This Day in History

April 20, 1937: Mitchell v. United States et al

Time Periods: Prosperity, Depression, & World War II: 1920 - 1944
Themes: African American, Democracy & Citizenship

Arthur W. Mitchell. Source: Public Domain

On April 20, 1937, the train voyage of Illinois congressman Arthur W. Mitchell, an African-American, began.

When the train crossed into Arkansas, he was told to move to the section of the train designated for African-American passengers, in accordance with the Arkansas Separate Coach Law of 1891.

Under threat of arrest, Mitchell moved to the designated area and filed a lawsuit once he returned to Illinois.

The case went to the Supreme Court and became known as Mitchell v. United States et al.

Read about the case on the Encyclopedia of Arkansas.  Read about more protests of Jim Crow transportation.