Featured Story: None Are Equal

The struggle to attain basic rights was fought in every sector of American society. Differences in ethnicity, sex, and ideals often led to issues of inequality that had to be resolved in the courts.

Statement, Hernandez v. Corpus Christi, Plaintiffs Reply to Defendant Brief, December 18, 1956
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Statement, Hernandez v. Corpus Christi, Plaintiff's Reply to Defendant's Brief,
December 18, 1956

Civil Case Files National Archives, Records of District Courts of the United States, Record Group 21 (National Archives Identifier 2641507)

Stereotyped because of her last name, Linda Hernandez was placed in a segregated, Spanish-speaking class even though she did not speak Spanish.

Concerning Segregation of Spanish-Speaking Children in the Public Schools
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Concerning Segregation of Spanish-Speaking Children in the Public Schools

Civil Case Files National Archives, Records of District Courts of the United States, Record Group 21 (National Archives Identifier 2641508)

In violation of the Texas state constitution and education laws as outlined in this booklet, Corpus Christi segregated children with Spanish surnames without standardized testing for English comprehension.

Letter from Koinonia Parents to the School Board, August 30, 1960
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Letter from Koinonia Parents to the School Board, August 30, 1960

National Archives-Atlanta, Records of District Courts of the United States (National Archives Identifier 2641479)

Living in an interracial and religious community, white children from Koinonia Farms (a community that provided the conceptual model for Habitat for Humanity) were denied access to better public schools. The complaint stated that the school board refused admission “solely because of their religious and social beliefs” and affiliations.

Indictment, U.S. v. Junius Irving Scales, November 18, 1954
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Indictment, U.S. v. Junius Irving Scales, November 18, 1954

Civil Case Files National Archives, Records of District Courts of the United States, Record Group 21 (National Archives Identifier 2641480)

North Carolina native Junius Irving Scales was the only person convicted under the Smith Act to serve time for his membership in the Communist Party.

Booklet, Is Communism Un-American? ca. 1950
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Booklet, “Is Communism Un-American?”
ca. 1950

National Archives-Atlanta, Records of District Courts of the United States (National Archives Identifier 2641481)

The membership provision of the Smith Act made it a crime to be a member of an organization that advocates the overthrow and destruction of the Government by force and violence.

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