Key Historical Cases

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These historical cases reflect the struggle for equal rights in the courts:

  • Brown v. Board of Education (1954)

    Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954) — Landmark schools case in which the Supreme Court overturned the “separate but equal” doctrine.

  • Gong Lum v. Rice (1927)

    Gong Lum v. Rice, 275 U.S. 78 (1927) — The Supreme Court affirmed that the separate-but-equal doctrine applied in education.

  • United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898)

    United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 169 U.S. 649 (1898) – Chinese American boy, born in San Francisco, was an American citizen and could not be prevented from returning to America after a trip abroad.

  • Tape v. Hurley (1885)

    Tape v. Hurley, 66 Cal. 473, 6 P. 12 (1885) —  California Supreme Court finds that San Francisco’s public school system must admit a girl of Chinese descent.

  • Yick Wo v. Hopkins (1885)

    Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356 (1886) — In this landmark decision, the United States Supreme Court overturned San Francisco’s laundry licensing law.

  • In re Ah Chong (1880)

    In re Ah Chong, 2 F. 733 (C.C.D.Cal. 1880) –  Federal court finds that Chinese residents of California may fish in California waters.

  • Ho Ah Kow v. Nunan (1879)

    Ho Ah Kow v. Nunan, 12 F. Cas. 252 (C.C.D. Cal. 1879) — San Francisco’s infamous “Queue Ordinance” was found unconstitutional.