Moments in Kentucky
Legislative History

Presented by the Kentucky Historical Society

Day Law

On January 12, 1904, Representative Carl Day of Breathitt County introduced a bill “to prohibit white and colored persons from attending the same school.” It was passed in the House by a vote of 73 to 5 and in the Senate by the margin of 28 to 5. The Day Law went into effect in July 1904 and remained in full force until it was amended in 1948 and again in 1950. It was completely overturned by the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. The Day Law was aimed at only one school—Berea College, which at that time was the only integrated school in the state or in the South.

segregated Mt. Vernon school segregated Mt. Vernon school

Woodford County school superintendent Melvin Hifner commissioned photos of all the county’s schools for the Columbian Exposition in 1892. These two shots show the segregated “Mt. Vernon” schools. Donated by the Woodford County Historical Society. KHS Collections.

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