65 years ago today, the US Supreme Court unanimously ruled that restaurants in Washington, DC could not refuse to serve black patrons, invalidating “separate but equal” services as unconstitutional. Six years before Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat, it was Mary Church Terrell, an 86-year-old NAACP activist, who walked into Thompson’s Restaurant, a few blocks from the White House, and challenged their segregated policy with an eye toward abolishing the practice for good. (1953)

MORE Good News on this Day:

  • A proposed Bill of Rights was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by James Madison, who is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” (1789)
  • The washing machine was patented by Noah Cushing of Quebec (1824)
  • Ives W. McGaffey of Chicago patents the first vacuum cleaner, calling it a “sweeping machine” (1869)
  • The Milwaukee Braves set a MLB record that still stands today—4 consecutive home runs by a team, hit by Eddie Mathews, Hank Aaron, Joe Adcock & Frank Thomas (1961)
  • New South Wales, Australia declared that homosexuality was not a crime (1984)
  • New Zealand established a national nuclear-free zone with a Disarmament, and Arms Control Act (1987)
  • The first World Ocean Day was celebrated, coinciding with the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1992)

And on this day in 1867, Frank Lloyd Wright, the genius of American architecture, was born in Wisconsin. He designed and built 532 buildings —with interior decoration and furniture— to create harmony between people and their environment. This philosophy, called organic architecture,  was best exemplified by the 1939 Pennsylvania home, Fallingwater, which was built over a creek and has been called the “best all-time work of American architecture.” Perhaps Wright’s most recognized masterpiece was also his last major work, ‘The Guggenheim’, a cylindrical  art museum in New York City known for its gently climbing spiral ramp.

His ethereal Unity Temple in Chicago, was ranked by Architectural Record at #6 in its list of most significant U.S. buildings of the 20th century. Wright said that Nature (with a capital ‘N’) was his church, the motto for which was his Organic Commandment:

Love is the Virtue of the Heart; Sincerity the Virtue of the Mind; Courage the Virtue of the Spirit; Decision the Virtue of the Will.  (See some of his designs on products at Amazon or watch the film trailer of Ken Burns’s documentary, below) – Photo by Daderot, CC

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