Civil Rights Timeline


Executive Order 8802


Desegregation of Armed Forces


Brown vs. Board of Education


Montgomery Bus Boycott

December 1, 1955 - December 20, 1956

Little Rock 9


Orval Faubus, the governor of Arkansas used the National Guard to prevent 9 black students from enrolling in Little Rock’s Central High School following the decision to end segregation in the court decision of Brown vs. Board of Education. In response to this direct challenge to federal authority, Eisenhower sent troops to escort the children to their classes. This incident gave hope to many that segregation could indeed end, and that the federal government would stand for civil rights, and following this incident Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1957.

Civil Rights Act of 1957


It set up the Civil Rights Commission to investigate violations of civil rights, and it authorized federal injunctions to protect voting rights, following Little Rock. It was one of the federal government’s major actions to take decisive legislative action in favor of civil rights.

Greensboro sit-in

February 2, 1960 - July 25, 1960

Freedom rides


They were organized mix-race groups who rode interstate buses deep into the South to draw attention to and protest racial segregation. This effort to challenge racism, which involved the participation of many northern young white and black people as well as southern civil rights activists, proved a political and public relations success for the civil rights movement despite the violence they faced.

Second Emancipation Proclamation


Malcolm X

1963 - 1965

Birmingham, AL


March on Washington

August 28, 1963

24th amendment


Civil Rights Act of 1964

July 2, 1964

The Civil Rights Act of 1965 banned racial discrimination in most private facilities open to the public and strengthened the federal government’s power to end segregation in public institutions; Title VII of the act barred employers from discriminating based on race or national origin in hiring. The Act marked an important milestone for the civil rights movement since it legally ended segregation in the United States and gave the federal government more power to enforce its legislations.

March from Selma to Montgomery

Mar 7, 1965 - Mar 21, 1965

Voting Rights Act

August 6, 1965

Black Panthers

October 15, 1966

The Black Panthers were a socialist party founded by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale that emphasized an fight back approach to civil rights politics. They brandished weapons in “citizens’ patrols” intended to resist police brutality. The Black Panthers are a prime example of how many African Americans at the time, especially the younger generation, were tired of the slow progress the SCLC was making and favored a more proactive approach.

Long Hot Summer


Kerner Commission

July 28, 1967