Homer Plessy, a Black businessman and civil rights activist, was born on this date in 1862.

In 1892, Plessy sat in a whites-only railroad car to challenge a two-year-old streetcar law that separated passengers traveling on trains in Louisiana. His action resulted in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court Case of Plessy vs. Ferguson in 1896. The Supreme Court upheld the statute of “Separate but Equal” and unfortunately this landmark decision eventually was used to justify segregation in education, public accommodations, and transportation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homer_Plessy