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Did You Know: The mysterious case of Lloyd Gaines

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]ccording to the Inclusion, Diversity and Equity department at the University of Missouri Columbia (MIZZOU), black students who applied to MIZZOU were rejected and deferred to apply to Lincoln University in Jefferson City. Lincoln University had been established to serve black students in accordance with the Missouri Constitution at that time which required “separate education for the races.”

Student Lloyd Gaines applied to MIZZOU anyways because Lincoln University did not offer a law degree. When he was denied, he sued the university claiming his 14th amendment rights were violated.

Gaine’s disappearance

In 1938 the the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Gains favor and said that MU must admit Lloyd Gaines to the law school or provide a satisfactory law school equivalent. However, before he could take advantage of the ruling, Gaines mysteriously disappeared in March of 1939.

He went out to buy stamps and was never seen or heard from again. As a result, his case, which was still pending a ruling on the equivalency of the newly established Lincoln University law school to the MU law school, was dismissed.

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