WASHINGTON (UPI) -- Thurgood Marshall took his place yesterday as the first Negro justice of the Supreme Court where 13 years ago he won the milestone school desegregation ruling.
With President Johnson looking on, the 59-year-old great-grandson of a slave swore to "do equal right to the poor and to the rich" in a ceremony that marked the opening of the 178th term of the tribunal.
The oath-taking took place in the same chamber where Marshall, as an attorney for the NAACP, convinced the court in 1954 that segregated school facilities for Negro children were unconstitutional.
It was the same site where he gained renown as a civil rights spokesman who won 29 Supreme Court cases.
The president made a special point to be on hand for the swearing-in, which duplicated the oath Marshall took at a private ceremony Sept. 1 after his confirmation by the Senate.
Also on hand in the marbled chamber were Marshall's Hawaii-born wife and two children.
Eleven-year-old Thurgood Marshall Jr., confided that his father "looked generally normal -- kinda jumpy" as the family prepared for the big day.
According to custom, the court translated no business at the opening day expect to administer the oath to the new associate justice and admit 150 attorneys to practice before the tribunal.
During the week, the nine justices will begin deciding which cases they will accept for argument in the term and announce these actions next Monday.