Civil Rights Timeline 1860-1980

  • Abraham Lincoln is elected the sixteenth President of the United States

  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Orders, issued by President Lincoln, which freed the slaves in the rebel states and guaranteed the enforcement of their emancipation. It only applied to slaves in rebel-held areas
  • 13th Amendment

    The 13th Amendment declared that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." Formally abolishing slavery in the United States
  • Freedmen's Bureau is estabglished

    Freedmen's Bureau, was a U.S. federal government agency that aided distressed freedmen (freed slaves) in 1865–1869, during the Reconstruction era of the United States. The Freedmen's Bureau Bill, which created the Freedmen's Bureau, was initiated by President Abraham Lincoln and was intended to last for one year after the end of the Civil War. It was passed on March 3, 1865, by Congress to aid former slaves through legal food and housing, oversight, education, health care, and employment contr
  • Klu Klux Klan founded

  • Civil Rights Act of 1866

    The Civil Rights Act of 1866, 14 Stat. 27, enacted April 9, 1866, is a federal law in the United States that was mainly intended to protect the civil rights of African-Americans, in the wake of the American Civil War. The Act was enacted by Congress in 1865 but it was vetoed by President Andrew Johnson. In April 1866 Congress again passed the bill, Johnson again vetoed it, but this time a two-thirds majority in each house overcame the veto and the bill became law.
  • Reconstruction Act

    After the end of the American Civil War, as part of the on-going process of Reconstruction, the United States Congress passed four statutes known as Reconstruction Acts. The actual title of the initial legislation was "An act to provide for the more efficient government of the Rebel States" and it was passed on March 2, 1867. Fulfillment of the requirements of the Acts were necessary for the former Confederate States to be readmitted to the Union. The Acts excluded Texas, which had already ratif
  • Impeachment of President Johnson

    The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson, 17th President of the United States, was one of the most dramatic events in the political life of the United States during Reconstruction, and the first impeachment in history of a sitting United States president. Johnson was impeached for his efforts to undermine Congressional policy; he was acquitted by one vote. The Impeachment was the consummation of a lengthy political battle, between the moderate Johnson and the "Radical Republican" movement that dominat
  • 14th Amendment

    The amendment granted citizenship to and protected the civil liberties of recently freed slaves. It did this by prohibiting states from denying the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States, depriving any person of his life, liberty, or property without due process of law, or denying to any person within their jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
  • 15th Amendment

    Granted African American men the right to vote
  • First Enforcement Act

    As the first of three enforcement acts, its goal was “to enforce the rights of citizens of the United States to vote in the several States of the Union, and for other purposes.” [1] The first Enforcement Act (1870) and the second (1871) were passed in order to enforce the Fifteenth Amendment
  • Ku Klux Klan Act

    The Act was originally enacted a few years after the American Civil War, along with the 1870 Force Act. One of the chief reasons for its passage was to protect southern blacks from the Ku Klux Klan by providing a civil remedy for abuses then being committed in the South. The statute has been subject to only minor changes since then, but has been the subject of voluminous interpretation by courts.
  • Civil Rights Act 1875

    The Act guaranteed that everyone, regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude, was entitled to the same treatment in "public accommodations" (i.e. inns, public conveyances on land or water, theaters, and other places of public amusement). If found guilty, the lawbreaker could face a penalty anywhere from $500 to $1,000 and/or 30 days to 1 year in prison. However, the law was rarely enforced, especially after the 1876 presidential election and withdrawal of federal troops from
  • Jim Crow Laws

    After the American Civil War most states in the South passed anti-African American legislation. These became known as Jim Crow laws. This included laws that discriminated against African Americans with concern to attendance in public schools and the use of facilities such as restaurants, theaters, hotels, cinemas and public baths. Trains and buses were also segregated and in many states marriage between whites and African American people.
  • Dawes Act

    The Dawes General Allotment (Severalty) Act, February 8, 1887, converted all Indian tribal lands to individual ownership in an attempt to facilitate the assimilation of Indians into the white culture
  • Plessy v. Ferguson decision

    Supreme Court rules that separate but equal facilities for different races is legal. Gives legal approval to Jim Crow laws
  • Ida B Wells anti-lynching campaign

    Wells wrote scathing editorials against lynching, gave public speakings on the subject and began to organize and mobilize blacks in an effort to abolish the practice. Wells also began a comprehensive study of lynching
  • Booker T. Washington Delivers the 1895 Atlanta Compromise Speech

    On September 18, 1895, African-American spokesman and leader Booker T. Washington spoke before a predominantly white audience at the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta. His “Atlanta Compromise” address, as it came to be called, was one of the most important and influential speeches in American history
  • Williams v. Mississippi

  • The Niagara Movement is founded

    The Niagara Movement was founded at Niagara Falls in 1905 under the leadership of William Du Bois. The group drew up a plan for aggressive action and demanded: manhood suffrage, equal economic and educational opportunities, an end to segregation and full civil rights. The Niagara group virtually came to an end with the establishment of the the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) in 1909.
  • NAACP founded

    The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded on February 12, 1909. After a race riot in Springfield, Illinois in 1908, "The Call" went out to Northerners to find a way to create social equality. In 1909, a group of multi-racial activists held a conference in New York City in response to "The Call" and decided to form the NAACP Among the founders were W.E.B. DuBois, Ida Wells-Barnett, Henry Moscowitz, Oswald G
  • Grandfather clause outlawed by Supreme Court

    NAACP successfully challenges state laws that restricted black voting registration
  • Ku Klux Klan reformed

    The Ku Klux Klan was reformed in 1915 by William J. Simmons, a preacher influenced by Thomas Dixon's book,
  • UNIA founded by Marcus Garvey

    In May 1917, Garvey and thirteen others formed the first UNIA division outside Jamaica and began advancing ideas to promote social, political, and economic freedom for blacks
  • Universal Negro Improvement Association Founded

    he Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) was established by Marcus Garvey in Jamaica in 1914. Garvey arrived in the United States on 23rd March 1916 and immediately launched a year-long tour of the country. He organized the first branch of UNIA in June 1917 and began published the Negro World, a journal that promoted his African nationalist ideas. Garvey's organization was extremely popular and by 1919 UNIA had 30 branches and over 2 million members.
  • Indian Citizenship Act

    The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, also known as the Snyder Act, was proposed by Representative Homer P. Snyder (R) of New York and granted full U.S. citizenship to America's indigenous peoples, called "Indians" in this Act. (The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees citizenship to persons born in the U.S., but only if "subject to the jurisdiction thereof"; this latter clause excludes certain indigenous peoples.)
  • Indian Reorganization Act

    U.S. federal legislation that secured certain rights to Native Americans (known in law as American Indians or Indians), including Alaska Natives.[1] These include actions that contributed to the reversal of the Dawes Act's privatization of communal holdings of American Indian tribes and a return to local self-government on a tribal basis. The Act also restored to Indians the management of their assets (being mainly land) and included provisions intended to create a sound economic foundation for
  • Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada

    Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada, 305 U.S. 337 (1938)[1], was a United States Supreme Court decision holding that states that provide a school to white students must provide in-state education to blacks as well. States can satisfy this requirement by allowing blacks and whites to attend the same school or creating a second school for blacks.
  • Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) founded

    The Congress of Racial Equality or CORE is a U.S. civil rights organization that played a pivotal role for African-Americans in the Civil Rights Movement. Membership in CORE is still stated to be open to "anyone who believes that 'all people are created equal' and is willing to work towards the ultimate goal of true equality throughout the world.”
  • US armed forces desegregated

    Jump to: navigation, search The Chicago Defender announces Executive Order 9981.
    Executive Order 9981 is an executive order issued on July 26, 1948 by President Harry S. Truman. It abolished racial discrimination in the armed forces and eventually led to the end of segregation in the services.
  • Brown vs Board of Education case

    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 segregation was ruled a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. This ruling paved the way for integration and the civil rights movement.
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    Montgomery Bus Boycott

    The Montgomery Bus Boycott officially started on December 1, 1955. That was the day when the blacks of Montgomery, Alabama, decided that they would boycott the city buses until they could sit anywhere they wanted, instead of being relegated to the back when a white boarded
  • Southern Christian Leadership Conference formed

    The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) is an African-American civil rights organization. SCLC was closely associated with its first president, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The SCLC had a large role in the American Civil Rights Movement.
  • Greensboro sit-ins

    Jump to: navigation, search A section of lunch counter from the Greensboro, North Carolina Woolworth's is now preserved in the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History
    The Greensboro sit-ins were a series of nonviolent protests which led to the Woolworth's department store chain reversing its policy of racial segregation in the Southern United States.[1]
  • Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) founded

    The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was one of the organizations of the American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. It emerged from a series of student meetings led by Ella Baker held at Shaw University in April 1960
  • First Freedom Ride by CORE

    1961 CORE undertook a new tactic aimed at desegregating public transportation throughout the south. These tactics became know as the "Freedom Rides". The first Freedom Ride took place on May 4, 1961 when seven blacks and six whites left Washington, D.C., on two public buses bound for the Deep South. They intended to test the Supreme Court's ruling in Boynton v. Virginia (1960), which declared segregation in interstate bus and rail stations unconstitutional.
  • Birmingham Demonstrations

    The Birmingham campaign was a strategic movement organized by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to bring attention to the unequal treatment that black Americans endured in Birmingham, Alabama. The campaign ran during the spring of 1963, culminating in widely publicized confrontations between black youth and white civic authorities, that eventually pressured the municipal government to change the city's discrimination laws.
  • March on Washington

    The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was one of the largest political rallies for human rights in United States history and called for civil and economic rights for African Americans. It took place in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, August 28, 1963. Martin Luther King, Jr., standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" speech advocating racial harmony during the march
  • Poll Tax Amendment

    The 24th Amendment abolishes the poll tax, which originally had been instituted in 11 southern states after Reconstruction to make it difficult for poor blacks to vote
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964

    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a landmark piece of legislation in the United States that 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, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public
  • The Assassination of Malcolm X

    He was shot several times as he began a speech to 400 of his followers at the Audubon Ballroom just outside the district of Harlem in New York.
  • Selma to Montgomery Marches

    The Selma to Montgomery marches were three marches in 1965 that marked the political and emotional peak of the American civil rights movement. They grew out of the voting rights movement in Selma, Alabama, launched by local African-Americans who formed the Dallas County Voters League
  • Voting Rights Act 1965

    The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a landmark piece of national legislation in the United States that outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the U.S
  • Black Panther Party Founded

    In October of 1966, in Oakland California, 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.
  • American Indian Movement Founded

    The American Indian Movement (AIM) is a Native American activist organization in the United States, founded in 1968 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, by urban Native Americans. The national AIM agenda focuses on spirituality, leadership, and sovereignty
  • Martin Luther Kings assassination

  • Alexander v. Holmes County Board of Education case

    Alexander v. Holmes County Board of Education, (1969), is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court ordered desegregation of schools in the American South.
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    Occupation of Alcatraz by AIM

    The Occupation of Alcatraz was an occupation of Alcatraz Island by the group Indians of All Tribes (IAT). The Alcatraz Occupation lasted for nineteen months, from November 20, 1969, to June 11, 1971, and was forcibly ended by the U.S. government.
  • Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education case

    Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education,(1971) was an important United States Supreme Court case dealing with the busing of students to promote integration in public schools.
  • Bakke case on affirmative action

    Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, (1978) was a landmark decision of the Supreme Court of the United States that ruled unconstitutional the admission process of the Medical School at the University of California at Davis, which set aside 16 of the 100 seats for non-white students.