In 1947, in many U.S. places (from Birmingham to Philadelphia, Cincinnati to Little Rock), black Americans were segregated into “ghettos” and separated in public life. In the South, especially, blacks had to use different bathrooms, eat at different restaurants (or on different chairs), sleep at different hotels, ride at the back of the bus, and go to different schools.
There was a clear and present prejudice against the black.
Jackie Robinson changed all that.
Once white America saw how Jackie “could hit that ball,” it was no longer reasonable to wink at a Jim Crow culture and tolerate racism against blacks. Times were changing.
And it all started on this date in 1947.
P.S. Today, in honor of Jackie Robinson, every major league ballplayer will wear is uniform number: “42.”