Civil Rights Movement

  • Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka

    By declaring that segregation was unconstitutional in schools, it paved the way for portesting segregation in other aspects of life.
  • Emmett Till

    Emmett Till, an African American, 14 year old boy, was found murdered in Mississippi after flirting with a white woman.
  • Rosa Parks Boycotts

    In December of 1955, Rosa Parks boarded a bus after work and sat in the middle section. When asked to give up her seat for a white man, Parks refused to move. Police placed her under arrest at the next stop. Her actions sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott which called for African Amercians to refuse to use the entire bus system unti the bus company agreed to change its segregation policy (Led by Jo Ann Robinson of the Women's Political Coucil).
  • Deep South Protest

    Ku Klux Klan became active in a reaction to the Board's ruling in 1954, and representitives from the deep south states joined together in protest. Over 90 members of Congress expressed their dissatisfaction in what is known as the "Southern Manifesto."
  • Bus Segregation Ruled Unconstitutional

    After meetings were held in Martin Luther King (minister of the Baptist Chuch) Jr's church, nearly 50,000 African Americans walked, rode bycicles, and joined car pools to avoid the city buses. The Supreme Court eventually ruled bus segregation unconstitutional.
  • Southern Christian Leadership Conference

    [unknown month and day]
    In 1957, Martin Luther King, Jr and other African American clergymen created a new civil rights organization by the name of Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) which advocated the practice of nonviolent protest against restrictive racial policies. Martin Luther becomes a national figure.
  • Little Rock Central High School

    President Eisenhower sends soldiers to protect 9 African American students that attended a white school in Little Rock, Arkansas from a mob of angry, white protestors.
  • Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

    [unknown month and day]
    A student organization group gathered in Raleigh, North Carolina by the name of Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Director Ella Baker thought the NAACP and SCLC were not keeping up with demands of young African Americans. Ella Baker and Martin Luther spoke at the first meeting calling the civil rights movement a " revolt against the apathy and complacency of adults in the Negro community . . ."
  • Robert Moses

    [unknown month and day]
    A leader of the SNCC, Robert Moses traveled to Mississippi to recruit black and white volunteers to help rural blacks register to vote.
    Thanks to its leaders, SNCC became a strong and vital organization for students wanting to take part in the civil rights movement.
  • Boyton v. Virginia

    The Supreme Court expands its earlier ban, and as a result bus station waiting rooms and restaurants that served interstate travelers could not be segregated either.
  • Freedom Rides Begin

    CORE group carries out Freedom Rides that were designed to test whether southern states would obey the Supreme Court ruling and allow African Americans to exercise the rights newly granted to them. A white mob slashed the tires of the bus and threw a firebomb into the bus. The riders managed to escape but many were beaten.
  • Ole Miss

    James Meredith, an African American Air Force veteran fights to transfer schools to the all-white University of Mississippi. He eventually got help from the NAACP who filed a lawsuit. Crowds of angry white protestors gathered on the campus, and troops had to be sent to restore order.
  • Sit Ins

    [unknown month and day]
    Sit-ins occur in Jackson, Mississippi where groups sat down at a segregated lunch counter or other public place. If they were refused service, they stayed where they were.
  • March on Birmingham

    [unknown month and day]
    Groups of African Americans march through the streets in Birmingham. Police used high pressure fire hoses on the demonstrators and sent many to jail. They also brought police dogs that attack the marchers. Television screens showed the violence that occured on the streets, and in the end, the protestors won.
  • March on Washington

    [unknown day]
    More than 200,000 people came from all over the country to see the speech from Martin Luther King, Jr. "I have a dream . . ." President Kennedy was impressed with the speech and a civil rights bill remained in Congress.
  • Martin Luther for Nobel

    [unknown month and day]
    In 1964, Martin Luther King, Jr. received the Nobel peace prize for his work in civil rights and nonviolent protests.
  • Voting Rights

    [unknown month and day]
    Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Twenty-fourth Amendment were passed which abloished the poll tax put on poor African Americans. More than 400,000 African Americans registered to vote in the Deep South.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964

    [unknown month and day]
    The Civil Rights Act was passed with impacted areas such as voting, schooling, and jobs.
    Voter registration drives were soon organized for African American college students.
  • Assassination of Martin Luther King

    Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee in April, 1968 by a white southerner named James Earl Ray. Ray was finally convicted in 1969 and sentenced to 99 years in prison.