Week of May 17-23
1954—The United States Supreme Court renders its landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education (Topeka, Kan.) declaring segregation in public schools unconstitutional. The unanimous ruling was written by Chief Justice Earl B. Warren, who headed one of the most progressive Supreme Courts in U.S. history. The ruling read in part “Segregation of White and Negro children in the public schools of a state solely on the basis of race…denies Negro children the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.” The legal team which argued the case was led by later Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshal. The ruling also had the effect of undermining all “Jim Crow” or segregationist laws.
1956—Boxing sensation Sugar Ray Leonard is born. The versatile fighter was named “Fighter of the Decade” for the 1980s.