Series 4
HOPE (Help Our Public Education) records, 1959-1961
Boxes 7-8

Scope and Content Note

Series 4 documents Frances Pauley's work with HOPE (Help Our Public Education) Inc., a non-profit organization of volunteers set up to preserve free public education in Georgia. The overriding goal of HOPE was to keep public schools open in the face of state laws and public opinion that decried the notion of "race-mixing." To avoid divisiveness, HOPE refrained from debating the pros or cons of desegregation, focusing its attention instead on the vital, but less controversial, topics of education and economics. HOPE was affiliated with the Southern Regional Council (SRC) and with many religious, civic and fraternal organizations.

HOPE was chartered in 1958 after a desegregation suit was filed in Atlanta. At that time there were state laws on the books to close any public school in Georgia that was desegregated, and it appeared likely that all public schools in the state might eventually close because of the conflict between state and federal laws. To inform the public of this threat, HOPE publicized the situation through the creation of local chapters, conferences, meetings, and newsletters.

The 1960 legislature created a School Study Commission to be chaired by banker John Sibley (see related collection: The John Sibley papers). Following the publication of the Sibley Commission report in May 1960, HOPE sponsored an Open School Conference to crystallize statewide reaction to the report. In 1961, HOPE saw the legislature and governor as possible obstacles to compliance with federal law. In place at the state level were "massive resistance" laws of the type that had been disastrous in Virginia, Louisiana and Arkansas. To influence the governor and legislature to repeal the "massive resistance" laws, HOPE laid the groundwork for "Operation Last Chance."

A special session of the legislature was called. In addressing the session, Governor Vandiver admitted that the state's school closing laws had "become an albatross" and recommended repealing "massive resistance" laws. The legislature concurred, thus achieving HOPE's major goal.

Using her vast network of friends and acquaintances across Georgia, Frances Pauley was highly effective as chair of the state organizing committee for HOPE. Pauley traveled widely to initiate and guide HOPE satellite groups created in Albany, Athens, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Rome, Savannah, and many smaller communities. By July 1959, eight months after its founding, HOPE had the largest membership of any organization in the state. The group received much local and national publicity, including the WSB (Atlanta) radio broadcast, "Open Mike," conducted by Aubrey Morris, the week of 5 January 1960; an article in Time, 16 March 1959, and an Edward R. Murrow telecast entitled, "Who Speaks for the South?." The collection includes correspondence, organizing strategies, policy statements, minutes, reports, conference proceedings, transcripts of hearings, agendas, newsletters, mass mailings, lists of participants, memorabilia, printed matter, and clippings.

Prominent people affiliated with HOPE and represented in this series include: John Bertrand (pres., Berry Schools), Ruth Boozer, Helen Bullard, Leslie Dunbar, William B. Hartsfield, Muriel Lokey, Hamilton Lokey, Ralph McGill, Mackay, Congressman Erwin Mitchell, Eliza Paschall, Rabbi Jacob M. Rothschild, Alice W. Stancil, Judson C. Ward, Charles Longstreet Weltner. For more information on HOPE and the school closing dilemma, see Donald Ross Green's If The Schools Are Closed (XE368.G738.I3).

Box Folder Content
7 1 Organizing strategies, 1959, and no date
7 2 Policy statements and objectives, 1959
7 3 Bylaws, no date
7 4 Minutes, 1959-1961, and no date
7 5 Correspondence, 1959 January-June
7 6 Correspondence, 1959 July-December
7 7 Correspondence, 1960
7 8 Correspondence, 1961, and no date
7 9 Meeting activity report, 20 August 1959
7 10 Progress report, no date
7 11 Officers: lists, 1960, and no date
7 12 Open schools campaign: Planning strategies, no date
7 13 Open schools campaign: Proposed legislation, 1959, and no date
7 14 Open schools campaign: Official statements, 1959-1961
7 15 Open schools campaign: Operation Last Chance, no date
7 16 Open schools campaign: New Orleans (Save Our Schools): House bills, 1960
7 17 Open schools campaign: Notes, no date
7 18 Georgia Open School Conference, 14 May 1960: Planning notes, no date
7 19 Georgia Open School Conference, 14 May 1960: Correspondence, 1960 April - May
7 20 Georgia Open School Conference, 14 May 1960: Press release, 9 May 1960
7 21 Georgia Open School Conference, 14 May 1960: Workshop reports, no date
7 22 Georgia Open School Conference, 14 May 1960: Financial report, no date
7 23 Georgia Open School Conference, 14 May 1960: Final report, no date
7 24 Georgia Open School Conference, 14 May 1960: Programs, no date
7 25 Georgia Open School Conference, 14 May 1960: Brochures, no date
7 26 Georgia Open School Conference, 14 May 1960: Dinkler Plaza Hotel, floor plan
7 27 Georgia School Study Commission: Hearings, 1960
8 1 Newsletters: The HOPE-ful Outlook, 1959-1960; HOPE Bulletin, no date; HOPE Newsletter, no date
8 2 Mailings, 1959-1960, and no date
8 3 Mailing list, 1959, and no date
8 4 Price list for HOPE Materials, no date
8 5 Articles, 1956-1959, and no date
8 6 Clippings: 1957, 1959
8 7 Clippings: 1960, and no date
8 8 Conferences: Non-HOPE, 1959-1960, and no date
8 9 Printed material, 1959-1961, and no date
8 10 Collected material: Addresses, 1957-1958, 1960
8 11 Memorabilia: Badges