The U.S. Supreme Court rules that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education.
1954 (May 17)
The U.S. Supreme Court, in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, ruled unanimously that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. Declaring that separate educational facilities were inherently unequal, this historic decision overruled the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson ruling that had codified the concept of separate but equal public facilities. The NAACP legal team, headed by chief council Thurgood Marshall, represented the plaintiffs in this case, marking its greatest victory in a series of recent judicial triumphs.