When Jackie Robinson began playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers, he broke the racial barrier in Major League Baseball and paved a way for other African American athletes.
Integration of the Military
July 26, 1948
President Harry Truman ended segregation in the military and ordered integration in all units of the armed forces creating a more inclusive feeling for African Americans.
Brown vs. Board of Education
May 17, 1954
Oliver Brown sued the board of education of Topeka, Kansas in Supreme Court arguing that segregation made equal education impossible and the Court agreed that in the field of education 'separate but equal' has no place.
Emmett Till Murdered
August 28, 1955
Emmett Till supposedly whispered to a white woman in Money, Mississippi and four days later was tortured and murdered by two white men, but his death strengthened the emerging Civil Rights Movement.
Rosa Parks/Montgomery Bus Boycott
December 1, 1955 - December 21, 1956
Rosa Parks refused to give her seat away to a white man and was arrested doing so, but news spread quickly and African Americans boycotted the bus system until the Supreme Court ruled that segregation on buses was unconstitutional
Integration of Central High School, Little Rock, Arkansas
September 4, 1957
The Arkansas governor went against the school board plan of gradually desegregating Central High and mobs formed when 9 African American students walked to Central High and eventually President Eisenhower had to send troops to protect the 9 students went entering and leaving the school.
Sit-In - Greensboro, North Carolina
February 1, 1960
Four African American college students sat at a "white only" counter and wouldn't move until they were served which became a common tool in fighting against segregation.
Creation of Student Non-Violent Coordination Committee (SNCC)
April 1960 - December 1967
The SNCC gave younger blacks more of a voice in the civil rights movement and became a branch using more drastic methods.
May 4, 1961 - April 3, 1968
Freedom Riders were recruited by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) to take a series of bus trips through the South to protest segregation in interstate bus terminals and had seen much violence and discrimination on the way.
May 2, 1963 - Approx. May 5, 1963
Thousands of children left their schools in Birmingham, Alabama to march for civil rights and police officers responded violently opening the nation's eyes through courageous endorsement of young citizens.
Civil Rights Act
July 2, 1964
The Civil Rights Act banned discrimination in public facilities, outlawed discrimination in employment, provided faster school desegregation, and protected voting rights.
Jimmy Lee Jackson Killed
February 18, 1965
During a peaceful march in the town of Marion, a group of white segregationists attacked some marchers and Jimmy Lee Jackson was shot by a state trooper in the chaos.
March from Selma to Montgomery
March 21, 1965 - March 25, 1965
The SCLC organized a march from Selma, Alabama to the capital of Montgomery under the protection of National Guard, but still faced violent local and state officials which raised the awareness black voters faced in the South urging for voting rights.
Voting Rights Act
Voting Rights Act banned literacy tests and other barriers to African American voting and in the next 3 years more than 15,000 African Americans were registered to vote in the South.