#ThisDayInHistory Thurgood Marshall Becomes First African-American Supreme Court Judge

#ThisDayInHistory Thurgood Marshall Becomes First African-American Supreme Court Judge

On August 30th, 1967, the Senate confirmed the nomination of Thurgood Marshall, member of Alpha Phi Alpha, to the Supreme Court of the United States. This nomination made history as he became the first African-American judge appointed to the Supreme Court.  

Thurgood Marshall was born on July 2nd, 1908. After completing high school in 1925, he attended Lincoln University (PA) where he became a member of the Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Alpha Phi Alpha Pledges at Lincoln University. Thurgood Marshall (middle row, second from the right)
Alpha Phi Alpha Pledges at Lincoln University. Thurgood Marshall (middle row, second from the right)

After graduating from Lincoln University with honors, Marshall applied to the University of Maryland Law School, but was denied admission because of the color of his skin. Marshall applied to Howard Universityโ€™s Law School and the rest is history.

Marshallโ€™s first major court case was coincidentally in 1933 when he effectively sued the University of Maryland to admit an African-American named Donald Murray.

Marshall then went on to become Chief Counsel for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and also winning the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954, which made President John F. Kennedy appoint Marshall to the U.S. Court of Appeals. Before accepting the nomination to the Supreme Court in 1967, Marshall won 14 of the 19 cases he argued. Marshall has represented and won more cases against the Supreme Court than any other American.

Justice Marshall died of heart failure on January 24th, 1993, but his legacy lives forever.

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