Civil Rights Timeline

Civil Rights Timeline

Brown v. Board of Education

December 9, 1952 - May 17, 1954

Brown v. Board of Education was a 1954 Supreme Court Case in Topeka, Kansas. In this case, Thurgood Marshall was the main lawyer along with McKinley Burnett that helped end segregation in public schools. The law suit was filed by Olivia Brown who wanted integration in schools so his daughter could attend the nearby white school a few blocks from their home. As a result of this case and the challenging of “separate but equal”, segregation in schools was made illegal on May 17, 1954.

Bus Boycott

December 4, 1955 - December 20, 1956

The Montgomery (Alabama) Bus Boycott was a civil rights protest designed to use the African-American community’s economic power to end racial segregation on Montgomery city buses after Rosa Parks’ arrest for refusing to relinquish her seat to a white man. The boycott began on December 4, 1955 and ended December 20, 1956, 381 days later.

Little Rock 9

September 25, 1957

On September 25, 1957, nine black high school students in Little Rock, Ark., faced an angry, violent crowd as they entered the all-white Central High School. These brave students peacefully stood up against segregation and became known as the Little Rock Nine. The students were Ernest Green, Elizabeth Eckford, Jefferson Thomas, Terrence Roberts, Carlotta Walls LaNier, Minnijean Brown, Gloria Ray Karlmark, Thelma Mothershed, and Melba Pattilo Beals.

Letter from Birmingham Jail

April 16, 1963

King wrote the letter from the city jail in Birmingham, Alabama, where he was confined after being arrested for his part in the Birmingham campaign, a planned non-violent protest conducted by the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights and King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference against racial segregation by Birmingham’s city government and downtown retailers.

Loving v. Virginia

June 12, 1967

Loving v. Virginia was a landmark civil rights decision of the United States Supreme Court which invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage. The case was brought forward by Mildred Loving, a black woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, who had been sentenced to a year in prison in Virginia for marrying each other. The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision held this prohibition as unconstitutional and ended all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the United States.

MLK Jr. Assassination

April 4, 1968

Civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Was hit by a sniper’s bullet. He had been standing on the balcony in front of his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, when, without warning, he was shot. The .30-caliber rifle bullet entered King’s right cheek, traveled through his neck, and finally stopped at his shoulder blade. King was taken to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m.