wong kim ark

The 14th Amendment: It’s kind of a big deal.

Today in 1868, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified. It covers citizenship (children of non-citizens born on U.S. soil are citizens from birth), equal protection under the law, and other issues, many of which were raised by the end of the Civil War.

The 14th was the groundwork for a number of landmark Supreme Court cases, including Brown v. Board of Education, Roe v. Wade, and U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, pictured above. Wong Kim Ark, the son of Chinese immigrants who was born in the U.S., was denied rentry into the U.S. after a visit to China. He sued, and won, in 1898: SCOTUS reaffirmed his citizenship, making him one of the earliest Asian American citizens.