In 1954 the US Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Brown v. the Board of Education ended racial segregation in public schools. Southern states, however, continued to resist. Ruby spent kindergarten in a segregated classroom. In 1960 a federal court ordered Louisiana schools to desegregate.
The school district created an entrance exam to see if Black students could handle being in an all-white school. Ruby and five other students passed the exam. The six students were to be sent to two different all-white schools.
The school district delayed their start and Ruby’s first day of school was November 14, 1960. A few days before the start of school, the two Black students who were going to attend with Ruby, decided to stay in their home school. Ruby braved William Frantz Elementary School on her own.
How Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day Began
In May 2018, a group of fifth-graders from Martin Elementary in South San Francisco learned about Ruby and asked their school board to pass a resolution making November 14 Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day.