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lloyd gaines

MU School of Law Library, Lloyd Gaines digital collection

No one knows what happened to Lloyd Lionel Gaines. He was last seen in Chicago on March 19, 1939.

Three months before he went missing, on Dec. 12, 1938, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in his favor in a case against the University of Missouri School of Law. The court said the school violated the constitution when it rejected Gaines' application because he was black.

Wednesday marks the 80th anniversary of the ruling. 

Experts say his case could have done what Brown v.  Board of Education did in 1954, and it would have been done 15 years earlier.

University of Missouri Press

The name Lloyd Gaines looms large in the history of the University of Missouri. Historian James Endersby recently co-authored a University of Missouri Press book that examines the impact of Gaines' case on integration efforts in Missouri and across the nation. Endersby talked with KBIA's Darren Hellwege for this week's Thinking Out Loud. 

Resolution to Move Lloyd Gaines Papers From MU

Feb 16, 2017
Chris Yunker / Flickr

House Representative Josh Peters is offering a resolution to move the University of Missouri’s Lloyd Gaines collection to the Smithsonian Institution. The Lloyd Gaines collection includes documents from the 1938 case when Gaines challenged MU’s admissions policies.

Gaines won his case in the Supreme Court, but was not able to take advantage of his victory. He disappeared in March of 1939. 

The papers and artifacts relating to his case are currently housed by the Missouri State Historical Society in the basement of Ellis Library.

Trevor Hook

  Authors James Endersby and William Horner discussed their new book Lloyd Gaines and the Fight to End Segregation Saturday morning during The Boone County Historical Society’s monthly “Meet the Authors” event.

Chris Campbell, the Executive Director for the Boone County Historical Society, says “Meet the Authors” events are meant to celebrate great writing.

“The goal is to give people a great experience.” Campbell says.

Watch the show and join the conversation on the Intersection website.