Timeline of the American Civil Rights Movement
The Civil Rights Movement in the United States began to gain prominence in the late 1940s. In 1948 President Truman signed the Executive Order 9981, which declared there would be equal treatment and opportunity for all persons regardless of race or color in the armed services. This was the first step in creating a nation filled with equality. Throughout the passing years, there were many events that were milestones in the Civil rights movement. Below are some of the most well known events that helped shaped history.
1954 – Brown vs. Board of Education
- Summary of Brown Vs. the Board of Education - This event is one of the most significant trials in US history.
- Segregation of White and Black Children - This supreme court case ended segregation in the classroom
- Brown Vs. the Board of Education Historic Site - Learn about where the injustice behind this court case took place.
- Archive of Brown Vs. the Board of Education - Take a walk through history with information on the court case, oral arguments both for an against Brown Vs. the Board of Education, and an image gallery that focuses on the Civil rights movement.
1955 – Montgomery Bus Boycott
- Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott - Learn the historic story of a town full of civilians who banded together to make a stand in the Civil rights movement.
- Montgomery Bus Boycott - Articles, historical timelines and biographies of important people who made the Montgomery Bus Boycott a critical piece of US history.
- Montgomery Alabama and the Bus Boycott - Learn about Alabama's shining moments in the Civil rights movement, as well as in American history.
- Rosa Parks - One of the most famous people to come out of the Civil rights movement, Rosa Parks was a key factor in the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
- Martin Luther King Jr. - The face of the Civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr. helped to lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
1957 – Desegregation at Little Rock
- Segregation Showdown at Little Rock - Follow the archives through the breakdown of segregation in Little Rock, Arkansas.
- Little Rock Nine - In Little Rock, Arkansas students attempted to attend an all white high school. Read the documentation of what happened following this event.
- Stand Up for Your Rights - Read the story of what happened to the 9 students who attempted to attend a high school that was still racially segregated.
- Little Rock Central High School - The protest of black students entering this Arkansas school got so bad, President Eisenhower was forced to send in federal protection.
1960 – Sit-in Campaign
- Sit-in Campaign - The basis of sit-in campaigns resulted from students "sitting" at lunch counters until they were acknowledged and served food.
- Nashville, TN Sit-in Campaigns - African Americans would sit and wait at the lunch counters in a very polite, non-violent manner. If police arrested them for not leaving, a new group of African Americans would take their place.
1961 – Freedom Rides
- Civil Rights Movements and Freedom Rides - Learn how American's tested the commitment to Civil rights through this unique strategy.
- Freedom Riders - The Congress on Racial Equality organized these techniques by placing black and white volunteers next to each other on buses and other forms of public transportation.
- Freedom Rides - See how the freedom riders played a part in the Civil rights movement timeline.
- Mississippi Riot - Learn how the state of Mississippi rallied against a federal court's decision to allow one black man to attend an all white school.
- James H. Meredith - This man was a crucial figure in the American Civil rights movement. By having a federal court approve his case to attend an all white school in Mississippi, riots broke out and in turn paved the way for equality in the US.
- University of Mississippi Riot - Learn about the violence and death that ensued from the protest of a black man attending a white school.
1963 – Birmingham
- Birmingham, Alabama – In one of the most turbulent cities during the Civil rights movement, this organization explores all of the different activities that made this city a hub of change during this time period.
- Birmingham Demonstrations - Read about the efforts Martin Luther King Jr. and citizens hoping for change took to ensure equality for all.
- Birmingham Civil Rights District - A historical look at all of the events that took place in Birmingham during the Civil rights movement.
1963 – March on Washington
- March on Washington - With an estimated 250,000 people in attendance, this was truly a landmark event for the Civil rights movement.
- March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom - Both black and white people gathered together to witness Martin Luther King Jr. give his historical "I Have a Dream" speech.
- "I Have a Dream" - Read the words, written and spoke by Martin Luther King Jr., which united a nation.
1964 – Freedom Summer
- In the summer of l964, forty-one Freedom Schools opened in the churches, on the back porches, and under the trees of Mississippi.
- Mississippi Freedom Summer (Summer Project) Events
1965 – Selma
- Selma Marches - What was to be a peaceful march turned into a violent display of hate against the Civil Rights movement.
- Bloody Sunday - The demonstration march from Selma to Montgomery was nicknamed "Bloody Sunday" due to the brutality and violence troops used against the peaceful demonstrators.
- March 7th Selma, Alabama - Over 600 people partook in the March from Selma, Alabama.
Photographs from Civil Rights Movements
- The March on Washington - A collection of photographs from that monumental day in 1963.
- Civil Rights Movement in Florida - Images from buses, stores and theatres that demonstrate the progress being made in the Civil rights movement.
- Powerful Days in Black and White - Kodak shows the struggles during the Civil rights movement in these photographs.
- Black and White Photos - A wonderful collection of black and white photos from the Civil rights movement.
The Civil rights movement is a timeline of events that shaped American history and the world we live in today.