Early school surveys by the Department of Education

1923- Duluth School

“The building was so inadequate and over-crowded that no inspection was made and no attempt at educational measurements could be made on account of the crowded condition.” – From M.L. Duggan’s survey of Gwinnett County schools, 1923.

In preparing for updates for the Minimum Foundation Program in the 1950s, nearly all Georgia school systems prepared a survey of school needs. These alerted the systems, citizens and state as to the deficiencies within the schools.

The surveys were a massive undertaking and it took more than a decade for all the associated building projects to be completed.

These were not the first surveys ever to be done. Nearly 40 years earlier, a series of them were done by Mell L. Duggan, Georgia’s Rural School Agent.

Starting with Rabun County in 1914, for the next 10 years, Duggan was essentially a one-man crusade visiting schools and making suggestions as to how rural counties could improve the education of their children.

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Chartering the ‘State of Dade’

Dade County is about as far out of Georgia as you can get in Georgia.


Dade County, 1864. From Lloyd’s Topographical Map of Georgia and GeorgiaInfo.

Mountains all but isolate it from anywhere else in the state. In the days of segregation, its black school, Hooker, was too small to support a high school. Instead of going somewhere else in Georgia, it was easiest to transport these children to Howard High of Chattanooga, Tenn.

When Dade High’s gym burned in 1951, it perhaps became the only Georgia school to play home games in another state, as the school booked the gym at John A. Patten School, located near Chattanooga, to use until a new facility could be built in Trenton.

Dade County is sometimes referred to as the “State of Dade” or “Independent State of Dade.”

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Eugene Cook’s high school football segregation fit

Most basic American history books point to a handful of big cases involving the rights of African-Americans.

There’s the Dred Scott decision. Voting rights established in the Constitution and the couple of Supreme Court cases where you can actually remember both sides: Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) and Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kan. (1954).

Plessy v. Ferguson is commonly attributed as being the court case that established “separate but equal.” The latter, the Brown case, is supposed to have ended segregation entirely.

Of course, history is not as plain as that or as easy to enforce.

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