McDonogh NO. 19 Elementary School Marker
In September of 1952, Thurgood Marshall, Robert Carter of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and legendary New Orleans attorney A.P. Tureaud, initiated a suit calling for the end of the segregated school system in Orleans Parish.
On November 14th, 1960, four six-year-old girls bravely entered McDonogh #19 and William Frantz elementary schools despite year-long daily protests and threats from segregationists. Their story marked New Orleans’ dramatic entrance into the modern Civil Rights Movement and captivated the nation in 1960.
On November 14, 2010, Leona Tate, Gail Etienne Stripling, and Tessie Prevost unveiled a historical marker to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of public schools in New Orleans. The event took place on Sunday, November 14 at 9A.M. – the exact time the children were escorted by federal marshals into their schools — on the neutral ground in front of McDonogh #19 (5909 St. Claude Avenue in the Lower Ninth Ward).
The event featured appearances by AP Tureaud Jr., Justice Bernette Johnson, Dr. Raphael Cassimere and Damon T. Hewitt of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and music by Mrs. Karen B. Favorite. The US Marshals who escorted the girls into the school were also in attendance.
The Plessy & Ferguson Foundation, The Crescent City Peace Alliance, The Leona Tate Foundation for Change and the Institute for Civil Rights and Social Justice sponsored the plaque and the event.