Civil Rights Movement


Brown Vs Board of Education

May 17, 1954

Supreme court unanimously decided that public schools must be desegregated because seperate was not equal.

Emmett Till

August 1955

A forteen year old black boy, who was visiting his cousins in Mississippi, was kidnapped and brutally beaten to death after he allegedly whistling at a white woman. He had an open casket funeral and was a catalyst to the civil rights movement in the U.S.

Bus Boycotts

December 1, 1955 - December 21, 1956

Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white man and was arrested. As a result of her arrest, black people in Alabama boycotted busses for over a year until they were desegregated.

Little Rock Nine

September 1957

Nine black students were tested and became the first black students at a white school, but only after federal troops and the national guard had to intervene because the Governor of Arkansas ordered for them to be kept out.

Greensboro Sit-Ins

February 1960

Four college students went into a restaurant, sat at the counter, and refused to leave until they were served. They returned every morning, with more people. By the fourth day they had hundreds of others with them and it was televised. They continued until restaurants were officially desegregated. These sit-ins inspired many people all over the south.

March on Washington

April 28, 1963

Exactly 100 years after lincoln freed the slaves, more than 250,000 people join in the March on Washington and come together at the Lincoln Memorial. Martin Luther King JR gave his "I Have A Dream" speech at this event.

24th Amendment

January 23, 1964

Made the poll tax illegal.

Freedom Rides

May 1964

Groups of black and white college students rode public busses throughout the south sitting together. One bus was firebombed by the Ku Klux Klan as it made its way into Alabama.

Civil Rights Act

July 2, 1964

President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and prohibited discrimination of all kinds based on race, color, religion or national origin and transform American society. The law allowed the federal government to enforce desegregation and prohibits discrimination in public facilities, in government and in employment. The "Jim Crow" laws in the South were abolished, and it became illegal to compel segregation of the races in schools, housing or hiring.

Malcolm X Assassination

February 21, 1965

A Black Muslim Minister, revolutionary black freedom fighter, civil rights activist and for a time the national spokesperson for the Nation of Islam, he famously spoke of the need for black freedom "by any means necessary." However, shortly before he died he became a non-violent activist. He was killed by members of The Nation of Islam.

Selma to Montgomery Marches

March 1965

Black people began a peaceful march but were stopped at the Edmund Pettus Bridge by police and were attacked with clubs, tear gas, and bullwhips. Some People were killed.

Martin Luther King led a group again to the Edmund Pettus Bridge where they knelt, prayed and returned to Brown Chapel.

They did this in order to send the message that they were not afraid.

Voting Rights Act of 1965

August 10, 1965

Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, making it easier for Southern blacks to register to vote. Literacy tests, poll taxes and other such requirements that were used to restrict black voting were made illegal.

Dr. Martin Luther King JR Assassination

April 4, 1968

Martin Luther King JR was shot as he was standing on the balcony outside his hotel room at the age of 39. He predicted his own death.