The first Freedom Ride departs from Washington, D.C.

On May 4, 1961, a group of thirteen young people departs Washington, D.C.’s Greyhound Bus terminal, bound for the South. Their journey is peaceful at first, but the riders will meet with shocking violence on their way to New Orleans, eventually being forced to evacuate from Jackson, Mississippi but earning a place in history as the first Freedom Riders.

Two Supreme Court rulings, Morgan v. Virginia and Boynton v. Virginia, forbade the racial segregation of bus lines, and a 1955 ruling by the Interstate Commerce Commission outlawed the practice of using “separate but equal” buses. Nonetheless, bus lines in the South continued to abide by Jim Crow laws, ignoring the federal mandate to desegregate, for years. The Congress of Racial Equality, with assistance from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, decided to protest this practice by sending white and Black riders together into the South, drawing inspiration both from recent sit-ins and the 1947 Journey of Reconciliation, in which activists attempting to desegregate buses were imprisoned in North Carolina for violating Jim Crow laws.

READ MORE: Mapping the Freedom Riders’ Journey Against Segregation

The riders who boarded the buses on May 4 were mostly students, and several were teenagers. Among them was 21-year-old John Lewis, who would go on to co-organize the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and represent a Georgia district containing most of Atlanta in Congress for 33 years. Trained in nonviolence, they sat in mixed-race pairs on the buses in order to make a statement about integration while deterring violence. When they reached Rock Hill, South Carolina, however, Lewis was badly beaten, and things got worse as they approached Birmingham, Alabama. In Anniston, outside of Birmingham, a crowd of local Klansmen attacked one of the buses, setting it ablaze and sending several riders to the hospital. Local police fired warning shots in the air to dispel the riot, although it has since been revealed that they had privately assured the Klan they would give them time to carry out an attack before intervening. In Birmingham, more Klansmen beat the riders with baseball bats and bicycle chains as the local police, led by the notorious Bull Connor, stood down. 

The original Freedom Riders finally abandoned their plan to reach New Orleans and were evacuated from Jackson, Mississippi, but even as the first ride came to an end more Freedom Riders were beginning theirs. Over the course of the summer, over 400 people took part in dozens of Freedom Rides followed in their footsteps. Like the first Riders, they were often met with violence and arrested, but their actions drew national attention to the brutality of white supremacy and the flagrance with which Southern states, businesses, and law enforcement continued to disregard federal law and finally won true desegregation of the buses.

Listen to HISTORY This Week Podcast: Freedom Rides Down Under


A lawmaker introduces the pun “May the Fourth be with you” on the floor of U.K. Parliament

On May 4, 1994, in a groan-inducing moment on the floor of U.K. Parliament, a lawmaker uses a pun that will spawn its own holiday far, far away from the halls of government.

“May the 4th is an appropriate date for a defense debate. My researcher, who is a bit of a wit, said that it should be called ‘National Star Wars Day,’” said Harry Cohen, then a Member of Parliament from Leyton, an area of East London. “He was talking about the film Star Wars rather than President Reagan’s defense fantasy, and he added, ‘May the fourth be with you.’ That is a very bad joke; he deserves the sack for making it, but he is a good researcher.”

Cohen, of course, was referring to “May the Force be with you,” the guiding principle of the heroes in the wildly popular Star Wars movies, a franchise which was then just three films.

The pun (which may or may not have been original to Cohen’s staff) has been repeated countless times since, to the extent that May 4 is now recognized as Star Wars Day by Lucasfilm, Disney and fans around the world.

Fueled by memes and photos on the internet, fans began organizing “Star Wars Day” events in the 2010s—one of the first appears to have been at the Toronto Underground Cinema in 2011. Having acquired the rights to the Star Wars franchise in 2012, Disney began observing Star Wars Day the following year, with special events and releases marking the occasion.

2015 marked the first known celebration of Star Wars Day in space, when astronauts aboard the International Space Station watched Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Rather than limit their celebration to just one day, fans may choose to observe “Revenge of the Fifth” the day after Star Wars Day, although many hold that “Revenge of the Sixth” is a better pun.

READ MORE: The Real History That Inspired ‘Star Wars’


The U.S. officially begins construction on the Panama Canal

A ceremony on May 4, 1905 marks the official beginning of the second attempt to build the Panama Canal. This second attempt to bridge the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans will succeed, dramatically altering world trade as well as the physical and geopolitical landscape of Central America.

For decades before it was attempted, merchants and engineers fixated on the idea of creating a passage through Central America for ocean-going vessels, sparing them thousands of nautical miles and the dangerous trip around Cape Horn. A French company was the first to attempt building such a canal, but the results were disastrous: roughly 20,000 workers perished due to accidents and tropical diseases, and the company collapsed without coming close to completing the canal. 

In 1902, the United States Congress passed the Spooner Act, authorizing the acquisition of the defunct French company. After failing to reach a deal with Colombia to dig the canal, the Unites States backed separatists in the Isthmus of Panama, leading to the birth of a new nation as well as the Panama Canal Zone, a strip of land 10 miles wide along the route of the canal over which the United States would hold jurisdiction.

WATCH: Modern Marvels: Panama Canal Supersized on HISTORY Vault

On May 4, 1905, dubbed “Acquisition Day,” the project became official. The Americans largely avoided the mistakes that had doomed the French project. Engineers used dams to create an inland lake, connected to the oceans by locks, rather than building a sea-level canal all the way across the isthmus. In addition to creating Gatún Lake, then the largest artificial lake in the world, the project also required the blasting of the Galliard Cut, also known as the Culebra Cut, an artificial gorge which was dynamited out of the rock of the Continental Divide so that the canal could flow through.

In October of 1913, nearly 10 years after construction had resumed, a telegraph from President Woodrow Wilson triggered the detonation of a dike and the flooding of the Culebra Cut, joining the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific. The following August, the Panama Canal officially opened, immediately altering patterns of world trade in ways comparable only to the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. 

Accidents, disease and the extremely hot conditions killed 5,609 workers over the decade it took to complete the canal. The United States remained the de facto sovereign of the canal and the Canal Zone until 1979 when, under President Jimmy Carter, the U.S. agreed to transfer management of the canal to Panama on December 31, 1999.


2021/22 School Choice Online Phase II Applications Accepted Beginning May 3, 2021

April 28, 2021

School Choice

Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is excited to announce the next opportunity for families to submit School Choice applications for the 2021/22 school year is Monday, May 3 – Monday, May 10, 2021.

Parents and guardians may submit their School Choice Phase II applications online at for magnet programs and school reassignments at schools with available seats. There is also a new Phase II option: families can apply for kindergarten seats available at Nova Blanche Forman Elementary and Nova Dwight Eisenhower Elementary schools. Phase II includes three upcoming application windows (see chart below), which are all based on seats available as of the specified dates.


Phase II Online Applications May Be Submitted

Application Status Notification

May 3 – 10, 2021

May 27, 2021

July 1 – 6, 2021

July 22, 2021

August 2 – 30, 2021

Weekly on Thursdays

Application window opens at 8 a.m. on May 3, July 1 and August 2


Please note:

  • Families submitting their first School Choice application during one of the upcoming Phase II application windows will receive an email confirmation. Their child’s application status will be available on the Check Your Status webpage.
  • Families of students placed in a waitpool following the Phase I application window earlier this school year, do not need to submit another application during Phase II, unless a different school or magnet program is desired. The original application remains active during the entire process.
  • If a student’s current or previous application (for students in the waitpool) is not awarded as of August 12, parents should arrange for their child to attend his or her assigned school, which is based on the family’s primary address.


In addition to School Choice Phase II, the 2021/22 application window for the John M. McKay Scholarship for Students with Disabilities public school option also begins on May 3, 2021, at 8 a.m. Parents may apply at

To learn more about School Choice options, application windows and notification timelines, and to apply online (beginning May 3, 2021, at 8 a.m.), visit

Parents and guardians are encouraged to explore all the District’s School Choice options. BCPS is a national leader in offering innovative, personalized learning programs to meet students’ interests and prepare them for college and careers.

For more information, contact the Office of School Choice at



“Committed to educating all students to reach their highest potential.”  

Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth largest school district in the nation and the second largest in the state of Florida. BCPS is Florida’s first fully accredited school system since 1962. BCPS has nearly 261,500 students and approximately 110,000 adult students in 241 schools, centers and technical colleges, and 92 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population, with students representing 170 different countries and 147 different languages. To connect with BCPS, visit, follow us on Twitter @browardschools, on Facebook at and download the free BCPS mobile app.


Floranada Elementary School Student Wins SC Johnson Professional Happy Hands Contest in Elementary School Category

April 27, 2021 

Media Invited to Attend – Wednesday, April 28, at 1 p.m. 

SC Johnson Professional Happy Hands ContestCongratulations to Stella Flowers fourth grade student at Floranada Elementary School for winning the SC Johnson Happy Hands dispenser design contest in the elementary school category, which promotes the importance of handwashing and sanitizing at school.   

“It’s heartwarming to see the excitement around the student designs and hand hygiene, and support from the schools and communities,” said Mike Flagg, head of SC Johnson Professional’s North American business. “Hand hygiene is such a critical step in preventing the spread of germs, and we hope that this contest serves as a fun reminder for practicing good hand hygiene.”  

On Wednesday, April 28, 2021, at 1 p.m., at a special assembly celebration in Stella’s honor, representatives of SC Johnson Professional will present her with a $300 gift card and her school will receive a $1,000 donation. Her winning design will be custom printed for free on up to 1,000 SC Johnson Professional® manual soap and sanitizer dispensers. Media is invited to cover this event.  

“It’s overwhelming to see the tremendous support Stella received for her design,” said Luke Balchaitis, Principal, Floranada Elementary School. “It was an honor to participate in SC Johnson Professional’s Happy Hands contest. It’s a fun way to show students the importance of handwashing.” 

Photo caption: Stella Flowers winning Happy Hands dispenser design.   

Media interested in covering this event are asked to RSVP at





“Committed to educating all students to reach their highest potential.”   

Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth largest school district in the nation and the second largest in the state of Florida. BCPS is Florida’s first fully accredited school system since 1962. BCPS has nearly 261,500 students and approximately 110,000 adult students in 241 schools, centers and technical colleges, and 92 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population, with students representing 170 different countries and 147 different languages. To connect with BCPS, visit, follow us on Twitter @browardschools, on Facebook at and download the free BC


BCPS Partners with Jason Taylor Foundation, UKG and CAGEMASK to Protect Student Athletes from COVID-19

April 23, 2021

Spring football is getting ready to begin across Broward County Public Schools (BCPS), and this season, high school players will have an additional layer of protection against COVID-19.

Thanks to partnerships with the Jason Taylor Foundation and UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group), and discounted pricing from CAGEMASK, the District is providing CAGEMASKS for all high school football teams.  Each high school team participating in the Broward County Athletic Association (BCAA) will receive 100 masks at no cost to its school or student athletes.This includes 29 District high schools, two charter schools and two private schools.

CAGEMASK is a plastic shield designed to easily attach to the inside of the player’s helmet – not worn on the face – so athletes can continue to breathe freely while reducing the potential for viral spread. In fact, according to CAGEMASK, recent testing shows the shields reduce 99.4% of the spread of viral particles. The shields are also clear, so they do not block athletes’ vision.

On Monday, April 26, 2021, at 4 p.m. representatives from the Jason Taylor Foundation, UKG and CAGEMASK will present CAGEMASKS to BCPS during the kickoff practice for spring football at Hollywood Hills High School (5400 Stirling Road, Hollywood).  Media is invited to cover this event.

We appreciate the opportunity to provide this extra layer of protection to our football players, as they prepare to start the new spring season,” said BCPS Superintendent Robert W. Runcie. “Sports programs have a tremendously positive impact on our students, and we’re grateful to each of the partners for their commitment to ensuring our athletes are as safe as possible.”

“As the father of three high school athletes and a football coach to many more, the safety and wellbeing of our young people is at the top of my priority list. This is why I’m excited to team up with our long-time community partner, UKG, to make CAGEMASK available to every BCAA football player,” said Jason Taylor, former Miami Dolphins All-Pro Defensive End and current member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “I was beyond impressed with the precautions and protocols Broward County Public Schools implemented last season in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and our foundation and UKG both believe this initiative will help to support the overall commitment to student safety.”

“CAGEMASK is committed to keeping players safe. We are thrilled to partner with the Jason Taylor Foundation and UKG to outfit BCPS student athletes with our revolutionary, optically clear, no fog, medical grade plastic CAGEMASKS, so athletes can play safe with no impairment to vision or breathing,” said Keith Hechtman, M.D. who founded CAGEMASK in August of 2020. “CAGEMASK meets the urgent need for football, lacrosse and hockey players at every level to resume competitive play during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our products have been tested at the NanoSafe lab at Virginia Tech where they specialize in testing innovative sports equipment to help protect athletes on the field. Testing results prove that CAGEMASK reduces the outward expulsion of droplets expelled by a player by more than 95%.“


Media interested in covering this event are asked to RSVP at




“Committed to educating all students to reach their highest potential.”  

Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth largest school district in the nation and the second largest in the state of Florida. BCPS is Florida’s first fully accredited school system since 1962. BCPS has nearly 261,500 students and approximately 110,000 adult students in 241 schools, centers and technical colleges, and 92 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population, with students representing 170 different countries and 147 different languages. To connect with BCPS, visit, follow us on Twitter @browardschools, on Facebook at and download the free BCPS mobile app.



In July 2004, Miami Dolphins and Pro Football Hall of Fame legendary defensive end Jason Taylor established the Jason Taylor Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) organization. The Foundation’s mission is to support and create programs that facilitate the personal growth and empowerment of South Florida’s children in need by focusing on improved health care, education and quality of life. Since opening its doors, the Jason Taylor Foundation has impacted tens of thousands of children through innovative programming including The Jason Taylor Reading Room, The Omari Hardwick bluapple Poetry Network, Louder Than A Bomb Florida, Cool Gear for the School Year, the Jason Taylor Children’s Learning Center, and Jason Taylor Scholars, among others.  For more information on the Jason Taylor Foundation, please visit the organization’s website at or follow on social media sites including Facebook: or Twitter and Instagram: @jtfoundation99



At UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group), our purpose is people. Built from a merger that created one of the largest cloud companies in the world, UKG believes organizations succeed when they focus on their people. As a leading global provider of HCM, payroll, HR service delivery, and workforce management solutions, UKG delivers award-winning Pro, Dimensions, and Ready solutions to help tens of thousands of organizations across geographies and in every industry drive better business outcomes, improve HR effectiveness, streamline the payroll process, and help make work a better, more connected experience for everyone. UKG has 13,000 employees around the globe and is known for an inclusive workplace culture. The company has earned numerous awards for culture, products, and services, including consecutive years on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list. To learn more, visit



CAGEMASK offers proven protection for youth, high school, collegiate, and professional athletes to play safe. CAGEMASK is available in a two-layer fabric helmet mask for football and an optically clear, anti-fog, medical grade plastic helmet shield for football, lacrosse, hockey and softball. NanoSafe Testing at Virginia Tech showed that CAGEMASK reduced outward droplets simulating those expelled by a player by more than 95%. CAGEMASK also offers optically clear, anti-fog gaiters and masks under our CLARO brand, featuring our proprietary technology. CAGEMASK and CLARO products are sold at


Canadians capture Vimy Ridge in northern France

After three days of fierce combat and over 10,000 casualties suffered, the Canadian Corps seizes the previously German-held Vimy Ridge in northern France on April 12, 1917.

Many historians have pointed to the victory at Vimy Ridge during World War I as a moment of greatness for Canada, when it emerged from Britain’s shadow to attain its own measure of military achievement. As a result of the victory, earned despite the failure of the larger Allied offensive of which it was a part, Canadian forces earned a reputation for efficiency and strength on the battlefield.

The Allied offensive—masterminded by the French commander in chief, Robert Nivelle—began Easter Monday, April 9, 1917, as British and Canadian forces launched simultaneous attacks on German positions at Arras and Vimy Ridge, a heavily fortified, seven-kilometer-long raised stretch of land with a sweeping view of the Allied lines. The first day was overwhelmingly successful for the Allies, as the British punched through the Hindenburg Line—the defensive positions to which Germany had retreated in February 1917—and overran sections of two German trench lines within two hours, taking 5,600 prisoners.

The Canadians, attacking over a stretch of land littered with the dead of previous French attacks on the same positions, also moved swiftly in the first hours of the offensive, as four Canadian divisions stormed the ridge at 5:30 am on April 9, moving forward under cover of a punishing artillery barrage that forced the Germans to hunker down in their trenches and away from their machine guns. More than 15,000 Canadian infantry troops attacked Vimy Ridge that day, overrunning the German positions and taking 4,000 prisoners.

Three more days of heavy fighting resulted in victory on April 12, when control of Vimy was in Canadian hands. Though the Nivelle Offensive as a whole failed miserably, the Canadian operation had proved a success, albeit a costly one: 3,598 Canadian soldiers were killed and another 7,000 were wounded. 

Vimy Ridge became a shining example of Canada’s effort in the Great War, and one that served as a symbol of the sacrifice the young British dominion had made for the Allied cause. As Brigadier-General A.E. Ross famously declared after the war, in those few minutes I witnessed the birth of a nation. In 1922, the French government ceded Vimy Ridge and the land surrounding it to Canada; the gleaming white marble Vimy Memorial was unveiled in 1936 as a testament to the more than 60,000 Canadians who died in service during World War I.


British launch surprise tank attack at Cambrai

At dawn on the morning of November 20, 1917, six infantry and two cavalry divisions of the British Expeditionary Force–with additional support from 14 squadrons of the Royal Flying Corps–join the British Tank Corps in a surprise attack on the German lines near Cambrai, France.

After the British debuted the first armored tanks during the massive Somme offensive in September 1916, their effectiveness as a weapon–aside from the initial value of surprise–was quickly thrown into doubt. The early tanks were maddeningly slow and unwieldy; navigation and visibility from their controls were poor and though they were impervious to small arms fire, they could be destroyed easily by shellfire. Moreover, the tanks often bogged down in the muddy terrain of the Western Front in fall and winter, rendering them completely useless.

As a result, by the fall of 1917 many on the Allied side had come to doubt the viability of the tank as a major force on the battlefield. Commanders of the British Tank Corps nevertheless continued to press for a new offensive, including the large-scale use of tanks on a comparably dry stretch of battlefield in northern France, between the Canal du Nord and St. Quentin, towards the Belgian border. 

After initially vetoing the idea, British Commander in Chief Sir Douglas Haig changed his mind and authorized the operation, hoping to achieve at least one useful victory before the year was out. The attack, led by General Julian Byng of the British 3rd Army, went ahead on the morning of November 20, 1917, with all available tanks–some 476 of them–advancing on the German lines with infantry, cavalry and air support. Within hours, the British forced the German 2nd Army back to Cambrai, to the north, taking some 8,000 prisoners and 100 guns on their way.

The British lacked adequate support for their initial advance, however, and more gains were significantly harder to obtain. Though German Commander in Chief Erich Ludendorff briefly considered a general withdrawal of troops from the area, his commander in the region, Georg von der Marwitz, managed to muster a sharp German counterattack of nearly 20 divisions to regain nearly all the ground lost. Casualties were high on both sides, with German losses of 50,000 compared to 45,000 for the British. 

While the use of tanks at Cambrai failed to achieve the major breakthrough for which Byng had been hoping, the attack nonetheless boosted the tank’s reputation as a potentially effective weapon for targeted use during offensive operations.

READ MORE: World War I Battles: Timeline


“Sip-In” takes place at Julius’ Bar in New York City

On the afternoon of April 21, 1966, a bar crawl in New York’s West Village leads to an important early moment in the gay liberation movement. In what will be dubbed the “Sip-In,” Dick Leitsch, Craig Rodwell and John Timmons publicly identify themselves as gay and demand to be served anyway, challenging the unofficial but widespread practice of banning gay customers from bars.

Although the gay community in New York grew and established numerous clandestine hubs over the course of the 1950s and ’60s, they were still met with open contempt at most bars, restaurants, and nightclubs in the city. Gay men were often accused of “disorderly conduct” simply for being gay and thrown out of bars even though there was no law against homosexuality or serving gays. These were acts of bigotry, but also self-preservation, as the NYPD routinely raided and shut down bars where gays were known to congregate. It was not uncommon for bars to put up signs with messages like “If you are gay, please stay away,” or the slightly subtler “Patrons Must Face the Bar While Drinking,” a coded warning against men trying to pick up other men.

READ MORE: How the Mob Helped Establish NYC’s Gay Bar Scene

Leitsch, Rodwell, and Timmons—later joined by Randy Wicker—were members of the Mattachine Society, a group that tried to break the taboo around homosexuality and present themselves as clean-cut model citizens to combat homophobia and carve out a place in the public sphere for openly gay men. Borrowing an idea from the civil rights movement, they decided to sit down at various bars in Lower Manhattan, announce that they were gay and refuse to leave without being served. The trio was kicked out of the first bar before they arrived—a reporter they had tipped off beat them to the bar and spilled the beans to the bartender, who closed his bar rather than serve them. The group proceeded to two more bars, telling their servers they were gay, and each instance ended with a discussion with the manager and free drinks for the activists. “I’m starting to feel drunk,” Timmons recalled telling his friends. “We better get this done already.”

They finally made their stand at Julius’ Bar, a spot popular with the gay community. The bartender put a glass down in front of Leitsch as he approached the bar, only to place his hand over it after Leitsch announced that he was gay. A newspaper photographer captured the moment, and the Sip-In became legend. Some accounts of the Sip-In hold that the bartender at Julius’ was playing along with the Mattachine in order to help them attract publicity, while others claim that Julius’, though usually gay-friendly, denied the men their drinks because it had been raided by the police just a few days before.

Although its legacy would be dwarfed by the Stonewall Riots, which began in the same neighborhood three years later, the Sip-In did cause a stir. News of the event prompted an official announcement from the chairman of the New York State Liquor authority, affirming that there was nothing in state law about denying service to gays, and a ruling from New York’s Commission on Human Rights that one could not be denied service simply for being homosexual. Across the river in New Jersey, the Mattachine began suing bar owners who denied them service the following year, winning a state Supreme Court ruling that, while labelling gays “unfortunates,” held that “their status does not make them criminals or outlaws.”

READ MORE: The Gay ‘Sip-In’ that Drew from the Civil Rights Movement to Fight Discrimination


Supreme Court declares desegregation busing constitutional

On April 20, 1971, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously declares busing for the purposes of desegregation to be constitutional. The decision in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education settled the constitutional question and allowed the widespread implementation of busing, which remained controversial over the next decade.

The Supreme Court’s 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education officially banned racial segregation in American schools, but the end of formal segregation did not lead to a new era of total integration. Many previously segregated schools in the South remained desegregated in name only throughout the ’50s and ’60s, and the de facto segregation of neighborhoods across the nation meant that many technically-desegregated school districts had little or no racial diversity. Many city governments closed certain schools that were liable to become racially mixed and built new ones in more homogenous areas, creating new schools that were effectively segregated in order to avoid integrating old ones. Additionally, the “white flight” phenomenon saw many white families leave the cities for less-diverse suburbs, or move their children from integrated public schools to all-white private or parochial schools.

Thus, ten years after Brown, fewer than 5 percent of Black children in North Carolina’s Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District attended integrated schools. The city government’s solution was busing, the practice of intentionally moving children to schools outside of their school districts in order to desegregate. When the NAACP sued Charlotte on behalf of a six-year-old boy, James Swann, Judge James McMillan ruled in their favor, upholding the constitutionality of busing and ordering the city to begin moving students from inner-city Charlotte to schools in suburban Mecklenburg, and vice-versa. White parents were incensed, sending McMillan death threats, burning him in effigy, and forming the Concerned Parents Association, which launched an unsuccessful boycott of the public school system and ran a slate of anti-busing candidates for local office.

The case was appealed to the Supreme Court, which unanimously sided with the NAACP on April 20, 1971. The ruling allowed cities across the country to adopt busing, although a 1974 ruling restricted busing to districts that could be proven to have enacted discriminatory policies. From the Deep South to Boston to California, busing policies led to pushback and sometimes violence from white parents, and while many localities did achieve the goal of racial integration, the legacy of busing is still a controversial topic. By the end of the 20th century, busing had all but vanished thanks to legal challenges and local governmental decisions. Although critics argue that busing was unfair to all involved, placing a burden on the Black children it was meant to help, a study by the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University conducted in the early 2000s found that desegregation in American schools had regressed back to the same levels as the mid-’60s, and that the integration of public schools had peaked in 1988.

READ MORE: What Led to Desegregation Busing—And Did It Work?