US Minorities Civil Rights Timeline 1964-2016
ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™
1964 – Jan 23 President Lyndon Johnson (D) signed the 24th Amendment abolishing the poll tax, which originally had been instituted in 11 southern states after Reconstruction to make it difficult for poor blacks to vote. The murders of three civil rights workers, Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner, in Mississippi. In June 2005, Ku Klux Klan member Edgar Ray Killen was convicted of manslaughter. The murder of two black teenagers, Henry Hezekiah Dee and Charles Eddie Moore in Mississippi. In August 2007, based on the confession of Ku Klux Klan member Charles Marcus Edwards, James Ford Seale, a reputed Ku Klux Klansman, was convicted. Seale was sentenced to serve three life sentences. Seale was a former Mississippi policeman and sheriff’s deputy. Jun 18 James Brock, Manager of the Monson Motor Lodge in St. Augustine, Florida dumped acid into the swimming pool water. He was trying to disrupt swimmers who were protesting the hotel’s whites-only policy. Jun 21 Freedom Summer Murders. Three Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) field workers killed in Philadelphia, Mississippi, by the Ku Klux Klan in response to their civil rights work. Summer –The Council of Federated Organizations (COFO), a network of civil rights groups that includes CORE and SNCC, launches a massive effort to register black voters during what becomes known as the Freedom Summer. Jul 2 President Lyndon Johnson, (D) signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction, the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination of all kinds based on race, color, religion, or national origin. Dec 14 American Civil Rights Movement: Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States – landmark US Supreme Court case holding that the U.S. Congress could use the Constitution’s Commerce Clause power to force private businesses to abide by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
1965 – Mar 25 Alabama murder of Viola Liuzzo by the Ku Klux Klan. She was a Southern-raised Detroit mother of five who was visiting the state in order to attend a civil rights march. At the time of her murder Liuzzo was transporting Civil Rights Marchers. Mar 7 (Selma, Ala.) Blacks begin a march to Montgomery in support of voting rights but are stopped at the Pettus Bridge by a police blockade. Fifty marchers are hospitalized after police use tear gas, whips, and clubs against them. Aug 10 President Lyndon Johnson (D) signed the the Voting Rights Act of 1965, making it easier for Southern blacks to register to vote. Literacy tests, poll taxes, and other such requirements that were used to restrict black voting are made illegal. Aug 11–17 Watts, Calif. Race riots erupt in a black section of Los Angeles. Sept 24 President Lyndon B. Johnson (D) asserting that civil rights laws alone are not enough to remedy discrimination, President Johnson issues Executive Order 11246, which enforces affirmative action for the first time. It requires government contractors to “take affirmative action” toward prospective minority employees in all aspects of hiring and employment. Oct 3 President Lyndon B. Johnson (D) signs the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 which abolishes quotas based on national origin. Patsy Takemoto Mink, an Asian American from Hawaii, was the first woman of color elected as US Representative
1966 – Firebombing death of NAACP leader Vernon Dahmer Sr., 58, in Mississippi. In 1998 former Ku Klux Klan wizard Sam Bowers was convicted of his murder and sentenced to life. Two other Klan members were indicted with Bowers, but one died before trial, and the other’s indictment was dismissed, Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr gave his “March on the Ballot Boxes” speech in Kingstree, SC saying everyone must vote
1967 – Jun 12 In Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court rules that prohibiting interracial marriage is unconstitutional. Sixteen states that still banned interracial marriage at the time are forced to revise their laws, First African American appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States: Thurgood Marshall
1968 -Apr4 (Memphis, TN) Martin Luther King Jr,, at age 39, is shot as he stands on the balcony outside his hotel room. Escaped convict and committed racist James Earl Ray is convicted of the crime.
1968 – Apr 11 Civil Rights Act of 1968 President Lyndon B. Johnson (D) signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (commonly known as the Fair Housing Act, or as CRA ’68), which was meant as a follow-up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
1969 – Jun 28 The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours at the Stonewall Inn, in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. They are frequently cited as the first instance in American history when people in the homosexual community fought back against a government-sponsored system that persecuted sexual minorities, and they have become the defining event that marked the start of the gay rights movement in the U. S. and around the world.
1971 – April 20 The Supreme Court, in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, upholds busing as a legitimate means for achieving integration of public schools.
1970’s – Civil rights leader Cesar Chavez co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) with Dolores Huerta. It was later called the United Farm Workers (UFW). In the early 1970s, the UFW organized strikes and boycotts to protest for, and later win, higher wages for those farm workers.
1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act
The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 allowed undocumented persons who had resided in the U.S. continuously since January 1, 1982 to apply for legal status.
1988 – Mar 22 Overriding President Reagan (R)’s veto, Congress passes the Civil Rights Restoration Act, which expands the reach of non-discrimination laws within private institutions receiving federal funds, Aug 10 Civil Liberties Act, compensating Japanese Americans who “lost liberty or property because of discriminatory action by the Federal government during World War II”, signed into law
1991 – Nov 22 After two years of debates, vetoes, and threatened vetoes, President Bush (R) reverses himself and signs the Civil Rights Act of 1991, strengthening existing civil rights laws and providing for damages in cases of intentional employment discrimination.
1997 – May 16 President Clinton appologized for the syphilis study done on the Tuskegee Airmen
1999 – Feb 19 Justice Department’s acknowledges, apologizes, and makes restitution for the fundamental injustice of the evacuation, relocation, and internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II
2003 – Jun 23 In the most important affirmative action decision since the 1978 Bakke case, the Supreme Court (5–4) upholds the University of Michigan Law School’s policy, ruling that race can be one of many factors considered by colleges when selecting their students because it furthers “a compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body.”
2005 – Jun 21 The ringleader of the Mississippi civil rights murders (see Jun 21, 1964), Edgar Ray Killen, is convicted of manslaughter on the 41st anniversary of the crimes.
2008 – Jul 30 US House of Representatives passed a resolution apologizing for American slavery and subsequent discriminatory laws
2009 – Jan 20 First African American elected President of the United States: Barack Obama, Jun 18 U.S. Senate passed a resolution apologizing for American slavery and subsequent discriminatory laws
2014 – Aug 9 Shooting of Michael Brown an unarmed, 18-year-old African-American male, killed after being shot multiple times by an unnamed Ferguson police officer, Jul 17 Eric Garner died partly as a result of the New York police officer’s chokehold.
2015 – Feb 2 President Obama took a historic step in recognizing and reaffirming true government-to-government relations and in honoring the trust responsibility to American Indian tribes pursuant to treaties and the U.S. Constitution, Feb 24 DHS Extends Eligibility for Employment Authorization to Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses of H-1B Nonimmigrants Seeking Employment-Based Lawful Permanent Residence, Mar 4 Attorney General Holder Delivers Update on Investigations in Ferguson, Missouri, Mar 11 Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson resigns, Mar 11 – 2 officers shot at protest outside Ferguson police station, Mar 12 AG Holder statement on the overnight shooting of two officers in Ferguson, Missouri”inexcusable and repugnant”, Apr 5 Walter L. Scott was stopped by polic officer, fled the scene, was pursued and caught by officer, a struggle accured where Scott was grabbed the officer’s Taser, the officer claimed fearing for his life discharged his weapon several times killing Scott, Apr 12 Freddie Gray was taken into custody by the Baltimore Police Department for allegedly possessing a switchblade, in transported in police van, Gray fell into a coma and was taken to a trauma center. His death was ascribed to injuries to his spinal cord, investigations ruled that his death has been ruled a homicide and six officers were indicted in his death. Jun 22 Governor Nikki Haley (R-SC) called for the Confederate flag to be taken down from the grounds of their State Capitol, 6/25 National Park Service to stop selling Confederate flags in their gift shops, 7/9 Governor Nikki Haley (R-SC) signs a bill authorizing the removal of the Confederate flag from the South Carolina Capitol grounds, 7/10 South Carolina State Capitol Confederate Flag Removal Ceremony
2016 – Apr 20 US Treasury announces designs of new US currency featuring civil rights leaders Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Martin Luther King, Jr., Marian Anderson, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Eleanor Roosevelt, Sept. 6 President Obama nominates Abid R. Qureshi to serve as a federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Dec 16 Pres Obama signs the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes Reauthorization Act of 2016 making it a permanent law
2017 – Jan 26 LaGrange, GA Police Chief Lou Dekmar publicly apologizes to the descendants of Austin Callaway for his agency’s failure to protect Callaway and its failure to investigate the 1949 lynching
Sources: Wikipedia.com, Infoplease.com and USA.go
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