On August 30, 1967, the United States Senate voted 69-11 to confirm Thurgood Marshall as the first black Supreme Court Justice. It was an historic occasion for the country — and a monumental personal triumph for Marshall. Perviously, he’d been known as the lawyer who successfully argued Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, the case that ended legally-sanctioned racial segregation in American schools.
An important part of Marshall’s legacy was his tenacity and uncompromising belief in equality, a sort of political acumen that seems shockingly radical given today’s partisan bickering. In the undated interview with host Mike Wallace that’s excerpted above, a pre-SCOTUS Marshall talks unflinchingly about then-President Eisenhower’s failure to publicly support racial integration. "Moral leadership should come from the top executive of the government," Marshall commands.
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