Important dates in civil rights history

  • harry truman

    harry truman
    President Harry Truman issues Executive Order 9981 to end segregation in the Armed Services.
  • Brown v. Board of Education,

    Brown v. Board of Education,
    Brown v. Board of Education, a consolidation of five cases into one, is decided by the Supreme Court, effectively ending racial segregation in public schools. Many schools, however, remained segregated.
  • Emmett Till,

    Emmett Till,
    Emmett Till, a 14-year-old from Chicago is brutally murdered in Mississippi for allegedly flirting with a white woman. His murderers are acquitted, and the case bring international attention to the civil rights movement after Jet magazine publishes a photo of Till’s beaten body at his open-casket funeral.
  • Rosa Parks

    Rosa Parks
    Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. Her defiant stance prompts a year-long Montgomery bus boycott.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Martin Luther King, Jr.
    Sixty Black pastors and civil rights leaders from several southern states—including Martin Luther King, Jr.—meet in Atlanta, Georgia to coordinate nonviolent protests against racial discrimination and segregation.
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower

    Dwight D. Eisenhower
    Nine Black students known as the “Little Rock Nine” are blocked from integrating into Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. President Dwight D. Eisenhower eventually sends federal troops to escort the students, however, they continue to be harassed.
  • freedom riders

    freedom riders
    Throughout 1961, Black and white activists, known as freedom riders, took bus trips through the American South to protest segregated bus terminals and attempted to use “whites-only” restrooms and lunch counters. The Freedom Rides were marked by horrific violence from white protestors, they drew international attention to their cause.
  • Church in Birmingham,

     Church in Birmingham,
    A bomb at 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama kills four young girls and injures several other people prior to Sunday services. The bombing fuels angry protests.
  • Lyndon B. Johnson , Civil Rights Act of 1964

     Lyndon B. Johnson ,  Civil Rights Act of 1964
    President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law, preventing employment discrimination due to race, color, sex, religion or national origin.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated

     Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated
    Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated on the balcony of his hotel room in Memphis, Tennessee. James Earl Ray is convicted of the murder in 1969.