Brown v. board of education

  • Dred Scott, Plaintiff in Error v. John F. A. Sanford

    The Supreme Court held that Blacks, enslaved or free, could not be citizens of the United States. Chief Justice Taney, arguing from the original intentions of the framers of the 1787 Constitution, stated that at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, Black people were considered a subordinate and inferior class of beings, "with no rights which the White man was bound to respect."
  • Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands

    The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, also known as the Freedmen's Bureau,was established by an act of Congress on March 3, 1865. Its main mission was to provide relief and help freedmen become self-sufficient in all areas of life.
  • Black Codes

    Black Codes was a name given to laws passed by southern governments established during the presidency of Andrew Johnson. These laws imposed severe restrictions on freedmen, such as prohibiting their right to vote, forbidding them to sit on juries, and limiting their right to testify against white men. They were also forbidden from carrying weapons in public places and working in certain occupations.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1866

    The Civil Rights Act of 1866 guaranteed Blacks basic economic rights to contract, sue, and own property.
  • The 14th Amendment to the Constitution is ratified.

    The 14th Amendment overruled Dred Scott v. Sanford. It guaranteed that all persons born or naturalized in the United States are citizens of the United States and of the state in which they reside, and that no state shall abridge the privileges and immunities of citizens, deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor deny to any person the equal protection of the law.
  • Slaughterhouse Cases

    These cases narrowly defined federal power and emasculated the Fourteenth Amendment by asserting that most of the rights of citizens remain under state control.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1875

    In March, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1875, prohibiting discrimination in inns, theaters, and other places of public accommodation. It was the last Federal civil rights act passed until 1957
  • Civil Rights Cases

    The Supreme Court overturned the Civil Rights Act of 1875, and declared that the Fourteenth Amendment does not prohibit discrimination by private individuals or businesses.
  • Jim Crow

    The practices of comprehensive racial segregation known as "Jim Crow" emerged, and racial separation becomes entrenched.
  • Homer Adolph Plessy, Plaintiff in Error v. J.H. Ferguson, Judge of Section "A" Criminal District Court for the Parish of Orleans

    Homer A. Plessy challenged an 1890 Louisiana law that required separate train cars for Black Americans and White Americans. The Supreme Court held that separate but equal facilities for White and Black railroad passengers did not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
  • Cumming v. Board of Education of Richmond County, State of Georgia

    The Supreme Court upheld a local school board's decision to close a free public Black school due to fiscal constraints, despite the fact that the district continued to operate two free public white schools.
  • Thurgood Marshall is born in Baltimore, MD, on July 2nd

    Significance: Thurgood Marshall would become lead counsel in the Brown v. Board of Education case.
  • Berea College v. Commonwealth of Kentucky

    The Supreme Court upheld a Kentucky state law forbidding interracial instruction at all schools and colleges in the state.
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People founded

    W.E.B. DuBois, Ida Wells-Barnett, Mary White Ovington, and others founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Their mission was to eliminate lynching, and to fight racial and social injustice, primarily through legal action.
  • Gong Lum v. Rice

    In Gong Lum v. Rice the Supreme Court held that a Mississippi school district may require a Chinese-American girl to attend a segregated Black school rather than a White school
  • NAACP begins challenging segregation

    in graduate and secondary schools. Assisted by his protege Thurgood Marshall, Charles Hamilton Houston, of the NAACP, began his strategy of challenging segregation in graduate and professional schools.
  • State of Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada

    The Supreme Court decided in favor of Lloyd Gaines, a Black student who had been refused admission to the University of Missouri Law School.
  • Thurgood Marshall named special counsel of the NAACP

    Thurgood Marshall named special counsel of the NAACP
  • Sipuel v. Board of Regents of University of Oklahoma

    A unanimous Supreme Court held that Lois Ada Sipuel could not be denied entrance to a state law school solely because of her race.
  • The NAACP board of directors formally endorsed Thurgood Marshall's view on segregation strategy.

    By adopting Marshall's view, the NAACP decided to devote its efforts solely to an all-out attack on segregation in education, rather than pressing for the equalization of segregated facilities.
  • Briggs et al. v. Elliott et al.

    Thurgood Marshall and NAACP officials met with Black residents of Clarendon County, SC. They decided that the NAACP would launch a test case against segregation in public schools if at least 20 plaintiffs could be found. By November, Harry Briggs and 19 other plaintiffs were assembled, and the NAACP filed a class action lawsuit against the Clarendon County School Board.
  • Sweatt v. Painter

    he Supreme Court held that the University of Texas Law School must admit a Black student, Herman Sweatt. The University of Texas Law School was far superior in its offerings and resources to the separate Black law school, which had been hastily established in a downtown basement
  • McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents

    he Supreme Court invalidated the University of Oklahoma's requirement that a Black student, admitted to a graduate program unavailable to him at the state's Black school, sit in separate sections of or in spaces adjacent to the classroom, library, and cafeteria.
  • Bolling v. Sharpe

    Charles Houston provided legal representation for the Consolidated Parents Group, who, under the direction of Gardner Bishop, attempted to enroll a group of Black students in all White John Philip Sousa Junior High School, in Washington, D.C.
  • february

    On February 28, Brown v. Board of Education was filed in Federal district court, in Kansas.
  • Davis et al. v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, Virginia, et al.

    NAACP lawyer Spottswood Robinson filed Davis v. Prince Edward County, a challenge to Virginia's segregated schools.
  • Segregation Ruled Unconstitutional

    The Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling in Brown overturns Plessy v. Ferguson,declaring that racial segregation in public schools is a violation of the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause.
  • Period: to


    A long fight for equal rights. To battle the evils of segregation. now finally some one is speaking out.
  • With All Deliberate Speed

    state regislatures resist enforcing the Brown discision, declaring it ''null, void and no effect” and implementing laws to challenge it. The Supreme Court issuesthe second ruling in the case, known as Brown II. It orders that desegregation
    must proceed “with all deliberate speed.”
  • Brown’ Is Binding on States

    The governor and state lawmakers in Arkansas refuse to obey federal court orders to implement desegregation. In Cooper v. Aaron, the Supreme Court reaffirms its commitment to Brown,saying states are required to comply with its rulings and court orders based on the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Constitution.