Multimedia Digital Timeline- Education During The Civil Rights Movement

  • Plessy vs. Ferguson

    Plessy vs. Ferguson
    Homer Plessy challenge an 1890 Louisiana Law. The Supreme Court held that “separate but equal” facilities for White and Black did not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. “Separate but equal” doctrine that would become the constitutional basis for segregation. Sparked a look at segregation happening in other institutions, one quite notably being education.
  • NAACP Challenges

    NAACP Challenges
    The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP founded in 1909) begins challenging segregation in graduate and secondary schools lead by Thurgood Marshall and Charles Hamilton Houston.
  • State of Missouri ex rel. Gaines vs. Canada

    Supreme Court decided in favor of Lloyd Gaines, a black student who had been refused admission to the University of Missouri Law School. Case set a precedent for other states to attempt to “equalize” Black school facilities, rather than integrate them.
  • Sweatt vs. Painter

    Supreme Court held that the U.T. Law School, far superior in its offerings and resources to the separate Black law school, which had been hastily established in a downtown basement, must admit a Black student, Heman Sweatt. Emerged the opinion that “separate but equal is inherently unequal.”
  • Brown vs. Board of Education filed in Federal District Court

  • Brown vs. Board of Education Trial

  • Appeal of the Brown decision

    The NAACP Legal Defense Fund files an appeal of the Brown decision in the Supreme Court. In the weeks that follow appeals in other cases around the country challenging segregated schools are also filed in the Court.
  • Plessy vs. Ferguson Overturned by Supreme Court

    Plessy vs. Ferguson Overturned by Supreme Court
    The Court overturned Plessy v. Ferguson and declared that racial segregation in public schools violated the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment and therefore unconstitutional. In the wake of the decision, some other school districts began to desegregate their schools voluntarily.
  • Brown vs. Board of Education II

    Resistance to the Brown v. Board of Education ruling was so widespread that that the court issued a second decision, Brown II, ordering school districts to integrate “will all deliberate speed.”
  • Beginning of the Little Rock Nine

    Beginning of the Little Rock Nine
    Nine students register to be the first African Americans to attend Little Rock Central High School for the 57-58 school year
  • Governor Opposition

    Governor Orval Faubus announced that he would call in the Arkansas National Guard to prevent the African American students’ entry to Central High.
  • Little Rock Nine Arrive at School

    Little Rock Nine Arrive at School
    Eight of the students arrive at the school together, with the other arriving alone. Arkansas National Guard were standing there to prevent the students from entering.
  • Judge Davies

    Judge Davies removes the guards. Little Rock Police Department sent to keep order.
  • Little Rock Police Department

    Little Rock Police Department escorted the nine students inside the building. The mobs and riots increased outside the school.
  • Presidential Involvement

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower sends members of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division and places them in charge of the Arkansas National Guardsmen on duty.
  • 1st Full Day of School

    1st Full Day of School
    Escorted by the troops, the nine students have their first full day of school.
  • Expelling

    Minnijean Brown was expelled for retaliating against attacks from white students.
  • School Closures

    School Closures
    Governor Faubus closed all Little Rock Nine’s schools to try to prevent African Americans to attend the school.
  • Graduation

    Ernest Green became the first African American graduate of Central High. Martin Luther King Jr. attended the graduation ceremonies.
  • Schools Reopen

    After a Supreme Court Ruling, Little Rock’s high schools reopened.
  • Greensboro Sit-In Begins to Form

    Greensboro Sit-In Begins to Form
    4 students entered Woolworth store and sat down at the “white only” lunch counter, ordered, but were denied service. They remained peacefully seated at the counter until the store closed early at 5.
  • Involvement Building

    Involvement Building
    25 men and 4 women returned to Woolworth store sitting from 11am to 3pm while constantly being heckled by patrons. They were still denied service. NAACP voted to support the students’ efforts.
  • More Students Join

    More Students Join
    More than 60 students returned for Day 3, filling every available lunch counter seat.
  • Protests Expanded

    Protests Expanded
    More than 300 students participated on Day 4. 3 white students join their efforts. Police keep crowds in check. Students moved the protest to a second lunch counter down the street, S.H. Kress.
  • Opposition

    Lunch counter filled with 50 white males in opposition of the sit-ins. Remaining areas were filled by protesting students. Some arrests were made, and the store closed early.
  • Sit-In Gains More Involvement

    Over 1,400 students met at A&T auditorium and voted to continue the protest and then headed to the Woolworth store, filling every seat at the store opening. A bomb threat was called in and the crowd moved to the Kress lunch counter.
  • Segregated Stores Still

    Woolworth and Kress stores reopened but were still segregated.
  • Discussions

    Advisory Committee met with downtown businesses, but they still refused to integrate.
  • Sit-In Movement Resume

    Students resumed their protests at Woolworth and Kress stores. At night more than 1,200 pledged to continue the sit-ins.
  • Arrests Made

    45 students were arrested for trespassing as they sat at the Kress store lunch counter.
  • Change is Coming

    Woolworth manager informed Advisory Committee that the store would soon serve all properly dressed and well-behaved people.
  • Sit-In Claimed a "Success"

    4 students are the first African Americans to eat at the lunch counter. The Kress counter opened that day as well.
  • Victory- Woolworths is Desegregated

    Woolworths opens as a desegregated store.
  • Movement Persisted

    Movement Persisted
    By now, over 70,000 participated in sit-ins. The lunch counter sit-ins lead to kneel-ins at segregated churches, sleep-ins at motel lobbies, swim-ins at pools, wade-ins at beaches, read-ins at libraries, play-ins at parks and watch-ins at movies.
  • Recognition

    President Bill Clinton awarded the Little Rock Nine with the Congressional Gold Medal.