JUNE 8, 1953
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that segregation in restaurants in Washington, D.C., was unlawful.
Civil rights activist Mary Church Terrell had led that fight. Such discrimination had not always existed in the nation’s capital. In fact, Congress had passed laws in 1872 and 1873, barring restaurants and the like from refusing to serve any “well-behaved” customer, regardless of race. Those laws remained on the books, despite being ignored.
After the high court ruled in her favor, Terrell returned to the same restaurant that had turned her away, and she and her friends were served.