February
On February 28, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka is filed in federal district court in Kansas.

May
NAACP lawyer Spottswood Robinson files Davis v. Prince Edward County, a challenge to Virginia's segregated schools and another of the cases eventually consolidated with Brown.

Briggs v. Elliott, the South Carolina case, goes to trial. Marshall and the NAACP present a vast array of social science evidence showing how segregation harms black school children, including Kenneth Clark's controversial "Doll Study." A three judge panel upholds segregation in the schools by a vote of 2 to 1.

June
Brown v. Board of Education goes to trial with Robert Carter leading the NAACP legal team. In August, a three judge panel unanimously holds that "no willful, intentional or substantial discrimination" exists in the Topeka public schools. The court finds that the physical facilities in white and black schools are comparable and that the Supreme Court's decisions in Sweatt v. Painter and McLaurin apply only to graduate education. However, the court also includes a finding of fact that echoes the testimony of the social science experts by noting that segregation has a detrimental effect on black school children. "The impact [of segregation] is greater when it has the sanction of the law; for the policy of separating the races is usually interpreted as denoting the inferiority of the Negro group. . . . Segregation with the sanction of law, therefore, has a tendency to retard the educational and mental development of Negro children and to deprive them of some of the benefits they would receive in a racially integrated school system."

October
The Delaware cases, Belton v. Gebhart and Bulah v. Gebhart, go to trial.