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U.S. Supreme Court outlaws school segregation in Brown v. Board of Education overturning its 1896 decision in Plessy v. Ferguson.
U.S. Supreme Court bans segregated seating on Montgomery, Alabama buses.
The federal government uses the military to uphold African Americans' civil rights, as soldiers escort nine African American students to desegregate a school in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Four African American students stage a sit-in at a “Whites Only” lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina launching a wave of similar protests across the South.
Freedom Riders Seek to Integrate Southern Transportation
President Kennedy ordered Federal Marshals to escort James Meredith, the first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi , to campus. A riot broke out and before the National Guard could arrive to reinforce the marshals, two students were killed.
More than 200,000 people march on Washington, D.C., in the largest civil rights demonstration ever; Martin Luther King, Jr., gives his "I Have a Dream" speech.
President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act, which gives the federal government far-reaching powers to prosecute discrimination in employment, voting, and education.
Martin Luther King, Jr. is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Voting Rights Act is passed, outlawing the practices used in the South to disenfranchise African American voters.
Thurgood Marshall becomes the first African American justice on the Supreme Court.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinated in Memphis , Tennessee. His murder sparks a week of rioting across the country.
Shirley Chisholm becomes the first African American woman to be elected to Congress.
Fifteen African American members of Congress form the Congressional Black Caucus to present a unified African American voice in Congress.