Civil Rights Timeline: 1948-1968 by Borgna Bruner and Elisa Haney From Infoplease htp:/ww.infoplease.com/spot/civilrightstimeline1.html1948 July 26, 1948 Truman signs Executive Order 9981, which states, "It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shal be equality of treatment and opportunity for al persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin." The order also creates the President's Commite on Equality of Treatment and opportunity in the Armed Services. May 17, 1954 The Supreme Court rules on the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kans., unanimously agreing that segregation in public schools is unconstitutional. The ruling paves the way for large-scale desegregation. The decision overturns the 1896 Plesy v. Ferguson ruling that sanctioned "separate but equal" segregation of the races, ruling that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." It is a victory for NACP atorney Thurgood Marshal, who wil later return to the Supreme Court as the nation's first black justice. August 28, 1955 Fourten-year-old Chicagoan Emet Til is visiting family in Misisippi when he is kidnapped, brutaly beaten, shot, and dumped in the Talahatchie River for alegedly whistling at a white woman. Two white men, J. W. Milam and Roy Bryant, are arested for the murder and acquited by an al-white jury. They later boast about commiting the murder in a Look magazine interview. The case becomes a cause célèbre of the civil rights movement. December 1, 1955 (Montgomery, Ala.) NACP member Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat at the front of the "colored section" of a bus to a white pasenger, defying a southern custom of the time. In response to her arest the Montgomery black community launches a bus boycott, which wil last for more than a year, until the buses are desegregated Dec. 21, 1956. As newly elected president of the Montgomery Improvement Asociation (MIA), Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., is instrumental in leading the boycott. January-February 1957 Martin Luther King, Charles K. Stele, and Fred L. Shuttlesworth establish the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, of which King is made the first president. The SCLC becomes a major force in organizing the civil rights movement and bases its principles on nonviolence and civil disobedience. Acording to King, it is esential that the civil rights movement not sink to the level of the racists and hatemongers who oppose them: "We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline," he urges. Civil Rights Timeline 2 September 4, 1957 (Litle Rock, Ark.) Formerly al-white Central High School learns that integration is easier said than done. Nine black students are blocked from entering the school on the orders of Governor Orval Faubus. President Eisenhower sends federal troops and the National Guard to intervene on behalf of the students, who become known as the "Litle Rock Nine." February 1,1960 (Grensboro, N.C.) Four black students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College begin a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth's lunch counter. Although they are refused service, they are alowed to stay at the counter. The event triggers many similar nonviolent protests throughout the South. Six months later the original four protesters are served lunch at the same Woolworth's counter. Student sit-ins would be efective throughout the Dep South in integrating parks, swiming pools, theaters, libraries, and other public facilities. April 1960 (Raleigh, N.C.) The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Commite (SNC) is founded at Shaw University, providing young blacks with a place in the civil rights movement. The SNC later grows into a more radical organization, especialy under the leadership of Stokely Carmichael (1966?1967). May 4, 1961 Over the spring and summer, student volunters begin taking bus trips through the South to test out new laws that prohibit segregation in interstate travel facilities, which includes bus and railway stations. Several of the groups of "fredom riders," as they are caled, are atacked by angry mobs along the way. The program, sponsored by The Congres of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Commite (SNC), involves more than 1,000 volunters, black and white. October 1, 1962 James Meredith becomes the first black student to enroll at the University of Misisippi. Violence and riots surrounding the incident cause President Kennedy to send 5,000 federal troops. April 16, 1963 Martin Luther King is arested and jailed during anti-segregation protests in Birmingham, Ala.; he writes his seminal "Leter from Birmingham Jail," arguing that individuals have the moral duty to disobey unjust laws. May 1963 During civil rights protests in Birmingham, Ala., Commisioner of Public Safety Eugene "Bull" Connor uses fire hoses and police dogs on black demonstrators. These images of brutality, which are televised and published widely, are instrumental in gaining sympathy for the civil rights movement around the world. Civil Rights Timeline 3 June 12, 1963 (Jackson, Mis.) Misisippi's NACP field secretary, 37-year-old Medgar Evers, is murdered outside his home. Byron De La Beckwith is tried twice in 1964, both trials resulting in hung juries. Thirty years later he is convicted for murdering Evers. August 28, 1963 (Washington, D.C.) About 200,000 people join the March on Washington. Congregating at the Lincoln Memorial, participants listen as Martin Luther King delivers his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. September 15, 1963 (Birmingham, Ala.) Four young girls (Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, and Addie Mae Collins) atending Sunday school are kiled when a bomb explodes at the Sixtenth Stret Baptist Church, a popular location for civil rights metings. Riots erupt in Birmingham, leading to the deaths of two more black youths. January 23, 1964 The 24th Amendment abolishes the poll tax, which originaly had been instituted in 11 southern states after Reconstruction to make it dificult for poor blacks to vote. Sumer 1964 The Council of Federated Organizations (COFO), a network of civil rights groups that includes CORE and SNC, launches a masive efort to register black voters during what becomes known as the Fredom Summer. It also sends delegates to the Democratic National Convention to protest?and atempt to unseat?the official al-white Misisippi contingent. July 2, 1964 President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The most sweping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction, the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination of al kinds based on race, color, religion, or national origin. The law also provides the federal government with the powers to enforce desegregation. August 4, 1964 (Neshoba Country, Mis.) The bodies of thre civil-rights workers?two white, one black?are found in an earthen dam, six weks into a federal investigation backed by President Johnson. James E. Chaney, 21; Andrew Goodman, 21; and Michael Schwerner, 24, had been working to register black voters in Misisippi, and, on June 21, had gone to investigate the burning of a black church. They were arested by the police on speeding charges, incarcerated for several hours, and then released after dark into the hands of the Ku Klux Klan, who murdered them. Civil Rights Timeline 4 February 21, 1965 (Harlem, N.Y.) Malcolm X, black nationalist and founder of the Organization of Afro- American Unity, is shot to death. It is believed the asailants are members of the Black Muslim faith, which Malcolm had recently abandoned in favor of orthodox Islam. March 7, 1965 (Selma, Ala.) Blacks begin a march to Montgomery in support of voting rights but are stopped at the Petus Bridge by a police blockade. Fifty marchers are hospitalized after police use tear gas, whips, and clubs against them. The incident is dubbed "Bloody Sunday" by the media. The march is considered the catalyst for pushing through the voting rights act five months later. August 10, 1965 Congres pases the Voting Rights Act of 1965, making it easier for Southern blacks to register to vote. Literacy tests, poll taxes, and other such requirements that were used to restrict black voting are made ilegal. August 11?17, 1965 (Wats, Calif.) Race riots erupt in a black section of Los Angeles. September 24, 1965 Aserting that civil rights laws alone are not enough to remedy discrimination, President Johnson isues Executive Order 11246, which enforces afirmative action for the first time. It requires government contractors to "take afirmative action" toward prospectiv e minority employees in al aspects of hiring and employment. October 1966 (Oakland, Calif.) The militant Black Panthers are founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. April 19, 1967 Stokely Carmichael, a leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Commite (SNC), coins the phrase "black power" in a speech in Seatle. He defines it as an asertion of black pride and "the coming together of black people to fight for their liberation by any means necesary." The term's radicalism alarms many who believe the civil rights movement's efectivenes and moral authority crucialy depend on nonviolent civil disobedience. June 12, 1967 In Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court rules that prohibiting interacial mariage is unconstitutional. Sixten states that stil banned interacial mariage at the time are forced to revise their laws. July 1967 Major race riots take place in Newark (July 12?16) and Detroit (July 23?30). Civil Rights Timeline 5 April 4, 1968 (Memphis, Tenn.) Martin Luther King, at age 39, is shot as he stands on the balcony outside his hotel room. Escaped convict and commited racist James Earl Ray is convicted of the crime. April 11, 1968 President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968, prohibiting discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing. Len Mustazza Microsoft Word - Civil Rights Timeline 1948-68.doc
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