Racial Tension

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100th Anniversary

Louis L. Redding’s 1954 telegram to Governor Boggs reflects the turmoil that enveloped the town of Milford when it attempted to desegregate the high school.

Racial Tension


Louis L. Redding was the first African American lawyer in Delaware being admitted to the bar in 1929. In 1952, Redding prevailed in two cases that compelled the desegregation of two school districts in New Castle County. Those proceedings were among the six cases of the landmark decision in 1954; Brown vs. Board of Education, which said segregation in public schools, violated the 14th Amendment. Eleven African American teenagers choose to attend Milford High School in 1954 which at that time was all white. Many citizens were outraged and seventy percent of the student population boycotted school in September of that year. Many religious groups urged their parishioners not to boycott the school, but to uphold the law and work for integration.

This document is found in the Governor’s Papers which contain records that were generated by the Governor’s Office. Included in this collection are correspondence, various reports, press releases, meeting minutes, invitations, governors’ messages, photographs and publications of the Governors since 1874. The papers from previous Governors are found in the Executive Papers.