Civil Rights Movement Timeline

By Danimal
  • The Battle of Bien Dien Phu

    Outnumbering the French nearly five-to-one, 50,000 Viet Minh under Gen. Giap begin their assault against the fortified hills protecting the Dien Bien Phu air base.
  • Vietnam is Divided

    The Geneva Accords divide Vietnam in half at the 17th parallel, with Ho Chi Minh's Communists ceded the North, while Bao Dai's regime is granted the South.
  • US military aid is sent to Vietnam

    The first direct shipment of U.S. military aid to Saigon arrives. The U.S. also offers to train the fledgling South Vietnam Army.
  • Rosa Parks

    Rosa Parks refuses to give up her bus seat to a white male.
  • Seperate but Equal Doctrine Declared Unconstitutional

    Under this doctrine, services, facilities and public accommodations were allowed to be separated by race, on the condition that the quality of each group's public facilities was to remain equal. In the case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, the court ruled that the racially segregated schools were inherently unequal.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. helps Create SCLC

    The Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s (SCLC) main aim was to advance the cause of civil rights in America but in a non-violent manner.
  • Soviet Proposal to Split Vietnam

    The Soviet Union proposes permanent division of Vietnam into North and South, with the two nations admitted separately to the United Nations.
  • Little Rock Nine

    Nine black students try to integrate at an all-white high school in Little Rock, AK.
  • Two Americans are Killed in Vietnam

    Maj. Dale Buis and Sgt. Chester Ovnand are killed by Viet Minh guerrillas.
  • Sit-ins Spread Across the South

    Four black students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College begin a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth's lunch counter. The event triggers many similar nonviolent protests throughout the South.
  • The SNCC is Founded

    The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) is founded at Shaw University, providing young blacks with a place in the civil rights movement.
  • Henry Cabot Lodge arrives in Vietnam

    U.S. ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge arrives in South Vietnam.
  • Civil Rights Act

    Civil Rights Act is passed by President Johnson.
  • Operation Rolling Thunder Begins

    Over 100 American fighter-bombers attack targets in North Vietnam.
  • Bloody Sunday

    Blacks begin a march to Montgomery in support of voting rights. Fifty marchers are hospitalizes by a police blockade.
  • The first U.S. combat troops arrive in Vietnam

    3500 Marines land at China Beach to defend the American air base at Da Nang. They join 23,000 American military advisors already in Vietnam.
  • Bombing of Saigon

    Viet Cong terrorists bomb the U.S. embassy in Saigon.
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965

    Congress passes the Voting Rights Act of 1965, making it easier for Southern blacks to register to vote.
  • Martin Luther King is Murdered

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

    President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968, prohibiting discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing.
  • Nixon Orders The Cambodian Campaign

    The Cambodian Campaign was a series of military operations conducted in eastern Cambodia during mid-1970 by the United States (U.S.) and the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) during the Vietnam War. A total of 13 major operations were conducted by the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) between 29 April and 22 July and by U.S. forces between 1 May and 30 June.
  • US Involvement in Vietnam Ends

    The last US troops leave Vietnam.
  • Saigon Falls to North Vietamese Invasion

    Saigon is encircled. 30,000 South Vietnamese soldiers are inside the city but are leaderless. NVA fire rockets into downtown civilian areas as the city erupts into chaos and widespread looting.
  • Civil Rights Restoration Act

    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.