Civil Rights Timeline

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    Harry S. Truman President

    Harry S. Truman is the 33rd President of the United States of America.
  • President Harry S. Truman Signs Executivue Order 9981

    President Harry S. Truman Signs Executivue Order 9981
    Truman signs Executive Order 9981, which states, "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." This order officially began the process for desegregating the United States Military.
  • Ralph Bunche Wins the Nobel Peace Prize

    Ralph Bunche Wins the Nobel Peace Prize
    Ralph Bunche becomes the first African American to win the Nobel Peace Prize. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950 for negotiating a temporary peace between Pales­tinian and Israeli factions. (Actual Date Unknown)
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    Dwight D. Eisenhour President

    Dwight D. Eisenhour becomes the 34th President of the United States of America.
  • Ruling on Brown V. Board of Ed

    Ruling on Brown V. Board of Ed
    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 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." It is a victory for NAACP attorney Thurgood Marshall, who will later return to the Supreme Court as a justice.
  • Bessie A. Buchanon Becomes the First African American Woman to take a seat on the New York Legislature

    Bessie A. Buchanon Becomes the First African American Woman to take a seat on the New York Legislature
    Bessie A. Buchanon Becomes the First African American Woman to take a seat on the New York Legislature. Buchanan's term in the State Assembly began in January 1955. While in the legislator she served on the Cities, Institutions, Printing, and Social Welfare Committees. She was assigned to the Joint Legislative Committee on the Problems of the Aging. (Actual Date Unknown)
  • Daughters of Bilitus Founded

    Daughters of Bilitus Founded
    The Daughters of Bilitus, the first Lesbian Rights Organization is founded in San Francisco. This Organization would later enable NOW and other Feminist Organizations to get more support. (Actual Date Unknown)
  • Emmett Till Murdered

    Emmett Till Murdered
    Emmett TIll was an African-American boy who was murdered in Mississippi at the age of 14. His death was a wake up call to many about the needs for greater equal protection under the law for the African American Community.
  • Rosa Parks arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a public bus.

    Rosa Parks arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a public bus.
    NAACP member Rosa Parks of Montgomery Alabama 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, which will last for more than a year, until the buses are desegregated
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    Montgomery Bus Boycott

    The bus boycott in Montgomery Alabama was sparked by the courageous Rosa Poarks who refused to give up her seat to a white bus rider. The movement continued after her arrest with Martin Luther King Jr as it's central leader. At the end of the boycott all buses in Montgomery were desegregated.
  • Congress Tries to pass the Southern Manifesto

    Congress Tries to pass the Southern Manifesto
    The manifesto was signed by 99 politicians (99 Democrats) from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. The document was largely drawn up to counter the landmark Supreme Court 1954 ruling Brown v. Board of Education. Representatives felt the Supreme Court was overstepping its boundaries and causing unwarranted chaos. The bill was created mostly by representative Strom Thurmond.
  • Little Rock Nine attempts to go to school in Arkansas

    Little Rock Nine attempts to go to school in Arkansas
    The nicknamed "Little Rock Nine" consisted of Ernest Green, Elizabeth Eckford, Jefferson Thomas, Terrence Roberts, Carlotta Walls LaNier, Minnijean Brown, Gloria Ray Karlmark, Thelma Mothershed, and Melba Pattillo Beals. These students were selected to begin integration at Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas. At first Alabama Governor Orval Faubus had troops stationed to prevent entrance to the school. President Eisenhower had to intervene by sending in federal troops as pictured.
  • Four students from the Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina perform a sit in at a Greensboro Woolworths

    Four students from the Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina perform a sit in at a Greensboro Woolworths
    Four students, Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair, Jr., and David Richmond from the Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina performed a sit in at a Greensboro Woolworths. As the movement spread hundreds of students in different counties and states joined in. Eventually on July 25, 1960 the sit in ends.
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    Lunchcounter Sit Ins

    Sparked by a sit in at a Greensboro Woolworths people all over performed sit ins demanding that lunch counters become desegregated. At the end of the sit ins, all counters were desegregated at Woolworths and the employees of the Greensboro store were served at the counter first.
  • Ruby Bridges becomes the first African American child to attend an all white southern elementary school.

    Ruby Bridges becomes the first African American child to attend an all white southern elementary school.
    Ruby Bridges becomes the first African American child to attend William Frantz Elementary School. She endured threats and taunts daily from protestors and for a long time was the only child to attend the school as all the white students and teachers left. The school hired Barbara Henry, from Boston, Massachusetts to teach Ruby.
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    John F. Kennedy President of the United States

    John F. Kennedy is the 35th President of the United States of America.
  • First Freedom Riders Busride

    First Freedom Riders Busride
    United States Supreme Court decisions Boynton v. Virginia declared desegregation for interstate busing. A group of people some African American, some white decided to test this decision by busing from Washington D.C to New Orleans. The ride was intended to go through Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. While encountering violence and hostility many were injured and they had to leave the buses behind to go to their New Orleans Rally.
  • Jackie Robinson becomes the first African American inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame

    Jackie Robinson becomes the first African American inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame
    Jackie Robinson becomes the first African American inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • James Meredith is the first African American to attend Ole Miss.

    James Meredith is the first African American to attend Ole Miss.
    After completing 9 years of duty in the United States Air Force Meredith attended Jackson State University for 2 years and put in a transfer to the University of Mississippi in 1961. After being barred since September 20('62), James Meredith is able to make it to the University of Mississipi with the assistance of over 5,000 federal troops. He was able to graduate in 1963 with a degree in Political Science.
  • Martin Luther King Jr is arrested during protests

    Martin Luther King Jr is arrested during protests
    While in jail in Birmingham Alabama MLK writes his famous 'Letter from Birmingham Jail.'
  • President John F. Kennedy signs the Equal Pay Act of 1963

    President John F. Kennedy signs the Equal Pay Act of 1963
    President John F. Kennedy signed the United States federal law amending the Fair Labor Standards Act, aimed at abolishing wage disparity based on sex.
  • Medgar Evans, NAACP Field Secretary is Assassinated

    Medgar Evans, NAACP Field Secretary is Assassinated
    Medgar Evans, the 37 year old field secretary of the NAACP in Mississipi is assassinated outside of his home by Byron De La Beckwith. The resulting trials, which consisted of two hung juries infuriated many people and became another event sparking the call for equality and civil rights. Feb 5, 1994 De La Beckwith was convicted of the murder of Evers.
  • March on Washington, I Have a Dream Speech

    March on Washington, I Have a Dream Speech
    Also called the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, this march was the second largest political rally for human rights in U.S History. Martin Luther King Jr spoke at the rally, delivering his famous 'I Have a Dream Speech' which called for an end to discrimination and spoke of hopes for future equality.
  • Birmingham Church Bombing

    Birmingham Church Bombing
    At the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham Alabama four girls, Addie Mae Collins (aged 14), Denise McNair (aged 11), Carole Robertson (aged 14), and Cynthia Wesley (aged 14), were killed in the attack, and 22 additional people were injured. Ku Klux Klan members Robert Chambliss, Herman Cash, Thomas Blanton and Bobby Cherry were found to be responsible for the crime. This bombing led to several riots and increase pressure on the government to pass a Civil Rights Act.
  • President John F. Kennedy is Assassinated

    President John F. Kennedy is Assassinated
    President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, at 12:30 pm CST, while on a political trip to Texas to smooth over frictions in the Democratic Party. Lee Harvey Oswald was convicted of the murder.
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    Lyndon B. Johnson is President of the United States

    Lyndon B. Johnson is the 36th President of the United States of America.
  • Shirley Chisholm Successfully Elected to New York State Legislature

    Shirley Chisholm Successfully Elected to New York State Legislature
    Shirley Chisholm runs a successful campaign and becomes elected ot the New York State Assembly in 1964. (Actual Date Unknown).
  • 24th Amendment abolishes Poll Taxing

    24th Amendment  abolishes Poll Taxing
    The 24th amendment is established which abolished the poll tax 11 Southern States were trying to keep that would restrict voting rights to numerous citizens, mostly African Americans.
  • President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964

    President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964
    On July 2, 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This act outlawed major forms of discrimination against African Americans and women, including racial segregation. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, workplace and facilities that served the general public.
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
    Martin Luther King becomes the youngest man to ever receive this award at the age of 35.
  • Malcom X Assassinated

    Malcom X Assassinated
    Malcolm X prepared to address the Organization of Afro-American Unity in Manhattan's Audubon Ballroom when Talmadge Hayer and fellow gunmen Norman Butler and Thomas Johnson shot at and killed Malcom X.
  • Bloody Sunday. Marches in Selma Alabama

    Bloody Sunday. Marches in Selma Alabama
    600 Civil rights marchers going through Selma Alabama are attacked by police with tear gas, water hoses, and clubs. The March encountered no problems until the were stopped by a line of police at the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The second march, which happened the following Tuesday had 2,500 marchers. On March 16, a third march was allowed to finally go all the way to the capital protected by almost 4,000 army soldiers, Alabama National Guard and U.S FBI members.
  • President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965

    President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965
    President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a national legislation that outlawed discriminatory voting practices such as literacy tests, poll taxes, grandfather clauses, and other provisions that prevented African Americans from Voting.
  • Watts Riots in California

    Watts Riots in California
    The 5-day riot resulted in 34 deaths, 1,032 injuries, 3,438 arrests and over $40 million in property damage. After Marquette Frye and his mother and brother were arrested by police for suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol a crowd grew and attacked police officers.
  • President Lyndon B. Johnson issues Executive Order 11246

     President Lyndon B. Johnson issues Executive Order 11246
    This executive order enforced affirmative action for the first time. It required government contractors to take 'affirmative action' towards the hiring of minority employees in every part of the hiring and employment process.
  • Betty Friedan, Rev. Pauli Murray and Shirley Chisholm create the National Organization for Women

    Betty Friedan, Rev. Pauli Murray and Shirley Chisholm create the National Organization for Women
    Betty Friedan, Rev. Pauli Murray and Shirley Chisholm create the National Organization for Women. Shirley Chisholm and Rev. Pauli Murray are African American Founding Members. This organization pushed a feminist agenda advocating for an end to sex discrimination.
  • Black Panther Party Founded

    Black Panther Party Founded
    African-American revolutionary leftist organization active in the United States from 1966 until 1982. Founded in Oakland, California by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, the organization initially set forth a doctrine calling primarily for the protection of African American neighborhoods from police brutality.
  • Robert Henry Lawrence Jr. becomes the first African American Astronaut

    Robert Henry Lawrence Jr. becomes the first African American Astronaut
    Robert Henry Lawrence Jr. becomes the first African American Astronaut.
  • Supreme Court Case Loving v. Virginia overturns prohbitions on Interracial Marriage

    Supreme Court Case Loving v. Virginia overturns prohbitions on Interracial Marriage
    After this Landmark Ruling by the Supreme Court, Sixteen states with laws prohibiting interracial marriage must rewrite their laws and allow the marriages to take place because of the fourteenth amendment.
  • 1967 Detroit Riots

    1967 Detroit Riots
    After police raid on a bar in Detroit clashes erupted between police and observers. This sparked a 5 day riot. To help end the disturbance, Governor George Romney ordered the Michigan National Guard into Detroit, and President Lyndon B. Johnson sent in Army troops. The result was 43 dead, 467 injured, over 7,200 arrests, and more than 2,000 buildings destroyed
  • Newark Riots

    Newark Riots
    The riots started after an increase in incidents of police burtality and arrests, lack of representation, and an overall feeling of being powerless. A rumor that a cab drive had been arrested and killed while in custody sparked the riots which set off six days of riots, looting, violence, and destruction — ultimately leaving 26 people dead, 725 people injured, and close to 1,500 arrested. Property damage exceeded $10 million.
  • Thurgood Marshall becoms a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

    Thurgood Marshall becoms a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
    Thurgood Marshall, famous for successfully representing Brown, in the case of Brown V. Board of Ed becomes the Supreme Court's 96th justice and its first African-American justice.
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is Assassinated

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is Assassinated
    While speaking at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis Tennessee Martin Luther King Jr, 39, was assassinted by James Earl Ray.
  • Washington D.C Riots

    Washington D.C Riots
    Following the news of the assassination of Marting Luther King Jr riots erupted in Washington D.C. Crowds of as many as 20,000 overwhelmed the District's 3,100-member police force, and President Lyndon B. Johnson dispatched some 13,600 federal troops, including 1,750 federalized D.C. National Guard troops to assist them. By the time the city was considered pacified on Sunday, April 8, twelve had been killed, 1,097 injured, and over 6,100 arrested.Damages totaled $27million.
  • President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968

    President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968
    President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968 ending racial and minority discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing.
  • Shirley Chisholm becomes the first African American woman to be elected to Congress

    Shirley Chisholm becomes the first African American  woman to be elected to Congress
    Shirley Chisholm, representing New Yorks 12th district becomes a member of the U.S House of Representatives. She is the first African American Woman to achieve the honor of serving in congress.
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    Shirley Chisholm serves on Congress

    Shirley Chisholm, the first African American Woman elected to the U.S House of Representatives from New Yorks 12th district serves 7 terms.
  • Stonewall Riots in New York

    Stonewall Riots in New York
    The Stonewall Riots marked the first time LGBT citizens stood up to police in raids by retaliating this is seen as the start of the LGBT Rights movement.
  • C. Delores Tucker becomes the first Secretary of State for a U.S State

    C. Delores Tucker becomes the first Secretary of State for a U.S State
    C. Delores Tucker becomes the First Secretary of State for a U.S State by representing Pennsylvannia, she was an advocate for civil rights and equality. (Actual Date Unknown)
  • Florynce Kennedy creates the Feminist Party which nominates Shirley Chisholm for President

    Florynce Kennedy creates the Feminist Party which nominates Shirley Chisholm for President
    Florynce Kennedy creates the Feminist Party which nominates Shirley Chisholm for President. (Actual Date Unknown)
  • Supreme Court Case Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education,

    Supreme Court Case Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education,
    In the Supreme Court ruling in the case of Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, busing was upheld as a legitamate form of integration. Court ordered busing cases continued into the 90's in cities such as Charlotte, Boston, and Denver.
  • The National Women's Political Caucus is founded

    The National Women's Political Caucus is founded
    Gloria Steinem, and cofounded by Bella Abzug, Shirley Chisholm, Betty Friedan, Myrlie Evers create the National Women's Political Caucus to advance feminist ideas of equality. Shirley Chisholm and Myrlie Evers are both African American founding members.
  • Shirley Chisholm attempts becoming the First Woman and First African American to run for President on the Democratic Ticket

    Shirley Chisholm attempts becoming the First Woman and First African American to run for President on the Democratic Ticket
    Shirley Chisholm attempts to win the candidacy on the Democratic Party Ticket to run for President. This was a first attempt by any woman or African American at the time.
  • DSM II removes LGB Status from it's list of Mental Disorders

    DSM II removes LGB Status from it's list of Mental Disorders. (Actual Date Unknown)
  • Supreme Court decides Milliken v. Bradley in 1974

    Supreme Court decides Milliken v. Bradley in 1974
    It placed an important limitation on the first major Supreme Bussing denied, 'Court case concerning school busing, Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, 402 U.S. 1 (1971), by holding that such remedies could extend across district lines only where there was actual evidence that multiple districts had deliberately engaged in a policy of segregation.'
  • Rev. Pauli Murray becomes the first Female African American Episcopal Priest

    Rev. Pauli Murray becomes the first Female African American Episcopal Priest
    Rev. Pauli Murray becomes the first Female Lesbian African American Episcopal Priest.(Actual Date Unknown)
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    Shirley Chisholm while serving on the 95th and 96th congress was Secretary of the House Democratic Caucus

    Shirley Chisholm while serving on the 95th and 96th congress was Secretary of the House Democratic Caucus.
  • Supreme Court Decides Regents of the University of California v. Bakke

    Supreme Court Decides Regents of the University of California v. Bakke
    This 1978 Supreme Court Case decides Bakke wins in his affirmative action case. Bakke held that affirmative action was a factor that enabled a minority student precedent in admission even though that student had lower test scores. The Supreme Court viewed that this was unconstitutional.
  • Harvey Milk is Assassinated

    Harvey Milk is Assassinated
    Harvey Milk a prominent LGBT activist and member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors as well as Mayor George Moscone, are assassinated by Dan White.
  • Shirley Chisholm and C. Delores Tucker found the National Congress of Black Women

    Shirley Chisholm and C. Delores Tucker found the National Congress of Black Women
    Shirley Chisholm and C. Delores Tucker establish the National Congress of Black Women to advance issues dealing with racial minorities and feminist ideas. (Year is simply 1984, actual date unknown)
  • Congress Overrides President Reagans Veto on the Civil Rights Restoration Act

    Congress Overrides President Reagans Veto on the 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.
  • George H. W Bush Signs the Civil Rights act of 1991

    George H. W Bush Signs the Civil Rights act of 1991
    President George H.W Bush gives in and signs the Civil Rights Act of 1991.
  • Mel Watt elected to represent North Carolina in the House of Representatives

    Mel Watt elected to represent North Carolina in the House of Representatives
    Mel Watt becomes the first African American to represent North Carolina in congress since George White was defeated in 1901.