Separate Is Not Equal: Brown v. Board of Education

May 15, 2004 – July 16, 2006

National Museum of American History
1300 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC

1st Floor, Taylor Gallery

See on Map Floor Plan

This exhibition celebrates the 50-year anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark decision that ended segregation in public schools, and reviews and examines its legacy through personal stories and artifacts. On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court unanimously declared that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal" and that they violate the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guarantees all citizens "equal protection of the laws."

Highlights include:

  • the dining room table from the home of Lucinda Todd, secretary of the NAACP in Topeka, Kansas, where the Brown case was first discussed
  • a classroom from a segregated school; videos of the announcement of the Court's decision and the public's reaction; photos depicting segregated life in the 1920s and 1930s
  • the Woolworth's lunch counter that was the site of a 1960 sit-in protest; materials from the 1963 March on Washington

Related books available in Museum Store