Category Archives: 1890s

U.S. Supreme Court upholds racial segregation 120 years ago today (May 18 1896)


Video: 'Plessy v. Ferguson'

(Monday, May 18, 1896) — The U.S. Supreme Court, in Plessy v. Ferguson, today upheld the constitutionality of state laws requiring racial segregation in public facilities under the doctrine of “separate but equal.”

The decision was handed down by a vote of 7 to 1 with the majority opinion written by Justice Henry Billings Brown and the dissent written by Justice John Marshall Harlan.

The concept was renounced 58 years later in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.