Wednesday, July 2, 2008

On July 2

On this day in ...
... 1908 (100 years ago today), Thurgood Marshall was born in Baltimore, Maryland. After earning his J.D. from Howard University Law School in Washington, D.C., began practicing as counsel for the Baltimore branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; eventually he would join the NAACP's national staff and become its Chief Legal Officer. His achievements included successful pursuit of litigation that led to Supreme Court victory in Brown v. Board of Education (1954); service as a federal appellate judge; service as Solicitor General of the United States; and service as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. He was the 1st African-American to hold the latter 2 posts. Marshall died at age 84 in 193. His contributions to the Constitution of Kenya are profiled in Exporting American Dreams: Thurgood Marshall's African Journey (above left), the new book by our colleague Mary Dudziak (right).
... 1782, Geneva surrendered to a coalition of French, Sardinian, and Bernese troops, bringing to an end the "Geneva Revolution" that had been inspired by the city's native philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who'd died on the same day 4 years earlier. Works of Rousseau like Du contrat social/The Social Contract (1762) soon would influence revolutions in America and France.

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