Monday, 30 August 2010
On 30th August 1967, Thurgood Marshall became the first African American to be made a Justice of the Supreme Court, a post that he retained until he retired twenty fours years later. He had graduated from Lincoln University in 1930 and then attended the Howard University Law School (graduating magna cum laude), before establishing a thriving private practice in his native Maryland; specializing in the rights of the individual. He appeared in the landmark case of Brown -v- Board of Education of Topeka in 1954, in which the US Supreme Court unanimously declared unconstitutional the 'separate but equal' policy of racial segregation although, in 1933, Marshall had already successfully pursued a case against Maryland University and forced it to admit a black student (it had refused to admit him to its Law School in 1930). President J F Kennedy gave him an appointment in 1961 and President Lyndon Johnson made him Solicitor-General in 1965.
He seems to have thoroughly applied the principle to be found in something that he once said: "Our whole constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds."
The photograph is of the portrait by Simmie L Knox.
Posted by NJS at 08:52