Interview with James Bash
QUESTION 15
INTERVIEWER:

WHY DO YOU THINK IT WAS IN FACT THAT VIRGINIA WAS SUCH A LEADER ON THIS RESISTANCE? THIS IS ACROSS THIS PERIOD, FOUR, FIVE YEARS, GENERALLY, VIRGINIA GIVES THE NAME MASSIVE RESISTANCE TO IT. WRITES LAWS...WAS A DETERMINED OPPONENT OF THE BROWN DECISION. WAS THERE SOMETHING IN VIRGINIA'S HISTORY THAT WOULD MAKE SENSE OF THIS?

James Bash:

Well, I would assume that you have the possible reference to the Bird Machine, the Bird Organization, it's called the Bird machine. I suppose a lot of people would just call it good organization so far as a political process was concerned. But there is no question about it that there was considerable dependence on the political leaders of the time to help Farmville, Frontroyal, Norfolk City, a great number of places in the state which were faced eventually with the school desegregation problems. And there were schools that were closed all over the state as a result of the legislative enacted—what is popularly called Massive Resistance legislation. But I think that eventually when they had run the gamut of litigation it was Governor Almond who said that, well we've got to, we've gone as far as we can go, we now need to turn the ship around and go in another direction. We've taken it as far as we can go and, and as a result, by the way, his, he was not looked upon with favor subsequent to that decision of his own, with the political powers in the state at that time.