Top 10 Civil Rights Events

Regan Sullivan

Murder of Emmett Till

Emmett Till was a 14 year old African American boy who was murdered for whistling at a white woman. This was a major motivator in the start of the Civil Rights Movement.

Montgomery Bus Boycott

This was a political and social protest against the racial segregation on public transit. It occurred in Montgomery, Alabama. It started when Rosa Parks, an African American woman, wouldn't give up her seat on a bus to a white person. This resulted in a case, Browder vs. Goyle, which ended up ruling that segregation on a bus was unconstitutional.

Little Rock Crisis

Nine African American students enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in 1957, which led to the Little Rock Crisis. Arkansas Governor OrvalFaubus refused to let them enter the school at first, but President Eisenhower intervened and let them attend the school.

Albany Movement

The Albany Movement was a desegregation coalition formed in Albany, Georgia. It was led by William G. Anderson. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (Martin Luther King), Student Nonviolent Coordination Committee, and the National Association of Colored People were also involved. It consisted of marches, protests, etc.

March on Washington

The March on Washington occurred on August 28, 1963. 250,000 people walked from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial. At the Lincoln Memorial, representatives of various civil rights organizations gave speeches to the crowd. That was where Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. The assembly was interracial and peaceful.

Brown vs. Board of Education

A little African American girl's parents sued so that she could attend an all-white school in her neighborhood. They won, signaling a major step in the end of segregation.

16th Street Church Bombing

The African-American 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama was bombed on Sunday, September 15, 1963. Four girls died. This led to newfound support for the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Selma March

There was a 5-day, 54-mile march in 1965 from Selma to Montgomery. Local African Americans, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference had been campaigning for voting rights in Selma. Martin Luther King Jr. led them, along with thousands of others, to the steps of the capitol in Montgomery, Alabama.

Civil Rights Act of 1964

Lyndon B. Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It ended segregation and began integration. It allowed black people and white people to interact, use the same facilities, and overall be lawfully equal.

Freedom Riders

Freedom Riders rode interstate buses into the segregated South (particularly New Orleans) in 1961 and for a few years afterwards to test the U.S. Supreme Court decisions Boynton vs. Virginia and Irene Morgan vs. Commonwealth of Virginia.