Civil Rights in America

  • Dred Scott Case

    Dred Scott Case
    The decision is made on the Dred Scott case, stating that slaves do not become free when they enter a free state. This decision also reinforced the belief that black people were not allowed to become US citizens. This is significant because African-Americans would not officially be able to get citizenship until slavery was abolished nation wide at the end of the Civil War.
  • Seven States Secede

    Seven States Secede
    The last of 7 states to secede from the Union, Texas, secedes two months before the beginning of the Civil War. One of the main involvements in the war was the fight for + against slavery, by the Confederate and Union sides respectively. This is one of the main reasons for the Southern secession. This is significant as it was the leading factor in the beginning of the Civil War, which ended in Confederate defeat and the abolishment of slavery.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation
    The Emancipation Proclamation was an order by President Lincoln during the Civil War for all slaves in the Union and Confederate states to be "forever free." The Proclamation freed 78% of the slaves in the United States, because it could not be enforced in rebellion states. The Proclamation was significant because it was the first order from the President to abolish slavery. It added black troops to the Union Army, providing a large contribution. It also resulted in loopholes like sharecropping.
  • 13th Amendment Ratified

    13th Amendment Ratified
    The Thirteen Amendment abolished all slavery and "involuntary servitude" within the US. It was made because the Emancipation Proclamation was not an official document and did not free slaves in the Confederate States. The amendment was significant because it resulted in the freeing of slaves, the effects of sharecropping, and the Jim Crow laws, all of which had a huge effect on the Civil Rights movement.
  • Plessy v. Ferguson

    Plessy v. Ferguson
    The Supreme Court upholds a "Separate but equal" racial segregation law that all restaurants, hospitals, and other public services must maintain segregated facilities for different races of people. This decision is significant because it further upheld "Separate, but equal" laws that were not eliminated for another 58 years. Had the decision been differently, these laws could have been slowly eliminated earlier, advancing the Civil Rights movement by many years.
  • NAACP Founded

    NAACP Founded
    The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is founded. The NAACP fought against the Jim Crow laws, racial segregation, and the lynching of African Americans. The NAACP is significant because it was one of the first organizations to proudly and openly support the Civil Rights movement. It also played a huge part in many segregation-related trials across America in the 1950s and 60s.
  • Executive Order 9981

    Executive Order 9981
    The Executive Order handed down by President Harry Truman eliminated all instances of racial discrimination within the armed forces. The order reads: "There shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin." The order is significant as it eventually ended segregation among all American services (Navy, Air Force, etc.), and was one of the first American documents to eliminate segregation in any way.
  • Brown v. Board of Education

    Brown v. Board of Education
    Brown v. Board of Education was a Supreme Court case which eliminated segregation in public schools. In the conclusion of the case, the justices decided, "We conclude that, in the field of public education, the doctrine of "separate but equal" has no place." The significance of this decision is that it was one of the first to outlaw desegregation in the US, and turned over the "Separate, but equal" decision given in the Plessy v. Ferguson case.
  • Rosa Parks Jailed

    Rosa Parks Jailed
    Rosa Parks, an African American woman, is jailed for refusing move to the back of the bus when told to. At the time, blacks were made to stand or sit at the back of the bus when a white person needed a seat. The event is significant because it was inspiration for the Montgomery Bus Boycott, where blacks, who made up about 75% of busriders, refused to use the buses in protest of Parks' arrest.
  • Crisis in Little Rock

    Crisis in Little Rock
    The crisis in Little Rock, in which nine black students were to begin the school year in a previous all-white school, begins. The Governor deploys the state's National Guard to support segregationist protesting, President Eisenhower sends Army troops to escort/protect the "Little Rock Nine" at all times. This is significant because Eisenhower was able to show more support of civil rights, and it showed that the government was going to do anything to enforce the civil rights laws.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1957

    Civil Rights Act of 1957
    The government enacts the Civil Rights Act of 1957, which officially grants African Americans and all American citizens the right to vote. It was the first new Civil Rights Act following Reconstruction. This is significant as it was resulted in the Ku Klux Klan harrassing and keeping blacks away from polling stations, simply by standing near the booths or threatening to injure blacks if they voted. It was also the first time blacks were officially given the right to vote.
  • Greensboro Sit-Ins

    Greensboro Sit-Ins
    Four students from a local university began sitting at the lunch counter of a Woolworth's restaurant in Greenboro, North Carolina, a restaurant that did not serve "colored" people at the white's only counter. The next day, more than 20 students came, then 60 the next day, then more than 300. The sit-ins were significant because they encouraged President Eisenhower to voice his support civil rights, and because they resulted in the desegregation of some public spaces, including restaurants.
  • I Have A Dream

    I Have A Dream
    Martin Luther King Jr, a Civil Rights activist leader, delivers his 'I Have A Dream' speech in which he urges for the end of racism in America. The speech is thought of as an extremely important moment within the Civil Rights movement. As a result of the speech, King was named Man of the Year by Time Magazine and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Other significance of the speech includes putting pressure on the government to push Civil Rights legislation through into law.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964

    Civil Rights Act of 1964
    This document was a piece of civil rights legislation that outlawed "major forms of discrimination against racial, ethnic, national and religious minorities, and women". Major parts of the act include outlawing discrimination based on race, prohibiting governments from denying public services based on race, and prohibiting discrimination in hotels, restaurants, etc. based on race. The act is obviously significant, as it potentially the most important Civil Rights legislation in US history.
  • Barack Obama Elected

    Barack Obama Elected
    Barack Obama is elected the first African American President of the United States over Republican nominee John McCain. Obama received 365 electoral votes, vastly beating McCain's 173. Obama also had 52.9% of the popular vote. This victory was clearly significant, not only for America, but for the entire world, as it is was the first time a black man was elected leader of a superpower nation.