Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & The Fight Against Segregation

  • Martin Luther King Jr. was born

    This timeline starts on January 15, 1929 when Michael Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia. His parents were Baptist minister Michael Luther King and Schoolteacher Alberta King.
    In due course his father changed both of their names to Martin to honor the German Protestant, Martin Luther
  • ww2 begins

    Over 2.5 million African-American men registered for the draft, and black women also volunteered in large numbers. While serving in the Army, Army Air Forces, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, they experienced discrimination and segregation but met the challenge and persevered. They served their country with distinction, made valuable contributions to the war effort, and earned high praises and commendations for their struggles and sacrifices
  • Martin attends college

    Martin Luther King attends Morehouse College in Atlanta. There he received his sociology degree.
  • ww2 ends

  • Morgan V.S. Virgina

    The U.S. Supreme Court banned segregation in interstate bus travel. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Virginia law requiring racial segregation on commercial interstate buses as a violation of the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution. Irene Morgan, was riding a Greyhound bus in 1944 when she was arrested and convicted in Saluda for refusing to give up her seat to a white person. The NAACP filed appeals on her behalf.
  • "Kick Up Dust", Kings Letter To The Editor

    The Atlanta Constitution publishes King’s letter to the editor stating that black people "are entitled to the basic rights and opportunities of American citizens." During the summer after his sophomore year at Morehouse, King wrote this letter to the editor of Atlanta's largest newspaper. This letter was written in response to the racially motivated murders of two black couples in Walton County, Georgia, and of Macio Snipes, a black World War II veteran.
  • Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to play in MLB

    Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to play major league baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
  • Civil Rights is created by President Harry Truman

    The President's Committee on Civil Rights was a United States Presidential Commission established by President Harry Truman in 1946. The committee was created by Executive Order 9808 on December 5, 1946 and instructed to investigate the status of civil rights in the country and propose measures to strengthen and protect them.
  • King became a minister

    King is ordained and appointed assistant pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
  • Period: to

    King graduates

    King graduates from Crozer with a bachelor of divinity degree, delivering the valedictory address at commencement.
  • Mr. and Mrs. King

    King and Coretta Scott are married at the Scott home near Marion, Alabama.
  • Racial segregation in public schools ended

    U.S Supreme Court rules that racial segregation in the public schools of America was unconstitutional
    U.S. Supreme Court orders desegregation of the public schools "with all deliberate speed"
  • Kings first ministry

    King begins his pastorate at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.
  • Death of Emmit Till

    Emmett Till, age 14, was tortured and lynched in Money, Mississippi for whistling at a white woman.
  • Rosa Parks is arrested

    Rosa Parks is arrested for refusing to vacate her seat and move to the rear of a city bus in Montgomery to make way for a white passenger. Jo Ann Robinson and other Women’s Political Council members mimeograph thousands of leaflets calling for a one-day boycott of the city’s buses on Monday, 5 December.
  • Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) is formed.

    At a mass meeting at Holt Street Baptist Church, the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) was formed in the days following the December 1955 arrest of Rosa Parks, to oversee the Montgomery bus boycott. The organization would play a leading role in fighting segregation in the city and produce some of the civil rights movement's most well-known figures. King becomes the president
  • Kings home was bombed

    At 9:15 p.m., while King speaks at a mass meeting, his home is bombed. His wife and daughter are not injured. Later King addresses an angry crowd that gathers outside the house, pleading for nonviolence.
  • Montgomery buses are desegregated

    The Montgomery buses are desegregated and black passengers could legally take any seat on the city's buses
  • Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) is formed

    The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) is formed to form a strategy for ending segregation, and Martin Luther King is elected president.
  • "Give Us The Ballot"

    At the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., King delivers his first national address, "Give Us The Ballot," at the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom.
  • King was stabbed

    During a book signing at Blumstein’s Department Store in Harlem, New York, King is stabbed by Izola Ware Curry. He is rushed to Harlem Hospital where a team of doctors successfully remove a seven-inch letter opener from his chest.
  • King was arrested

    King is arrested during a sit-in demonstration at Rich’s department store in Atlanta. He is sentenced to four months hard labor for violating a suspended sentence he received for a 1956 traffic violation.
  • Freedom Riders were attacked

    The initial group of Freedom Riders seeking to integrate bus terminals are assaulted in Alabama, King addresses a mass rally at a mob-besieged Montgomery church.
  • King meets with President John F. Kennedy

    King meets with President John F. Kennedy and urges him to issue a second Emancipation
  • Period: to

    King is arrested

    King is arrested at an Albany, Georgia prayer vigil and jailed. After spending two weeks in jail, King is released.
  • King was assaulted by an American Nazi

    During the closing session of the SCLC conference in Birmingham, Alabama, a member of the American Nazi Party assaults King, striking him twice in the face.
  • Ole Miss Riot

    The Ole Miss riot of 1962, was fought between Southern segregationists and federal and state forces beginning the night of September 30, 1962. Segregationists were protesting the enrollment of James Meredith, a black US military veteran, at the University of Mississippi at Oxford, Mississippi. Two civilians, one a French journalist, were killed during the night, and over 300 people were injured, including one third of the US Marshals deployed.
  • Police Chief Bull Conner becomes a symbol of racism

    Conflict in Birmingham reaches its peak when high-pressure fire hoses force demonstrators from the business district. Police Commissioner Eugene "Bull" Connor employs dogs, and clubs to disperse four thousand demonstrators in downtown Birmingham
  • The March on Washington

    The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom attracts more than two hundred thousand demonstrators to the Lincoln Memorial King delivers his "I Have a Dream" speech After the march, King and other civil rights leaders meet with President John F. Kennedy and Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson in the White House.
  • The funerals of the children that were killed during the bombing of the baptist church in Birmingham

    King delivers the eulogy at the funerals of Addie Mae Collins, Carol Denise McNair, and Cynthia Dianne Wesley, three of the four children that were killed during the 15 September bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham.
  • The FBI and MLK

    U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy authorizes the FBI to wiretap King’s home phone. Kennedy believed that one of King's closest advisers was a top-level member of the American Communist Party, and that King had repeatedly misled Administration officials about his ongoing close ties with the man. Kennedy acted reluctantly, and his order remained secret until May of 1968, just a few weeks after King's assassination and a few days before Kennedy's own.
  • President Lyndon B. Johnson meets with King

    The outcome of this meeting was the Voting Rights Act. The law stated that state and local governments could no longer pass voting laws based on race, and prohibited discrimination through the use of poll taxes and the application of literacy tests to determine whether voters could take part in elections.
  • King meets Malcolm X

    King meets Malcolm X in Washington, D.C. for the first and only time.
  • King is arrested

    King is arrested and jailed for demanding service at a white-only restaurant in St. Augustine, Florida.
  • Nobel Peace Prize

    King receives the Nobel Peace Prize at a ceremony in Oslo, Norway. He declares that "every penny" of the $54,000 award will be used in the ongoing civil rights struggle.
  • "Bloody Sunday"

    600 people began a 54-mile march from Selma, Alabama, to the state Capitol in Montgomery. After the marchers crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Selma’s outskirts, white state troopers assaulted them, knocking many to the ground and beating them with nightsticks. Another detachment of troopers fired tear gas while mounted troopers charged the marchers. In all, 17 marchers were hospitalized and 50 treated for lesser injuries.
  • Period: to

    March from Selma

    King, James Forman, and John Lewis lead civil rights marchers from Selma to Montgomery after a U.S. District judge upholds the right of demonstrators to conduct an orderly march.
  • Voting Rights Act

    On August 6, 1965, Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act. Major civil rights activists and advocates including King and Rosa Parks attended the signing ceremony. After signing, Johnson presented his pen to King.
  • King & The Vietnam War

    King publicly opposes the Vietnam War at a mass rally at the Ninth Annual Convention of SCLC in Birmingham.
  • King meets Elijah Muhammad.

    In Chicago, King meets Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad.
  • The Poor Peoples Campaign

    King publicly reveals his plans to organize a mass civil disobedience campaign, the Poor People's Campaign, in Washington, D.C., to force the government to end poverty.
  • March in Memphis

    King leads a march of six thousand protesters in support of striking sanitation workers in Memphis. The march descends into violence and looting, and King is rushed from the scene.
  • King assassination

    King is shot and killed while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis.
  • King is buried in Atlanta.