Nov. 20, 1866
Ten members of the First Congregational Society of Washington, D.C., met in the home of Deacon Henry Brewer. They decided to create a seminary to train Black clergymen. Within a year, the institution, which later became known as Howard University, embraced a broader mission and became an educational hub for the nearly 4 million freed from slavery.
In 1867, the institution welcomed its first students, educating Black doctors, teachers and pastors. Charles Hamilton Houston, a vice dean at the Howard University School of Law, brought cases to fight segregation in higher education. He mentored Howard alum, Thurgood Marshall, who successfully argued the Brown v. Board of Education decision that ended segregation in public schools.