The Civil Rights Movement

By steenl
  • Thurgood Marshall

    Thurgood Marshall
    Supreme Court rules in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, KS
    Segregation in US public schools ruled unconstitutional
    Decision overturns 1896 “separate but equal” Plessy v. Ferguson ruling
    Marks a victory for NAACP attorney Thurgood Marshall
    Marshall later returned to the Supreme Court as the nation’s first black justice
  • Death of Emmett Till

    Death of Emmett Till
    14-year-old Chicago, IL native Emmett Louis Till murdered in Mississippi while visiting his family
    Killed for allegedly whistling at a white woman
    Mutilated body found in Tallahatchie River
    Two suspects were later acquitted by an all white jury for Till’s murder. Case becomes catalyst for Civil Rights Movement
  • Rosa Parks

    Rosa Parks
    NAACP member Rosa Parks arrested for refusing to give up her seat at the front of the “colored section” of a Montgomery bus to a white passenger
    Montgomery community launches a bus boycott
    Boycott lasted 381 days (12/5/55 to 12/20/56)
    Buses desegregated 12/21/56
  • Martin Luther King

    Martin Luther King
    Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Charles K. Steel, & Fred L. Shuttlesworth establish the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)
    King is made first president of SCLC
    SCLC becomes major force in organizing the movement
    King urges participants to “forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline”
  • School Integration

    School Integration
    Central High School, Little Rock, AR
    Nine black high school students set out to integrate the all-white school
    Students were blocked from entering the school – Governor Orval Faubus’ orders
    Federal troops & National Guards sent to intervene on behalf of the “Little Rock Nine” – President Dwight Eisenhower’s orders
  • Violance is Triggered

    Violance is Triggered
    Woolworth’s segregated lunch counter
    4 black students from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical College conduct sit-in
    Refused service, but allowed to stay at counter
    Event triggers many similar nonviolent protests throughout the South
    Parks, swimming pools, theaters, libraries and other public facilities integrated because of similar efforts
    Same 4 students were actually served lunch at the same Woolworth’s 6 months later
  • Stokely Carmichael

    Stokely Carmichael
    Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) founded at Shaw University
    Gave black youth a place in the movement
    Grows into a more radical organization led by Stokely Carmichael
    Later coined the term “Black Power”
  • Freedom Riders

    Freedom Riders
    Freedom Riders
    Both black and white student
    volunteers (1,000+) took trips to South during spring and summer to analyze segregation laws of interstate travel facilities
    Sponsored by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the SNCC
    Attacked by angry mobs along the way
  • James Meredith

    James Meredith
    Becomes first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi. 5,000 Federal troops sent to Mississippi due to violence and riots stemming from integration – orders of President John F. Kennedy
  • Martin Luther King Arrested

    Martin Luther King Arrested
    Martin Luther King arrested & jailed in Birmingham, AL during anti-segregation protests
    Writes legendary “Letter from Birmingham Jail”
    Letter argues that “individuals have the moral duty to disobey laws”
  • Birmingham Al

    Birmingham Al
    Birmingham, AL Public Safety Commissioner Eugene “Bull” Connor uses fire hoses & police dogs on black demonstrators
    Images televised and published nation-wide
  • Medgar Evers

    Medgar Evers
    Jackson, MS
    37-year-old Medgar Evers, Mississippi’s NAACP field secretary, gunned down outside his home
    Byron De La Beckwith tried twice, both resulting in hung juries; convicted 30 years later
  • I Have A Dream

    I Have A Dream
    200,000+ March on Washington, congregating at Lincoln Memorial
    Martin Luther King, Jr. gives his legendary “I Have a Dream” speech
  • Four Murders

    Four Murders
    4 young girls murdered while attending Sunday School when Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL was bombed
    Riots following bombing resulted in deaths of 2
  • Poll Tax Abolished

    24th Amendment abolishes the poll tax
    Originally instituted in 11 southern states to make it difficult for poor blacks to vote
  • Freedom Summer

    Council of Federated Organizations (COFO)
    Network of civil rights groups that includes CORE & SNCC
    Launches massive effort to register black voters
  • Civil Rights Act

    President Lyndon B. Johnson signs Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Civil Rights Murders

    Civil Rights Murders
    Bodies of 3 civil rights workers (2 white, 1 black) found in earthen dam in Neshoba County, MS
    Murdered by police officers/members of Ku Klux Klan
    Had been working to register black voters & investigating the burning of a black church in Mississippi
  • Malcolm X

    Malcolm X
    Malcolm X shot to death in Harlem, NY by members of the Black Muslim faith
    Founder of the Organization of Afro-American Unity
  • Bloody Sunday

    Bloody Sunday
    “Bloody Sunday”
    Selma, AL marchers tear-gassed, whipped, and clubbed by police
  • Voting Rights Act

    Congress passes Voting Rights Act of 1965
    Makes registering to vote easier for Southern black voters
  • Riot in CA

    Riot in CA
    Watts/Los Angeles, CA race riots erupt
  • Executive Order

    President Lyndon B. Johnson enforces affirmative action (Executive Order 11246)
  • Black Panthers

    Black Panthers
    Militant Black Panthers organization founded in Oakland, CA by Huey Newton & Bobby Seale
  • MLK Assasinated

    MLK Assasinated
    Martin Luther King, Jr. shot to death at age 39
    Shot as he stands on balcony outside his hotel room in Memphis, TN
  • School Integrate via Busing

    Busing becomes legitimate means for achieving integration of public schools
  • Restoration Act

    Congress passes Civil Rights Restoration Act (overrides President Reagan’s veto)
  • LA Riots

    First race riots in decades erupt in South-Central Los Angeles after acquittal of 4 white police officers accused in Rodney King beating
  • Till Case Reopened

    Emmett Till’s murder case reopened
  • Death of Parks

    Rosa Parks dies at age 92
  • Coretta Scott King

    Coretta Scott King, wife of Martin Luther King, Jr., dies of a stroke at age 78
  • Till Case Closed

    Emmett Till’s 1955 murder case is officially closed