Constitution Daily

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Two landmark dates in civil rights history

May 16, 2012 by NCC Staff


This week marks the anniversary of two milestone Supreme Court rulings on the issue of segregation that had long-ranging effects on American culture.

On May 18, 1896, the Supreme Court issued its decision on Plessy v. Ferguson. The ruling established the “separate but equal” doctrine that allowed states to offer separate facilities to different races.

On May 17, 1954, Supreme Court ruled on Brown v. Board of Education, overturning the Plessy v. Ferguson case.

In the aftermath of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, several southern states refuse to integrate facilities, leading to some of the most dramatic public moments of the 1950s and 1960s.

In 1957, President Dwight Eisenhower sent Army troops to Arkansas after that state’s governor tried to use the state guard to block integration at a high school.

And in 1963, Alabama Governor George Wallace try to bar African-American students from a state university, without success.


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