April 20, 1971

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Seventeen years after its landmark desegregation ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the constitutionality of school busing to achieve that end in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education.

• Subsequent decisions imposed desegregation orders on schools nationwide in systems where the segregation was a function of housing patterns, as well as in those like the system in Charlotte, N.C., where there was state-supported segregation.

• The line of cases sparked heated political debate and occasional violence, including that pictured above at a 1976 anti-busing rally outside Boston City Hall.

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