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Tue, 01.01.1963

Simkins v. Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital is Decided

Simkins v. Cone plaquee

*On this date in 1963, Simkins v. Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital was decided.  This was a federal case, reaching the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which held that "separate but equal" racial segregation in publicly funded hospitals was a violation of equal protection under the United States Constitution. 

George Simkins, Jr. was a dentist and NAACP leader in Greensboro, North Carolina. One of his African American patients developed an abscessed tooth, and Simkins felt that the patient required medical treatment.  None of the local hospitals that would accept Blacks had space for the patient. With the assistance of the NAACP and other medical professionals in the area, Simkins filed suit, arguing that because the Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital and Wesley Long Hospital had received $2.8 million through the Hill-Burton Act, they were subject to the Constitutional guarantee of equal protection.

The suit was filed in February 1962.  The suit was dismissed at the district court, and the court found no state or federal government involvement. This ruling was appealed to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in November 1963.  

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