The Supreme Court declares school segregation unconstitutional in its ruling on Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas
Rosa Parks is jailed for refusing to move to the back of a Montgomery, Alabama, bus. A boycott follows, and the bus segregation ordinance is declared unconstitutional.The Federal Interstate Commerce Commission bans segregation on interstate trains and buses
Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus uses the National Guard to block nine black students from attending Little Rock High School. Following a court order, President Eisenhower sends in federal troops to allow the black students to enter the school
Four black college students begin sit-ins at the lunch counter of a Greensboro, North Carolina, restaurant where black patrons are not served.
Freedom Rides begin from Washington, D.C., into Southern states. Student volunteers are bused in to test new laws prohibiting segregation
President Kennedy sends federal troops to the University of Mississippi to end riots so that James Meredith, the school's first black student, can attend
Civil rights leader Medgar Evers is killed by a sniper's bullet.Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his "I Have a Dream" speech to hundreds of thousands at the March on Washington, D.C
Congress passes the Civil Rights Act, declaring discrimination based on race illegal.The 24th Amendment abolishes the poll tax, which originally had been established in the South after Reconstruction to make it difficult for poor blacks to vote
Malcolm X assassinated
A march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, is organized to demand protection for voting rights.Malcolm X is assassinated. Malcolm X, a longtime minister of the Nation of Islam, had rejected Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s policies of non-violence.
Thurgood Marshall becomes the first black to be named to the Supreme Court