The Civil Rights Movement Timeline

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The Civil Rights Movement Timeline

  1. 1. The Civil Rights Movement: A Timeline
  2. 2. 1954 <ul><li>May 17 th </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Supreme Court rules in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, KS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Segregation in US public schools ruled unconstitutional </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Decision overturns 1896 “separate but equal” Plessy v. Ferguson ruling </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Marks a victory for NAACP attorney Thurgood Marshall </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Marshall later returned to the Supreme Court as the nation’s first black justice </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. 1955 <ul><li>August 28 th </li></ul><ul><ul><li>14-year-old Chicago, IL native Emmett Louis Till murdered in Mississippi while visiting his family </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Killed for allegedly whistling at a white woman </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mutilated body found in Tallahatchie River </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Two suspects were later acquitted by an all white jury for Till’s murder </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Case becomes catalyst for Civil Rights Movement </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>December 1 st </li></ul><ul><ul><li>NAACP member Rosa Parks arrested for refusing to give up her seat at the front of the “colored section” of a Montgomery bus to a white passenger </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Montgomery community launches a bus boycott </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Boycott lasted 381 days (12/5/55 to 12/20/56) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Buses desegregated 12/21/56 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. 1957 <ul><li>January – February </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Charles K. Steel, & Fred L. Shuttlesworth establish the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>King is made first president of SCLC </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>SCLC becomes major force in organizing the movement </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>King urges participants to “forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. … 1957 <ul><li>September </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Central High School, Little Rock, AR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Nine black high school students set out to integrate the all-white school </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Students were blocked from entering the school – Governor Orval Faubus’ orders </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Federal troops & National Guards sent to intervene on behalf of the “Little Rock Nine” – President Dwight Eisenhower’s orders </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. 1960 <ul><li>February 1 st </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Woolworth’s segregated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>lunch counter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>4 black students from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical College conduct sit-in </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Refused service, but allowed to stay at counter </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Event triggers many similar nonviolent protests throughout the South </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Parks, swimming pools, theaters, libraries and other public facilities integrated because of similar efforts </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Same 4 students were actually served lunch at the same Woolworth’s 6 months later </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. … 1960 <ul><li>April </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) founded at Shaw University </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gave black youth a place in the movement </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Grows into a more radical organization led by Stokely Carmichael </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Later coined the term “Black Power” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. 1961 <ul><li>May 4 th </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Freedom Riders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Both black and white student </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>volunteers (1,000+) took trips to South during spring and summer to analyze segregation laws of interstate travel facilities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sponsored by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the SNCC </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Attacked by angry mobs along the way </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. 1962 <ul><li>October 1 st </li></ul><ul><ul><li>James Meredith </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Becomes first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>5,000 Federal troops sent to Mississippi due to violence and riots stemming from integration – orders of President John F. Kennedy </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. 1963 <ul><li>May </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Birmingham, AL Public Safety Commissioner Eugene “Bull” Connor uses fire hoses & police dogs on black demonstrators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Images televised and published nation-wide </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>April 16 th </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Martin Luther King arrested & jailed in Birmingham, AL during anti-segregation protests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Writes legendary “Letter from Birmingham Jail” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Letter argues that “individuals have the moral duty to disobey laws” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>June 12 th </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jackson, MS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>37-year-old Medgar Evers, Mississippi’s NAACP field secretary, gunned down outside his home </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Byron De La Beckwith tried twice, both resulting in hung juries; convicted 30 years later </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>August 28 th </li></ul><ul><ul><li>200,000+ March on Washington, congregating at Lincoln Memorial </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Martin Luther King, Jr. gives his legendary “I Have a Dream” speech </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>September 15 th </li></ul><ul><ul><li>4 young girls murdered while attending Sunday School when Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL was bombed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Riots following bombing resulted in deaths of 2 more black youths </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. 1964 <ul><li>January 23 rd </li></ul><ul><ul><li>24 th Amendment abolishes the poll tax </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Originally instituted in 11 southern states to make </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>it difficult for poor blacks to vote </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Freedom Summer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Network of civil rights groups that includes CORE & SNCC </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Launches massive effort to register black voters </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>July 2 nd </li></ul><ul><ul><li>President Lyndon B. Johnson signs Civil Rights Act of 1964 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>August 2 nd </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bodies of 3 civil rights workers (2 white, 1 black) found in earthen dam in Neshoba County, MS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Murdered by police officers/members of Ku Klux Klan </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Had been working to register black voters & investigating the burning of a black church in Mississippi </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. 1965 <ul><li>February 21 st </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Malcolm X shot to death in Harlem, NY by members of the Black Muslim faith </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Founder of the Organization of Afro-American Unity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>March 7 th - “Bloody Sunday” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Selma, AL marchers tear-gassed, whipped, and clubbed by police </li></ul></ul><ul><li>August 10 th </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Congress passes Voting Rights Act of 1965 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Makes registering to vote easier for Southern black voters </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>August 11 th – 17 th </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Watts/Los Angeles, CA race riots erupt </li></ul></ul><ul><li>September 24 th </li></ul><ul><ul><li>President Lyndon B. Johnson enforces affirmative action (Executive Order 11246) </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. 1966 <ul><li>October </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Militant Black Panthers organization founded in Oakland, CA by Huey Ne wton & Bob by Seale </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. 1968 <ul><li>April 4 th </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Martin Luther King, Jr. shot to death at age 39 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Shot as he stands on balcony outside his hotel room in Memphis, TN </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. 1971 - Present <ul><li>1971 - Busing becomes legitimate means for achieving integration of public schools </li></ul><ul><li>1988 – Congress passes Civil Rights Restoration Act (overrides President Reagan’s veto) </li></ul><ul><li>1992 – First race riots in decades erupt in South-Central Los Angeles after acquittal of 4 white police officers accused in Rodney King beating </li></ul><ul><li>2004 – Emmett Till’s murder case reopened </li></ul><ul><li>2005 – Rosa Parks dies at age 92 </li></ul><ul><li>2006 – Coretta Scott King, wife of Martin Luther King, Jr., dies of a stroke at age 78 </li></ul><ul><li>2007 – Emmett Till’s 1955 murder case is officially closed </li></ul>
  16. 16. 2008 We Shall Overcome!

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