May 17, 1954 was a momentous day in the history of the United States, and perhaps of the world. Something happened that afternoon that was all too rare in human history. A great nation voluntarily acknowledged and repudiated its own oppression of part of its own people. The Supreme Court decision that day was announced in an atmosphere of high drama, and some observers said that one of the black-robed Justices sat on the great bench with tears in his eyes.
- From Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality? by Thomas Sowell