Sept. 7, 1954

Credit: Smithsonian Institution

In compliance with the recent Brown v. Board of Education decision, schools in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., were desegregated. Baltimore was one of the first school systems to desegregate below the Mason-Dixon line. 

A month after a dozen Black students began attending what had been an all-white school, demonstrations took place, one of them turning violent when 800 whites attacked four Black students. White parents began pulling their children out of the schools, and by 1960, the district was majority Black.

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The stories of investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell have helped put four Klansmen and a serial killer behind bars. His stories have also helped free two people from death row, exposed injustices and corruption, prompting investigations and reforms as well as the firings of boards and officials. He is a Pulitzer Prize finalist, a longtime member of Investigative Reporters & Editors, and a winner of more than 30 other national awards, including a $500,000 MacArthur “genius” grant. After working for three decades for the statewide Clarion-Ledger, Mitchell left in 2019 and founded the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting.