On this day: May 17

POSTED: 01:12 PM PDT May 16, 2013    UPDATED: 11:00 PM PDT May 16, 2016 

St. Louis nearly burns to the ground, the first Kentucky Derby is held, the Supreme Court strikes down segregated schools, the Senate Watergate Committee begins televised hearings, and same-sex marriages begin in Massachusetts, all on this day.

OTD May 17 - Brown v Board of Education
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Duncan Lock/Wikimedia Commons

1954: In an unanimous decision in Brown V. Board of Education, the Supreme Court of the United States declares state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional. The decision that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal" overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896 that allowed state-sponsored segregation and paved the way for integration.


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