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Timeline of the Civil Rights Movement

Reshma Jirage
The Civil Rights Movement was one of the most successful and significant social movements in the American history. Let's have a look at the Civil Rights Movement timeline, which reveals the important events in this movement.
The Civil Rights Movement in the American South was a struggle for the civil rights in the modern times. It challenged the racism in America and made the country a humane society for all. Some of the popular people who participated in this movement were Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, and The Little Rock Nine.
1954: The American Supreme Court declared the segregation in public schools in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka ruling as unconstitutional.
1955: Rosa Parks, an African-American woman, refused to give her seat to a white person on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Rosa Parks was arrested on December 1st as required by the city ordinance.
The bus boycott was launched. The bus segregation ordinance was declared unconstitutional. Segregation on interstate buses and trains was banned by Federal Interstate Commerce Commission.
1956: Coalition of Southern congressmen demanded for massive resistance to Supreme Court desegregation rulings. On 21st December, the Montgomery buses desegregated.
1957: Arkansas governor Orval Rubus used the National Guard to prevent nine black students from attending a Little Rock High School. According to the court order, President Eisenhower sent the federal troops to keep up with the court order to avoid the segregation in schools.
Garfield High School became the first Seattle high school having more than 50% nonwhite students.
1960: Four black college students started occupying the 'whites-only' sit-ins at the lunch counter of a Greensboro, North Carolina restaurant, where black patrons were not served. This sit-in protest movement started in February and spread all over the nation. Congress approved a watered-down voting rights act after a filibuster by the Southern senators.
1961: Freedom Rides started from Washington, D.C. The groups of white and black people traveled in the buses in the South to challenge the segregation. King made his only visit to Seattle. He visited several places, including two morning assemblies at Garfield High School.
1962: President Kennedy sent the federal troops to the University of Mississippi to suppress the riots, so that James Meredith, the school's first black student can attend the school. The Supreme Court ruled that segregation as unconstitutional in all the transportation facilities.
The Department of Defense ordered complete integration of military reserve units, excluding the National Guard. The blacks became the majority at Garfield High School, about 51% of the total student population.
1963: The police arrested King and other minister representatives in Birmingham. The marchers were attacked by the police dogs and fire hoses. The leader of the Civil Rights Movement, Medgar Evers was killed by a sniper's bullet on June 12th.
About 1300 people marched from the Central Area to downtown Seattle, with a demand of greater job opportunities for the blacks in the department stores. The Bon Marche promised 30 new jobs for the blacks. Nearly 400 people participated in a rally at Seattle City Hall to protest the delay in passing the open-housing law.
In response, a 12-member Human Rights Commission was formed. The race riots prompted a modified martial law in Cambridge, Maryland. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered the speech "I Have a Dream" to thousands of people at the March on Washington. Four young girls died in church bombing in Birmingham.
1964: Seattle City Council agreed to put together an open-housing ordinance, but recommended to put it on the ballot. The voters defeated it by 2:1 ratio. Three civil-rights workers were murdered in Mississippi.
On July 2nd, President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Seattle Fire Department employed only two African-American people and one Asian, out of 955 people.
1965: A march was conducted from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in order to demand a protection for the voting rights. Malcolm X was murdered on February 21st, 1965. President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
1967: Sam Smith was elected as Seattle's first black city councilman. Thurgood Marshall was the first black to be appointed as the Supreme Court Judge. Richard G. Hatcher and Carl Stokes were elected as the first black mayors of the major American cities.
1968: Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered by James Earl Ray in Memphis, Tennessee.

1973: Maynard Jackson (Atlanta) was the first black to become a mayor of a major Southern US city.

1975: The Voting Rights Act was extended.
1978: The Supreme Court declared that the medical school admission programs that were based on race were unconstitutional.

1979: A shoot-out in Greensboro, North Carolina, caused a death of five anti-Klan protesters. 12 Klansmen were charged for the murder.

1983: Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday was established.
1988: Congress passed the Civil Rights Restoration Act over the President Reagan's veto.

1989: Army Gen. Colin Powell became the first black to serve as a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. L. Douglas Wilder (Virginia) became the first black governor.

1990: President Bush forbade a Civil Rights Bill. A weaker bill passed muster in 1991.
1991: A Civil Rights Museum was opened in Memphis, where Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered.

1994: Byron De La Beckwith was convicted of Medgar Evers' assassination in 1963.
1995: The Supreme Court declared that the federal programs that use race as a categorical classification, should have a compelling government interest to do so.

1996: According to the orders of the Supreme Court, consideration of race in creating congressional districts was unconstitutional.
Needless to say, the Civil Rights Movement timeline discloses some of the most important events in this historical movement.