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Man whose arrest led to ‘separate but equal’ is pardoned


Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana’s governor has pardoned the Black man whose 1892 arrest for refusing to leave an all-white railroad car led to the ruling that cemented “separate but equal” into U.S. law for half a century. Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the pardon for Homer Plessy on Wednesday in New Orleans. The state Board of Pardons recommended a posthumous pardon for Plessy in November. The 30-year-old shoemaker was part of a New Orleans-based organization trying to change a segregation law. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed Louisiana’s law in 1896, and such laws came to dominate the South. Plessy pleaded guilty about eight months later and paid a $25 fine.

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