100 Americans Making Constitutional History: A Biographical History presents 100 profiles of the key people behind some of the most important U.S. Supreme Court cases. Edited by Melvin I. Urofsky, a respected constitutional historian, each 2,000-word profile delves into the social and political context behind landmark Court decisions. For example, while a case like Brown v. Board of Education is about an important idea—the equal protection of the law—at its heart it is the story of a little girl, Linda Brown, who wanted to go to a decent school near her home. The outcome is accessible and objective “stories” about the individuals—heroes and scoundrels—who fought their way to constitutional history.

Daisy Bates

Daisy Bates

The Fight for Civil Rights in Arkansas

“The Right of Peaceable Assembly … Lie[s] at the Foundation of Government”

Bates v. City of Little Rock

361 U.S. 516 (1960)

Daisy Lee Gatson Bates (c. 1920–1999) stands as the most significant figure in the civil rights movement in Arkansas and certainly among the most important women civil rights activists of the 1950s and early 1960s. Born probably in 1920 (some sources indicate 1912 or 1914) in the tiny southern Arkansas community of Huttig, a sawmill town in Union County, Daisy Gatson grew up amidst the poverty and violence that typified the rural South of that day. When Gatson was a baby, her mother was murdered, allegedly by three white men, and her father left town. She never knew ...

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