Our History

1896
1896

Plessy v. Ferguson

US Supreme Court decision Plessy v. Ferguson established the “separate but equal” doctrine.

Plessy v. Ferguson

1939
1939

Construction

Moton School built to hold 180 students.

1940
1940

Growth

Enrollment grows to over 450; “tar-paper shacks” built. Moton PTA petitions for new high school.

1951
1951

Student Strike

Moton students strike to protest conditions. First lawsuit filed, Davis v. County School Board, calling for an end to segregated education. 

1953
1953

New Moton High School Built

New Moton High School built for black students. Old building becomes Mary E. Branch Elementary.

Moton High School Auditorium
Credit: National Archives
1954
1954

Brown v. Board of Education Decision

Davis case decided in Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, which declares segregated education unconstitutional.

Farmville School Rally

1955
1955

Brown II Ruling

Supreme Court rules in Brown II that public school desegregation should occur “with all deliberate speed.”

 

1959
1959

Public Schools Close

Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors votes to close public schools rather than desegregate them.

1963
1963

Free Schools Open

Prince Edward Free Schools open to provide free education to all children in the county.

1964
1964

Robert F. Kennedy Visits

Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy visits Prince Edward County in May 1964.

Robert Kennedy visits Farmville
Courtesy of the Farmville Herald
1964

County Schools Reopen

County schools reopen after Supreme Court ruling in Griffin v. County School Board.

1995
1995

Moton School Closes

After 56 years of service, the Moton School is closed. Martha E. Forrester Council of Women commits to lead the conversion to the Moton Museum.

1998
1998

Moton School named a National Historic Landmark

2001
2001

Moton Museum Opens

Moton Museum opens on the 50th anniversary of the student strike.

2011
2011

Children of Courage Exhibit Debuts

First phase of The Moton School Story: Children of Courage exhibition debuts on the 60th anniversary of the student strike. 

2013
2013

Children of Courage Exhibition Finished

The Moton School Story: Children of Courage permanent exhibition opens.

The Moton School Story: Children of Courage exhibit

2015
2015

Moton Museum enters partnership with Longwood University