EXIT of the DAY: EXIT 35 I-95n to : Thurgood Marshall International Airport, Savage Mills, North Laurel in Maryland.
You are approaching Baltimore Washington International Airport aka The Thurgood Marshall Airport. It is named for a man whose roots were in Baltimore... his career was in Washington... and his influence was International.
The grandson of slaves, Marshall attended Frederick Douglass High School. He then went to Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, a primarily African American college. His remarkable class of 1930 included Big Band leader Cab Calloway and writer Langston Hughes.
After Lincoln University, Marshall wanted to go to Law School.
He applied to his home state college, University of Maryland School of Law but was rejected. That’s because the U of M did not accept African Americans.
Instead Marshall attended Howard University Law School. Not surprisingly, he graduated 1st in his class. Then not 3 years after he applied, he sued the University of Maryland, won the suit, and forced the matriculation of the first black man. The legacy of Marshall at Howard lives on: the law school boasts one of the most admired Centers for the study of civil rights which itself was named for Thurgood Marshall.
A passionate proponent of education and an avid stickler to detail, over his career he stayed close to the words -- and promises -- of the US Constitution.
As a Civil Rights lawyer, by 1967 he had won more cases in front of the Supreme Court than any other lawyer in the history of the United States.
In the Mid '60's, President Johnson came calling.
Seeking the first black Supreme Court Justice, Marshall was appointed. President Lyndon Johnson said, "this was "the right thing to do, the right time to do it, the right man and the right place."
Marshall once described his philosophy as this: "You do what you think is right -- and let the law catch up." Folks argue that this was judicial activism. Marshall did not deny it.
When he died in 1993, his legacy was simple: to uphold the constitutional rights of EVERY American.
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