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CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT

Event A: Brown v. Board of Education


This major lawsuit actually consisted of five different lawsuits that in 1952 were combined and
taken to Supreme Court. The prosecutors argued that there was an issue of state-sponsored
segregation in schools, and that segregation made black children feel inferior to white children.
They claimed that these two problems made the system not permissible. The case was reheard
in December of 1953, as there was no clear decision made in 1952. In May of 1954 a decision
in favor of Brown was delivered and in 1955 the plan for desegregation was put into action.
Event B: Ruby Bridges goes to School
In 1960, kindergartner Ruby Bridges passed a test that allowed her to be the first African
American to attend William Frantz Public School, which had previously been strictly a white only
school. She had to be protected my militants from the angry mobs outside of the building.
Event C: Rosa Parks
On December 1st, 1955 Rosa Parks was riding a Montgomery bus when she was asked to
move by the bus driver so that a white man could take her seat. When she refused, they called
the police and she was arrested. Her arrest led to the Montgomery Boycott.
Event D: Montgomery Boycott
This bus boycott, inspired by Rosa Parks, lasted for 381 days from December of 1955 thru
December of 1956. Blacks in Montgomery refused to ride buses for over a year. They did this as
a display of their desire for courtesy and integration.
Event E: Civil Rights Act of 1957
This act enforced the first civil rights laws since 1875. It primarily addressed voting rights among
African Americans. The bill won by double in the House and by triple in Senate.
Event F: Little Rock Nine
In 1956, nine children passed a test and were to be admitted to Little Rock Central High School.
It would be the first time the school became integrated, and of course this resolved in uproar. It
was a large struggle and eventually militants had to be sent to ensure the safety of the nine
children.
Event G: Freedom Riders
Groups of white and black people rode interstate buses from northern areas into the south to
challenge the south for not enforcing integration laws. It was meant to be a peaceful protest
organized by CORE. It was a symbol for demanding equal treatment in public areas.
Event H: James Meredith in Ole Miss
After being repeatedly denied by Ole Miss, Meredith filed a lawsuit against the school, claiming
that he wasn't being admitted due to racial discrimination. In September of 1962, the court ruled
in his favor and on October 1st he became officially enrolled. When he arrived for his first day

he was accompanied by militants and police officers because there was a crowd of 2,000 angry
students blocking him from entering. The mob became violent, and eventually two protesters
were killed. This event became very controversial.
Event I: Birmingham Campaign
In 1963 a march was held throughout Birmingham, AL which included whites, blacks, teens, and
children. It was led by King Jr., Bevel, and Shuttlesworth, and organized by the SCLC. It was to
be a nonviolent protest, focusing on bringing attention to integration efforts in the South.
Event J: Medgar Evers Assassination
On June 12, 1963 former army member and NAACP secretary, Medgar Evers was
assassinated. His killer, De la Beckwith, was let free after two trials at first, but thirty years later
was retried and found guilty at age 70, and was sentenced to lifetime in prison.
Event K: March on Washington
In Washington D.C. on August 28,1963 Martin Luther King Jr. led an extremely large march. It
had a turnout of 200,000 blacks and whites, who all gathered around the Lincoln Memorial to
hear him give his famous speech, "I Have a Dream". The event was kept peaceful and
harmonious.
Event L: Civil Rights Act of 1964
This act was signed in by president Lyndon B. Johnson on July 2, 1964. The act prohibited
segregation in theaters, restaurants, hotels, pools, libraries, schools, and other public places. It
also prohibited discrimination in employment.
Event M: March to Selma
A march conducted by King Jr., the march to Selma was to promote enforcement of Civil Rights
Act in voting, because it wasn't being followed as it was intended to be. It brought public
attention to the issue, and president Johnson publicly supported the march and ensured that the
protesters could continue their march in peace. It lead directly to the Voting Rights Act.
Event N: Voting Rights Act
This act prohibited the use of literacy tests on African Americans applying to vote. This act
increased the black vote by 53%.
Event O: Thurgood Marshall
On October 2, 1967 Marshall became the 96th Justice, but more importantly, the first African
American Justice. This was a large step because it was the first time an African American was
given so much political power and respect.
Event P: Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
In the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN King Jr. was assassinated by James Earl Ray from a
balcony across from him. He was shot in the cheek, and died that evening at 7:05 PM. It was a
major loss to the black community, but also inspired them to carry out King Jr.'s dream.