Civil Rights Timeline 1947-1965


Jackie Robinson Intergrates Baseball

April 15, 1947

Jackie Robinson becomes the first African American to play in the modern major leagues, breaking the color barrier in baseball that hasn't been broken for over half a century.

Integration of the Military

July 26, 1948

President Harry S. Truman issues Executive Order #9981, desegregating the military. This allowed blacks and whites to fight together for their country and were mingling/ integrating.

Brown vs. Board of Education

May 17, 1954

The Supreme Court orders the desegregation of public schools, after this, black children and white children receive the same education and become friends in school.

The Murder of Emmett Till

August 28, 1955

The murder of Emmett Till, a 14 year old African American boy, helped spark the movement for civil rights for African Americans when his murderers saw no consequence for their crime.

Rosa Parks/ Mongomery Bus Boycott

December 1, 1955 - November 13, 1956

Rosa Parks arrest provided inspiration for the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Since 75% of the Montgomery bus riders were African American, the boycott proposed a major economic threat to the company and social threat to white rule in the city.

Integration of Central High School, Little Rock, Arkansas

September 24, 1957

This mattered in the Civil Rights movement because it showed how President Eisenhower took a strong stand against segregation.

Sit-In: Greensboro, North Carolina

February 1, 1960 - July 25, 1960

The sit-ins provoked the type of reaction the Civil Rights movement wanted, which was to highlight the issue of segregation in the South.

Creation of Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee

April 16, 1960

Founded in April 1960 to plan successful nonviolent protests in Southern college towns. Such as sit-ins where black students refused to leave restaurants in which they were denied service based on their race. This form of nonviolent protests brought SNCC to national attention, throwing a harsh public light on racism in the south.

Freedom Riders

May 4, 1961 - September 1961

In 1961, the Freedom Riders set out for the Deep South to protest the Jim Crow laws and call for change. They faced hatred and violence, and local police often refused to stop the abuse. The worst case of violence that they faced was when a "Freedom Bus" was set on fire by Klan members. The Freedom Riders efforts transformed the civil rights movement.

Children's March

May 2, 1963 - May 5, 1963

When the students in the march were attacked by police men, fire hoses, and police dogs they remained nonviolent showing their strength this prompted President John F. Kennedy to publicly fully support racial equality and led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964

July 2, 1964

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbade discrimination by sex and race in hiring, promoting, and firing.

Jimmie Lee Jackson Killed

February 26, 1965

On February 18, 1965 Jackson attended a peaceful night march in Marion, Alabama and was shot by a state trooper, but he didn't die until February 26. Jackson's death inspired the march from Selma to Montgomery on March 7, 1965 and also helped pass the Voting Rights Act in August 1965

March: Selma to Montgomery

March 7, 1965 - March 25, 1965

The March from Selma to Montgomery was another example of the violence and prejudice towards African Americans.

Voting Rights Act

August 9, 1965

Signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, this act provides nation wide protection of voting rights. Specifically it out laws literacy tests and similar devices that were used to keep racial minorities from voting. This gives African Americans the opportunity to vote.