1896—The United States Supreme Court issues its infamous ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson. The decision declared the doctrine of “separate but equal” was constitutional. By doing so it, in effect, approved all Jim Crow or segregationist laws designed to degrade Blacks or keep them separate from Whites. The ruling would stand until the Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954.
1955—Legendary educator Mary McLeod Bethune dies at 79 in Daytona Beach, Fla. Born the 15th of 17 children in Mayesville, S.C., Bethune would rise to become one of the nation’s foremost Black educators and early civil rights activist. She was a driving force behind the founding of Florida’s Bethune-Cookman College.