On March 25, 1931, nine black teenagers were
arrested in Paint Rock, Alabama for allegedly raping two white
women. Twelve days later, the young men were put on trial in the
nearby town of Scottsboro. After numerous the proceedings culminated
in two landmark decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court, Powell
v. Alabama and Norris
v. Alabama. Ultimately, the death sentences
issued by the jury were overturned, but the defendants were
nonetheless sent to prison.
The trials of the Scottsboro Boys have come to symbolize the role of race in the criminal justice system of the Jim Crow South. Read a history of the trials of the Scottsboro Boys and biographies of the major figures involved, as composed by Law Professor Douglas O. Linder of the University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Law.
A British bill abolishing the slave trade became
law on March 25, 1807.
Learn more about slavery and the slave trade in Britain.