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Evans v. Newton - Significance, A Bequest To The Public, A Public Or A Private Facility?, Impact, De Facto Segregation

court park petitioner decision


Evans, et al.


Newton, et al.

Petitioner's Claim

That a Macon, Georgia park that had been left to the city on the condition that it be open to white people be desegregated, even though the park had recently reverted to private control.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Jack Greenberg

Chief Lawyers for Respondent

C. Baxter Jones and Frank C. Jones

Justices for the Court

William J. Brennan, Jr., Tom C. Clark, William O. Douglas (writing for the Court), Abe Fortas, Earl Warren, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

Hugo Lafayette Black, John Marshall Harlan II, Potter Stewart


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

17 January 1966


Upheld the petitioners' claim, reversing the decisions of two lower courts and ruling that, due to its history as a public facility, and to the public nature of parks in general, the park must be operated on a desegregated basis.

Related Cases

  • Pennsylvania v. Board of Directors of the City Trusts of Philadelphia, 357 U.S. 570 (1958).
  • Evans v. Abney, 396 U.S. 435 (1970).
  • Palmer v. Thompson, 403 U.S. 217 (1971).


Bradley, David and Shelley Fisher Fishkin, eds. The Encyclopedia of Civil Rights in America. Armonk, NY: Sharpe, 1998.

Further Readings

  • Biskupic, Joan, and Elder Witt, eds. Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court, 3rd ed. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Inc., 1990.
  • Hall, Kermit L., ed. The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States, New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.
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over 10 years ago

so, basically this is the abridged version. Correct me if I'm wrong.

In Evans v. Newton, Senator Bacon was a really rich old man in Macon, and when he died in 1911, he gave lots of his best land to the city to be made into a community park on the best land in the city on one condition- It had to be a whites-only park. That was all fine until the civil rights act made it illegal to segregate any public facilities. When the city made it open to black people, Mr. Bacon’s grandchildren sued the city. The case was taken to the Supreme Court, which said that, while Blacks had every right to be in the park, it was in violation to Mr. Bacon’s will, and the land was to be returned to the family. The family then sold the land to contractors.

Look, I'm only a kid, so I don't expect this version to be as good as yours, but I will definitely use this site as a source for my project. Thank you. It has been very interesting.