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Released: 10/06/1997

<p> traveling exhibit, entitled When the Future Was the Past: Plessy vs. Ferguson, will be on display at the LSUA Bolton Library until October 24, 1997 during regular library hours. </p><p> The exhibit chronicles the legal journey of Homer Plessy, a New Orleans man who represented a group of citizens challenging the segregation of public facilities, claiming it was unconstitutional and that it violated the rights set forth in the 14th Amendment. </p><p> Four years after its initial hearing in Louisiana, the case of Plessy vs. Ferguson went before the U.S. Supreme Court. In a landmark decision handed down on May 17, 1896, the Court upheld the Louisiana statute, making the doctrine of "separate but equal" the law of the land for nearly 60 years until it was overturned in 1954 by Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education. </p><p> Comprised of text panels and reproductions of original photographs and documents relating to the case, the exhibit explores the circumstances surrounding the century-old decision in the context of the civil rights movement in the South, particularly Louisiana. It opened in May 1996 in the same room in the Cabildo where the case was heard by the Louisiana State Supreme Court. The Cabildo is now historic property of the Louisiana State Museum. </p><p> When the Future Was the Past: Plessy vs. Ferguson was produced by the Louisiana State Museum with the Amistad Research Center and the Southern Institute for Education and Research at Tulane University. It was organized by Larry Powell of Tulane, and the script was written by historian Keith Weldon Medley. </p><p> For more information, contact Dr. Anna C. Burns, Library Director, at 473-6437. </p><p>