This Day in History

Feb. 18, 1946: Courts Ruled in Favor of the Mendez Family

Time Periods: Cold War: 1945 - 1960
Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, Education, Latinx, Laws & Citizen Rights

Sylvia Mendez.

On Feb. 18, 1946, the courts ruled in favor of the Mendez family and their co-plaintiffs, finding segregated schools to be an unconstitutional denial of equal protection in the case Mendez v. Westminster.

Sylvia Mendez and her parents, who were Puerto Rican and Mexican American, led the fight for school desegregation in California.

Learn more about the case from the resources below, including the activism of the Mendez family, the role of Thurgood Marshall, and the connection to Japanese American internment in Sylvia & Aki.