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Civil Rights Movement Timeline

1954-1968
by Teach Risedorph on 6 February 2013

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Transcript of Civil Rights Movement Timeline

1954 - In Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, the Supreme Court rules unanimously against school segregation, overturning its 1896 decision in Plessy v. Ferguson. 1955 - Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus to a white person, triggering a successful, year-long African American boycott of the bus system. 1955 - Musician Chuck Berry begins recording; his music will help shape rock-and-roll. 1956 - The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the segregation of Montgomery, Ala., buses is unconstitutional. Civil Rights Movement 1954-1971 1957 - The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., helps found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to work for full equality for African Americans. 1957 -For the first time since Reconstruction, the federal government uses the military to uphold African Americans' civil rights, as soldiers escort nine African American students to desegregate a school in Little Rock, Arkansas. 1960 -
Four African American college students hold a sit-in to integrate a Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., launching a wave of similar protests across the South. 1961 -
The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) begins to organize Freedom Rides throughout the South to try to de-segregate interstate public bus travel. 1963 - More than 200,000 people march on Washington, D.C., in the largest civil rights demonstration ever; Martin Luther King, Jr., gives his "I Have a Dream" speech.
1963 - Four African American girls are killed in the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. 1963 - Martin Luther King, Jr., writes his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," his famous statement about the civil rights movement. 1964 - President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act, which gives the federal government far-reaching powers to prosecute discrimination in employment, voting, and education. 1964 - Martin Luther King, Jr. is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. 1965 - One year after splitting from the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X is assassinated in New York by gunmen affiliated with the NOI. 1965 - King organizes a protest march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, for African American voting rights. A shocked nation watches on television as police club and teargas protesters. 1965 - In the wake of the Selma-Montgomery March, the Voting Rights Act is passed, outlawing the practices used in the South to disenfranchise African American voters 1965 - Race riots break out in the Watts area of Los Angeles, leaving 34 dead and roughly a thousand hurt. 1966 - Stokely Carmichael, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, calls for "black power" in a speech, ushering in a more militant civil rights stance. 1968 - Martin Luther King, Jr., is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. His murder sparks a week of rioting across the country. 1962 - African American radical Malcolm X becomes national minister of the Nation of Islam. He rejects the nonviolent civil-rights movement and integration, and becomes a champion of African American separatism and black pride. At one point he states that equal rights should be secured "by any means necessary," a position he later revises.
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