Civil Rights Timeline

Civil Rights Timeline

Brown vs. Board

May 17, 1954

On May 17, the Supreme Court overturned the controversial separate but equal decision that upheld segregation. This unanimous decision went against Plessy v. Ferguson which decided in 1896.

Emmit Til

August 28 1955

Emmit Till was severly beaten and shot for whistling at a white woman. Till was from Chicago and visiting relatives in Mississippi when the woman's husband and half brother kidnaped and later killed Till.

Rosa Parks

December 1, 1955

Called the mother of the civil righs movement, Parks helped to spark the movement on December,1 by refusing to move for a white passenger

Montgomery Bus Boycott

December 1,1955 - December 26, 1956

The boycott began with the defiance of Rosa Parks to relinquish her seat to a white man. From December of 1955 to the next year black residents of Montgomery were urged to not pay busses until they were desegregated and allowed black passengers to ride anywhere with an open seat.

Southern Manifesto

March 12 1956

The Southern Manifesto was a document drafted by congressmen in oppisition to integration. The document was signed by 99 politicians, and accused the Supreme Court of violating the 10th amendment giving states power the federal government isn't granted.

The Supreme Court declares bus segregation unconstitutional

November 13, 1956

The Supreme Court ruling that sided with civil rights leaders and declared bus segregation unconstitutional was a huge social leap. It also showed that boycotts and other nonviolent protest were effective in achieving social justice.

Little Rock

September 24, 1957

The incident at Little Rock Central High School proved that executive forces could and would be used to enforce integration. The high school in Little Rock stayed segregated by the national gaurd of Arkansas under order of governor Fabius. President Eisenhower deployed the military and nationalized the Arkansas National Gaurd

First sit in Greensboro N.C

February 1, 1960

The first sit ins were staged by four black male students who sat at a white only counter in a restaurant. All four students had read about nonviolent protest by Ghandi and knew the patience and discipline required. The sit- ins increased awareness and sparked more protests.

First Freedom Riders

May 4, 1961

On May the 4th of 1961 14 black and white protestors rode the southern interstate bus system together. The director of the protest was James farmer and by integrating themselves the activists hoped to challenge the non enforcement of bus desegregation.

James Merdith Smith attends University of Mississippi

October 1 1962

This date is Significant in the civil rights movement as it was the first time a black student had been admitted to a previously all white school. At first Merdith was rejected until it could be proved through the courts he was rejected based on color.

Medger Evers is killed

June 12 1963

Medger Evers was a civil rights activist who was in the N.A.A.C.P and worked closely to ensure James Meridith get accepted into University of Mississippi. His assassination by K.K.K member caused great mourning and increased support for the civil rights movement

I have a Dream

August 28, 1963

This famous speech was delivered on the Lincoln Memorial. This speech is well known because M.LK. was able to give put the struggles of black people into the spotlight and encourage integration and despues racism

Four young Girls die in Birmingham Bombing

September 15, 1963

The bombing of a the 16th street baptist church was done by four known K.K.K members. In the bombing four little girls died, this aggravated tensions in Birmingham, Alabama and throughout the country. These deaths helped to expose the civil rights movement.

Assassination of JKF

November 22, 1963

The assassination of JFK and controversy surrounding it deeply hurt and confused the American public. In relation to the Civil Rights movement JFKs assassination helped it because it put Johnson in the presidency who was more committed to the movement.

Congress Passes Civil Rights Act

February 10, 1964

The civil rights act was the results of decades of protesting from civil rights leaders and events that made racial struggle more obvious. The bill outlawed forms of discrimination on race, ethnicity, religion, or gender and ended racial segregation.

Assasination of Malcolm X

February 21,1965

Malcolm X was a controversial and one of the most influential civil rights leaders. He was a Muslim minister who was a member of the Nation of Islam. He cut ties with the nation in 1963, he was killed before giving a speech. His murderer was never found and wide conspiracy theories surround his death involving the Nation of Islam

MLK March from Selma to Montgomery

March 7 1965

This march from Montgomory to Selma was the first of three protesting equal voting rights. The peaceful protestors were met by local police who beat and injured them severly.

Voting Act is Signed

August 6, 1965

On August 6th president Johnson signed the Voting Act which allowed African Americans to gain equal voting rights and not be deterred from voting through literary tests and taxes.

Watts Riots

August 11, 1965 - August 17, 1965

The six day riots centered in the watts section of L.A resulted in over 30 deaths 1000 injuries and over 3000 arrests. The incident sparked from the tense racial enviormental in the predominantly black watts neighborhood created by police brutality and barring black people and other minorities from many neighborhoods.

Riots in Detroit, Newark, and New Jersy

July 12, 1967 - July 17, 1967

The riots like in L.A were partially the result of an already strained racially tense enviorment. The cause of the riots in Newark were the arrest and beating of a cab driver by corrupt Newark police officers.

Thurgood Marshall is named to Suprume Court

October 2, 1967

President Lyndon Johnson appointed Marshall, the first African American to the Supreme Court. This act signified a major achievement for black people and the Civil Rights Movement.

MLK is assassinated

April 4, 1968

Martin Luther King Jr. Was the most notable and prominent civil rights leader. He was shot in the neck by James Earl Ray, who was later caught and arrested. King had predicted he would be assasinated for a long time, his death caused mass riots throughout the county.

Robert Kenedy is assassinated

June 6, 1968

Robert Kenedy, brother of JFK and senator was shot in L.A hotel. His assasination had a major effect on the civil rights movement because he was a supporter of bills giving black people equal rights in court.