January 28, 1963
On this day in 1963, civil rights attorneys sued the Macon County Board of Education. The case was brought on behalf of 14 African-American students who were being prevented from enrolling in the all-white Tuskegee High School. The case was significant, because it became the consolidated legal decision that affected the entire state. Before Lee v. Macon County Board of Education, efforts to desegregate Alabama public schools were stalled because proponents were required to file suit individually in each district. It took 50 months for Lee to come down in favor of the plaintiffs, and that case became the template for the rest of the state.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.