Culture and Recreation


When were schools in the United States desegregated?

On May 17, 1954, in the case of Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court ruled (nine to zero) that racial segregation in public schools is unconstitutional. The court overturned the “separate-but-equal” doctrine laid down in the 1896 case Plessy v. Ferguson. Chief Justice Earl Warren (1891–1974) ordered the states to proceed “with all deliberate speed” to integrate educational facilities. Also in 1954, on November 7, the Supreme Court ordered desegregation of public golf courses, parks, swimming pools, and playgrounds. In the aftermath of these rulings, desegregation proceeded slowly and painfully. In the early 1960s sit-ins, “freedom rides,” and similar expressions of nonviolent resistance by blacks and their sympathizers led to a decrease in segregation practices in public facilities.


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