Thurgood Marshall was a titan of the legal world. He was the first African American to be appointed to the Supreme Court, and he played a pivotal role in desegregating schools across America. In honor of Black History Month, here are ten fascinating facts about Thurgood Marshall.
Thurgood Marshall was born in Baltimore, Maryland on July 2, 1908. His middle name was “Demosthenes” after the famous Greek orator.
2. Slave descendance
He was the great-grandson of a slave. His grandfather, William Canfield, bought his own freedom and then helped others escape slavery through the Underground Railroad.
He attended segregated schools in Baltimore until he was old enough to go to college. At Lincoln University, he became friends with future poet Langston Hughes.
4. Law School
After graduating from Lincoln University, he attended Howard University School of Law. While at Howard, he worked as a janitor to help pay his tuition.
After graduating from law school, he started working for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
6. Brown v. Board
In 1954, he argued the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education before the Supreme Court. The Court ruled in favor of desegregating public schools, and this decision is still used today to fight against discrimination in education.
7. Supreme Court
In 1967, President Lyndon Johnson appointed him to the Supreme Court, making him the first African American Justice on the Court.
8. Important rulings
During his time on the Court, he voted in favor of Roe v Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide, and against capital punishment, which is the death penalty given to people convicted of serious crimes like murder or terrorism.
9. Court retirement
He retired from the Supreme Court in 1991 and died four years later at age 84 from heart failure.
10. BWI airport
The Baltimore/Washington International airport in Baltimore was renamed the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall on Oct. 1, 2005, in honor of Marshall, who grew up in Baltimore
Thurgood Marshall was an incredible man who made history both as a lawyer and as a judge. He fought tirelessly for civil rights and helped to make America a more equal place for all people, regardless of race or ethnicity. His legacy continues to inspire people all over the world to fight for justice and equality.
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