WASHINGTON (AP) — Robert M. Bell was 16 when he recruited classmates to join a sit-in at a Baltimore restaurant. On June 17, 1960, the group entered Hooper's restaurant. They pushed past a hostess and sat. Twelve demonstrators, including Bell, were charged with trespassing. Eventually, the case made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This month marks 50 years since Bell v. Maryland was argued in front of the justices. The ruling in 1964 was largely a letdown, with the case sent back to Maryland in light of new laws.

In the 50 years since, Bell became a lawyer and later the chief judge on Maryland's highest court.

Bell and others who went to Hooper's that day said participating in the sit-in was a brief act but part of history.