Mansfield Media Coverage, 1956

The front page of The Mansfield News, dated August 30, 1956, recorded the indignation expressed by the predominantly white community to the mandatory court order on school integration. The article referenced an effigy "swaying realistically" from the school flagpole along with a “very artfully decorated” car at the scene.


On September 6, 1956 an article came out titled "The Truth Has No Substitute." The article says that the students were not the instigators they were being used as a tool for promotion. The African American children would be the ones humiliated. The article gives an overview of why Mansfield is the test case of Civil Rights and the integration movement.


The letter from a reader is an opinion consistent with the time period when many Texans thought the Supreme Court in ruling on integration overstepped its bounds with regard to states’ rights. In 1956 more Texans opposed integration than at the time of the unanimous court ruling on Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 (see footnote below). The letter writer also referenced the ‘influence of a communist plot.” Many within the state held a view that the communists influenced both the Supreme Court and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In late 1955 the chairman of the Associated Citizens’ Council of Texas asked Texas Attorney General John Ben Shepperd to investigate the “communist influences” of the NAACP (see footnote below).

Bibliography: Robyn Duff Ladino, Desegregating Texas Schools: Eisenhower, Shivers, and the Crisis at Mansfield High (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1996), 40, 46, 41