Brown v. Board of Education
Courtesy of the Library of Congress.
Although Earl Warren was considered to be a staunch conservative when President Eisenhower appointed him Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 1952, under his leadership the court issued a number of progressive rulings that have shaped American society for the past sixty years. Writing for the unanimous vote in favor of the plaintiff, Warren asserted, "In the field of public education the doctrine of 'separate but equal' has no place." This ruling in the Brown case would lead to the unraveling of officially sanctioned segregation in all public institutions over the next two decades. This photograph was taken when Warren was governor of California, from 1942 to 1953.