Civil Rights Era

Top 10 Most Important Events

James Meredith

James Meredith became the first African American admitted into the segregated University of Mississippi in 1933.
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Sweatt vs. Painter

Was a Supreme Court case in 1950 in which it challenged the "separate but equal" idea and ruled separate professional schools for blacks unconstitutional. The court case included, a black man, Heman Marion Sweatt who was denied his acceptance into the University of Texas's Law School by UT's president, Theophilus Painter.

Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas

This Supreme Court case in 1954, composed of Oliver Brown against the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, revoked the Plessy vs. Ferguson case by desegregating public schools. The court decision was unanimous (9-0) stating that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal." This ruling paved the way of integration and was a major victory for the Civil Rights Movement.
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Montgomery Bus Boycott

The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a political and social protest against bus segregation. It was led by Martin Luther King Jr., after Rosa Parks was arrested for sitting in the while only section of the bus. The protest lasted from when Rosa Parks got arrested on December 1, 1955 to December 22, 1956, when a federal ruling stated that the Alabama and Montgomery laws for segregated buses to be unconstitutional.
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Central High School

At this high school in 1957 in Little Rock, 9 black students attempted to walk into Central High but were stopped and Governor Orval Faubus said they shall not enter. President Eisenhower then became involved and sent in troops to escort the Little Rock 9 into the school.

Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)

The SCLC is an African American civil rights organization. Martin Luther King Jr. was its first president and it began in 1957, following the Montgomery Bus Boycot.
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Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)

The SNCC was formed in 1960 and emerged from student meeting led by Ella Baker at Shaw University. This organization help force the desegregation in schools.
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Letter from Birmingham Jail

This was a letter written by Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963 while he was sitting in Birmingham Alabama's jail because he was arrested during an anti-segregation protest.
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"I Have a Dream"

The "I Have a Dream" speech was given by Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963 in Washington D.C. while over 250,000 civil right supporters gathered at the Lincoln Memorial to listen to his speech.
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Bombing of Birmingham Church

A baptist church in Birmingham was bombed as an act of racial terrorism in 1963. Four girls were killed by the placed bomb in the church.
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