In the 1860s, shortly after the Civil War, a black teenager from Muscatine, Iowa tried to enroll in the local high school, she was denied admission because of her color. Her father sued and won. And when the school board challenged the decision in the Iowa Supreme Court, he won again. Because of those actions, Iowa's schools were desegregated more than 85 years before the rest of the nation officially outlawed school segregation. (There is much more info online).