Civil Rights Pioneers
Oswald Garrison Villard and Daisy Bates
Issue Date: February 21, 2009
City: New York, NY
Printed By: Avery Dennison
Printing Method: Photogravure
Perforations: Serpentine die cut 10 ¾
The grandson of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, Oswald Garrison Villard (1872-1949) inherited the New York Evening Post and The Nation upon the death of his father. A life-long crusader, Villard wrote a series of articles that raised public awareness of social injustice.
Outraged by the brutality of the 1908 race riots, Villard used his newspapers to call for a national conference on the civil and political rights of African Americans. Scheduled to coincide with the centennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, the meeting led to the establishment of the NAACP in 1909.
Two years after Brown v. Board of Education declared school segregation illegal, Little Rock Central High School refused to allow African American students. Using her home as the group’s headquarters, Daisy Bates (1914-99) led nine African American students in their quest to integrate the school.
Rocks shattered the window of the Bates home during the month-long standoff, with a note that read, “Stone this time. Dynamite next.” Ignoring threats to her safety, Bates refused to back down. After several tense weeks, President Eisenhower ordered police and military escorts for the students. Facing an angry crowd of over 1,000 segregationists, the “Little Rock Nine” finally integrated Little Rock Central on September 25, 1957.