The Civil Rights Movement Key Events

  • Period: to

    Civil Rights Movement

  • Plessy vs. Ferguson

    Plessy vs. Ferguson
    Supreme Court ruled that segregation imposed by law (de jure segregation) is constitutional as long as the facilities are separate but equal. Affected schools, hospitals, transportation, restaurants, etc.. Although the ruling was meant to be in favor of African Americans because the facilities were meant to be equal, blacks still felt discriminated against due to their facilities being separate from those of whites.
  • Brown vs. Board of Education

    Brown vs. Board of Education
    Linda Brown, a resident of Topeka, Kansas, passed a white school every day on her way to her black school. In a series of court cases, the Supreme Court (and chief justice Earl Warren) ruled the segregation of public schools to be unconstitutional. Public schools were segregated no more. This could be classified as a victory for the Civil Rights Movement; however, the Klu Klux Klan was angered by this and soon began to stir up more trouble than before with their riots and various activities.
  • Montgomery Bus Boycott

    Montgomery Bus Boycott
    Rosa Parks, an African American woman, sat down in the "black section" of a Montgomery bus. When asked to move by a white man, she refused and was arrested. This event inspired the the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to enact a one year bus boycott for Montgomery buses. The boycott was a success, and a law was soon passed which banned segregation on public buses. This was one of the first major victories in the Civil Rights Movement.
  • Central High School

    Central High School
    Elizabeth Eckford and eight other high school students (later to be known as the Little Rock Nine) were sent to attend Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. The governer, Orval Faubus, denied them access to them access to the school by blocking the doors with state troopers. Eisenhower quickly stepped in and sent the National Guard to defend the nine students until the African American senior boy had graduated. He was the first African American to graduate from Central High School.
  • Central High School (pt.2)

    Central High School (pt.2)
    This was the first time that the president, Dwight Eisenhower, intervened with civil rights' affairs. It was also the first step in the right direction in one of the Southern states, as they were forced to accept the new policy introduced by Brown vs. Board of Education.
  • Sit-ins

    Throughout the 1960's, African American students (most of them a part of the SNCC, or Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) gathered in public places to perform "sit-ins". Sit-ins were nonviolent events where African Americans would, for example, sit at a lunch counter for hours without receiving service. Even when mistreated and abused, the participators must still remain peaceful. Related events include wade-ins (at beaches) and read-ins (in libraries). While these protests were...
  • Sit-ins (pt.2)

    Sit-ins (pt.2)
    ... peaceful, they still stirred up the rage and frustration of the whites who supported segregation. Whites took out their anger on the blacks by hosing them and "dogging" them (allowing their dogs to attack those who were taking place in sit-ins).
  • University of Mississippi riot (pt.2)

    University of Mississippi riot (pt.2)
    ... but no laws may be broken. This proved JFK's allegiance to supporting the Civil Rights' Movement.
  • Freedom Riders

    Freedom Riders
    Nonviolent protesters rode public buses from Washington D.C. to New Orleans in order to nonviolently protest segregation in the Deep South. Although these protests were peaceful, they still managed to anger the Southerners. Southerners responded to the "Freedom Riders" with extreme violence. President Kennedy, in response, ordered local and state police to help protect and defend the riders. This showed Kennedy's support for the Civil Rights' Movement.
  • University of Mississippi riot

    University of Mississippi riot
    James Meredith was sent to enroll at the University of Mississippi, a formerly all-white school. This was a public college, though, so there was no rule to restrain Meredith from attending said school. In response to the African American, white students formed riots to protest his arrival. Meredith received threats from a multitude of the students there. Federal marshalls were soon sent to protect the black student, and JFK announced that integration laws may be protested nonviolently, ...
  • March on Washington

    200,000 peaceful protesters joined together in Washington D.C. to begin a protest in front of the Lincoln Memorial. This was the day when Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his internationally-famous speech, now known as the "I Have A Dream" speech. The day was incredibly influential to both the Federal Government and civil rights orginazitions all over the nation. Although the event was such great a success, the SNCC was disappointed, as they had hoped for a more militant protest.
  • March on Washington (pt.2)

    SNCC was displeased that the protest was not more militant.
  • Freedom Summer

    One thousand black and white students gathered in Mississippi to register black voters. They established the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, whose goal was to register African Americans to vote. The party declined the offer they were given by Missisisppi state government, and three students were killed.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964

    Civil Rights Act of 1964
    Banned segregation in public accommodations (bathrooms, waiting rooms, etc.) and gave the govt. the ability to desegregate public schools. Also, allowed the Justice Department to prosecute those who discriminate in job deployment. Established the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which enforces laws in job discrimination.
  • 24th Amendment

    President Lyndon B Johnson signed the 24th amendment to the constitution. This amendment abolished the poll tax, which kept poor African Americans from voting. By 1986, 70 percent of African Americans were registered voters.
  • March on Selma

    Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) established a major campaign to pressure the federal government to enact voting rights. During the march (on "Bloody Sunday"), state troopers attacked marchers crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965

    This act banned literacy tests and allowed the government oversee voting and registration in states that had discriminated against minorities in the past.