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Topeka High School

“In the islands of the Pacific, in Italy, on every sea today are men and women who carry with them treasured mind-pictures of our building, beautiful and friendly. We who are present students are photographing for ourselves similar pictures that we shall cherish in future years.”

Though academically integrated since its inception in 1871, Topeka High School and all other high schools in Kansas maintained segregated sports, clubs and any other extracurricular activities. Notice that there are two sets of prom kings and queens; one set elected by the white students, and another set elected by the black students. While the white king and queen each get their own page, the black king and queen share a page and also lack their last names in the title. Today, Topeka is well known for being the location of the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case that declared separate to be inherently unequal. How do you think WWII might have influenced the system of segregation in the United States and do you think the conflict prolonged the system or accelerated its demise?

Topeka High School

From the Collection of The National WWII Museum

Things to look for:

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Major WWII Vocabulary:

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