Civil Rights Timeline
By: Dana Piehl
1957 Integration of Central High School (little rock)
a. Nine black students went to a previous all white school and president Eisenhower sent 1,000 paratroopers to enforce the enrollment of the nine black students.
b. The nine black students also referred to as the little rock nine as well as the other white students and staff of the Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.
c. Arkansas was one of the Southern states that was more progressed with desegregation. Although eight of the nine students decided to return to all black schools this represented the fact that schools would one day not be separate.
1954 Brown v. Board of Education
a. A supreme court case that ruled separate but equal was unconstitutional. This decision overturned the previous case of Plessy v. Ferguson.
b. This case affected more than just the Brown family and the Board of education in Topeka it affected african americans all over because of the ruling.
c. The ruling by the Supreme court lead to a huge victory for the civil rights movement because of they decided that separate but equal was not constitutional. This was the first major step in racial equality.
1968 Murder of Martin Luther King Jr.
a. Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in a Memphis motel. He was rushed to a hospital but was pronounced dead that evening.
b. Everyone during this time was involved because of the civil rights movement that he was a large influence on. Especially the people involved in the NAACP because he was one of the leaders.
c. This was a huge loss for the NAACP because of the influence that Martin Luther King jr.
1962 Integration of the University of Mississippi
a. James Meredith was a black US military veteran trying to get into the University of Mississippi. Segregationists were protesting the the enrollment of James Meredith. Two civilians were killed from the riots that this caused and over 300 people were injured.
b. James Meredith, the segregationists civilians, federal and state forces were all involved in this encounter.
c. There's now a statue of James Meredith because of his historic role. The university made a series of different programs to make the 40th anniversary of the integration.
1963 Murder of NAACP leader Medgar Evers
a. Famous civil rights activist Medgar Evers was killed when he returned from helping the military overseas.
b. The NAACP was involved because after Medgar Evers was a civil rights activist and his death inspired other activists.
c. His assassination inspired other civil rights protests and various films and art.
1964 Murder of three civil rights workers
a. In Mississippi three workers for the Congress of Racial Equality was murdered. Local white knights of the Klu Klux Klan carried out the attack because of the role they had taking in working to end segregation.
b. James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner were the three killed by the white knights.
c. The disappearance of these three men created outrage and a federal investigation.
1963 Campaign to desegregate city; four girls killed in bombing of church
a. In Birmingham Alabama an act of white supremacist terrorism happened in an African American Baptist church. Members of the Ku Klux Klan planted 15 sticks of dynamite to a church beneath the front steps.
b. Everyone in the NAACP was involved because four little girls died in the bombing and it was taken personally by activists like Martin Luther King Jr.
c. The church was closed for eight months after the bombing, as parts of the church had to be rebuilt. Donations were sent to the church and the family members of those affected by the attack.
1965 March for voting rights to Montgomery
a. In Selma Alabama several trial marches took place for equality. Three protests marches were organized by several activists to walk 54 miles from Selma all the way to the state capital in Alabama.
b. Many people walked in these marches and although not all of the marches were successful the end result was worth it.
c. The marches from Selma to the Capital resulted in the voting rights act of 1965.
1954-1956 Boycott of segregated bus system
a. In Montgomery African Americans boycotted the bus system because of the unfair treatment that they received while riding the bus.
b. Rosa Parks started this movement although the NAACP was planning to do this not everything had been worked out when she decided to not give up her seat for a white man.
c. This is possibly the most well known for of resistance that took place during this period.
1961 Black students and civil rights workers sit in white section of bus station
a. Thirteen African Americans and white activists started Freedom Rides. It was bus rides through the south to protest segregation.
b. The Congress of Racial Equality was responsible for recruiting the individuals that helped with the Freedom Rides.
c. The Interstate Commerce Commission mandated regulations the put a stop to segregation on buses and trains.
1960 First lunch-counter sit-in
a. In Greensboro several nonviolent sit-ins took place to help end the segregation. Now a museum it was before a Woolworth store.
b. The NAACP and other organizations were involved with the lunch sit-in.
c. It was not the first non violent sit-in it was extremely important to ending segregation because of the widespread media.
1963 March on Washington; "I have a dream" speech by Martin Luther King Jr.
a. Martin Luther King Jr.'s most famous speech he ever gave because of the powerful message. Still today people everywhere learn about this speech. Given on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial thousands of people came to watch him give this speech.
b. Anyone who was alive at his time heard the speech. It is arguably one of the most talked about things that was done during the fight to end segregation.
c. This speech was inspirational and lead to so many people getting involved to help end segregation.