Civil Rights Movement


President Truman

July 26, 1948

The President signed the Executive Order 9981, which states, "It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin."

Brown Vs Board Of Education

May 17 1954

Agrees that segregation in schools is unconstitutional.

Emmett Till Murdered

August 28 1955

Fourteen year old kidnapped, brutally beaten, shot, and was dumped into the Tallhatchie River for whistling at a white women. Two white men were arrested for murder, but acquitted by an all-white jury.

Rosa Parks

December 1, 1955

Ms. Parks refuses to give up her seat at the front of the "colored section" of the bus to a white passenger. Reacting to her arrest Montgomery black community held a boycott that lasted a year until the buses were desegregated December 21, 1956.

Freedom Riders

May 4, 1961

Student volunteers are taking bus trips through the South to test the new laws that are supposed to prohibit segregation in interstate travel facilities; bus and railway stations. They were attacked by mobs. The program involves more than 1,000 volunteers, black and white.

James Meredith

October 1, 1962

Was the first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi. There were violence and riots that surrounded the happening causing President Kennedy to send 5,000 federal troops.

Martin Luther King

April 16, 1963

Arrested and put in jail during an anti-segregation protest in Birmingham, Ala. In jail he writes, "Letter from Birmingham Jail" arguing that everybody has the moral duty to disobey unjust laws.

I Have a Dream

August 28, 1963

In Washington, D.C. around 200,000 people gather around to join the March on Washington. They ended up congregating at the Lincoln Memorial as they listened to Martin Luther King give his famous speech.

24th amendment is ratified


The poll tax is abolished which once made it difficult in 11 southern states for poor blacks

Malcolm X Assassination

February 21, 1965

A black nationalist and the founder of the Organization of Afro-American Unity is shot dead.

Bloody Sunday

March 7, 1965

Blacks are marching to Montgomery to support the voting rights but are put to an abrupt halt at the Pettus Bridge by a police blockade. Fifty of the marchers are hospitalized after the police use tear gas, whips, and clubs to stop them. This march was considered to push forth the voting rights act five months later.

Voting Rights Act of 1965

August 6, 1965

This made it easier for the blacks in the South to register to vote. Literacy test, poll taxes, and other requirements that were made to restrict blacks from voting are made illegal

President Johnson

September 24, 1965

President Johnson issues Executive Order 11246 because civil rights laws are just not enough to end discrimination. This order enforces affirmative action for the first time, requiring government contractors to take action toward minority employees in all aspects of hiring and employment.

Stokely Carmichael's Black Power Speech

October 29, 1966

This was "t\the coming together of black people to fight for their liberation by any means necessary." This alarms people who believe in the nonviolent civil disobedience.

Loving VS Virginia

June 12, 1967

The Supreme Court rules that prohibiting interracial marriage is unconstitutional. There are still 16 states at this time that still banned interracial marriage and are forced to revise their laws.

Newark Race Riots

July 12, 1967 - July 17, 1967

Detroit Race Riots

July 23, 1967 - July 28, 1967

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Assasination

April 4, 1968

At age 39 Mr. King is shot as he is standing on the balcony outside of his hotel room. James Earl Ray is convicted of the crime.

Civil Rights Act of 1968

April 11, 1968

President Johnson does the signing of this act which prohibits the discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing.

Civil Rights Restoration Act

March 22, 1988

Overriding President Reagan's veto, congress passes this act. It expands the reach of non-discrimination laws withing private institutions receive federal funds.

Civil Rights Act of 1991

Nov 22, 1991

President Bush signs this Act which strengthens the existing civil rights laws and provides for the damages in cases of intentional employment discrimination.

Rodney King Beating

April 29, 1992

This is the first race riot that uproars in south-central Los Angeles after a jury acquits 4 white police officers for the videotaped beating of the African American Rodney King.

Edgar Ray Killen, killer of civil right workers, is convicted


The ringleader of the Mississippi civil rights murders is convicted of manslaughter on the 41st anniversary of the crimes.

Civil Rights Act of 2008

January, 2008

Senator Edward Kennedy put this act in. The provisions include ensuring that federal funds are not used to subsidize discrimination, holding employers accountable for age discrimination, and improving accountability for other violations of civil rights and workers rights.

Ferguson Police

2012 - 2014

-black drivers were searched twice as much as white drivers during traffic stops, but 26% less likely to be found in possession of contraband
-88% of the cases in which the Ferguson police reported using force, it was against African-Americans