Civil Rights Timeline

  • Niagra Movement

    Organized and founded by W.E.B. Du Bois and William Monroe Trotter. The Niagara Movement was a call for opposition to racial segregation
  • National Urban League

    A civil rights organization that advocates on behalf of African Americans and against discrimination. It is the oldest and largest community-based organization of this kind in the whole country.
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

    Its mission is "to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination".
  • Randolph A. Philip

    Assembled many civil right activists to fight for justice.
  • Executive Order No. 8802

    President Roosevelt issues Executive Order No. 8802 which bans discrimination and leads more blacks to be recruited in the army.
  • Executive Order No. 9981

    President Harry Truman issues Executive Order No. 9981 which ends military segregation.
  • Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka

    The Supreme Court rules on the case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kans., unanimously agreeing that segregation in public schools is unconstitutional.
  • Rosa Parks

    NAACP member Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat at the front of the "colored section" of a bus to a white passenger, defying a southern custom of the time. In response to her arrest the Montgomery black community launches a bus boycott.
  • Little Rock Nine

    Nine black students are blocked from entering former all-white Central High School on the orders of Orval Faubus. President Eisenhower sends federal troops and the National Guard to interfere on behalf of the students.
  • Martin Luther King Jr.'s Arrest

    Martin Luther King Jr. is arrested and jailed during an anti-segregation protest in Birmingham, Alabama.
  • Bombing of Baptist Church

    Four young girls attending Sunday school are killed when a bomb explodes at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church.
  • 24th Amendment is passed

    The 24th Amendment is stops the poll tax, which has been appointed in eleven southern states to make it difficult for poor blacks to vote.
  • Civil Rights Act

    Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act bill to become law. It stops discrimination based on color, race, religion, nationality, etc.
  • Death of Malcom X

    Malcom X is shot to death. It is believed the shooters were members of the Black Muslim faith, which Malcom had abandonded.
  • March in Montgomery

    Blacks begin a march to Montgomery in support of voting rights but are stopped at the Pettus Bridge by a police blockade.
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965

    Congress passes the Voting Rights Act of 1965, making it easier for Southern blacks to vote. Literacy tests, poll taxes, and other such requiremnts that were used to stop blacks from voting are made illegal.
  • Executive Order No. 11246

    President Johnson issues Executive Order No. 11246 which requires government contractors to take action toward minority employees in all aspects of hiring and employment.
  • Loving v. Virginia

    The Supreme Court rules that prohibiting interracial marriage is unconstitutional. The sixteen states that still ban interracial marriage are forced to revise their laws.
  • Death of Marin Luther King Jr.

    Marin Luther King Jr. is shot as he stands on the balcony outside his hotel room.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1968

    President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968, prohibiting discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of housing.
  • Los Angeles Race Riot

    The first race riots in decades erupt in south-central Los Angeles after a jury releases four white police officers for a videotapes beating of African American Rodney King.