Press Release
Press Release · Saturday, December 11, 1999

Press Release
December 11, 1999
National Archives to Display Nomination of Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court

Washington, DC. . . In a special document display celebrating Black History Month, the National Archives and Records Administration will feature the Supreme Court nomination of Thurgood Marshall, dated June 13, 1967. The document will be on display in the Rotunda beginning Monday, February 1, 1999, through Sunday, February 28, 1999. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

The National Archives Exhibition Hall is located on Constitution Avenue, between 7th and 9th Streets, NW. Winter hours are 10 A.M. to 5:30 P.M., seven day a week. For information on exhibitions and public programs, the public may call the National Archives recorded events line at (202) 501-5000. The hearing impaired may call TDD (202) 501-5404.

Thurgood Marshall was the first African American to serve on the Supreme Court. His nomination by President Lyndon Johnson followed a long and distinguished career as a civil rights lawyer who successfully fought inequality and discrimination. Marshall’s courage and leadership in many areas of civil rights --voting, housing, and education--greatly improved the lives, opportunities, and attitudes of millions of Americans.

As legal counsel for the National Association for Colored People Legal Defense and Education Fund, Marshall represented civil rights plaintiffs all over the south and argued more than 30 such cases before the Supreme Court, winning all but five. In the famous and influential case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Marshall convinced the Supreme Court that using race as the basis for assigning black and white students to different schools was unconstitutional, violating the equal protection guarantee of the 14th amendment. This 1954 civil rights victory overturned the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision establishing the "separate-but-equal" segregation principle. The Brown decision led to the desegregation of American public schools and society. Marshall’s leadership in this and other civil rights causes earned him the nickname, Mr. Civil Rights. His reputation grew and in 1961, President John F. Kennedy named him to the U.S. Court of the Appeals for the Second District, a very prestigious appointment. In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson appointed Marshall United States Solicitor General, the third highest post in the Department of Justice. In these high-level positions Marshall continued to lead the crusade for equal justice. On June 13, 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated Marshall to be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court where he served for 24 years.

In observance of Black History Month, the National Archives and Records Administration celebrates the life, career, and leadership of Thurgood Marshall by displaying President Lyndon Johnson’s nomination of Marshall to the highest court in the land.

Copies of the nomination will be available from the National Archives Public Affairs Staff. Call (301) 837-1700 for more information.

For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail.


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