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Monday - Friday:
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Other times by appointment

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The Special Collections is located on the east side of the Library at the front of the 3rd floor.

Contact Information

Patricia W. & J. Douglas Perry Library
Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0256
telephone (757) 683-4483
fax (757) 683-5954

 

THE PAPERS OF MARGARET WHITE

BIOGRAPHY

Margaret E. White was born in Norfolk, Virginia on February 22, 1908. She graduated from Hollins College in 1930 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. After graduation, Miss White was employed by the Norfolk School System, teaching history at Blair Junior High from 1930 to 1934. After leaving that position for the commercial world for a couple of years, Miss White resumed her position at Blair Junior High School from 1936 to 1945.

From 1945 through 1946, Miss White became Program Director of the American Red Cross in South Korea, where she supervised the recreational activities for the United States Army. In 1947, she returned to a career in education at Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington, D.C., teaching science and math. After only one year in Washington, Miss White returned to Norfolk in 1948. She again was employed by the Norfolk School System, teaching history at Granby High School from 1948-1965. It was during this period that Miss White became involved in the struggle to reopen the public schools of Norfolk, during the integration crisis of 1958-1960.

Miss White's efforts to reopen the schools in Norfolk, were recorded on a CBS television documentary, "The Lost Class of '59." There is substantial evidence in her papers of the support of many people throughout the nation in her valiant struggle to maintain educational standards for all students of all races.

In 1965, Miss White became Director of Public Relations for "Operation Headstart" while working for the Southeast Tidewater Opportunity Program. This was a federally funded program to assist in the education and employment of the poor minorities of the United States. In 1971, she worked for the Goodwill Industries. During 1976, Miss White worked with the Norfolk Bicentennial Committee.

Margaret White is now living in a retirement home for Senior Citizens in Richmond, Virginia. Miss White's philosophy in regard to public education and her humanitarian activities can be summarized by her own comments:

"World history must not be neglected: without a world view how can we comprehend the nationalism of Asia, the Middle East, and Africa? Everywhere the oppressed people are rising up and making their declarations of independence. Students need to be taught a respect for the accomplishments of other races, cultures and civilizations before the United States can truly lead the world -- a world which has no hope unless it finds peace among dissimilarities. There are values besides facts that concern teachers who deserve the title: the value of respect for law and order, the respect for the dignity of mankind, the appreciation of individual differences and the realization that hate reaps evil. No, it is not riches, nor is it prestige which makes us teach. It is the conviction that in men there is a potential which can, through education, tolerance, and understanding, build a better world. The hope of this teacher is that a strong voice of moderation will speak out to open our public schools, so we may -- each in his own way, TEACH. "

Margaret E. White, "We hope that every Teacher may Teach," Virginian Pilot, Sec. 1., September 17, 1958, p.12.

SCOPE AND CONTENTS

The Margaret White papers date from 1953 to 1976 and includes correspondence, lists, and printed materials. The bulk of the collection dates from 1959-1964 relating directly to a television documentary produced by CBS. The program, "The Lost Class of '59," deals with the problem of integration and the closing of public schools in Norfolk, Virginia.

Series I consists of correspondence. Correspondence constitutes the majority of the materials in the Margaret White collection. Correspondence is arranged in chronological order by month and year. Letters, telegrams, and post cards are included in this series.

Series II is a list of resources for the Norfolk Bicentennial Commission that Margaret White was involved in 1976.

Series III is printed material which is arranged into subseries in the following manner: Subseries A -- Newspaper clippings; Subseries B -Periodicals; Subseries C -- Annual Reports; Subseries D -- Flyers- Within each subseries, the materials are arranged chronologically.

ACCESS

Open to researchers without restrictions. Questions on copyright should be directed to the Special Collections Librarian.

SIZE

One Hollinger Documents Case

COLLECTION NUMBER

MG - 20

CONTAINER LISTING

Box 1

Series I - CORRESPONDENCE

Folder 1 January, 1959
Folder 2 February - March, 1959
Folder 3 March - November, 1960
Folder 4 December, 1961
Folder 5 October 19 - October 25, 1962
Folder 6 October 26 - October 31, 1962
Folder 7 November - December, 1962
Folder 8 May 1963 - February 1964
Folder 9 Undated

Series II - LISTS

Folder 10 Norfolk Bicentennial Commission - Catalogue Resource Materials Committee

Series III - PRINTED MATERIALS: Subseries A-D

Subseries A: NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS

Folder 11 September 17, 1958 - October 21, 1962
Folder 12 Undated

Subseries B: PERIODICALS

Folder 13 October, 1958 - January 4, 1959

Subseries C: ANNUAL REPORTS

Folder 14 Norfolk Hospitality Committee for 1952 International Guests

Subseries D: FLYERS

Folder 15 "Vote for Public Schools"

Revised: 7/11/08