Civil Rights Movement

Timeline created by Ziii
In History
  • Plessy v. Ferguson

    Plessy v. Ferguson
    A case in which the Court held that state-mandated segregation laws did not violate the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Plessy v. Ferguson was important because it essentially established the constitutionality of racial segregation.
  • Baton Rouge Bus Boycott

    Baton Rouge Bus Boycott
    The 1953 Baton Rouge Bus Boycott was an organized, eight-day long protest of the segregated seating system on city buses. It did not end segregation on the buses, but it showed that peaceful, well-organized and supported grassroots protests could be effective in the Deep South.
  • Brown v. Board of Education

    Brown v. Board of Education
    The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education marked a turning point in the history of race relations in the United States. On May 17, 1954, the Court stripped away constitutional sanctions for segregation by race, and made equal opportunity in education the law of the land.
  • Montgomery Bus Boycott

    Montgomery Bus Boycott
    Montgomery bus boycott, mass protest against the bus system of Montgomery, Alabama, by civil rights activists and their supporters that led to a 1956 U.S. Supreme Court decision declaring that Montgomery's segregation laws on buses were unconstitutional.
  • Little Rock Nine

    Little Rock Nine
    The Little Rock Nine became an integral part of the fight for equal opportunity in American education when they dared to challenge public school segregation by enrolling at the all-white Central High School in 1957.
  • Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

    Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
    SNCC sought to coordinate youth-led nonviolent, direct-action campaigns against segregation and other forms of racism. SNCC members played an integral role in sit-ins, Freedom Rides, the 1963 March on Washington, and such voter education projects as the Mississippi Freedom Summer.
  • Sit-in at Greensboro

    Sit-in at Greensboro
    The Greensboro sit-in was a civil rights protest that started in 1960, when young African American students staged a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, and refused to leave after being denied service. The sit-in movement soon spread to college towns throughout the South.
  • Albany Movement

    Albany Movement
    The Albany Movement began in fall 1961 and ended in summer 1962. It was the first mass movement in the modern civil rights era to have as its goal the desegregation of an entire community, and it resulted in the jailing of more than 1,000 African Americans in Albany and surrounding rural counties.
  • Freedom Rides

    Freedom Rides
    Freedom Riders were groups of white and African American civil rights activists who participated in Freedom Rides, bus trips through the American South in 1961 to protest segregated bus terminals.
  • Birmingham Campaign

    Birmingham Campaign
    Led by Martin Luther King Jr., James Bevel, Fred Shuttlesworth and others, the campaign of nonviolent direct action culminated in widely publicized confrontations between young black students and white civic authorities, and eventually led the municipal government to change the city's discrimination laws.
  • March on Washington

    March on Washington
    The March on Washington helped create a new national understanding of the problems of racial and economic injustice. For one, it brought together demonstrators from around the country to share their respective encounters with labor discrimination and state-sponsored racism.
  • Birmingham Church Bombing

    Birmingham Church Bombing
    On September 15, 1963, a bomb exploded at the 16th Street Baptist Church as church members prepared for Sunday services. The racially motivated attack killed four young girls and shocked the nation.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964

    Civil Rights Act of 1964
    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a landmark civil rights and labor law in the United States that outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, and later sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • March from Selma to Montgomery

    March from Selma to Montgomery
    On March 7, 1965, when then-25-year-old activist John Lewis led over 600 marchers across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama and faced brutal attacks by oncoming state troopers, footage of the violence collectively shocked the nation and galvanized the fight against racial injustice.
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965

    Voting Rights Act of 1965
    The Voting Rights Act of 1965, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, aimed to overcome legal barriers at the state and local levels that prevented African Americans from exercising their right to vote as guaranteed under the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
  • Watts Riots

    Watts Riots
    The Watts Riot, which raged for six days and resulted in more than forty million dollars worth of property damage, was both the largest and costliest urban rebellion of the Civil Rights era. The riot spurred from an incident on August 11, 1965 when Marquette Frye, a young African American motorist, was pulled over and arrested by Lee W. Minikus, a white California Highway Patrolman, for suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
  • Black Panther Party

    Black Panther Party
    The Black Panthers, also known as the Black Panther Party, was a political organization founded in 1966 by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale to challenge police brutality against the African American community. Dressed in black berets and black leather jackets, the Black Panthers organized armed citizen patrols of Oakland and other U.S. cities.
  • 1968 Olympics

    1968 Olympics
    In the lead-up to the Olympics, Smith and Carlos helped organize the Olympic Project for Human Rights, a group that reflected their black pride and social consciousness. The group saw the Olympic Games as an opportunity to agitate for better treatment of black athletes and black people around the world.