The following extensive chronology will help us tie together the events of the civil rights movement:

Follow with me by using Google Images on your laptop for each person and event.

Pay close attention to the videos. I am trying really hard to bring material that will support your preferred visual learning styles.

Jim Crow laws (Segregation)

Video: What were the Jim Crow laws? Video

Rise and Fall of Jim Crow (PBS)
Note the terrific chrobology

Green Book: The forgotten way African Americans stayed safe in a racist America

Plessy versus Ferguson (1896) (Supreme Court decision)

Video: Sound Smart
Plessy versus Ferguson

Plessy v. Ferguson (Drake's "One Dance" Parody) Mr. Betts

Plessy versus Ferguson (Today in History, Library of Congress)

Separate but equal is ok.

Black leaders: Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois

Their legacies represent differing approaches within the civil rights movement.

Video: Why Booker T. Washington and W.E.B.DuBois matter (Mr. Betts class) (3:25)

1. Booker T. Washington (1856-1915)

Son of a slave woman and a white man.

Atlanta Compromise (1895): Known for major speech
Blacks should not yet push for political or social equality
Blacks should work hard and show themselves worthy
Blacks should accommodate (temporarily) to white society

2. W.E.B. DuBois (1868-1963)

First African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard.
He disagreed with Booker T. Washington
DuBois wanted blacks to be more aggressive and militant
Wanted to educate the top 10% of blacks ("talented tenth")
Demonstrate blacks could compete effectively with whites.
Helped form the NAACP in 1909.

Video: WEB DuBois mini bio


Post World War II. Returning black veterans unwilling to accept second–class status back home.

Racial desegregation of the armed forces (1948) by executive order of President Truman.

July 26, 1948 - President Harry S. Truman orders the integration of U.S. armed forces.


Brown v. Board of Education (Supreme Court decision)

Overturned the decision in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896).

"Separate facilities are inherently unequal" and therefore unconstitutional.

Argued by Thurgood Marshall on behalf of the NAACP.

Brown v. Board of Education (PBS' The Supreme Court)

Mr. Betts Brown vs. Board of Education

Supreme Court Ends School Segregation

Kenneth Clark's "doll" test

How an experiment with dolls helped lead to school integration

Video: Kenneth Clark doll test (3:46)
Simple Justice: The Social Science Evidence of Racism

Video: A Girl Like Me [modern adaptation of that doll test]


Emmett Till's Murder (28 August 1955)

Murder in Mississippi of a young black teenager from Chicago for having insulted a white women.

Video: Moments in Civil Rights history (3:33)
14-year-old Emmett Till Abducted and Murdered in Mississippi Delta

Video: American Freedom Stories: Emmett Till (2:18)

Woman Linked to 1955 Emmett Till Murder Tells Historian Her Claims Were False

White artist's painting of Emmett Till draws protests


Montgomery, Alabama, Bus Boycott (Rosa Parks)

Rosa Parks arrested on 1 December 1955

Video: Rosa Parks

Video: Rosa Parks mini bio

Remembering Rosa Parks | Today in History

American Freedom Stories: MLK as the new pastor

American Freedom Stories: Rosa Parks

Dec. 1, 1955 - Rosa Parks Arrested for Violating Segregation Laws

Martin Luther King will lead the Montgomery Improvement Association
That group will sponsor the bus boycott

American Freedom Stories: Montgomery Bus Boycott

The Montgomery Bus Boycott Ends

Rosa Parks (Today in History, Library of Congress)

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Video: Martin Luther King, Jr.

Video: Martin Luther King, Jr mini bio

Martin Luther King, Jr. (Bruno Mars' "When I Was Your Man" Parody
Put on wiki page plus use for HIST 152

Martin Luther King’s Christian America


Southern Manifesto

Document signed by 100 Southern members of Congress saying they would not obey the Brown versus Board of Education decision.

White Citizens' Councils

Class and White Citizen's Councils

White Citizens' Councils
Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute (Stanford University)


Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)

Grouping of African-American pastors.

Southern Christian Leadership Conference (Encyclopedia of Alabama)

Little Rock Central High School

Central High School desegregated.
Governor Faubus.
Nine black students.
President Eisenhower sent 101st Airborne.

Arkansas National Guard Prevent School Desegregation - 1957 | Today in History | 4 Sept

Colonel (Ret.) Heath Twichell on securing Little Rock Central High School

Book Trailer: Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock, by David Margolick

Video: Moments in Civil Rights History (2:41)
September 27, 1958: Little Rock Schools Close Rather Than Integrate

Arkansas National Guard Bars “Little Rock Nine” From School



MLK and his wife spent a month in India studying Gandhi's non–violence.

Video: Sound Smart
Mahatma Gandhi

MLK and Gandhi

Video: Gandhi mini bio

Mahatma Gandhi

King's Trip to India
Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute (Stanford University)



Need something more here

Video: Moments in Civil Rights history (2:41)
Martin Luther King Arrested in Atlanta Sit-In Protest

Greensboro Lunch Counter Sit-in

Details of what happened:
Four African-American freshman (Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair Jr., and David Richmond) at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Decided to sit in at a Woolworth's lunch counter and request service.

Greensboro Four: Civil Rights Sit-in

Student NonViolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)

Video: SNCC's legacy: A civil rights history (5:56)

(SNCC—pronounced "snick).
Established to coordinate sit–ins across the south.

Nashville sit-ins

American Freedom Stories: John Lewis

John Lewis
Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute (Stanford University)

The question Diane Nash Asked the Memphis Mayor To End Desegregation

"Who the hell is Diane Nash?" From Freedom Riders

Feb. 29, 1960 - Student Sit-in Organizers Expelled

MLK jailed (October).

October 19, 1960 - Martin Luther King Arrested in Atlanta Sit-In Protest
[right before 1960 Presidential election]

During the 1960 presidential election campaign, concern expressed by both JFK and Robert Kennedy for the arrest and prison sentence of Martin Luther King, Jr., earned Kennedy the black vote.


Freedom Rides

A group of black and white persons set out by bus from Washington, D.C. to New Orleans to test the "whites only" facilities of southern interstate bus terminals.

Video: Sound Smart
Freedom Rides

Freedom Riders: The Young Witness (Anniston)

Interview with white Freedom Rider Jim Zwerg

Dec. 5, 1960 - Public Bus Segregation Ruled Unconstitutional, Freedom Rides Continue

Route taken by Freedom Riders
Put in a good map

In Birmingham, riders attacked by Ku Klux Klan while police and FBI looked the other way.
Google Images

Freedom Ride Protests Provoke Violent Backlash Across American South (Finding Dulcinea: On This Day)


University of Mississippi Desegregated

James Meredith desegregated the University of Mississippi.

Video: Moments in Civil Rights history (2:21)
October 1, 1962 - James Meredith Integrates Ole Miss

Video: Moments in Civil Rights history (2:21)
James Meredith Graduates From Ole Miss

[Put in the actual day/month for this year]

Project "C" [Confrontation] in Birmingham

Birmingham, Alabama (called "Bombingham" by civil rights workers, due to so many unsolved bombings).

1. "Letter from a Birmingham Jail"

Written by MLK while in jail. Response to an ad from white pastors telling him that he was stirring up too much trouble.

Video: Letter from Birmingham Jail (5:39)

Letter from Birmingham Jail (Encyclopedia of Alabama)

2. Birmingham Children's march.
Police dogs and fire hoses. TV coverage shocked America.

American Freedom Stories: Children's Crusade of 1963

American Freedom Stories: Civil Rights Foot Soldiers

Video: Moments in Civil Rights history (2:39)
1963 Protesting Black Children Assaulted and Arrested in Birmingham, AL

Childrens' Crusade
Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute (Stanford University)

3. Sheriff "Bull Connor.

Bull Connor
Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute (Stanford University)

4. JFK TV speech.

He was afraid of losing votes of white southern Democrats. He finally spoke out: "Civil rights is a moral issue."

Video: JFK speech on Civil Rights (1:35)

Kennedy's finest moment

Medgar Evers murdered

Evers was the Mississippi head of NAACP.

Video: Medgar Evers mini bio

American Freedom Stories: Medgar Evers Assassination (3:10)

American Freedom Stories: Medgar Evers Legacy

Medgar Evers
Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute (Stanford University)

March on Washington

March on Washington - 1963 | Today in History | 28 Aug

MLK "I Have a Dream Speech"

One of the great speeches in U.S. history.
Delivered as part of the program during a March on Washington (60,000 whites and 190,00 blacks).

Video: King Leads the March on Washington (3:21)

Video: 53rd Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (2:54)

Video: Congressman John Lewis Recalls His Speech at March on Washington (2:08)

Martin Luther King Jr. Delivers “I Have a Dream” Speech

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing

Bomb exploded during Sunday School, killing four teenage black girls.
The Sunday school lesson for that morning was "A Love that Forgives."

American Freedom Stories: Bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church (3:18)

September 15, 1963: Four Black Girls Killed in Bombing of Birmingham, Alabama, Church

Four Girls Killed in Birmingham Church Bombing

John F. Kennedy assassinated

New President is Lyndon B. Johnson


Freedom Summer: voter registration and freedom schools

Local black leaders aided by white students from elite colleges .
Whites in the South saw this activity as "invasion" by outside agitators.

What was the 1964 Freedom Summer Project
Assign for homework

Video: Mississippi in Black and White: Freedom Summer 50 Years Later

Voter registration

No real power for blacks until they could vote. But risked their lives if they went through with the process.

1965 Alabama literacy test

Murder in Mississippi (21 June 1964)

Two white and one black civil rights workers were murdered in Mississippi.

Two white (Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner) and one black (James Chaney) civil rights workers were murdered in Mississippi.

Video: Moments in Civil Rights history (2:49)
August 4, 1964: Bodies of Murdered Civil Rights Workers Found in Mississippi

Three Civil Rights Workers in Mississippi Go Missing

Civil Rights Act (1 July 1964)

Johnson signs Civil Rights Act ( This Day in History | 7/2/1964)

Civil Rights Act Passed - 1964 | Today in History | 19 June

The Civil Rights Act prohibited racial discrimination in employment and education and outlawed racial segregation in public places such as schools, buses, parks and swimming pools.

MLK won the Nobel Peace Prize.

This Day in History - Martin Luther King Wins the Nobel Peace Prize

Martin Luther King: The Nobel Prize for Peace (Museum of the Bible)

MLK Wins Nobel Peace Prize 1964 (New York Times)



a. "Bloody Sunday".

Selma (New York Times) Check out this front page of New York Times

Video: Moments in Civil Rights history (3:56)
March 7, 1965 - Bloody Sunday

Bloody Sunday

b. Selma to Montgomery march

Video: American Freedom Stories: March from Selma to Montgomery (4:11)

Our God Is Marching On - How Long? Not Long!

Encyclopedia of Alabama: Selma to Montgomery March

LBJ speech to Congress calling for legislation on voting rights

Asks Joint Session of Congress for sweeping civil rights legislation.
Ends speech with "we shall overcome."
His southern friends appalled at his sellout.

Video: LBJ -- We Shall Overcome (0:53)

Voting Rights Act of 1965

Voting Rights Act of 1965

Video: Sound Smart
Voting Rights Act of 1965

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 set strict rules for protecting the right of African Americans to vote–that have since been used to enforce equal rights for women as well as all minorities.

Video (2:56)

Watts Riots

Watts Riots - 1965 | Today in History | 11 Aug

Video: Moments in Civil Rights history (3:44)
August 17, 1965: Days of Riots End in Watts

Watts Riots 1965 (New York Times)


Black power

Militant black leaders gained prominence in SNCC, questioned Martin Luther King's philosophy of nonviolence, and forced white members to leave the organization.

Black Power
Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute (Stanford University)

Malcolm X

Put in a sentence or two here

Video: Malcolm X

Black Panther Party

Founded in California. Major figures: Eldridge Cleaver, Huey Newton, and Bobby Seale. Advocated violent confrontation with whites.

Video: Sound Smart
Black Panthers

Video: 5 Things To Know About The Black Panthers (2:08)


Tet Offensive in Vietnam (February)

Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. (April: in Memphis)

Martin Luther King's Last Speech: "I've Been To The Mountaintop"

Video:Moments in Civil Rights history (2:33)
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Assassinated

1968 King Assassination Report (CBS News)

Assassination of MLK
Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute (Stanford University)

Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy (June: in Los Angeles)

Senator Robert F. Kennedy Assassinated

Video: Robert F. Kennedy mini bio

Black Power Salute at Mexico City Olympics

Who: Tommie Smith and John Carlos

Video: Moments in Civil Rights history (2:45)
October 16, 1968 - U.S. Olympic Sprinters Protest Racial Inequality

U.S. Athletes Give Black Power Salute on Olympic Podium

Hispanic School Protests in Los Angeles

East LA Walkouts

Sal Castro and the 1968 East LA Walkouts

Joan Baez: No nos moveran

Walkout: The True Story of the Historic 1968 Chicano Student Walkout in East L.A.