In 1934, Thurgood Marshall, the grandson of a slave, began working for the Baltimore branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Marshall’s crowning achievement in his career as a civil-rights lawyer was winning the Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, thus (legally) ending racial segregation in public schools.
In 1961, President John F Kennedy appointed Marshall as a judge for the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals. And in 1965, President Lyndon B Johnson appointed Marshall as the first black solicitor general. In his two years as solicitor general, Marshall won 14 out of the 19 cases he argued before the Supreme Court.
On this day in 1967, Thurgood Marshall was confirmed as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, making him the first African-American justice.
One of Marshall’s obituaries said in regard to his contribution to civil rights: “We make movies about Malcolm X, we get a holiday to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, but every day we live with the legacy of Justice Thurgood Marshall.”
What a great conclusion to such a momentous week in history for equal rights!