Howard High School Named National Historic Landmark
School Recognized for its National Significance in American History and Culture
Wilmington, DE – The Delaware Delegation is proud to announce that Howard High School has been named a National Historic Landmark (NHL) by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Park Service. Howard High School is one of 24 new NHL designated sites that were selected for their national significance in American history and culture. Howard High School is associated with the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education that found racial segregation in public schools unconstitutional. The decision overturned the “separate but equal” doctrine the Court had endorsed in Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 that gave legal sanction to Jim Crow. Howard High was the black school cited in Belton v. Gebhart (1953), one of the five cases combined under the Brown case. In Belton, parents of black children who were bused to Howard sued to allow their children to attend the white high school, Claymont High School. The Delaware case represented the intent of the U.S. Supreme Court that segregation went beyond the South. “The selection of Howard High School as a historic landmark is fitting because it encompasses both the struggles of our past and the promise of our future,” said Senator Biden. “Our hope is that this recognition will serve as a very visible and powerful reminder of just how far we have come and how much further we must still go.” “Howard High School has been an anchor in our community for over half a century,” added Senator Carper. “Its historical value is matched by the educational value it has brought to thousands of students in our state.” “Students of Howard High School, past and present, receive much more than an education within its walls. For years now, the ideals of knowledge and justice have been integrated into the lessons of the teachers and faculty. Howard High School deserves the recognition as a national historic landmark not just for its role in the famous Brown vs. the Board of Education case but because each day the school works to provide its students with pride in themselves,” said Castle. NHLs are recognized by the Secretary of the Interior as national significant properties of exceptional value in representing or illustrating an important theme, event or person in the history of the United States. All National Historic Landmarks are included in the National Register of Historic Places, the official list of the cultural resources and historic properties worthy of preservation. The Historic Sites Act of 1935 authorized the Secretary of the Interior to recognize historic places judged to have exceptional value to the nation.