Linda Brown Smith stands in front of the Sumner School in Topeka, Kan., on May 8, 1964. The refusal of the public school to admit Brown in 1951, then nine years old, because she is black, led to the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled the "separate but equal" clause and mandated that schools nationwide must be desegregated. (AP Photo)
This week in history: Brown v. Board of education
On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court delivered a unanimous ruling on the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, ending racial segregation in public facilities. This week marks the 59th anniversary of the ruling.