Civil Rights Era

Holly Swaldi

Ten Most Important Events From the Civil Rights Era

1. Brown v. Board of Education (1954)- Supreme Court reverses Plessy by stating that separate schools are by nature unequal. Schools are ordered to desegregate "with all deliberate speed"

2. Montgomery bus boycott (1955-1957)- Rosa Parks ignites 381-day bus boycott organized by Martin Luther King, Jr.

3. Jackie Robinson joins Brooklyn Dodgers (1947)- Pasadena resident and UCLA alum Robinson breaks the color barrier by being the first black to play major league baseball in modern times

4. Little Rock Central High School desegregated (1957)- After Little Rock school board votes to integrate schools, National Guard troops prevent black children from attending school. 1000 federal paratroopers are needed to escort black students and preserve peace. Arkansas Gov. Faubus responds by closing schools for 1958-59 school year

5. Southern Manifesto urges resistance to desegregation efforts (1956)- Over 100 southern members of Congress sign document attacking the Supreme Court decision. Only Lyndon Johnson, Estes Kefauver, and Albert Gore refuse to join protest

6. Armed forces integrated (1948)- Pres. Truman issues executive order requiring integrated units in the armed forces



9. Emmett Till is murdered (1955)- Fourteen-year-old Chicagoan Emmett Till is visiting family in Mississippi when he is kidnapped, brutally beaten, shot, and dumped in the Tallahatchie River for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Two white men, J. W. Milam and Roy Bryant, are arrested for the murder and acquitted by an all-white jury.

10. Freedom riders oppose segregation (1961)- Blacks and whites take buses to the South to protest bus station segregation. Many are greeted with riots and beatings