On Feb. 25, Arlington Public Library will launch a unique online exhibition and searchable database – built from thousands of photos, documents and recordings – surrounding the legal and moral battles that culminated with four courageous African American students taking their seats on Feb. 2, 1959 at Arlington’s Stratford Junior High School.

“Project DAPS” is culled from the holdings of the Library’s Community Archives in the Center for Local History at Central Library. Many items were only recently digitized. The project explores the full historic narrative, starting with Arlington’s rapid growth of the 1940s. 

Because there are always more layers of history to find and examine, the Center for Local History continually seeks community donations and oral histories, particularly as they relate to desegregation following the historic day at Stratford. Contact the CLH at 703-228-5966 or by email.

A few selected items from the upcoming website:

Hoffman-Boston Student, Science Demonstration


Student science demonstration at the segregated Hoffman-Boston Junior-Senior High School.


Constance Carter v. The School Board of Arlington County, Virginia: Complaint and opinion, 1950


This is the May 31, 1950 opinion of Martin A. Soper, delivered May 31, 1950, overturning Albert Bryan's dismissal of Carter's 14th Amendment case.


The Signpost, March 8, 1951

RG19-SG02-S02-F01-The Signpost Vol 1 No 7 March 8 1951.pdf

School paper of Stratford Junior High School. Front page article announces classes beginning in the new building.

Oral History from Lance Newman

In this oral history, Lance Newman, one of the four children who began attending Stratford Junior High School on February 2, 1959, discussing that historic day at length.

The transcript for this oral history can be found at this link., or you can listen to it below.