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A Timeline of the African American Civil Rights Movement
Transcript of A Timeline of the African American Civil Rights Movement
1954-Brown vs. The Board of Topeka, Kansas.
1955-The death of Emmet Till and the following national outrage.
1956-Montgomery Bus Boycott.
1957-The Little Rock Nine and the integration of Little Rock Central High School.
1960-Four black college students begin sit-ins at lunch counter of a Greensboro, North Carolina, restaurant where black patrons are not served.
1961-Freedom Rides begin from Washington, D.C., into Southern states.
1963-Civil rights leader Medgar Evers is killed by a sniper's bullet.
1963-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivers "I Have a Dream" speech to hundreds of thousands at the March on Washington.
1963-Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, leaves four young black girls dead.
1964-Congress passes Civil Rights Act declaring discrimination based on race illegal.
Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African American from Chicago, was murdered in Mississippi while visiting family. He'd flirted with a white woman in a store her husband owned. When her husband returned home, she claimed Emmett had grabbed her and made advances. The woman's husband and brother then kidnapped Emmett, torturing him and throwing his body into the Tallahatchie River. Emmet had an open casket funeral with his disfigured body also appearing in a magazine. His murderers were put on trial but found "not guilty," sparking outrage throughout the nation and showing how truly unjust segregation was.
On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, a 42-year-old African American woman refused to give up her bus seat to a white man. She was then arrested and fined for violating a city law. It was Rosa Parks, and her act of defiance led to a year long boycott of the bus system led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Montgomery. Rosa is known as "The Mother of the Civil Rights Movement" for her significant role in gaining rights for African Americans.
As mentioned before, a bus boycott - which lasted over a year - occurred in Montgomery, Alabama, sparked by the incident with Rosa Parks. Organized by the Montgomery Improvement Association (M.I.A.) and it's president Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the boycott began on December 1, 1955 and didn't end until December 20, 1956. It was a nonviolent protest and would show that aggression was not the key to desegregation. In February of 1956, King was put on trial as the boycott undermined a law which prohibited "conspiracies that interfered with lawful business." As both the case and the boycott gained national recognition, even more support was gained from outside Montgomery. Eventually, in Browder v. Gayle, the federal court decided that bus segregation was unconstitutional. In November of 1956, the U.S. Supreme Court consented with the ruling, an the boycott was ended as a success.
In 1957, integration was attempted at Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Nine African American students were chosen to integrate this all-white school three years after the ruling of Brown v. Board of Education. On the first day of school, the students were confronted by an angry mob and the Arkansas National Guard, who were to prevent their entrance into the facility. However, President Eisenhower met with Governor Faubus, making him agree to use the Guard as protection for the Nine. But defying orders, Faubus instead sent the Guard away, leaving the students vulnerable to the angry mass outside the school. Soon, the President stationed the 101st Airborne Division at Central and put the Guard under federal control. The Nine then finished the school year successfully, albeit with some incidents of violence.
"About the 1963 Birmingham Bombing." About the 1963 Birmingham Bombing. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Jan. 2014.
"An Act of Courage, The Arrest Records of Rosa Parks." National Archives and Records Administration. National Archives and Records Administration, n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2014.
"The Civil Rights Act of 1964." The Civil Rights Act of 1964. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Jan. 2014.
"The Death of Emmett Till." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 18 Jan. 2014.
"Freedom Rides." Freedom Rides. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2014.
"History of Brown v. Board of Education." USCOURTSGOV RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Jan. 2014.
"I Have a Dream (28 August 1963)." I Have a Dream (28 August 1963). N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2014.
"Medgar Evers Assassinated." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2014.
"Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-1956)." Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-1956). N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2014.
"Sit-ins." Sit-ins. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2014.
"We Shall Overcome." National Parks Service. National Parks Service, n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2014.
The Little Rock Nine (names listed in picture).
On February 1, 1960, in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina, four black college students sat down at a Woolworth lunch counter reserved for white patrons. When asked to leave, the men refused and, surprisingly, were not arrested. They sat at the counter until the store closed. The next day, two dozen students arrived and sat at the same counter. This act led to sit-ins across the South; they occurred in more than 30 locations in 7 states by the end of that month. Again, nonviolence was major in these acts of defiance. Confidence grew in the young, independent African Americans as proved their resolve.
In the spring of 1961, activists from the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) began Freedom Rides. They challenged segregation on buses and in terminals by traveling from Washington, D.C. to Jackson, Mississippi using public transportation. They were testing the ruling of Boynton v. Virginia, which deemed segregation on interstate buses and in terminals unconstitutional. The riders encountered a violent mob in Anniston, Alabama and were attacked, one of the buses being firebombed. They were offered no protection from the police. The Rides ended yet the confrontation had shown how the media would attract attention, forcing federal involvement.
Medgar Evers, an African American civil rights leader, was shot to death by Byron De La Beckwith on his own front porch in Jackson, Mississippi on June 12, 1963. His assassination took place just hours after President John F. Kennedy's speech on national television in support of civil rights. He'd been returning from an NAACP meeting when shot in the back. Evers was buried in Arlington Cemetary with full honors. Beckwith was tried twice, both with hung juries, and not found guilty of murder until February of 1994, at the age of 73.
Delivered on August 28, 1963, at the March On Washington, King's "I Have A Dream" speech is probably his best known. As written in the New York Times, "He was both militant and sad, and he sent the crowd away feeling that the long journey had been worthwhile”
On Sunday, 15th September, 1963, a white man was seen placing a box at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. 10.22 a.m., the bomb exploded, injuring 23 and killing four young girls.
Killed were Denise McNair (11), Addie Mae Collins (14), Carole Robertson (14) and Cynthia Wesley (14).
Discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion, and national origin were prohibited when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed. The House of Representatives passed a final version of the bill and sent it to the Senate, where it recieved some opposition yet was sent to President Lyndon Johnson and successfully signed on July 2, 1964.
January 20, 2014
The following is a timeline of events spanning from 1954-1964. It gives summaries of eleven major instances in the Civil Rights Movement.
This was one of five cases all under the name of Brown v. The Board of Education, each concerning segregation in public schools. Handled by Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP, various reasons were presented for segregation to be considered unconstitutional. Having not yet come to a solution by June 1953, the case was reheard in December 1953, this time with a new Chief Justice. On May 14, 1954, it was declared, "We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. . . ." Desegregation would eventually ensue.
Newspaper article announcing U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Brown v. The Board of Education.
Emmett Till before and after his death.
Rosa Parks (with Dr. Martin Luther
King Jr. in the background).
A woman exiting a bus from the rear as African Americans were not permitted to use the front to board and get off.
College students Ezell A. Blair, Jr. (now Jibreel Khazan), Franklin E. McCain, Joseph A. McNeil, and David L. Richmond leaving restaurant.
Map detailing routes and events of Freedom Rides.
Portrait of Medgar Evers.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. giving "I Have A Dream" speech.