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Civil Rights Timeline

  • Brown v Board of Education

    Brown v Board of Education
    This was a supreme court case that dealt with segregation in schools. It stated that segregation in schools was unconstitutional, even if its "separate but equal". It legally desegregated schools, but many still did not desegregate until many years later.
  • White Citizens Council

    White Citizens Council
    This was a group of white supremacists that lived in the south. Their goal was to keep the south segregated, and not give rights to African Americans.
  • Brown v Board of Education II

    This was a supreme court case that stemmed from the original Brown V. Board of Education. It stated that all schools must deliberately integrate.
  • Lynching of Emmett Till

    Lynching of Emmett Till
    Emmett Till was murdered in Mississippi after being accused of flirting with a white woman. He was found at the bottom of a river, and his body could not be identified right away due to the beating he took. His mother requested an open casket funeral to show everyone how her son was treated.
  • Rosa Parks Arrested

    Rosa Parks Arrested
    In Alabama there was a law that stated that black people had to give up their seat on a bus for a white person. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, and was arrested for it. It started a bus boycott that lasted for 381 days.
  • Montgomery bus boycott

    The Montgomery bus boycott was a result of Rosa Parks being arrested. Civil right activists refused to ride Montgomery buses for 13 months. This resulted in the supreme court saying that segregation on buses is illegal.
  • Martin Luther King House Bombing

    Martin Luther King House Bombing
    People that were for segregation bombed MLKs house, luckily no one was harmed. This caused an uproar in civil rights activist communities, and tested how strong their nonviolence was.
  • Black Panthers Formed

    Black Panthers Formed
    The black panthers were a political group founded by college kids. They protested police brutality against African Americans, and had around 2,000 in its group at its peak.
  • Bombing of Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth

    Bombing of Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth
    Shuttlesworth was not only a reverend but also a civil rights activist. His house was bombed by KKK members with his family inside, as well as some members of his church.
  • Eisenhower sends in Federal Troops

    Eisenhower sends in Federal Troops
    President Eisenhower decided to send in troops to Little Rock to help desegregate the school there. This was in order to uphold the precedent set in the supreme court case Brown v. Borard of Education which ruled that segregation within schools is unconstitutional.
  • SNCC Formed

    SNCC Formed
    The SNCC stood for Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. It consisted of student civil rights activists with the goal of being able to live as equals with whites. They were all about uniting the country as one.
  • Greensboro sit ins

    These were started by young African Americans and were non violent protests. They started these because they were denied service at a local restaurant and sit ins quickly spread.
  • Freedom Rides

    Freedom rides were what civil rights activists did to try and integrate parts of the south. They would ride buses into segregated cities, and try to desegregate their transportation systems.
  • White mob attacks federal marshals in Montgomery

    White supremacists attacked the freedom riders with weapons, It got so bad that the president had to send in federal marshals to stop these attacks.
  • Albany Georgia “failure”

    Albany Georgia “failure”
    The Albany movement was an attempt to end racial discrimination in Albany Georgia. It is considered a failure by many because it was not successful- it did not end racial discrimination in Albany.
  • Bailey v Patterson

    This was a court case that African Americans living in Detroit brought to the courts. They wanted to always have nonsegregated transportation and for that to be enforced.
  • MLK goes to a Birmingham jail

    MLK was put into a Birmingham jail for protesting the way blacks were treated in Birmingham. The court said that he was not allowed to protest there. Birmingham was the most segregated city in America.
  • Equal Pay Act

    The equal pay act has to do with men and women, and it states that men and women need to be paid equally for equal work. As we know in present day this still isn't upheld in some companies because there is still a wage gap.
  • Kennedy sends in Federal Troops

    Kennedy had to send in Federal troops to Mississippi because a black man was not allowed to enroll in the University of Mississippi. This was a very controversial move by Kennedy because it cost him a lot of southern votes.
  • Assassination of Medgar Evers

    Evers was a US WWII veteran that was shot while on his driveway in Mississippi. He was shot by a white supremacist named Byron De La Beckwith. Evers was a secretary for the NAACP and coordinated many boycotts.
  • March on Washington “I have a Dream”

    March on Washington “I have a Dream”
    The March on Washington was put on by civil rights activists to protest segregation in America. This is where MLK gave his powerful, and still talked about speech "I have a Dream". His speech was about the future and what he wanted to see- integrated communities. It touched many people and was a staple in the fight for equality.
  • Bombing of a church in Birmingham

    Bombing of a church in Birmingham
    A predominately black church was bombed on Sunday morning right before their service started. The KKK was accused of this crime years later. Four girls died.
  • Assassination of John F. Kennedy

    Assassination of John F. Kennedy
    John F. Kennedy was assassinated while in a motorcade for his campaign. He was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald, and was rushed to the nearest hospital but could not recover from shots to his neck and head. His death shook all of America, and Lyndon B. Johnson became president.
  • Freedom Summer

    Freedom Summer
    This was a movement organized by CORE, and SNCC with the goal of registering African Americans as voters. The group consisted of black and whites, and had a lot of resentment from the KKK. Although this only made 1,200 African Americans in Mississippi able to vote, its bigger success was that it established 40 freedom schools.
  • XXIV (24th) Amendment

    This amendment gave everyone the right to vote. It made poll taxes illegal which allowed everyone the opportunity to vote because many in the past were unable to pay the poll tax, so they could not vote.
  • Killing of Goodman, Chaney, Schwerner

    These men were civil rights activists that were pulled over by Mississippi police for "speeding" but their car was registered as a CORE car. They were held in jail, and when they were released they were never seen again. The FBI later found their station wagon and bodies, and declared that members of the KKK had murdered them.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964

    This is a labor law that was passed in the US, that deems it illegal to discriminate in the workplace. It also made discrimination in public places illegal. This was a bug step in American history, but southern states did not always follow this law.
  • Assassination of Malcolm X

    Assassination of Malcolm X
    He was assassinated during his speech at the Audubon ballroom. He was a civil rights activist who believed that the only way to achieve equal rights would be through violence.
  • Selma to Montgomery March

    Selma to Montgomery March
    This was a 54 mile protest against white supremacists. Members of the march wanted the right to vote. This led to the Voting Rights act of 1965
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965

    The civil rights act was signed by Lyndon B Johnson and the purpose was to make voting easier for African Americans at state and local levels. This was necessary because there were often very challenging literacy tests that African Americans had to take to vote.
  • SCLC Founded

    SCLC Founded
    The SCLC was a civil rights organizations hat MLK was a part of. They were nonviolent and wanted black and whites to be equal. They set up many nonviolent protest throughout the south.
  • Loving v Virginia

    This court case made it all the way to the supreme court. It dealt with interracial marriage. Virginia had a law banning interracial marriage, and the supreme court ruled that that law was a violation to the 14th amendment.
  • Minneapolis Riots

    Minneapolis Riots
    The Minneapolis riots took place on Plymouth Ave. and were protests against police brutality against African Americans. Some people were injured due to these riots, and businesses were even burned down.
  • Detroit Riots

    Detroit Riots
    This is one of the deadliest riots in US history. It was between black people that lived in Detroit and the police. It lasted five days, and killed 43 people.
  • Assasination of MLK

    Assasination of MLK
    MLK was assassinated in his hotel room in Memphis by James Earl Ray. Ray killed him in one shot from 200 feet away.
  • Assassination of Robert “Bobby” Kennedy

    Assassination of Robert “Bobby” Kennedy
    Right after Kennedy won the California presidential primary he was shot at Ambassador hotel. He was shot shortly after he announced to the country that he would end the racial divide. He was shot by Sirhan Sirhan.