Donald Gaines Murray

On December 8, 1934 Donald Gaines Murray drafted a letter to the University of Maryland attempting to secure admittance to the University's School of Law. Murray was a native of Baltimore City and a graduate of Amherst College. He applied to the University of Maryland despite its history of segregation because at the time, it was the only law school in the state of Maryland.  Murray was not the first African American to apply to U of M, but after he received the school's letter of rejection, Murray filed suit against the university claiming his rights of equal protection were violated as protected by the fourteenth amendment. The case was initially tried on the local and state levels, and considered in the Supreme Court, but eventually sent back to Maryland's high court. The Maryland State Court of Appeals ruled in the October term of 1935 that Murray should be allowed to enter the law school. Murray vs. Maryland became one of the important building blocks on the road to Brown vs. The Board of Education.

Photo of Donald Gaines Murray

Letter from Murray to U of M School of Law

Correspondence between School of Law and Murray 

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