Civil Rights Timeline

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    First Wave Feminism

    The First Wave of feminism in the United States, beginning with the Seneca Falls Convention in New York and culminating in the adoption of the 19th Amendment.
  • 13th Amendment Adopted

    13th Amendment Adopted
    Abolished slavery except as a criminal sentence.
  • 14th Amendment Adopted

    14th Amendment Adopted
    Officially defines citizenship and adds due process clause that restricts state lawmaking.
  • 15th Amendment Adopted

    15th Amendment Adopted
    Bans both federal and state governments from denying a man the rigjt to vote based on race.
  • Jim Crow Laws First Enacted

    Jim Crow Laws First Enacted
    After the end of Reconstruction, Southern Democrats enacted various laws meant to segregate and disfranchise many African Americans. These laws would later be largely taken down by the Sumpreme Court before and during the Civil Rights Movement, but stayed in place for more than 80 years. This group of laws was named after Jim Crow, a blackface character who largely was used to mock African American people.
  • Plessy v. Ferguson

    Plessy v. Ferguson
    A Sumpreme Court case that stated segregation was constitutionald and that separate facilities for whites and blacks on Louisiana trains was in acordance with the 14th Amendment as long as they were equal.
  • 19th Amendment Adopted

    19th Amendment Adopted
    It expanded suffrage to women.
  • Equal Rights Amendment Proposed

    Equal Rights Amendment Proposed
    Drafted by Alice Paul, the Equal Rights Amendment aimed to ban discrimination against women in government and employment procedures. The trials of passing the ERA span the 20th Century; ultimately, it was never ratified.
  • Korematsu v. United States

    Korematsu v. United States
    Detainment of Japanese citizens in government camps during World War II was upheld as constitutional, as the court deemed that the threat of espionage outweighed the plantiff's rights.
  • Sweatt v. Painter

    Sweatt v. Painter
    Sumpreme Court case that held that the University of Texas denying a student admission based solely on race was unconstitional and violated the 14th Amendment.
  • Brown v. Board of Education

    Brown v. Board of Education
    Supreme Court case that stated segregation in public schools was unconstitional according to the 14th Amendment. Took down the "separate but equal" doctrine established in Plessy v. Ferguson and started the process of desegregation throughout the country.
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    Civil Rights Movement

    The Civil RIghts Movement was mainly concentrated in this decade time span. In 1955 the Montgomery Bus Boycott was the event that made the concept of "civil disobedience" widespread. Sit-ins, boycotts, and desegregation and anit-discrimination statutes were passed throughout this time. In 1965, however, the Black Power Movement started to gain steam over the past decade of civl rights marches and protests.
  • Montgomery Bus Boycott

    Montgomery Bus Boycott
    Boycott of the busses in Montgomery, Alabamba. This was sparked by the arrest of Rosa Parks for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger and move to the back of the bus. It ended in 1956 when a federal court ruled that the segregating of the busses were unconstitutional.
  • Poll Taxes

    Poll Taxes
    The poll tax was one of the Jim Crow laws and it required voters to pay a tax in order to vote. These laws were notorious for discriminating against blacks by making voting seem too costly. These were (officially) overturned in 1964.
  • Literacy Tests

    Literacy Tests
    Literacy Tests were another addition to the southern Jim Crow laws and these required potential voters to take a test to test their reading ability. These were considered unfair towards black americans, since the tests were administered by white officials who determined who passed and who failed.
  • Ruby Bridges

    Ruby Bridges
    Ruby Bridges was a six year old girl when she became the first black girl to go to an all-white elementary school. This caused a huge uproar, and she was threatened to be killed, but she perservered and went to school anyway. Her defiance was a major step in ending segregation, and became a symbol of the times and the civil rights movement.
  • Affirmative Action Established

    Affirmative Action Established
    Executive Order 10925 encouraged federal hiring practices, including federal contractors to consider affirmative action, stating: "The contractor will take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin.” Affirmative Action has been accused of being reverse discrimination (as it is considered to favor minorities over whites purely on basis of race by some folk).
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    Second Wave Feminism

    The Second Wave of feminism in the United States is considered by historians to have started with the publishing of the Feminine Mystique by Betty Freidan and ending in the early 1980s. Instead of suffrage, this movement mostly aimed to end discrimination against women in government and workplace practices.
  • 24th Amendment Adopted

    24th Amendment Adopted
    This a constitutional amendment that bans poll taxes.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964

    Civil Rights Act of 1964
    This act ended segregation in schools, ended unfair voting requirements, and made discrimination on the basis of race, sex, and ethnicity in housing and employment, and pay illegal.
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965

    Voting Rights Act of 1965
    This bill prohibited racial dscrimination in voting. This allowed the black community to have a major voice in voting for the first time.
  • Loving v. Virginia

    Loving v. Virginia
    In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court ruled Virginia's anit-miscegenation law (law banning inter-racial marriages) as unconstitutional and that it violated the 14th Amendment.
  • Robert Kennedy's Speech in Indianpolis upon death of MLK

    Robert Kennedy's Speech in Indianpolis upon death of MLK
    Robert Kennedy was in Indiana giving speeches to many colleges when MLK was assassinated he found out before giving a speech in a black ghetto in Indianpolis. He changed his speech to remember MLK and call for calm and forgiveness. This helped to show to the black community that there were elected officials that were on their side.
  • Reed v. Reed

    Reed v. Reed
    Supreme Court case that brought down an Idaho law that prefered men over women in choosing people in charge of managing estates of those who have died. The court cited the 14th Amendment and stated that "the choice in this context may not lawfully be mandated solely on the basis of sex." This is the first time a state was struck down on the basis that it discriminated against women.
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    LGBT Rights Movement

    Unlike the Gay Liberation Movement of 1969-1974, the current LGBT rights movement has been focused on reform and applying a civil rights argument in order to change public opinion and politcal opinion about sexuality.
  • Regents of the University of California v. Bakke

    Regents of the University of California v. Bakke
    A Supreme Court case that directly questions the concept of affirmative action, this case ended in somewhat of a draw. Bakke was a white student who sought admittance into medical school, and when he was rejected twice, he sued the University of California, saying that their affirmative action program violated the 14th Amendment. Even though the Supreme Court ordered Bakke to be admitted, they did not declare affirmative action in the college admissions process unconstitutional.
  • Equal Rights Amendment Ratification Deadline

    Equal Rights Amendment Ratification Deadline
    This date was the final deadline for the Equal Rights Amendment, an amendment that would have banned discrimination against women in legal contexts, to be ratified. Although the amendment passed both houses of Congress by 1972, the amendment had been ratified by 35 0f the 38 states needed for it to be adopted. When this date passed, the amendment could no longer be ratified and fell into the histroy books, at least for the present.
  • Bowers v. Hardwick

    Bowers v. Hardwick
    Michael Hardwick was observed by a Georgian police officer while engaging in the act of consensual homosexual sodomy (sodomy was considered illegal) with another adult in the bedroom of his home. The anti-sodomy law was ruled constitutional.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act

    Americans with Disabilities Act
    A far-reaching law that basically banned discrimination based on disabilities as well as mandate that businesses need to accomodate employees with disabilities and that public institutions needed to have facilities with proper accomendations.
  • Lawrence v. Texas

    Lawrence v. Texas
    Police found two men engaged in sexual conduct in their home, and were arrested due to a Texan law stating that sexual intercourse between men was illegal. Court ruled that according to the 14th amendment, consenting adults were allowed to participate in sexual intercourse in their home however they wanted.
  • Fisher v. Texas

    Fisher v. Texas
    This court case was about the University of Texas' use of Affirmative Action in its enrollment. The court ruling was that it was okay to use Affirmative Action.
  • Gay Marriage in Indiana

    Gay Marriage in Indiana
    Gay Marriage in the state of Indiana was ruled legal in the summer of 2014, but three days later the ruling was overturned and the case was sent to an appeals court. The appeals court said it was legal, and the ruling is currently on hold.