The Kanawha County Textbook Controversy
In summer and fall 1974, the most violent protest over public school textbooks in our nation’s history erupted in Kanawha County, West Virginia. The disagreement stemmed from the selection of textbooks for the 46,000 students attending the county’s 124 public schools. By the time the dispute died down in early 1975, the county had been split into separate camps. In addition, various acts of violence had attracted negative national attention to West Virginia. Today, the textbook controversy is recognized as an important moment in the escalating culture wars of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
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