Brown v. Board – In May 1954 the Warren Court unanimously decided in the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas case. The justices ruled that segregation in the public schools was “inherently unequal” and thus unconstitutional. The justices went on to insist that desegregation should go on with “all deliberate speed.”
Suez Crisis – President Nasser of Egypt, and ardent Arab nationalist, was seeking funds to build an immense dam on the upper Nile for urgently needed irrigation and power. Britain and the US offered some support, but when Nasser flirted with the Communist camp, Secretary of State Dulles suddenly withdrew the offer. Insulted, Nasser promptly nationalized the Suez Canal, owned chiefly by British and French stockholders. This placed Egypt in control of all of Western Europe’s oil supply, and Dulles worked to prevent a Western invasion, while the Soviets threatened aid to Egypt and nuclear retaliation in the case of an attack. British and French allies, after deliberately keeping Washington in the dark, and coordinating their blow with one from Israel, staged a joint assault on Egypt late in October 1956. The British and French had erred in assuming that the US would provide them with oil during the attack, but Eisenhower refused, and they were forced to remove their troops from Egypt.