The Civil Rights Movement Timeline


Malcolm X, Black Nationalism, & Assassination

1925 - 1965

Malcolm X was an AFrican-American MUslim minister and human rights activist. He was a radical leaderr who promoted "black nationalism" which was advocating the separation of black and white Americans. He criticized King, Jr.'s promotion of integration and stated that hte only way that black would survive was if they stood out and embraced their own race separate. He also promoted more violent tactics. He was assassinatd in FEbruary 1965, a year after he left the Nation of Islam by three members of the group.

Degredation of the Military

1948 - 1963

President Truman signed executive order 9981 and wiped out segregation in the Armed Forces. This took away all the segregated units in the U.S. military and mandated that there was equal treatment between everyone who is doing service for their country.

Brown v Board of Education


This court case declared that separate public schools for black and white students was unconstitutional. This decision was also significant because it overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 that deemed "separate but equal" facilities was constitutional. This new ruling said the exact opposite and that separate educational facilites are unequal and it violated the 14th Amendment.

Murder of Emmett Till


The impact of the Emmett Till case on African Americans was very large. This was the first time that blacks in the north saw that violence against blacks in the South could have an effect on them. The murder of this young boy changed the ideology of blacks in the North forever.

Montgomery Bus Boycotts

December 1, 1955 - December 20, 1956

The campaign in which African Americans boycotted the bus in retaliation to the segregated bus system. This boycott was ignited by when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in the front of the bus to a white mana and was arrested for not complying with the segregation laws. The boycott lasted a year and entailed that blacks would find other mode of transportation besides the bus in order to make a statement to the public transportation system in Montgomery.

Little Rock Nine Crisis

September 3, 1957

Nine African Americans enrolled in a previously all-white school because of their stellar academic career thus far and their desire to receive a better education. These nine courageous students faced an angry mob of white students, parents, and citizens determined to stop the integration. The Arkansas National Gueard was used to keep the students from entering the school but were later taken away. Later the U.S army was stationed at the school for the remainder of the year to protect the students.

Student Lunch Counter Sit-Ins (Greensboro)

February 1, 1960

A series of non-violent protests which led to the Woolworth's department store chain reversing its policy regarding racial segregation in the Southern United States.These sit-ins lead to increased national sentiment and took place in Greensboro, North Carolina in Woolworth's store.

Formation of SNCC

April 1960

It was a major organization for American Civil Rights Movements and emerged from a student named Ella Baker at Shaw University. SNCC grew into a major organization with a wide range of supporters in the North who helped to raise funds to support their work in the South and allowed the workers to have a $10 a week salary. The SNCC worked in a wide variety of ways to help register people to vote all over the south.

Freedom Rides

May 4, 1961 - 1965

A dedicated group of both white and black men and women across the country boarded buses and trains for the deep South in hopes to challenge the region's Jim Crow laws and failure to comply with the Supreme Court decision that prohibited segregation in all public transportation facilities.

James Meredith & Univ of Miss


James Meridith was the first African American student who was admitted to the very segregated University of Mississippi. This was a major event during the fight for equality during the civil rights movements. Meridith hoped to put more emphasis on the Kennedy administration to enforce civil rights for African Americans more. Many disgruntled whites protested the admission of Meredith and started a violent clash when two people died. Meredith later graduated on August 18, 1963 with a degree in political science.

Murder of Medgar Evers

July 2, 1962 - June 12, 1963

A civil rights activist was shot in Mississippi at the age of 37. The man that killed him, Byron De La Beckworth, was arrested but not convicted.Although his life was cut short, Evers' legacy was still kept alive.

Crisis/Violence in Birmingham


A movement organized by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference that aimed to bring attention to the unequal treatment that black Americans endured in Birmingham, Alabama. It was led by Martin Luther King, Jr. and culminated in widely publicized confrontations between black youth and white authorities. This was significant because the campaign was a model of direct action protest and shut down the city and media as well as showing the problem with racial segregation. It also paved the way for Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibited racial discrimination in hiring practices and public services in the United States.

March on Washington

August 28, 1963

One of the largest political rallies for human rights in United States history and called for civil and economic rights for African Americans. it took place in D.C. and it was when Martin Luther KIng, Jr. stated his famous "I Have a Dream" speech and advocated for racial harmony during the speech. This march was radical in the sense that it united many different races and nationalities for a common cause and changed the mindsets that many AMericans held during this time period.

President Kennedy Assassination

November 22, 1963

John F. Kennedy, who was the 35th president of the USA was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. It was later figured out that he was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald.The significance of the president's targic death was that it represented the end of a peaceful ime into a turbulent one. Kennedy represented hope and the prospect of a "new generation" that could live in harmony.

Civil Rights Act of 1964


It was a piece of civil rights legislation in the United States that outlawed majro forms of discrimination against racial, ethnic, national, and religous minorities, along with women. This ended the unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, workplace, and by public facilities.

Freedom Summer

June 1964

A campaign in the United States that attempted to register as many African American voters as possible in Mississippi because blacks were excluded previously. This project also set up Freedom Schools and community cnters to aid in the black population. This was a joint effort from the four major civil rights organizations (SMCC, CORE,NAACP, and SCLC)

Voting Rights Act of 1965


A landmark national legislation that outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had caused the disenfranchisement of African Americans in the U.S. The Act prohibits states from imposing any "voting qualification or prerequesite to voting" to deny or allow someone to vote based on their race or color. This act had a huge political impact and established federal oversight of elections administartion, providing states with a history of discriminatory voting practices.

“Bloody Sunday” & Selma to Montgomery Marches

March 7, 1965 - March 25, 1965

The marches that were also knows as Bloody Sunday were marches and protests that marked the political and emotional peak of the American civil rights movement. They were all attempts to march from Selma to Montgomery where the Alabama capitol is located. The first march, or "bloody sunday" was when 600 marches, who were protesting the death of Jimmie Lee Jackson, were attacked by local police with billy clubs and tear gas. This was the most memorable although there were 2 more marches that took place after.

Watts Riots

August 11, 1965 - August 17, 1965

This riot was six days long and had a huge financial and physical impact. This is significant becuause it shows that under much racial and social tension, debates have surfaced over what really happened. the report was identified as the root to be high unemployment, poor schools, and other inferior living conditions for African Americans in Watts.

Black Panthers formation & Rallies

1966 - 1982

The Balck Panther party was a revolutionary socialist organization that achieved notoriety through its involvement in the Black Power movement and U.S. politics of the 1960s. It was orgiginally founded to protect themselves from police brutality, however their goals expanded.This group also formed marches and rallies. The first one was to SAcramento to protest the selective ban on weapons. They because a prominent Iconic group and dubbed black nationalism to be the equivalent to "black racism." They also created a variety of community service programs to help out the poor.

Poor People’s March on Washington


The Poor People's March was a campaign that was organized by Martin Luther King, Jr. and demanded economic and human rights for Blacks, Chicanos, Native Americans, and Whites. They presented an organized set of demands to Congress and executive agencies as wel as setting up a tent city on the Wahington Mall, where they stayed for six weeks.

MLK Assassination & Riots

April 4, 1968

When King was assassinated, a huge popualtion was left in devestation. Some of the biggest riots took place in: Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Louisville, Kansas City, and Chicago. The impact was both physical and political becasue areas were heavily damaged due to the riots and Politically, the riots were a turning point.

Robert Kennedy Assassination

June 6, 1968

Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated on June 6, 1968 in Los Angeles, California. The significance of this was that the heart was taken out of the democratic party. Kennedy was a sign of hope and prosperity which signified the ending of a promising opening to a bleak time for the country.