Civil Rights Timeline

  • Nat Turner Rebellion

    Nat Turner Rebellion
    In 1831 a slave named Nat Turner led a rebellion inSouthhampton County, Virginia. A religious leader and self-styled Baptist minister, Turner and a group of followers killed some sixty white men, women, and children on the night of August 21. Turner and 16 of his conspirators were captured and executed, but the incident continued to haunt Southern whites. Blacks were randomly killed all over Southhampton County; many were beheaded and their heads left along the roads to warn others.
  • Dred Scott Decision

    Dred Scott Decision
    Five of the nine justices were from the South while another, Robert Grier of Pennsylvania, was staunchly pro-slavery. Chief Justice Roger B. Taney wrote the majority decision, which was issued on March 6, 1857. The court held that Scott was not free based on his residence in either Illinois or Wisconsin because he was not considered a person under the U.S. Constitution--in the opinion of the justices, black people were not considered citizens when the Constitution was drafted in 1787.
  • Emancipation Proclamtion

    Emancipation Proclamtion
    President Lincoln justified the Emancipation Proclamation as a war measure intended to cripple the Confederacy. Being careful to respect the limits of his authority, Lincoln applied the Emancipation Proclamation only to the Southern states in rebellion.Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation on September 22nd, 1862. It stipulated that if the Southern states did not cease their rebellion by January 1st, 1863.
  • Tuskegee Institute Opens

    Tuskegee Institute Opens
    Booker T. Washington opened the Tuskegee Institute an educational institution which continues to thrive today as Tuskegee University.When he opened Tuskegee on July 4th, Washington was the sole teacher for a class of 30 students. Soon, though, other students and teachers arrived at the institute, and Washington’s talent for securing loans and credit allowed him to expand facilities. The school grew quickly, hosting 200 faculty members, 100 buildings, and 1,500 students by 1915.
  • Norris vs. Alabama

    Norris vs. Alabama
    Petitioner, Clarence Norris, is one of nine negro boys who were indicted in March, 1931, in Jackson County, Alabama, for the crime of rape. On being brought to trial in that county, eight were convicted. The Supreme Court of Alabama reversed the conviction of one of these and affirmed that of seven, including Norris.
  • jackie robinson breaks color barrier

    jackie robinson breaks color barrier
    On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson becomes the first African-American in the major leagues when he plays his first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers.Jack Roosevelt Robinson was born into a family of sharecroppers on January 31, 1919, in Cairo, Georgia. He attended UCLA, where he became the first athlete to letter in four varsity sports: baseball, basketball, football and track. He served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1944 and was honorably discharged after facing insubordination charges for refusin
  • Brown vs. Board of Education

    Brown vs. Board of Education
    rown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional. The decision overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896 which allowed state-sponsored segregation. Handed down on May 17, 1954, the Warren Court's unanimous (9–0) decision stated that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." As a result, de jure racial se
  • Little Rock 9

    Little Rock 9
    The Little Rock Nine were a group of African American students enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957. The ensuing Little Rock Crisis, in which the students were initially prevented from entering the racially segregated school by Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus, and then attended after the intervention of President Eisenhower.The decision declared all laws establishing segregated schools to be unconstitutional, and it called for the desegregation of all schools throughout the nation.
  • Murder of Emmet Till

    Murder of Emmet Till
    At some point around August 28, he was kidnapped, beaten, shot in the head, had a large metal fan tied to his neck with barbed wire, and was thrown into the Tallahatchie River. His body was soon recovered, and an investigation was opened.
  • Rosa Parks Sits On The Bus

    Rosa Parks Sits On The Bus
    The bus continues along its route. After several more stops the bus is full. The driver notices that all the seats in the "Whites Only" section are now taken, and that more white people have just climbed aboard. He orders the people in Mrs. Parks's row to move to the back of the bus, where there are no open seats. No one budges at first. But when the driver barks at the black passengers a second time, they all get up. . . except for Rosa Parks.
  • Letter From a Birmingham Jail

    Letter From a Birmingham Jail
    The Letter from Birmingham Jail (also known as "Letter from Birmingham City Jail" and "The Negro Is Your Brother") is an open letter written on April 16, 1963, by Martin Luther King, Jr. The letter defends the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism, arguing that people have a moral responsibility to break unjust laws. After an early setback, it enjoyed widespread publication and became a key text for the American civil rights movement of the early 196
  • March on Washington/ "I Have a Dream Speech"

    March on Washington/ "I Have a Dream Speech"
    "I Have a Dream" is a public speech by American activist Martin Luther King, Jr.. It was delivered by King on August 28, 1963, in which he called for an end to racism in the United States. Delivered to over 250,000 civil rights supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the speech was a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement.[
  • Civil Rights Act

    Civil Rights Act
    An act to enforce the constitutional right to vote, to confer jurisdiction upon the district courts of the United States of America to provide injunctive relief against discrimination in public accommodations, to authorize the Attorney General to institute suits to protect constitutional rights in public facilities and public education, to extend the Commission on Civil Rights, to prevent discrimination in federally assisted programs, to establish a Commission on Equal Employment Opportunity.
  • Assassination of Malcolm X

    Assassination of Malcolm X
    In New York City, Malcolm X, an African American nationalist and religious leader, is assassinated by rival Black Muslims while addressing his Organization of Afro-American Unity at the Audubon Ballroom in Washington Heights.
  • Election of Barack Obama

    Election of Barack Obama
    The United States presidential election of 2012 was the 57th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. The Democratic nominee, incumbent President Barack Obama, and his running mate, Vice President Joe Biden, were elected to a second term. Their major challengers were the Republican nominee, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and his running mate, Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.