Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site is one of the 420 plus National Parks in the country yet the only park dedicated to a U.S. Supreme Court decision that ended legal segregation in public schools. This National Historic Site is located in the former Monroe Elementary School Building built in 1926, which was one of four segregated elementary schools for African Americans in Topeka.
In December, 1952, the U.S. Supreme Court consolidated five cases under one name, Oliver Brown et al. v. the Board of Education of Topeka representing cases from Kansas, Delaware, the District of Columbia, South Carolina, and Virginia, all of which challenged the constitutionality of racial segregation in public schools. With NAACP guidance, 13 Kansas parents volunteered to enroll their children in white schools and then filed complaints in federal court, which ultimately led to the landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1954. “We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” Language from the opinion written by Chief Justice Earl Warren for the unanimous Court.
The site highlights the U.S. Supreme Court’s role in affecting changes in national and social policy and symbolizes the determination of citizens to insure equal opportunities for their children. Today, the National Park Service interprets the Brown story through programs, audiovisual presentations, exhibits and publications. The Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site is located approximately four blocks southwest of the Kansas State Capitol Building located and is open free of charge from daily except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site
1515 SE Monroe Street
Topeka, Kansas 66612
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.