H. R. 2695
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
June 13, 2007
Mr. Wamp (for himself and Mr. Lewis of Georgia) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources
To direct the Secretary of the Interior to study the suitability and feasibility of designating Green McAdoo School in Clinton, Tennessee as a unit of the National Park System, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Green McAdoo School National Historic
Site Study Act of 2007.
Congress finds as follows:
The formerly segregated all-black Green McAdoo School and all-white Clinton High School, both located in Clinton, Tennessee, played a vital role in the school desegregation crisis that preceded and followed the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954.
Green McAdoo School opened as the Clinton Colored School in 1935 and was renamed in 1947 to honor Green McAdoo, a buffalo soldier who once owned the land upon which it was built.
In 1950, the parents of 5 Clinton, Tennessee, children filed a lawsuit to gain entrance into Clinton High School. At the time, Tennessee and Anderson County law required the segregation of secondary schools. The case became known as McSwain v. Anderson County.
The case was dismissed by the Federal
District Court under the
separate but equal doctrine; the case
was appealed by the parents, but suspended pending a Supreme Court ruling in
Brown v. Board of Education.
Following the Supreme Court’s decision in
Brown v. Board of Education which abolished the
equal doctrine, the Federal District Court in Tennessee issued an order
on January 4, 1956, requiring desegregation of Anderson County schools no later
than the fall term, 1956.
On August 25, 1956, 12 students from Green McAdoo School met at the school before walking together to the all-white Clinton High School to become the first African-American students to effect the integration of a southern, state operated school.
On September 1, 1956, Clinton, Tennessee became the first southern town to be occupied by National Guard troops in an effort to quell violence sparked by protestors from all over the United States who were opposed to school integration.
In 1957, Bobby Cain, a former Green McAdoo student, became the first African-American to earn a diploma from an integrated school following the Brown v. Board of Education ruling.
In 1958, the newly integrated Clinton High School was destroyed by dynamite that most assumed was placed by segregationists. The community had the students back in school in four days at an abandoned elementary in neighboring Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Anderson County rebuilt Clinton High School and it and Green McAdoo School are the only remaining schools associated with the Clinton desegregation crisis.
The Secretary of the Interior shall conduct a study of the site of Green McAdoo School in Clinton, Tennessee, to evaluate the national significance, suitability, and feasibility of designating the site as a unit of the National Park System.
In conducting the study authorized by this Act, the Secretary shall use the criteria for the study of areas for potential inclusion in the National Park System contained in section 8 of Public Law 91–383 (16 U.S.C. 1a–5).
The study authorized by this Act shall—
determine the suitability and feasibility of designating the site as a unit of the National Park System;
include cost estimates for any necessary acquisition, development, operation, and maintenance of the site; and
identify alternatives for the management, administration, and protection of the area.
Not later than 3 years after the date on which funds are made available for the study, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate a report on the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the study.