prohibited. For information on reproducing images held by the Arkansas State Archives, please call 501-682-6900 or email at state.archives@arkansas.gov.

Disciplines

United States History

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