Civil Rights history

The timeline depicts the major events before, during and after the Civil Rights era.

Civil Rights Act of 1964

President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, religion or national origin.

Brown vs Board of Education

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that segregated public schools are unconstitutional

Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat in the front of a public bus in Montgomery, Ala.

Little Rock Nine

President Dwight Eisenhower sends federal troops to Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., to escort nine black students into the formerly all-white school.

Freedom riders

Freedom riders begin taking bus trips throughout the South to test laws that prohibited segregation at facilities that served interstate travel.

United Farm Workers

Cesar Chavez forms the precursor to the United Farm Workers in Delano, Calif.

James Meredith

James Meredith becomes the first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi. President John F. Kennedy sends in troops after rioting breaks out.

I have a dream

Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his "I Have a Dream" speech before hundreds of thousands in Washington D.C.

Bloody Sunday

Blacks in Selma, Ala., marching to Montgomery for voting rights are tear gassed and clubbed by police.


President Lyndon Johnson signs the federal law creating Medicare and Medicaid health insurance for the elderly and the poor.

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