Arago: Exhibits

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Civil Rights: Mendez v. Westminster

In 1945, a group of Hispanic parents in California filed suit to end segregation in their schools. The ground-breaking case, Mendez et al. v. Westminster School District et al., was decided in 1947 when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled that the school districts could not segregate on the basis of national origin.

The Mendez decision set an important, if indirect, legal precedent for cases in other states and at the national level. In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, declaring segregation illegal nationwide, based in part on a brief used in Mendez et al. v. Westminster School District et al.