January 12, 1948

The United States Supreme Court ruled on January 12, 1948 in Sipuel v. Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma that Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher must have the same opportunities as other Oklahomans to earn a legal education in Oklahoma. Fisher became the first black student admitted to the University of Oklahoma’s College of Law, paving the way for other African American students to have equal higher education opportunities in Oklahoma.

The Sipuel case laid the foundation for the Brown v. Board of Education landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court.

The Ada Lois Sipuel Collection on Digital Prairie has over 250 documents from the Oklahoma Supreme Court, Civil Case No. 32756.

Ada Sipuel Fisher signing the register of attorneys, 1952
Ada Sipuel Fisher signing the register of attorneys.

For more information, visit the Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture.

Photo credit: Oklahoma Historical Society, Z.P. Meyers/Barney Hillerman Photographic Collection (1952)