Civil Rights Era

Events

Missouri v. ex.rel.Gaines

1939

Required the University of Missouri Law School to admit AAs or build another equal law school

Executive Order 8802: Employment Practices Committee

June 25, 1941

Established the Employment Practices Committee to investigate violations and banned racial discrimination in the defense industry and government offices.

Morgan v. Virginia

1946

Ended segregation on buses

Executive Order 9808: President's Committee on Civil Rights

1946

Truman established the President's Committee on Civil Rights to enforce and protect the civil rights of all Americans.

Jackie Robinson; baseball "first"

1947

Jackie Robinson broke the color code in major league baseball

Creation of CORE

1947

CORE: Congress for Racial Equality committed itself to nonviolent civil disobedience

Executive Order 9981: Desegregation of army

July 26, 1948

Desegregated the U.S. armed forces

Ralph Bunche: Diplomatic "first"

1950

UN diplomat Ralph Bunche won the Nobel Peace Prize

McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents

1950

Thurgood Marshall argued that forcing black law students to sit, eat, and study separate will create a "badge of inferiority".

Brown v. Board of Education

1954

Declared "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal," which overturns Plessy v. Ferguson as it applies to public schools

Brown v. Board of Education II

1955

Assigned responsibility to desegregate local school boards - but without any real enforcement

Montgomery Bus Boycott

December 1, 1955 - December 20, 1956

Campaign against interstate segregation that ended in desegregation and also put Martin Luther King, Jr. on the national platform

Southern Manifesto

1956

Document signed by 101 members of Congress arguing that the decision in Brown v. Board contradicted Constitution and against desegregation.

Creation of Southern Christian Leadership Conference

1957

Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) established in 1957 brought 100 black ministers together, which stressed nonviolent demonstration

Crisis in Little Rock

September 1957

Although the AA students were granted rights to attend school due to Brown decision, Governor Faubus dispatched Arkansas National Guard troops to prevent them from entering. Eisenhower eventually got involved when the black students were left to the mercy of white mobs by sending in troops.

Nashville Sit-In

1960

Rev. James Lawson organized sit-ins in Nashville with students from Fisk, Vanderbilt, and other colleges as well as developed rules of conduct for sit-ins: do not retaliate, but instead report anything to leader.

Greensboro

Feb. 1, 1960 - July 25, 1960

Began with four black students who sat in at the white-only lunch counter in Woolworth's in Greensboro, and then the group grew until they occupied 63/64 of the lunch counters; the protest resumed in April 1, it took the arrests on April 21st and a boycott of target stores for the lawmakers of Greensboro to lift segregation.

Atlanta Sit-In

March 15, 1960 - September, 1961

200 students staged a sit-in at restaurants in City Hall, the State Capitol, and other government offices with boycotts, sit-ins, and picketing continuing all the way until Sept. when desegregation finally came to Atlanta.

Creation of SNCC

April 1960

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee emphasized on fighting segregation through direct confrontation, mass action, civil disobedience, and stressed spontaneity and improvisation.

Albany movement

October 1961 - August 1962

Activists of SNCC, NAACP formed a coalition of the Albany movement (in a small southwest town of Albany, Georgia) that boycotted, marched, and sat in to integrate public facilities. More importantly, police chief Pritchett deprived the movement of national sympathy as he arrested protesters + kept white mobs away + kept mistreatment at minimum.

Integrate University of Mississppi

1962

Successful battle at University of Mississippi as Kennedy sent in troops to enforce the enrollment of the first AA student.

Campaign for Birmingham

1963

King organized a campaign in Birmingham, one of the most segregated cities in the US, by planning to fill the jails with protesters, as well as boycott businesses, and enrage the Public Safety Commissioner Eugene "Bull" Connor. King, like many others, was eventually arrested. The pressure continued with the "children's crusade" by recruiting young students to fill the jails. Connor's forces used force (water cannons, clubs, dogs) to break up the protest. The entirety of the situation was broadcast to the nation until a negotiation was finally achieved, but hard feelings still remained.

Murder of Medgar Evers

June 12, 1963

Evers was an AA civil rights activist and NAACP leader in Mississippi who was murdered by members of the KKK shortly after Kennedy openly supported civil rights. He death, thus, motivated the March on Washington.

March on Washington

August 28, 1963

A political + nonviolent rally that took place in Washington D.C. led by Martin Luther King Jr. where he also gave his infamous, "I Have a Dream," speech that combined the democratic spirit of the nation and his religious devotion. The rally had Americans from all different walks of life participating and fighting for civil liberty.

Freedom Summer

1964

Workers led by the SNCC launched this project hoping to register as many black voters as they can (even through segregation). They directed most of their energy to Mississippi (one of the most "backwards" state). However, there were retaliation in the form of beatings, shootings, and arrests. Ultimately, the project was successful in registering more AA to vote as well as bringing the racism in Mississippi into the nation's view.

Civil Rights Act of 1964

July 2, 1964

Act enacted by LBJ, which prohibited discrimination in employment and public accommodation on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or nationality. Also outlawed bias in federally assisted programs + created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In addition, it also provided aid to help communities desegregate schools. A landmark law that represented one of the most significant legislation passed since Reconstruction.

Voting Rights Act of 1965

1965

Allowed federal supervision in voter registration along with outlawing literary tests and other forms of discriminatory tests in voter registration -- thus prompting tremendous leap in AA voting registrations. This act symbolize the peak of the civil rights movement.

Freedom Rides

James Farmer (director of CORE) announced a Freedom Ride to test the compliance of court orders banning segregation on interstate travel, and the
the purpose was to provoke southern authorities, so that the situation can be enforced by the federal justice department.

Part 1

May 4th, 1961

The interracial groups of civil right activists rode into the South encountering only small harassment

Anniston

May 14th, 1961

Angry mob in Anniston, AL beat the Freedom Riders and slashed the tires of the bus - violent response to the Freedom Ride into Montgomery.

Disbandment

May 17th, 1961

Violence escalated in Birmingham as mobs of whites attacked the Freedom Riders while police and FBI agents stood watching until May 17th when they disbanded.

Birmingham for Montgomery

May 20th, 1961

Another group of Freedom Riders entered Montgomery where hundreds of angry whites attacked -- nondiscriminatory, the journalists and attorneys and white activists. The mob violence and indifference of Alabama officials at the scene made front page in international news, showing the hypocrisy of the federal government -- Kennedy administration, fearing the bad press, hastily assembled 400 US marshals to keep the peace.

Victory in Interstate Desegregation

1962

Justice Department petitioned the Interstate Commerce Commission to issue clear rules prohibiting segregation on interstate carriers