Civil Rights Timeline
By: Sydney Pfotenhauer
Brown vs. Board of Education (1954)
a. The Supreme Court reverses the the Plessy vs. Ferguson decision.
b. The Board of Education and Linda Brown were involved.
c. This is important as schools are ordered to desegregate. This made it safer for colored people during this time to get to school.
Boycott of Segregated Bus System (1954-1956)
a. With colored people being forced to move for white people on buses, a boycott was organized and colored people didn't ride the buses for a total of 381 days.
b. Colored people who rode the buses were involved.
c. This was important as it lead to the desegregation of buses in December of 1956.
Integration of Central High School (1957)
a. After the school board desegregates the schools, 9 colored students are enrolled into a school that was formerly a white only school.
b. The 9 colored students enrolled, white students and parents, and the National Guard are involved.
c. The National Guard was necessary for the protection of the colored students from the threat of parents and students. This is also one of the first schools to integrate colored students into the school.
First Lunch-Counter Sit-In (1960)
a. Four colored college students sat down at the counter and asked for service and were refused. When they were asked to leave they just remained there in their seats.
b. The four colored college students were involved in this.
c. This lead to help ignite a youth-led movement that would challenge the racial inequality that was seen throughout the South.
Black Students and Civil Rights Workers Sit In White Section of Bus Station (1961)
a. These people would sit in the section of the bus station where only white people could sit. They would be told to leave, but they would stay where they were sitting.
b. The people involved the black students and the civil rights workers.
c. Black students were expelled from schools, and some people that were doing these sit-ins would end up being arrested for what they were doing.
Integration of the University of Mississippi (1962)
a. There was an issue when James Meredith, a black Air Force veteran attempted to integrate into the all-white school. Over 120 federal marshals were on hand to protect him from harm.
b. James Meredith, over 120 federal marshals, and the students of the University of Mississippi are involved.
c. This had a major impact as Meredith was the first black graduate from the university in August of 1963.
Murder of NAACP Leader Medgar Evers (1963)
a. He was in the driveway outside his home in Jackson, Mississippi, where he was shot to death by white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith.
b. Medgar Evers, and Byron De La Beckwith are involved.
c. Once there was finally a racially mixed jury for his murder case, Beckwith was finally found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
Campaign to Desegregate City: Four Girls Killed in Bombing of Church (1963)
a. 200 church members were in the building when the bomb detonated. Many of them were able to evacuate it as the building began to fill with smoke. The bodies of four young girls were found beneath rubble in the basement restroom.
b. The 200 church members were involved in this bombing.
c. The aftermath of this day left an impression that would help lead to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
March on Washington: "I Have A Dream" Speech By Martin Luther King Jr. (1963)
a. The speech was given by King to the massive group of civil rights marchers that were gathered at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.
b. The people involved were Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights marchers that were there.
c. This speech influenced the Federal government to take more direct actions to more fully realize racial equality.
Murder of Three Civil Rights Workers (1964)
a. These Civil Rights workers were working to help register black voters in Mississippi. They were killed by the KKK from what they were doing.
b. The KKK and the three Civil Rights workers are involved.
c. When the FBI found out about it being done by the KKK and that the state of Mississippi refused to prosecute the assailants in state court, the federal government charged 18 men with conspiracy to violate the civil rights of the three men.
March for Voting Rights to Montgomery (1965)
a. Protesters headed to Montgomery were met with violent resistance by state and local authorities. Under the protection of federalized National Guard troops, they finally achieved their goal after three days.
b. People involved include the protestors, state and local authorities that posed as resistance, and the National Guard troops.
c. This march helped raise awareness of the difficulty that black voters faced in the South. This showed the need for a Voting Rights Act, that was passed later that year.
Murder of Martin Luther King Jr. (1968)
a. He was fatally shot while standing outside on the balcony outside of his second-story room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. A bullet struck him in the jaw and severed his spinal cord. He was pronounced dead after his arrival at the Memphis hospital.
b. Martin Luther King Jr. and escaped convict James Earl Ray are involved.
c. The assassination of King served as something that in some ways widened the rift between black and white Americans. He was the most public face of the civil rights movement and a national holiday was established in his honour.