Today In History: SCOTUS Rules On Brown v. Board Of Education

Portrait of nine-year-old African-American student Linda Brown as she poses outside Sumner Elementary School, Topkea, Kansas, 1953. When her enrollment in the racially segregated school was blocked, her family initia... Portrait of nine-year-old African-American student Linda Brown as she poses outside Sumner Elementary School, Topkea, Kansas, 1953. When her enrollment in the racially segregated school was blocked, her family initiated the landmark Civil Rights lawsuit 'Brown V. Board of Education,' that led to the beginning of integration in the US education system. (Photo by Carl Iwasaki/Getty Images) MORE LESS

On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court delivered a unanimous ruling in the Brown v. Board of Education case. It was a landmark decision that declared the segregation of public schools to be a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment and therefore unconstitutional. At the heart of this case was a class action lawsuit brought by local families against the Topeka Board of Education for forcing black and white students to attend separate schools. Among the plaintiffs was the Brown family — specifically Linda Brown, who became the face of the movement to desegregate schools. This case is considered to be a watershed moment in the Civil Rights Movement, setting the stage for legislative action in the 1960s.

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