Timelines 
Civil Rights Movement | Investigation of 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing

A Time Line Of The Civil Rights Movement

1954

May 17
Landmark Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Topeka, Kansas. "Separate but equal" schools ruled unconstitutional.

 
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1955

December 1

Rosa Parks refuses to move to the back of a Montgomery City bus to allow a white man to have her seat, resulting in her arrest for violating the city's segregation ordinance. The Montgomery bus boycott, organized as a protest of this law, resulted in the legal challenge of the law and a victory for the boycott that lasted over a year. The ordinance was declared unconstitutional. Montgomery's buses were desegregated.

1963

May 3-5
A "Children's Crusade" for equality in Birmingham results in the use of fire hoses and police dogs by city police on the demonstrators, may of whom were mere children.

1963

May 10

The first urban riot of the 1960s occurs in Birmingham. Blacks burnt white owned property in response to another bombing.

1963

Sept 15
The bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham results in the death of four black girls.

1964

August 28
200,000 march in Washington and hear the Rev. Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech.

1965

August 6

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 forbid the use of literacy tests and other voter tests as prerequisites for voting. It also authorized federal intervention to aid blacks in registering to vote in the South.
 

1965

March 21-25

Rev. King leads a 5-day, 54-mile march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, for racial equality in the South.

1965-68

Urban racial rioting lasts three years in Los Angeles, Newark, Detroit, and Chicago
1968

April 4
The assassination of Rev. King in Memphis sets off a wave of rioting in 125 cities in 29 states.
  Information for this summary came from the following:
Glenn T. Eskew. But For Birmingham: The Local and National Movements in the Civil Rights Struggle. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997.

Wayne Flynt, and others. Alabama: The History of a Deep South State. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1994.


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