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Jump Back in Time Progressive Era (1890-1913)
'Negro Drinking at 'Colored' Water Cooler in Streetcar Terminal, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma,' 1939.
Blacks and whites drank from separate water fountains and coolers, as in this Oklahoma City streetcar station in 1939

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Plessy v. Ferguson
May 18, 1896

For over 50 years, the states of the American South enforced a policy of separate accommodations for blacks and whites on buses and trains, and in hotels, theaters, and schools. On May 18, 1896, the Supreme Court ruled in the Plessy v. Ferguson law case that separate-but-equal facilities on trains were constitutional. One justice, John Marshall Harlan, disagreed with the ruling and argued that separating blacks from whites (called segregation) in public facilities created inequality and marked one race as inferior to another.
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