A Turning Point for Equality

A Turning Point for Equality (HM1JIK)

Location: Topeka, KS 66612 Shawnee County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 2.256', W 95° 40.537'

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Across the field in front of you stands the former Monroe Elementary School. Parents of six students that attended this school in 1949 participated in the Brown v. Board of Education lawsuit. On May 17, 1954, the US Supreme Court issued a breakthrough ruling on Brown v. Board of Education declaring that "... in the field of education... Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." This schoolhouse is still a place for education today. During your visit you can explore the story behind a defining moment in the nation's long struggle to live up to its ideals - to provide everyone with equality of opportunity.
[Upper right inset photo caption reads]
Thurgood Marshall (fourth from right) led a legal team that sought to end all forms of legalized racial segregation in the country. Focusing on public education, Marshall's team assembled five class action lawsuits from four states and the District of Columbia to argue before the US Supreme Court. Charles Scott, an attorney from Topeka, stands to the far left.
Ritchie's Addition
African American families began settling in this neighborhood after the Civil War ended in 1865. A large surge of African Americans began arriving in 1879. Fleeing oppression in the South at the end of Reconstruction, they came in search of new freedoms and opportunities.
Many of these migrants settled in "Ritchie's Addition," property owned by John and Mary Ritchie. The Ritchies opened their land to black migrants in support of their vision for an ideal society in which African Americans and whites could live together.
Historic Ritchie House
John and Mary Ritchie were white abolitionists active in the Underground Railroad before the Civil War. They made this neighborhood their home for many years.
Old Federal Building
Brown v. Board of Education was first argued in 1951 in a third floor courtroom in Topeka's federal building.
Constitution Hall
Kansas' march to free statehood began in this building in October 1855 with the drafting of the anti-slavery Topeka Constitution.
Year Placed2014
Placed ByNational Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, March 12th, 2015 at 9:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 268418 N 4324356
Decimal Degrees39.03760000, -95.67561667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 2.256', W 95° 40.537'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 2' 15.36" N, 95° 40' 32.22" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)785
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Landon Nature Trail, Topeka KS 66612, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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