In this building, Judge Frank Johnson Jr. legalized desegregation of buses in 1956 and, in 1965, ruled that the march from Selma to Montgomery was legal and could continue. Judge Johnson was a beacon of hope for the South during the most turbulent years of the Civil Rights Movement. He set statewide and national standards with his anti-segregationist rulings on voting rights, affirmative action, standards of treatment in prisons and employment discrimination.
The original building has been preserved and is still in use; additional space was added later. The Judge Frank M. Johnson Jr. Institute facilitates visits to the historic courtroom and the Johnson Library, where memorabilia from Judge Johnson’s life and career are on display.