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Rename Virginia's Harry F. Byrd Highway (Rt. 7)

This petition had 30 supporters

State Route 7 (SR 7) is a major primary state highway and busy commuter route in northern Virginia. It travels southeast from downtown Winchester to SR 400 (Washington Street) in downtown Alexandria. SR 7 is part of the National Highway System. [1]

SR 7 enters the rural western part of Loudoun County as the Harry Flood Byrd Highway at Snickers Gap [2]

Harry Flood Byrd, Sr. (June 10, 1887 – October 20, 1966) of Berryville in Clarke County, Virginia, was an American newspaper publisher, and political leader of the Democratic Party in Virginia.[3]

Byrd was also known as a racist and avowed white supremacist. Byrd was vehemently opposed to racial desegregation of the public schools, and as such advocated a policy of "massive resistance" that led to closure of some public school systems in Virginia between 1959 and 1964. This policy created a large subset of black students who were denied their education in several Virginia counties. These students, many of whom are still alive, are known as the "lost generation." [5]

Byrd became one of the most vocal proponents of maintaining policies of racial segregation. Byrd authored and signed the "Southern Manifesto" condemning the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education. His call for "massive resistance" against desegregation of public schools led to many Virginia schools closing rather than be forced to integrate. He helped draft a series of laws, known as the Stanley plan, to implement his "massive resistance" policy. led to closure of some public school systems in Virginia between 1959 and 1964, most notably a five-year gap in public education in Prince Edward County, Virginia. [6]

We should not celebrate Harry F. Byrd's racism and all the damage he did to African Americans by denying them access to public education. These public racist actions, and probably a lot of less publicly know racist actions, should not be rewarded.

Please sign my petition to Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and Virginia's Commonwealth Transportation Board to rename Route 7. We deserve better, our children deserve better!



[1],[2] - Wikipedia. Retrieved May 20, 2015, from

[3],[4],[5],[6] - Wikipedia. Retrieved May 20, 2015, from

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