civil rights timeline

  • 21st Amendment

    21st Amendment
    This repealed the 18th amendment (which prohibited alcoholic beverages). It also allowed liquor licenses in individual states. This led to people disrespecting the law and for criminals to sell illegal alcohol.
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    Brown v Board of Education

    this court case helped establish the "separate bu equal" education. It set a legal precedent that was used to overturn laws in the future regarding segregation in public facilities.
  • Kennedy sends in Federal Troops

    Kennedy sends in Federal Troops
    Kennedy sent in military riot control bases near Birmingham, Alabama to protect citizens. The goal was to create peace and restore order in the city.
  • White Citizens Council

    White Citizens Council
    The goal of this council was to maintain the "southern way of life" maintaining segregation. It was associated with "white supremacy" , with 60,000 members they used intimidation tactics like boycotts, firing people, propaganda and violence against civil rights activists.
  • Brown v Board 2

    In this court case, the Supreme Court set rules about what schools actually needed to do to de-segregate and plans to do so. It also explained how the US government would make sure the schools de-segregated.
  • Lynching of Emmett Till

    Till was murdered for "flirting" with a white women in Chicago. His murder trial brought the Jim Crow laws into discussion about segregation in the south and led into the civil rights movement.
  • Rosa Parks Arrested

    Rosa Parks Arrested
    This African American, 42-year old women took a seat on a bus-since she refused to give her seat to a white passenger she was arrested. This led to a boycott of the Montgomery bus system and a 1956 Supreme Court case banning segregation on public transportation. She stood up for what she believed in, driving the civil rights movement.
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    Montgomery Bus Boycott

    This was a civil rights mass protest where African Americans refused to ride city buses because of segregated seating-sparked by Rosa Parks when she refused to give up her seat for a white person. Many decided to walk or use taxi drivers to their destinations. Also during this time MLK became a prominent leader with nonviolent resistance and formed the SCLC.
  • MLK House Bombing

    MLK House Bombing
    On this day, MLK's house in Montgomery, Alabama, was bombed by segregationists in revenge for success of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. It was enough force to blow out the windows of the house. When MLK heard of the bomb, he rushed home to find a mob of angry black men seeking to defend white police. MLK urged them to find peace in midst of the violent act with a short speech. No one was harmed, and no one was arrested.
  • SCLC Founded

    SCLC Founded
    The SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) is a civil rights organization founded in Atlanta, Georgia. It included boycotts, marches and other forms of nonviolent protest-they also believed that churches should be involved in political activism, so they held meetings at black churches.
  • Eisenhower sends in Federal Troops

    Eisenhower sends in Federal Troops
    Known as the "Little Rock Crisis", at Central High school, full scale riots erupted and Eisenhower acted on it by sending in 1,000 U.S. Army paratroopers to restore the city. He was criticized by those who thought he didn't do enough to ensure civil rights for African Americans and those who thought he asserted too much federal power over the states.
  • Greensboro Sit Ins

    Four African-Americans students from North Carolina State University sat at a white only lunch counter in a store. It was a civil rights protest-because they were denied service and refused to give up their seats. The four men were influenced by Ghandi and his non-violent techniques. It was important because it led to the Woolworth department store chain which removed its policy of racial segregation in the south U.S.
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    Albany Georgia Failure

    This was an campaign attempt for desegregation and voter's rights in the city. They used mass demonstrations, jail sit ins, boycotts, and litigation. MLK played a huge role in this movement, as he spoke at mass meetings and helped attract media attention. It resulted in the jailing of 1,000 African Americans in Albany. Almost all of Albany's public facilities remained segregated; making one of the few failures in the civil rights campaigns.
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    Freedom Rides

    Freedom rides were bus trips through the American South to protest segregated bus terminals. The freedom riders were groups of white and African American civil rights activists. The Freedom Rides were organized by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).
  • White mob attacks federal marshals in Montgomery

    On this day, a white mob attacked freedom riders with axes and chains. Federal marshals had to be dispatched from Kennedy. In the next 6 months, over a thousand people took part in the student nonviolent coordinating committee.
  • SNCC Formed

    SNCC Formed
    The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee was a civil rights committee formed intended to give younger blacks a stronger voice in the civil rights movement. The group played a big role in Freedom Rides and directed a lot of the black voter registration drives in the south.
  • Bailey v Patterson

    This court case said that no state may require racial segregation of interstate transportation facilities. Both were negroes from Jackson, Mississippi fighting for their constitutional rights.
  • Bombing of Rev. Fred Shuttle-worth

    This man was a pastor for the Bethel Baptist church that was bombed. The day after the bombing, he and his supporters kept defying segregation laws. Earlier in 1956, a Christmas night bombing shattered his home. He believed it was a sign from God that he was the one to lead the flight of desegregation.
  • MLK goes to a Birmingham Jail

    MLK goes to a Birmingham Jail
    On this day MLK was arrested and sent to jail because he was protesting the treatment of black in Birmingham, Alabama. While in jail, he wrote a letter regarding non-violent strategies to racism. He was in jail for about a week after being released.
  • Equal Pay Act

    Equal Pay Act
    This was a labor law ended gender-based wage discriminated in the U.S. It was an amendment of the Fair Labor Standards Act-signed by President Kennedy- the law mandates equal pay for the same work for paying men and women different amounts for doing the same jobs that require the same kind of skills.
  • Assassination of Medgar Evers

    In Jackson, Mississippi, Evers was shot to death by supremacist Byron De La Beckwith. During Work War 2, Evers volunteered for the U.S. army and participated in the Normandy Invasion. He helped the NAACP, holing African Americans secure rights in the civil rights movement.
  • March on Washington "I have a Dream"

    This was a massive protest where 25,000 people gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. It aimed to fight for equality for African Americans. Martin Luther King Jr. presented his "I have a Dream Speech" during this time too.
  • Bombing of church in Birmingham

    Bombing of church in Birmingham
    On this day a bomb exploded before a Sunday morning service in the church in Birmingham, Alabama on 16th street Baptist Church.This place was where a predominant black group met with civil rights leaders. 4 young girls were killed and many were injured. Lots of outrage followed the event which helped draw attention for African American rights
  • Assassination of John F. Kennedy

    Assassination of John F. Kennedy
    Kennedy was shot while traveling through Dallas, Texas in an open top convertible while waving at a crowd. He was struck twice in the neck and pronounced dead 30 minutes later in a nearby hospital. Lee Harvard Oswald was arrested for the killing but was shot 2 days later by Jack Ruby. The debate about the assassination persisted for a while.
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    Freedom Summer

    Also known as the Mississippi Summer, this was a summer full of civil rights organizations including the Congress on Racial Equality and Student Non-Violent Committee. They aimed at increasing black voting in the Mississippi-they included over 1,000 white volunteers from out of state. The Klu Klux Klan and police carried out many violent tactics and ended up murdering at least three people.
  • Killing of Goodman, Chaney, Schwerner

    Killing of Goodman, Chaney, Schwerner
    Also known as Freedom Summer Murders, these men were three activists abducted and murdered in Neshoba Country, Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement. All were part of the CORE and COFO organizations and were working a campaign to to register African Americans to vote. This murder outraged the nation and an extensive federal investigation -this helped gain a pathway to the voting act rights of 1965.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964

    Civil Rights Act of 1964
    This ended segregation in public places and banned employment discrimination. After this, blacks could no longer be denied service because of their skin color. The act also forbade the use of federal funds for any discriminatory program and prohibited unequal application of voting requirements.
  • Voting Rights acts of 1965

    Voting Rights acts of 1965
    Signed by President Johnson, this aimed to overcome legal barriers at state and local levels and responded to Jim Crow laws--it prevented African Americans from voting under the 15th amendment. It is considered one of the most far reaching pieces of legislation in U.S. history.
  • Assassination of Malcolm

    Malcolm was an African-American nationalist- and was assassinated by rival Black Muslims while giving a speech about Afro-american unity in New York City.
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    Selma to Montgomery March

    Part of a civil rights protest in Alabama, this event was an effort for black voting. Southern protestors marched the 54 mile route from Selma to Montgomery -they were confronted by local authors with deadly violence and whites. It raised awareness of the hardship black voters and the need for a national voting act.
  • Black Panthers Formed

    This was a political organization founded by Bobby Seal and Huey Newton. They fought for police brutality against the African American community. IN 1968, they had 2,000 members, but later declined due to internal tensions.
  • Loving v Virginia

    Loving v Virginia
    This was an important court case because it prohibited state laws from banning interracial marriage. Richard and mildred Loving were a white man and a black women whose marriage was pronounced illegal in the state of Virginia- they appealed to the 14th amendment which said that anti-miscengenation" was unconstiutional. This decision is often referred to as "mantling the Jim Crow race laws".
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    Minneapolis Riots

    Caused by racial tension, many assaults and vandalism occurred in the streets of North Minneapolis. Many windows were broken, there were stone rioters and fires.
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    Detroit Riots

    Thes were one of the most destructive riots in U.S. history. It was caused by racial tension in the area and police brutality. In the end, 43 were dead, 342 injured and 1,400 building had been burned. There were huge fires
  • Assassination of MLK

    Assassination of MLK
    Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee -this event was shocking to the whole world. This caused rioting in more than100 countries-incluing burning and looting. James Earl Ray pleaded guilty to shooting him and sentenced to prison for 99 years Many saw his assassination as a rejection of equality through nonviolent resistance he had spread.
  • Assassination of Robert Bobby Kennedy

    He was shot in a Los Angelos hotel after winning the California presidency primary. He was shot several times by a Palestein Sirhan Sirhan and died a day later.