Race, Education and Politics: Two Archival Collections


In the 1980s, St. Louis produced a plan, hailed as a model, to desegregate majority African-American schools. A product of the Voluntary Inter-district Coordinating Council (VICC), the plan created a system of magnet schools in the City and provided an opportunity for students to attend school, tuition free, in one of 17 suburban districts. Although the plan offered quality education in an integrated setting, most city schools remained segregated, and some leaders questioned the cost of busing to achieve integration. Freeman Bosley, Jr., the first African-American mayor in the city's history, campaigned on ending busing as a key to his plan for renewal. Two archival collections at the Missouri History Museums link these chapters in St. Louis history. The VICC records (1980-1999) consist of 74 linear feet of files pertaining to the administrative and legal challenges the group faced between its creation in 1980 and the U.S. Supreme Court Case, Missouri vs. Rockwood School District, forcing the state to comply with the plan in 1999. Secondly, the Mayoral Papers (1993-1997) of Freeman Bosley, Jr. shed light on the administration of an African American whose antibusing stance put him in opposition to the VICC. This collection consists of only 27.5 linear feet since most of the papers were destroyed due to poor storage conditions prior to donation. Only a quarter of the original collection remains, increasing its value as the only glimpse into an historic administration.


Cataloging Hidden Collections

Amount Awarded

Year Added



Missouri History Museum


  • Kate Brueggemann

Collection Size

101 cubic feet

Date Range

1980 - 1999

Geographic Scope

St. Louis, Missouri