Calendar of Events







No events currently scheduled   Jan 11,1961 Rioting over court-ordered admission of Hamilton Homes and Charlayne Hunter-Gault at the University of Georgia leads to their suspension, but they are later ordered reinstated.
    Jan 23,1964 The 24th Amendment abolishes the poll tax, which originaly had been instituted in 11 southern states after Reconstruction to make it difficult for poor blacks to vote.


    Feb 1, 1960 Lunch counter sit-ins at Woolworth's in Greensboro, North Carolina by four college students and subsequently spreads through the south.
    Feb 3, 1956 Autherine Lucy is admitted to the University of Alabama. Whites riot for days, and she is suspended. Later, Lucy is expelled for her part in filing legal action against the University.
    Feb 14, 1957 Martin Luther King, Jr., Charles K. Steele, and Fred Shuttlesworth establish the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).


    Mar 7, 1965 Bloody Sunday: Civil Rights workers in Selma, Alabama begin the Selma to Montgomery march but are attacked and stopped by a massive Alabama state trooper and police blockade as they attempt to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
    Mar 12, 1956 The Southern Manifesto, opposing integration of schools, is drafted and signed by members of the Congressional delegations of Southern states, including 19 senators and 81 members of the House of Representatives.
    Mar 19, 1960 San Antonio, Texas becomes the first city to integrate lunch counters.
    Mar 22, 1956 Martin Luther King, Jr. sentenced to a fine or jail time for instigating the Montgomery Bus Boycott, suspended pending appeal.


    Apr 3, 1968 Martin Luther King, Jr. returns to Memphis, Tennessee and delivers his "Mountaintop" speech in support of santitation workers.
    Apr 4, 1968 Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.
    Apr 15, 1947 Jackie Robinson breaks the color barrier and becomes the first African-American to play in the major leagues.
    Apr 16, 1963 Dr. King's Letter from Birmingham Jail is completed
    Apr 17, 1960 The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Council (SNCC) is founded.
    Apr 20, 1971 U.S. Supreme Court, in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, upholds busing as a legitimate and sometimes necessary tool to achieve desegregation and integration.
    Apr 23, 1956 The United States Supreme Court strikes down segregation on buses nationwide.


    May 3, 1948 The U.S. Supreme Court, in Shelly v Kramer, held that courts could not enforce racial covenants on real estate.
    May 6, 1960 The Civil Rights Act of 1960 is signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
    May 14, 1961 CORE Freedom Riders were beaten in Birmingham and Montgomery on a bus trip from Washington D.C. to New Orleans, Louisiana in efforts to ensure integration of bus terminals was occurring.
    May 17, 1954 Brown v. Board of Education overturned Plessy v. Ferguson, ruling against separate but equal provisions.
    May 24, 1963 A group of black leaders (assembled by James Baldwin) meets with Attorney General Robert Kennedyto discuss race relations.
    May 27, 1968 The U.S. Supreme Court, in Green v. County School Board of New Kent County (VA) ruled that "actual desegregation" of schools in the south is required, ruling out "freedom of choice" plans.
    May 31, 1955 U.S. Supreme Court rules in "Brown II" that desegregation must occur with "all deliberate speed".


    Jun 6, 1968 Sen. Robert Kennedy, campaigning for the Democratic nominiation for president, is shot and killed in a Los Angeles hotel.
    Jun 11, 1963 Alabama Gov. George Wallace stands in front of a schoolhouse door at the University of Alabama in an attempt to stop desegregation by enrollment of Vivian Malone and James Hood. Wallace stands aside after being confronted by federal marshals, Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach and the Alabama National Guard.
    Jun 12, 1963 NAACP field secretary, Medgar Evars, is murdered in Jackson, Mississippi.
    Jun 14, 1997 In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court upheld a court-drawn redistricting that decreased the number of majority-minority Georgia Congressional districts from 3 to 1. A deciding factor was the fact that Reps. Sanford Bishop, Jr. and Cynthia McKinney, both black Democrats, were re-elected despite the fact that they were running in districts where whites comprised the majority.
    Jun 20, 1963 President John F. Kennedy meets with civil rights leaders at the White House in an attempt to call off the March on Washington.
    Jun 21, 1963 In Keyes v. School District No. 1, Denver Colorado, the Supreme Court, for the first time, addresses the issue of school desegregation in northern public schools, finding segregation intentially imposed unconstitutional even when not accompanied by a statute.
    Jun 25, 1941 President Franklin D. Roosevelt issues Executive Order 8802 banning discrimination against minorities in defense contracts.
    Jun 28, 1993 In Shaw v. Reno, a sharply divided Supreme Court ruled that legislative districts drawn in a "bizarre" fashion in order to create black representation can violate the Civil rights of white voters to equal protection of the law.
    Jun 28, 1978 The U.S. Supreme Court, in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke case, upholds the principle of Affirmative Action but rejects fixed racial quotas as unconstitutional.
    Jun 28, 1991 Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, resigns for health reasons.
    Jun 29, 1956 Bethel Baptist Church (Birmingham, Alabama) is bombed by KK members, killing 4 girls.


    Jul 2, 1964 The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed, banning discrimination on the basis of "race, color, religion, sex or national origin" in employment practices and public accommodations.


    Aug 1, 1955 Georgia Board of Education fires all black teachers who are members of the NAACP.
    Aug 6, 1965 The Voting Rights Act is passed.
    Aug 11, 1965 The Watts community of Los Angeles erupts in 5 days of rioting after an African-American woman is killed by a fire truck driven by white men.
    Aug 24, 1955 Emmit Till is beaten, shot and lynched after allegedly either whistling at or saying "bye, baby" to a white woman in a Mississippi store.
    Aug 28, 1963 Over a quarter-million people participate in the March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom and hear Martin Luther King, Jr. deliver his "I Have A Dream" speech.
    Aug 30, 1967 Thurgood Marshall becomes the first African-American Supreme Court Justice.


    Sep 2, 1954 Twenty-three black children are prevented from attending all-white elementary schools i Montgomery, Alabama, defying a recent Supreme Court ruling.
    Sep 2, 1957 Orval Faubus, Arkansas Governor, calls out the National Guard to block integration of Little Rock Central High School.
    Sep 15, 1963 A Birmingham, Alabama church is bombed killing four Alabama girls attending Sunday School: Denise McNair (11); Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Adie Mae Collins (all 14).
    Sep 20, 1962 James Meredith is barred from becoming the first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi. He subsequently enrolls on September 30.
    Sep 24, 1957 Federal troops mobilize to protect 9 African-American students at Little Rock's Central High School from white mobs trying to block the school's integration.


    Oct 14, 1964 Martin Luther King, Jr. wins the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent resistance to racial prejudice in America.
    Oct 19, 1960 Martin Luther King, Jr. and 50 others are arrested at a sit-in at Atlanta's Rich's Department Store.


    Nov 5, 1968 Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D-NY) is the first African-American woman elected to Congress.
    Nov 14, 1960 Ruby Bridges becomes the first African-American child to attend an all-white elementary school in the south following court-ordered integration in New Orleans, Louisiana. This event was portrayed by Norman Rockwell in his 1964 painting "The Problem We All Live With."
    Nov 20, 1962 JFK upholds his 1960 presidential campaign promise to eliminate housing segregation by signing Executive Order 11063 banning segregation in Federally funded housing.
    Nov 22, 1963 President John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Two days later, his alleged assailant, Lee Harvey Oswald, is also shot and killed.


    Dec 1, 1955 Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus, launching a bus boycott that lasts for over one year.
    Dec 15, 1967 Congress enacts the Age Discrimination Act of 1967 prohibiting employment discrimination against older Americans.
    Dec 15, 1961 MLK arrives in Albany, GA in response to a call from Dr. W.G. Anderson, the leader of the Albany movement to desegregate public facilities.
    Dec 21, 1956 Montgomery Bus Boycott ends after the City of Montgomery announces it will comply with a November 1956 Supreme Court ruling declaring segregation on buses is illegal.