A planned freedom trail honoring the landmark Mendez, et al v. Westminster civil rights trial took an important step closer to completion. Westminster City Council members celebrated the presentation of a $1.5-million check in state funding during a brief ceremony held this week at the future site of the Mendez Tribute Monument Park.

In 1945, Gonzalo Mendez served as lead plaintiff in the case after his Latino children were disallowed from attending 17th Street School in Westminster and told to enroll at Hoover Elementary, a Mexican school, instead.

The ruling in favor of the families helped paved the way for the better known 1954 Brown v. Board of Education U.S. Supreme Court decision that held segregated schools were “inherently unequal” and unconstitutional.