July 9, 1868
14th Amendment Ratified (granting equal protection to all) Section 1 All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. Link to Statutes at Large ratification at the American Memory Collection
1869-70
California legislature passes segregation laws calling for the establishment of separate public schools for African American and Indian (Native American) children. Sections 1669, 1670, 1671 of the California Political Code.

"Sec. 1669. The education of children of African descent, and Indian children, must be provided for in separate schools; provided, that if the directors or trustees fail to provide such separate schools, then such children must be admitted into the schools for white children.

"Sec. 1670. Upon the written application of the parents or guardians of such children to any board of trustees or board of education, a separate school must be established for the education of such children.

"Sec. 1671. The same laws, rules, and regulations which apply to schools for white children apply to schools for colored children." (Deering's Pol. Code, note at foot of page 290.)
1874
Ward v. Flood 48 Cal. 36, January 1874. California Supreme court ordered that colored children may be excluded from schools established for white children provided that a separate school of equal facilities has been established for colored children. If a separate-but-equal school has not been established, then colored children must be admitted to schools established for white children.
1880
April 7, 1880. School segregations laws, Sections 1669, 1670, 1671 of the California Political Code were repealed by the California legislature. The act was entitled, an "Act to amend an Act to provide for a system of common schools."

[*592] Section 1662 of the Political Code was by the same act amended so as to omit the word "white" before the word "children" as it had stood before that time, and as amended it read: --

"Every school, unless otherwise provided by law, must be open for the admission of all children between six and twenty-one years of age residing in the district; and the board of trustees, or city board of education, have power to admit adults and children not residing in the district whenever good reason exists therefore. Trustees shall have the power to exclude children of filthy and vicious habits, or children suffering from contagious or infectious diseases."

1885
Amendment to Political Code section 1662, establishing separate schools for children of Mongolian and Chinese descent.

Every school, unless otherwise provided by law, must be open for the admission of all children between six and twenty-one years of age residing in the district; and the Board of Trustees, or City Board of Education, have power to admit adults and children not residing in the district, whenever good reasons exist therefore. Trustees shall have the power to exclude children of filthy or vicious habits, or children suffering from contagious or infectious diseases, and also to establish separate schools for children of Mongolian or Chinese descent. When such separate schools are established, Chinese or Mongolian children must not be admitted into any other schools.

1890
Wysinger v. Crookshank 82 Cal. 588, January 29, 1890 California Supreme Court ruled that public school districts in California may not establish separate schools for children of African descent or exclude them from public schools established for white children
1890
Louisiana passes a Jim Crow law mandating separate but equal accommodations on railroads for blacks and whites (leading ultimately to the Supreme Court decision in Plessy v. Ferguson,163 U.S. 537 (1896))
1893
Amendment to Political Code section 1662, adding Indian children to the list of children for whom separate schools may be established.

Every school, unless otherwise provided by law, must be open for the admission of all children between six and twenty-one years of age residing in the district; and the Board of Trustees, or City Board of Education, have power to admit adults and children not residing in the district, whenever good reasons exist therefore. Trustees shall have the power to exclude children of filthy or vicious habits, or children suffering from contagious or infectious diseases, and also to establish separate schools for Indian children and for children of Mongolian or Chinese descent. When such separate schools are established, Indian, Chinese, or Mongolian children must not be admitted into any other school; provided, that in cities and towns in which the kindergarten has been adopted, or may hereafter be adopted, as part of the public primary schools, children may be admitted to such kindergarten classes at the age of four years.

1896
Plessy v. Ferguson,163 U.S. 537 (1896): The Supreme Court Upholds separate-but-equal law of Louisiana. On June 7, 1892, Homer Plessy, was arrested for refusing to sit in the "colored" railcar aboard a passenger train of the East Louisiana Railway. The Supreme Court decided that Louisana's separate but equal law did not violate Plessy rights according to the 14th amendment.
1924
Piper v. Big Pine School District of Inyo County, 193 Cal. 664, June 2, 1924 California Supreme Court orders that Indian (Native American) children have the right to attend public schools regardless of whether parents of the children are relieved from paying taxes.
1931
Roberto Alvarez v. the Board of Trustees of the Lemon Grove School District March 30, 1931 First successful school desegregation decision in the U.S. San Diego County Trial Court rules that Mexican American children are allowed to return to the Lemon Grove school house in San Diego County.
1931
April 1931 California assembly passes a bill legalizing the segregation of Mexican, Chinese and Japanese children in the public schools. The "Bliss bill" is sent for debate in the Senate.
1944
Lopez v. Seccombe 71 F. Supp. 769 (S.D. Cal 1944) Southern California District court rules that the ban of "Citizens of Mexican and Latin descent" from public schools and park facilities by the City of San Bernardino is a violation of the 14th amendment.
1947
Mendez v. Westminster, 161 F. 2d 774 (9th Cir. 1947) February 18, 1946, Ended school segregation of Mexicans in California's public schools. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rules "By enforcing the segregation of school children of Mexican descent against their will and contrary to the laws of California, respondents have violated the federal law as provided in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Federal Constitution by depriving them of liberty and property without due process of law and by denying to them the equal protection of the laws. " The Court noted that California law does not include the segregation of school children because of their Mexican blood.
1947
Anderson Bill signed into law on June 14, 1947 by Governor Earl Warren. The law repealed Sections 8003 and 8004 of the California Education Code, the last of California' school segregation laws.
1948
Perez v. Lippold (aka Perez v. Sharp), 32 Cal. 2d 711, 198 P.2d 17 (1948): California's ban on interracial marriage violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
1951
Brown v. Board of Education: case decided in lower court in Arkansas which became the lead case in the four cases consolidated for appeal in Brown I.
1954
Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954) Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren delivers the court ruling overturning Plessy v. Ferguson. The court rules that "separate-but-equal," segregation of public schools violates the 14th Amendment guarantee of Equal Protection. The Brown case was argued by Thurgood Marshall.
1955
Romero v. Weakley 131 F. Supp. 818; 1955 U.S. Dist., May 5, 1955 Two law suits filed in the San Diego Federal District Court charging two Imperial County public school districts with segregation of African-American and Mexican-American children.
1955
Brown v. Board of Education, 349 U.S. 294 (1955)(Brown II): Desegregation to proceed with "all deliberate speed"
1957
President Eisenhower orders National Guard to Little Rock, Arkansas, to escort nine black students to Central H.S. to enforce Brown
1963
Crawford v. Los Angeles challenged school segregation in Los Angeles. The case was originally filed in 1963 and not settled until 1982.

Source: Teaching to Change L.A.

1976
Pasadena City Bd. of Educ. v. Spangler, 427 U.S. 424 (1976): Once a school system complies with the demands of equal protection, it does not need to annually readjust school attendance to insure a proportional racial balance at each school.
1978
Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978). A university may consider the race of an applicant in making admissions decisions, but may not use quotas. Justice Marshall writes a separate opinion supporting the use of quotas in affirmative action programs.
1982
Crawford v Los Angeles decision June 30, 1982
1996
California adopts Proposition 209 banning all forms of affirmative action
1997
Ninth Circuit affirms constitutionality of Proposition 209; Supreme Court declines to hear the case.