Civil Rights Movement Timeline

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Civil Rights Movement Timeline

Civil Rights Movement:

1890: The state of Mississippi adopts poll taxes and literacy tests to discourage black voters.

1895: Booker T. Washington delivers his Atlanta Exposition speech, which accepts segregation of the races.

1896: The Supreme Court rules in Plessy v. Ferguson the separate but equal treatment of the races is constitutional.


1900-1915: Over one thousand blacks are lynched in the states of the former Confederacy.

1905: The Niagara Movement is founded by W.E.B. du Bois and other black leaders to urge more direct action to achieve black civil rights.


1910: National Urban League is founded to help the conditions of urban African Americans.


1925: Black nationalist leader Marcus Garvey is convicted of mail fraud.

1928: For the first time in the 20th century an African American is elected to Congress.


1931: Farrad Muhammad establishes in Detroit what will become the Black Muslim Movement.

1933: The NAACP files -and loses- its firs suit against segregation and discrimination in education.

1938: The Supreme Court orders the admission of a black applicant to the University of Missouri Law School

1941: A. Philip Randoph threatens a massive march on Washington unless the Roosevelt administration takes measures to ensure black employment in defense industries; Roosevelt agrees to establish Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC).

1942: The congress of Racial Equality (CORE) is organized in Chicago.

1943: Race riots in Detroit and Harlem cause black leaders to ask their followers to be less demanding in asserting their commitment to civil rights; A. Philip Randolph breaks ranks to call for civil disobedience against Jim Crow schools and railroads.

1946: The Supreme Court, in Morgan v. The Commonwealth of Virginia, rules that state laws requiring racial segregation on buses violates the Constitution when applied to interstate passengers.

1947: Jackie Robinson breaks the color line in major league baseball.

1947: To Secure These Rights, the report by the Presidentís Committee on Civil Rights, is released; the commission, appointed by President Harry S. Truman, recommends government action to secure civil rights for all Americans.

1948: President Harry S. Truman issues an executive order desegregating the armed services.


1950: The NAACP decides to make its legal strategy a full-scale attack on educational segregation.

1954: First White Citizens Council meeting is held in Mississippi.

1954: School year begins with the integration of 150 formerly segregated school districts in eight states; many other school districts remain segregated.

1955: The Interstate Commerce Commission bans racial segregation in all facilities and vehicles engaged in interstate transportation.

1955: Rosa Parks is arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white person; the action triggers a bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, let by Martin Luther King Jr.

1956: The home of Martin Luther King Jr. is bombed.

1956: The Montgomery bus boycott ends after the city receives U. S. Supreme Court order to desegregate city buses.

1957: Martin Luther King Jr. and a number of southern black clergymen create the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

1958: Ten thousand students hold a Youth March for Integrated Schools in Washington, D.C.

1959: Sit-in campaigns by college students desegregate eating facilities in St. Louis, Chicago, and Bloomington, Indiana; the Tennessee Christian Leadership Conference holds brief sit-ins in Nashville department stores.


1960: Twenty-five hundred students and community membe

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