Civil Rights Timeline By: Maddie Cacheria, Hannah Kellen, and Tanner Green

  • Executive Order 9981

    Executive 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."
  • Brown vs. Board of Education

    Brown vs. Board of Education
    Was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional.
  • The Murder of Emmett Till

    The Murder of Emmett Till
    Fourteen-year-old Chicagoan Emmett Till is visiting family in Mississippi when he is kidnapped, brutally beaten, shot, and dumped in the Tallahatchie River for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Two white men, J. W. Milam and Roy Bryant, are arrested for the murder and acquitted by an all-white jury. They later boast about committing the murder in a Look magazine interview. The case becomes a cause célèbre of the civil rights movement.
  • Rosa Parks

    Rosa Parks
    Rosa Parks was an African-American seamstress who took the bus to and from work every day in Montgomery, Alabama. She had grown up in a segregated South, where there were separate rules for blacks and whites. Rosa Parks did many things during the Civil Rights movement, but the most famous thing she did was on December 1, 1955, she decided she was tired of giving in and refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger.
  • SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference)

    SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference)
    Martin Luther King, Charles K. Steele, and Fred L. Shuttlesworth establish the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, of which King is made the first president. The SCLC becomes a major force in organizing the civil rights movement and bases its principles on nonviolence and civil disobedience. According to King, it is essential that the civil rights movement not sink to the level of the racists and hatemongers who oppose them.
  • Little Rock Nine

    Little Rock Nine
    Formerly all-white Central High School learns that integration is easier said than done. Nine black students are blocked from entering the school on the orders of Governor Orval Faubus. President Eisenhower sends federal troops and the National Guard to intervene on behalf of the students, who become known as the "Little Rock Nine."
  • Woolworth sit-ins

    Woolworth sit-ins
    Four African American college students sat down at a lunch counter at Woolworth’s in Greensboro, North Carolina, and politely asked for service. Their request was refused. When asked to leave, they remained in their seats. Their passive resistance and peaceful sit-down demand helped ignite a youth-led movement to challenge racial inequality throughout the South.
  • SNCC (The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee)

    SNCC (The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee)
    The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was one of the organizations of the American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. It emerged from a student meeting organized by Ella Baker held at Shaw University in April 1960. The SNCC started out in April, 1960, as a group to coordinate nonviolent sit-ins at lunch counters of businesses that would not serve Blacks. After one year it branched out and became a major organization fighting segregation in the nation.
  • Freedom Rides

    Freedom Rides
    Over the spring and summer, student volunteers begin taking bus trips through the South to test out new laws that prohibit segregation in interstate travel facilities, which includes bus and railway stations. Several of the groups of "freedom riders," as they are called, are attacked by angry mobs along the way. The program, sponsored by The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), involves more than 1,000 volunteers, black and white.
  • The 24th Amendement

    The 24th Amendement
    This amendment prohibits both Congress and the states from conditioning the right to vote in federal elections on payment of a poll tax or other types of tax. Poll taxes appeared in southern states after Reconstruction as a measure to prevent African Americans from voting, and had been held to be constitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States in the 1937 decision Breedlove v. Suttles.
  • James Meredith (Date below is date of incident not his life span)

    James Meredith (Date below is date of incident not his life span)
    James Meredith became the first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi. Violence and riots surrounding the incident causing President Kennedy to send 5,000 federal troops.
  • Letter from a Birmingham Jail

    Letter from a Birmingham Jail
    The letter defends the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism, arguing that people have a moral responsibility to break unjust laws. As the letter reached a larger audience, support for civil rights legislation began to swell. Liberal white religious organizations, especially the National Council of Churches, responded by unequivocally endorsing the movement's goals. Religious groups played a critical role in lobbying Congress on behalf of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
  • Medger Evers Murdered

    Medger Evers Murdered
    African American civil rights leader Medgar Evers is shot to death by white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith. In 1964, the first trial of chief suspect Byron De La Beckwith ended with a deadlock by an all-white jury, sparking numerous protests. When a second all-white jury also failed to reach a decision, De La Beckwith was set free. Three decades later, the state of Mississippi reopened the case under pressure from civil rights leaders and Evers' family.
  • March on Washington

    March on Washington
    About 200,000 people join the March on Washington. Congregating at the Lincoln Memorial, participants listen as Martin Luther King delivers his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.
  • 16th Street Baptist Church bombing

    16th Street Baptist Church bombing
    Four young girls (Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, and Addie Mae Collins) attending Sunday school are killed when a bomb explodes at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, a popular location for civil rights meetings, the bomb was planted by members of the KKK. After the bombing, riots erupt in Birmingham, leading to the deaths of two more black youths.
  • Mississippi Freedom Summer Project

    Mississippi Freedom Summer Project
    Was a campaign in the United States launched in June 1964 to attempt to register as many African-American voters as possible in Mississippi, which had historically excluded most blacks from voting. The project also set up dozens of Freedom Schools, Freedom Houses, and community centers in small towns throughout Mississippi to aid the local black population. The project was organized by the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO), a coalition of the Mississippi branches of the four major civil.
  • Murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner

    Murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner
    Three young civil rights workers—a 21-year-old black Mississippian, James Chaney, and two white New Yorkers, Andrew Goodman, 20, and Michael Schwerner, 24—were murdered near Philadelphia, in Nashoba County, Mississippi. They had been working to register black voters in Mississippi during Freedom Summer and had gone to investigate the burning of a black church. They were arrested by the police on trumped-up charges, imprisoned for several hours, and then released in dark to the KKK then killed.
  • Civil Rights Act 1964

    Civil Rights Act 1964
    The most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction, the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination of all kinds based on race, color, religion, or national origin. The law also provides the federal government with the powers to enforce desegregation. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public (known as "public accommodations").
  • Malcolm X Assassinated

    Malcolm X Assassinated
    He was a black nationalist and founder of the Organization of Afro-American Unity, is shot to death. It is believed the assailants are members of the Black Muslim faith, which Malcolm had recently abandoned in favor of orthodox Islam.
  • Bloody Sunday

    Bloody Sunday
    Blacks begin a march to Montgomery in support of voting rights but are stopped at the Pettus Bridge by a police blockade. Fifty marchers are hospitalized after police use tear gas, whips, and clubs against them. The incident is dubbed "Bloody Sunday" by the media. The march is considered the catalyst for pushing through the voting rights act five months later.
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965

    Voting Rights Act of 1965
    Is a landmark piece of federal legislation in the United States that prohibits discrimination in voting. I made it easier for Southern blacks to register to vote. Literacy tests, poll taxes, and other such requirements that were used to restrict black voting are made illegal. It was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson during the height of the American Civil Rights Movement, and Congress later amended the Act five times to expand its protections.
  • Los Angeles Race Riots 1965 (or Watts Riots)

    Los Angeles Race Riots 1965 (or Watts Riots)
    Was a race riot that took place in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles from August 11 to 17, 1965. The six-day unrest resulted in 34 deaths, 1,032 injuries, 3,438 arrests, and over $40 million in property damage. It was the most severe riot in the city's history until the Los Angeles riots of 1992.
  • Executive Order 11246

    Executive Order 11246
    Asserting that civil rights laws alone are not enough to remedy discrimination, President Johnson issues Executive Order 11246, which enforces affirmative action for the first time. It requires government contractors to "take affirmative action" toward prospective minority employees in all aspects of hiring and employment.
  • Black Panthers founded

    Black Panthers founded
    U.S. African-American militant party, founded (1966) in Oakland, Calif., by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. Originally aimed at armed self-defense against the local police, the party grew to espouse violent revolution as the only means of achieving black liberation. The Black Panthers called on African Americans to arm themselves for the liberation struggle. In the late 1960s party members became involved in a series of violent confrontations with the police (resulting in deaths on both sides).
  • Loving vs. Virginia Case

    Loving vs. Virginia Case
    Was a landmark civil rights decision of the United States Supreme Court which invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage. The case was brought by Mildred Loving, a black woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, who had been sentenced to a year in prison in Virginia for marrying each other. Their marriage violated the state's anti-miscegenation statute, the Racial Integrity Act of 1924. In the end, all race based legal restrictions on marriage were deemed unconstitutional.
  • Martin Luther King's Assassination

    Martin Luther King's Assassination
    Shock waves reverberated around the world with the news that U.S. civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. A Baptist minister and founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), King had led the civil rights movement since the mid-1950s, using a combination of powerful words and non-violent tactics such as sit-ins, boycotts and protest marches (including the massive March on Washington in 1963) to fight segregation, was assisinated.
  • Civil Rights Act 1968

    Civil Rights Act 1968
    Is a landmark piece of legislation in the United States that provided for equal housing opportunities regardless of race, creed, or national origin and made it a federal crime to “by force or by threat of force, injure, intimidate, or interfere with anyone … by reason of their race, color, religion, or national origin.” The Act was signed into law during the King assassination riots by President Lyndon B. Johnson, who had previously signed the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act into law.
  • Voting Rights Act 1991

    Voting Rights Act 1991
    Is a United States statute that was passed in response to a series of United States Supreme Court decisions which limited the rights of employees who had sued their employers for discrimination. It provided for the right to trial by jury on discrimination claims and introduced the possibility of emotional distress damages, while limiting the amount that a jury could award.
  • 1992 Los Angeles Race Riots

    1992 Los Angeles Race Riots
    Four Los Angeles police officers that had been caught beating an unarmed African-American motorist in an amateur video are acquitted of any wrongdoing in the arrest. Hours after the verdicts were announced, outrage and protest turned to violence, as rioters in south-central Los Angeles blocked freeway traffic and beat motorists, wrecked and looted numerous downtown stores and buildings, and set more than 100 fires. Rioting and violence continued during the next 24 hours.