Civil Rights Movement

  • CORE

    Founded around May 4th of 1942, CORE is a U.S. civil rights organization that played a pivotal role for African-Americans in the Civil Rights Movement. Membership in CORE is still stated to be open to "anyone who believes that 'all people are created equal' and are willing to work towards the ultimate goal of true equality throughout the world”.
  • Executive Order 9981

    Executive Order 9981
    Executive Order 9981 is an executive order issued on July 26, 1948 by President Harry S. Truman. It abolished racial discrimination in the United States Armed Forces and eventually led to the end of segregation in the services."It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin.
  • Brown v. Board education

    Brown v. Board education
    The Supreme Court rules on the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kans., unanimously agreeing that segregation in public schools is unconstitutional. The ruling paves the way for large-scale desegregation. The decision overturns the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson ruling that sanctioned "separate but equal" segregation of the races, ruling that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal."
  • MLK elected

    MLK elected
    Martin Luther King jr. is elected as president to help with the Boycott bus incedent.
  • Emmett Till is murdered

    Emmett Till is murdered
    Fourteen-year-old Chicagoan Emmett Till is visiting family in Mississippi when he is kidnapped, brutally beaten, shot, and dumped in the Tallahatchie River for allegedly whistling at a white woman.
  • Rosa Parks disagrees

    Rosa Parks disagrees
    Rosa sat in a whites only section on the bus and refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on Dec. 1 1955. From that day on, all the blacks decided to have a debate and discriminate all of the unfairness the whites are doing to them.
  • Little Rock Nine

    Little Rock Nine
    (Little Rock, Ark.) Formerly all-white Central High School learns that integration is easier said than done. Nine black students are blocked from entering the school on the orders of Governor Orval Faubus. President Eisenhower sends federal troops and the National Guard to intervene on behalf of the students, who become known as the "Little Rock Nine."
  • Greensboro Four

    Greensboro Four
    On Feb. 1, 1960, four black freshmen went to a whites only restauraunt called "Woolworth's" and took their seats at a segregated lunch counter and peacefully sat there until closing. They were refused service, and returned the next day. Woolworth's integrated all of its stores. The four have become icons of the civil rights movement.
  • James Meredith

    James Meredith
    James Meredith becomes the first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi. Violence and riots surrounding the incident cause President Kennedy to send 5,000 federal troops.
  • Martin Luther King jr. arrested

    Martin Luther King jr. arrested
    Martin Luther King is arrested and jailed during anti-segregation protests in Birmingham, Ala.; he writes his seminal "Letter from Birmingham Jail," arguing that individuals have the moral duty to disobey unjust laws.
  • Birmingham campaign

    Birmingham campaign
    During civil rights protests in Birmingham, Ala., Commissioner of Public Safety Eugene "Bull" Connor uses fire hoses and police dogs on black demonstrators. These images of brutality, which are televised and published widely, are instrumental in gaining sympathy for the civil rights movement around the world. Also, High school students are hit by a high-pressure water jet from a firehose during a peaceful protest in Birmingham, Alabama.
  • Medgar Evers

    Medgar Evers
    Mississippi's NAACP field secretary, 37-year-old Medgar Evers, is murdered outside his home. Byron De La Beckwith is tried twice in 1964, both trials resulting in hung juries. Thirty years later he is convicted for murdering Evers.
  • March on Washington

    March on Washington
    About 200,000 people join the March on Washington. Congregating at the Lincoln Memorial, participants listen as Martin Luther King delivers his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.
  • Birmingham church bombing

    Birmingham church bombing
    Four young girls, attending Sunday school are killed when a bomb explodes at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, a popular location for civil rights meetings. Riots erupt in Birmingham, leading to the deaths of two more black youths.
  • The 24th Ammendment

    The 24th Ammendment
    The 24th Amendment abolishes the poll tax, which originally had been instituted in 11 southern states after Reconstruction to make it difficult for poor blacks to vote.
  • COFO

    The Council of Federated Organizations (COFO), is a network of civil rights groups that includes CORE and SNCC, launches a massive effort to register black voters during what becomes known as the Freedom Summer. It also sends delegates to the Democratic National Convention to protest—and attempt to unseat—the official all-white Mississippi contingent.
  • Civil rights act of 1964

    Civil rights act of 1964
    President Johnson signs the civil rights act of 1964. The most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction, the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination of all kinds based on race, color, religion, or national origin. The law also provides the federal government with the powers to enforce desegregation.
  • Murder of 3 Civil Rights workers

    Murder of 3 Civil Rights workers
    Three civil rights workers had been working to register black voters in Mississippi, and, on June 21, had gone to investigate the burning of a black church. They were arrested by the police on speeding charges, incarcerated for several hours, and then released after dark into the hands of the Ku Klux Klan, who murdered them.
  • Malcom X assasinated

    Malcom X assasinated
    Shortly after denying the Nation of the Islam, Malcom X was assasinated and murdered by three of his members. He was shot to death. It is believed the assailants are members of the Black Muslim faith, which Malcolm had recently abandoned in favor of orthodox Islam.
  • Bloody sunday

    Bloody sunday
    Blacks begin a march to Montgomery in support of voting rights but are stopped at the Pettus Bridge by a police blockade. Fifty marchers are hospitalized after police use tear gas, whips, and clubs against them. The incident is dubbed "Bloody Sunday" by the media. The march is considered the catalyst for pushing through the voting rights act five months later.
  • Act of 1965

    Act of 1965
    Congress passes the Voting Rights Act of 1965, making it easier for Southern blacks to register to vote. Literacy tests, poll taxes, and other such requirements that were used to restrict black voting are made illegal.
  • Stokely Carmichael

    Stokely Carmichael
    Stokely Carmichael, a leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), coins the phrase "black power" in a speech in Seattle. He defines it as an assertion of black pride and "the coming together of black people to fight for their liberation by any means necessary." The term's radicalism alarms many who believe the civil rights movement's effectiveness and moral authority crucially depend on nonviolent civil disobedience.
  • Black Panthers

    Black Panthers
    (Oakland, Calif.) The militant Black Panthers are founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale.
  • SNCC

    The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) is founded at Shaw University, providing young blacks with a place in the civil rights movement. The SNCC later grows into a more radical organization, especially under the leadership of Stokely Carmichael (1966–1967).
  • Loving v. Virginia

    Loving v. Virginia
    In Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court rules that prohibiting interracial marriage is unconstitutional. Sixteen states that still banned interracial marriage at the time are forced to revise their laws.
  • Newark riots

    Newark riots
    The 1967 Newark riots were a major civil disturbance that occurred in the city of Newark, New Jersey between July 12 and July 17, 1967. The six days of rioting, looting, and destruction left 26 dead and hundreds injured.
  • Detriot roit

    Detriot roit
    The 1967 Detroit riot, also known as the 12th Street riot, was a violent public disorder that turned into a civil disturbance in Detroit, Michigan.
  • Martin Luther King Jr, is shot

    Martin Luther King Jr, is shot
    Martin Luther King Jr. was shot on an over look of a balcony.
  • Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

    Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
    Martin Luther King, at age 39, is shot as he stands on the balcony outside his hotel room. Escaped convict and committed racist James Earl Ray is convicted of the crime.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1968

    Civil Rights Act of 1968
    President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968, prohibiting discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing.
  • Supreme Court upholds busing

    Supreme Court upholds busing
    The Supreme Court, in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, upholds busing as a legitimate means for achieving integration of public schools. Although largely unwelcome (and sometimes violently opposed) in local school districts, court-ordered busing plans in cities such as Charlotte, Boston, and Denver continue until the late 1990s.
  • Clara Stanton Jones

    Clara Stanton Jones
    Clara Stanton Jones of Detroit becomes the first African American elected President of the American Library Association.
  • Andrew Young

    Andrew Young
    In January, Patricia Harris is appointed by President Jimmy Carter to head Housing and Urban Development. She becomes the first African American woman to hold a cabinet position.
  • Willie Lewis Brown, Jr.

    Willie Lewis Brown, Jr.
    Willie Lewis Brown, Jr. becomes the first African American Speaker in a state legislature when he is selected for the post in the California Assembly. Brown holds the Speakership until 1995 when he is elected Mayor of San Francisco.
  • Congress Restoration Act or 1987

    Congress Restoration Act or 1987
    Overriding President Reagan's veto, Congress passes the Civil Rights Restoration Act, which expands the reach of non-discrimination laws within private institutions receiving federal funds.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1991

    Civil Rights Act of 1991
    After two years of debates, vetoes, and threatened vetoes, President Bush reverses himself and signs the Civil Rights Act of 1991, strengthening existing civil rights laws and providing for damages in cases of intentional employment discrimination.
  • the beating of Rodney King

    the beating of Rodney King
    The first race riots in decades erupt in south-central Los Angeles after a jury acquits four white police officers for the videotaped beating of African American Rodney King.
  • University of Michigan Law School's policy

    University of Michigan Law School's policy
    In the most important affirmative action decision since the 1978 Bakke case, the Supreme Court upholds the University of Michigan Law School's policy, ruling that race can be one of many factors considered by colleges when selecting their students because it furthers "a compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body."
  • Edgar Ray Killen convicted

    Edgar Ray Killen convicted
    The ringleader of the Mississippi civil rights murders,Edgar Ray Killen, is convicted of manslaughter on the 41st anniversary of the crimes.
  • Rosa Parks dies

    Rosa Parks dies
    Rosa Parks dies at the age of 92.
  • Coretta Scott King dies

    Coretta Scott King dies
    Coretta Scott King dies of a stroke at the age of 78.
  • Murder case reopened

    Murder case reopened
    Emmett Till's murder case, reopened by the Department of Justice in 2004, is officially closed. The two confessed murderers, J. W. Milam and Roy Bryant, were dead of cancer by 1994, and prosecutors lacked sufficient evidence to pursue further convictions.
  • James Bonard Fowler

    James Bonard Fowler
    James Bonard Fowler, a former state trooper, is indicted for the murder of Jimmie Lee Jackson 40 years after Jackson's death. The 1965 killing lead to a series of historic civil rights protests in Selma, Ala.
  • 18 Plantiffs....

    18 Plantiffs....
    In the Supreme Court case Ricci v. DeStefano, a lawsuit brought against the city of New Haven, 18 plaintiffs—17 white people and one Hispanic—argued that results of the 2003 lieutenant and captain exams were thrown out when it was determined that few minority firefighters qualified for advancement.
  • Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act

     Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act
    In Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which established a formula for Congress to use when determining if a state or voting jurisdiction requires prior approval before changing its voting laws.