Two Trains Running Timeline

Historical events both within and surrounding August Wilson's Two Trains Running.


MEMPHIS ran out of Jackson, MS


Two Trains Running, p. 25

MEMPHIS arrives in Pittsburg


Page 24

MEMPHIS buys a Ford


page 25.

MEMPHIS "hooks up with his old lady"


Page 3
Memphis: Twenty-two years . I give her everything I have for twenty-two years.

MEMPHIS trades Ford in for a Cadillac


Page 23

HOLLOWAY'S Father dies

March 1952

Page 23, 24

MALCOLM X begins speaking for the Nation of Islam

August 1952

MEMPHIS's Mom died


Page 48. Memphis also borrows 55 dollars from West to go down south for the funeral.

Brown V. Board of Education


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

Rosa Parks Arrest

December 1955

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.

HAMBONE paints Lutz Fence

1959 - 1960

Holloway says 9 or 10 years ago
Memphis says 9 1/2 years ago

MEMPHIS Hits on a number

1960 - 1961

Page 3
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 buys restaurant from LD


Page 8.

Memphis:...I bout it eight years ago for fifty-five hundred dollars....

Medgar Evers Shot

Jun 1963

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.

March on Washington

August 1963

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.

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing

September 1963

1963-- September 15th, Four young black girls attending Sunday school are killed when a bomb explodes at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church.

STERLING serving time in prison

1964 - May 1969

Page 13.
Sterling:...I don't want beans. I been eating beans for five years.

Civil Rights Act of 1964

July 1964

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.[61]

On July 2, 1964, President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964,[1] 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.

Dr. King Awarded Nobel Peace Prize

December 1964

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

Watts "Riot"


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.

MALCOLM X assassinated

February 1965

February 21, Malcolm X assassinated at the age of 39, in New York City. Three years prior to the events of the play

Black Panther Party Founded


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.


April 1968

Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee on April 4, 1968, at the age of 39

Prophet Samuel Dies

May 1969

May 13, 1969 before the opening of the play.

Two Trains Running

May 16, 1969 - May 20, 1969

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