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10 Columbus Circle, New York, N.Y. 10019

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[[caption]] Clockwise from top left: LDF Board Chairman, William T. Coleman, Jr.; Cooperating Attorneys, Larry Jackson, Arthur C. McFarland, I. Kenneth Dious, Joseph P. Hudson; Staff Lawyer, Elaine Jones; Board Member, Andrew Young; Staff Lawyers, Peter Sherwood, Gail Wright, Stephen Ralston; Staff Lawyer, Clyde Murphy; Board Vice President, Wiley Branton; Director-Counsel, Jack Greenberg, Board President, Julius L. Chambers, Associate Counsel, James M. Nabrit, III. [[/caption]]

"Someone Has to Translate Rights Into Realities" — Jack Greenberg
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) was thrust into national prominence in 1954 when it led the battle culminating in Brown v. Board of Education in Topeka, Kansas. That momentous case, which outlawed segregation in the public schools, set in motion a chain of events that few could have foreseen.

But Brown did not come about by chance — and neither did the many subsequent victories that have resulted from the continuing efforts of LDF. For 40 years, the Fund has battled to advance the interest of American Blacks — by representing black litigants and by preparing black scholars for positions of authority within the legal system.

No other institution — public or private — does what the Legal Defense Fund has been doing since 1940. The following partial list of LDF's victories is also a record of America's progress toward equal rights for all. (Not listed are thousands of other significant LDF court victories)

1940—Equal pay (Alston v. School Board of City of Norfolk.
United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, orders equal pay for black teachers
in Norfolk, Virginia. Supreme Court refuses to review decision.

1946—-Jim Crow Travel Laws—Interstate (Morgan
v. Virginia) Supreme Court holds unconstitutional state travel laws requiring segregated seating on interstate bus travel.

1954—Education (Brown v. Board of Education)
Supreme Court rules that racial segregation in public schools violates the Fourteenth
Amendment and overrules the "separate but
equal" doctrine.

1955—Public Accommodations (Baltimore City v.
Dawson Holmes v. Atlanta). 
Supreme Court requires the end of racial segregation at public beaches and parks.

1963—Higher Education (Lucy v. Adams)
Federal district court orders University of
Alabama to admit black students. Governor
Wallace "stands in the schoolhouse door" to
prevent integration. President Kennedy 
mobilizes National Guard. Vivian Malone and
James Hood admitted.

1965—Freedom Rides (Abernathy v. Alabama, 
Thomas v. Mississippi). 
Supreme Court reverses convictions of participants in 1961 Mississippi and Alabama freedom rides.

1965—Voting Rights (Williams v. Wallace)
Legal Defense Fund defends over 1,000 Dallas
County, Alabama (Selma) citizens protesting
denial of voting rights. Federal district
court enjoins Governor Wallace from interfering with march from Selma to 
Montgomery. Congress passes Voting Rights 
Act of 1965.

1970—Jury Discrimination (Turner v. Fouche)
Supreme Court establishes right of blacks to
bring action in federal court to end 
discrimination in jury selection.

1971—Employment Tests (Griggs v. Duke Power)
Supreme Court rules that tests for employment or promotion, if they have a different racial impact, must be job related.

1972—Education (Wright v. City of Emporia, 
  Va., Cotton v. Scotland Neck Board of 
Supreme Court rules that two towns with heavy concentrations of white students cannot secede from largely black county school systems because this would impede efforts to dismantle the segregated school systems that had operated by law in those counties.

*The NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE & EDUCATIONAL FUND is not part of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People although it was founded by it and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF has had for over 20 years a separate Board, program, staff, office and budget.

Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact