On August 28, 1963, a huge crowd gathered at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington to peacefully protest unfair treatment of black Americans. The day of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom became a pivotal one in civil rights history. Within two years, Congress passed laws to make discrimination illegal and to eliminate obstacles designed to keep black people from voting. But changes toward equality started long before that day.
Until 1954, schools in the United States were often segregated, with black children going to one school and white children to another. In this photo, students at Russell High School in Atlanta, Georgia, gather around a radio in May 1954 to hear news that the U.S. Supreme Court decided that segregated schools are against the law. Horace Cort/AP