Civil Rights Timeline

  • Rosa Parks arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a public bus

    Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat for a white man on a public bus.
  • Montgomery bus boycott

    After Rosa Parks getting arrested a boycott was formed for the right to sit anywhere on a public bus.
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    Governor Farbus of Arkansas brings in National Guard to prevent black students from going into a white school.

    the civil rights movement would soon face more challenges. In September of the 1957, another southern city became a segregation battleground. Just weeks after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957, Arkansas's governor, Orval Faubus, called on the National Guard to prevent nine black high school students from enrolling at Little Rock's Central High School.
  • Sit in at Woolworth's lunch counter

    Four black college freshmen entered a whites-only Woolworth's lunch counter and demanded service. The students were refused, but they did not leave. Instead they sat for the rest of the day in the restaurant in protest.
  • Freedom riders bus burned

    Freedom Riders' bus was burned outside of Anniston, Alabama. A riot against the Freedom Riders in Montgomery, Alabama, left a personal representative of the Attorney General, Robert Kennedy, nearly beaten to death.
  • The Other America written by Michael Harrington

    public support for Johnson's anti-poverty program was solidified when Michael Harrington published his book The Other America. Harrington reported that 20 percent of America's population—and nearly 40 percent of the black population—lived in poverty. Many Americans, who lived in relative prosperity, were startled by Harrington's findings.
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    Peaceful demonstrators ruthlessly attacked in Birmingham, Alabama- MLK arrested.

    lthough African American's made up almost half of Birmingham's population, only 15 percent were registered voters. In the spring of 1963, city authorities challenged a group of peaceful demonstrators, including King, with a show of force. Using tear gas, attack dogs, electric cattle prods, and fire hoses, the police brutally assailed the protesters.
  • MLK writes Letter from a Birmingham jail

    The letter was a rousing argument for the use of nonviolent strategies to promote change.
  • March on Washington

    t, civil rights organizers began to commit resources to stage a massive demonstration in Washington D.C. It had become increasingly evident that a show of support for new civil rights measures was needed, especially when early drafts of Kennedy's proposed legislation encountered congressional resistance.
  • "I have a dream" speech given by Martin Luther King

    Standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, King delivered his most memorable address—his "I Have a Dream" speech. This one speech summarized the hopes of all oppressed people, and to this day remains one of the most recognizable and powerful speeches in American history.
  • John F. Kennedy assassinated

    While visiting Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963, the president who sparked renewed vitality throughout America was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, a pro-Castro malcontent.
  • Lyndon B. Johnson becomes President

    Vice-President Lyndon Johnson accepted the presidency aboard Air Force One as the plane flew Kennedy's body, his family, and his staff back to Washington for the funeral.
  • 24th amendment passed

    In January 1964, Congress ratified the Twenty-Fourth Amendment, which abolished any form of payment, usually called a poll tax, as a prerequisite for voting in federal elections.
  • Civil Rights bill passed

    To enforce the Civil Rights Bill of 1964, the federal government formed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The commission banned all discrimination based on race, religion, gender, and national origin in an act that became known as Title VII. Following passage of the Civil Rights Bill and the establishment of the EEOC, most businesses in the south immediately desegregated.