Historical events both within and surrounding August Wilson's Two Trains Running.
Two Trains Running, p. 25
Memphis: Twenty-two years . I give her everything I have for twenty-two years.
Page 23, 24
Page 48. Memphis also borrows 55 dollars from West to go down south for the funeral.
Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional. The decision overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896 which allowed state-sponsored segregation
On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks (the "mother of the Civil Rights Movement") refused to give up her seat on a public bus to make room for a white passenger.
Holloway says 9 or 10 years ago
Memphis says 9 1/2 years ago
Memphis: Wasn't till I hit the numbers eight or nine years ago I got to the point where I could change my clothes every day.
Memphis:...I bout it eight years ago for fifty-five hundred dollars....
born July 2, 1925, Decatur, Miss., U.S.
died June 12, 1963, Jackson, Miss.
American black civil-rights activist, whose murder received national attention and made him a martyr to the cause of the civil rights movement.
A. Philip Randolph had planned a march on Washington, D.C. in 1941 to support demands for elimination of employment discrimination in defense industries; he called off the march when the Roosevelt administration met the demand by issuing Executive Order 8802 barring racial discrimination and creating an agency to oversee compliance with the order.
Randolph and Bayard Rustin were the chief planners of the second march, which they proposed in 1962. The Kennedy administration applied great pressure on Randolph and King to call it off but without success. The march was held on August 28, 1963.
1963-- September 15th, Four young black girls attending Sunday school are killed when a bomb explodes at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church.
Sterling:...I don't want beans. I been eating beans for five years.
Although President Kennedy had proposed civil rights legislation and it had support from Northern Congressmen, Southern Senators blocked the bill by threatening filibusters. After considerable parliamentary maneuvering and 54 days of filibuster on the floor of the United States Senate, President Johnson got a bill through the Congress.
On July 2, 1964, President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, that banned discrimination based on "race, color, religion, sex or national origin" in employment practices and public accommodations. The bill authorized the Attorney General to file lawsuits to enforce the new law. The law also nullified state and local laws that required such discrimination.
On December 10, 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the youngest man to receive the award; he was 35 years of age
The Watts area of Los Angeles explodes into violence following the arrest of a young male motorist charged with reckless driving. At the riot's end, 34 are dead, 1,032 injured, and 3,952 arrested.
February 21, Malcolm X assassinated at the age of 39, in New York City. Three years prior to the events of the play
Black Power was made most public, however, by the Black Panther Party, which was founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale in Oakland, California, in 1966.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968, at the age of 39
May 13, 1969 before the opening of the play.
Act 1, Sc 1--Thursday, May 15th 1969
Act 1, Sc 2--Friday, May 16th, 1969
Act 1, Sc 3--Saturday, May 17th, 1969
Act 2, Sc 1--Sunday, May 18th, 1969
Act 2, Sc 2--Monday, May 19th, 1969
Act 2, Sc 3--Monday, May 19th
Act 2, Sc 4--Monday, May 19th
Act 2, Sc 5--Tuesday, May 20th, 1969