The civil rights movement

Civil Rights Time Line

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    Civil Rights Timeline

  • US Supreme Court Declares school segragation unconstituional

    US Supreme Court Declares school segragation unconstituional
    The landmark case of Brown v. the Board of Education. This event marked a milestone in the civil rights movement.
  • Emmett Till

    Emmett Till
    Emmett Till brutally murdered while visiting his family in Mississippi. He was kidnapped and murdered by two white men for allegedly whistling at a white women. This incident launch a civil rights movement.
  • Civil Rights Pioneer - Rosa Parks

    Civil Rights Pioneer - Rosa Parks
    Refuses to give up her seat on the bus to a white passenger Montgomery, Alabama spurring a city-wide boycott. The city of Montgomery had no choice but to lift the law requiring segregation on public buses. Rosa Parks received many accolades during her lifetime, including the NAACP's highest award.
  • The Declaration of Constitutional Principals

    The Declaration of Constitutional Principals
    101 congressman, mostly conservatives sign a document stating the decision made on desegregation of American public schools was designed to pressure lawmakers who were not decided. The document was a defiant stance and was intended to tell others that the States can ignore the federal law. Senator Strom Thurmond was the Leader of the this group
  • Southern Christian Leadership Confernce

    Southern Christian Leadership Confernce
    Martin Luther King, Charles K. Steele and Fred L. Shuttersworth established the SCLC. It became the major force in organizing the Civil Rights movement and bases its principals on nonviolence and civil disobedience.
    Martin Luther King was the first president of the SCLC. He was still the president when he died in 1968.
  • Little Rock 9

    Little Rock 9
    Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus recruits National Guard to keep black students from Enrolling.
    President Eisenhower send Federal Troops to ensure they are admitted.
  • Greensboro Lunch Sit in

    Greensboro Lunch Sit in
    Four College Students sit in a whites only woolworth in Greensboro for lunch and refused to leave even thought they were denied service.
    Other students joined them over the course of week and months; there protest spread through North Carolina and other states.
  • Freedon Riders

    Freedon Riders
    The Supreme Court Ruling in Boynotn v Virginia which declared segregation in interstate buses and rail stations unconstitutional was tested when 7 black and 6 whites left Washington, D.C. on 2 public buses bound for the Deep South.
  • Operation Breadbasket program

    Operation Breadbasket program
    Reverend Jessie Jackson Sr. was appointed by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to direct the Operation Breadbasket program. In December of 1971, Reverend Jackson founded Operation PUSH (People United to Serve Humanity) in Chicago, IL. The goals of Operation PUSH were economic empowerment and expanding educational, business and employment opportunities for the disadvantaged and people of color.
  • James Meredith

    James Meredith
    Meredith was the first black student to enroll in the University of Mississippi. Violence and riots surrounding the incident cause President Kennedy to send 5,000 Federal troops so that the Universities 1st black student could attend.
  • Letter from Birmingham Jail

    Letter from Birmingham Jail
    Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King was jailed in an Alabama prison cell. This arrest became the most important of his career. He previously agreed with his supported to let him stay in jail longer to draw attention to the plight of African Americans. His letter was a response to a letter written in the paper by eight local Christian and Jewish leader which critized him and the democratic leaders. His letter was 7000 words that turned the criticism back upon the nation’s leaders & whites.
  • March on Washington

    March on Washington
    About 200,000 people joined the March on Washington Congregating at the Lincoln Memorial, Participants listened as Martin Luther King delivered his famous "I have a Dream" Speech
  • Freedom Summer

    Freedom Summer
    The Consul of Federal Organizations a network civil rights groups that included CORE and SNCC launched a massive effort to register black voters. It also sent delegated to the Democratic National Convention to protest and attempt to unseat the official all white Mississippi contingent.
  • Malcon X

    Malcon X
    Black Nationalist and founder of the Organization of Afro-American Unity, is 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.
  • Selma to Montgomery March

    Selma to Montgomery March
    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 used 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.
  • Executive Order 11246

    Executive Order 11246
    Agreeing that civil rights laws alone are not enough to remedy discrimination, President Johnson issues Executive Order 11246, which enforces affirmative action for the first time. It requires government contractors to "take affirmative action" toward prospective minority employees in all aspects of hiring and employment.
  • Black Panther Party

    Black Panther Party
    Huey Newton and Bobby Seale founded the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. The Panthers practiced militant self-defense of minority communities against the U.S. government, and fought to establish revolutionary socialism through mass organizing and community based programs. The Black Panthers came to symbolize black militant power. They rejected the nonviolence of earlier civil rights campaigners and promoted a radical socialist agenda.
  • "Black Power"

    "Black Power"
    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.
  • Martin Luther King

    Martin Luther King
    Martin Luther King Jr. is fatally shot while standing on the balcony outside his second-story room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. The civil rights leader was in Memphis to support a sanitation workers’ strike and was on his way to dinner when a bullet struck him in the jaw and severed his spinal cord. King was pronounced dead after his arrival at a Memphis hospital. He was 39 years old.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1968

    Civil Rights Act of 1968
    President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968, popularly known as the Fair Housing Act–prohibited discrimination concerning the sale, rental and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin and sex.
  • Fred Hampton

    Fred Hampton
    Chairman of the Illinois Black Panther party, is shot and killed by police during a raid. A federal grand jury refutes the police's assertion that they fired upon Hampton only in self-defense, but no one is ever indicted for Hampton's killing.
  • Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education

     Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education
    The Supreme Court, 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.
  • First Black Mayor Elected

    First Black Mayor Elected
    Mr. Maynard H. Jackson Jr. handily won the runoff with 59 percent of the vote, becoming the first black mayor of a major city in the South. Against police brutality and for equity in hiring practices, and his first two terms revolved around themes of crime and racial preferences
  • Voting Rights Act Extended

    Voting Rights Act Extended
    Congress extended Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act for seven more years. The definition of "test or device" was expanded to include the practice of providing election information, including ballots, only in English in states or political subdivisions where members of a single language minority constituted more than five percent of the citizens of voting age.
  • National Raindow Coalition

    National Raindow Coalition
    Reverend Jessie Jackson Sr. founded the National Rainbow Coalition, a social justice organization based in Washington, D.C devoted to political empowerment, education and changing public policy.
  • National Civil Rights Museum

    National Civil Rights Museum
    The National Civil Rights Museum is a complex of museums and historic buildings in Memphis, Tennessee; its exhibits trace the history of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States from the 17th century to the present.
  • Rainbow Push Coalition

    Rainbow Push Coalition
    Rainbow PUSH Coalition's mission was to protect, defend, and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields, and to promote peace and justice around the world.
  • Presidential Metal of Freedom

    Presidential Metal of Freedom
    The Reverend Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr., founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, is one of America’s foremost civil rights, religious and political figures. Over the past forty years, he has played a pivotal role in virtually every movement for empowerment, peace, civil rights, gender equality, and economic and social justice.
    President Bill Clinton awarded Reverend Jackson the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.
  • University of Michigan Law School's policy

    University of Michigan Law School's policy
    The most important affirmative action decision since the 1978 Bakke case, the Supreme Court (5–4) 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."
  • Trevon Martin

    Trevon Martin
    Trevon Martin a 17 year old child is killed by George Zimmerman. Trevon was unarmed at the time.

    BlackLivesMatter is a call to action and a response to the virulent anti-Black racism that permeates our society. Black Lives Matter is a unique contribution that goes beyond extrajudicial killings of Black people by police and vigilantes.
  • Laquan McDonald

    Laquan McDonald
    Laquan McDonald—a 17-year-old black male armed with a 3-inch (76 mm) knife—was shot 16 times in 13 seconds by Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke from approximately ten feet (3 m) away..
    The video of his shooting made national headlines.
  • Judge Rules Video Release

    Judge Rules Video Release
    Cook County Judge Franklin Valderrama told a packed courtroom Thursday the department must reveal the dashcam footage that captures the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in October 2014 at the hands of a white police officer. He added that he "spent a considerable amount of time" making his decision.
  • Jessie Jackson Sr.

    Jessie Jackson Sr.
    Two days after a judge ruled that Chicago police must release video said to show an officer fatally shooting a Chicago teen 16 times, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. shared a strong reaction to Laquan McDonald’s death.
    "This is an act of suppressing evidence which is shameful and adds to the distrust and fear of police officers,” said Jackson in a statement. “The attempt to cover up the shooting borders on the line of the act itself.”