Civil Rights: Key events in the 1960's (Legislation (James Meredith (A…
Civil Rights: Key events in the 1960's
Sit-ins and Freedom Riders
: 4 black students in Greensboro, North Carolina, held a sit-in at a local lunch counter. It was a new form of protest, and this set off a wave of them across the south
of that year, students in Raleigh, North Carolina, set-up the
Student Nonviolent Co-ordinating Committee
(SNCC). They held courses on how to protest effectively using non-violent methods
SNCC became an important civil rights group
Supreme court ordered the desegregation of all bus stations and services. To assess the success of this , both CORE and SNCC set up 'freedom riders', who rode buses in the south to test whether integration was occurring
They knew that it wasn't, but
they intended to create a crisis
in order to gain worldwide publicity and force the government to enforce this new law more heavily to prevent now illegal segregation on southern buses
They disturbed the wasp's nest; the first 2 buses were attacked and passengers were beaten-up
: a bus was fire bombed, with those escaping being beaten up
Whites were beaten up more severely than blacks due to their 'betrayal'
All of this drew publicity, resulting in the freedom riders achieving their goal
The following week, riders were imprisoned In Birmingham and beaten in Montgomery. Over the summer of '61, 400 riders were arrested, three were killed.
29th May 1962
, The governments began making stricter rules about integration on buses
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
Methods of protest:
aimed to be as peaceful as possible
Being an inspirational speaker, he was able to encourage people to join these marches, urging
'what we are doing is within the law'.
He campaigned for black voting rights
He was the cohesion and leading voice in the civil rights movement. Many people were persuaded by his speeches, and the movement wouldn't of progressed like it did without him
Marching for Change
Full scale desegregation march took place on
3rd April 1963
Many were arrested, including MLK jr and 956 children who took the place of adults, so they could continue marching. The next day, more children marched and were hosed by the police, who also used dogs on them.
This was publicised worldwide, and led JFK to hold desegregation meetings with the mayor and protest leaders on
, saying 'I feel ashamed'.
The next day the governor of Alabama sent state troops to disrupt the meeting, The day after, Kennedy sent Federal troops to counter them. Desegregation laws were passed
Chief of police, 'Bull' Connor, allowed the KKK to beat-up 'freedom riders' for 15 minutes before he moved in to stop them in 1961
After the success of Birmingham, a march consisting of between
250,000 and 500,000
people in Washington on
28 August 1963
A civil rights bill was in progress, but slow progress. Black rights were on hold as congress did not like to interfere with states. Riots began to breakout some areas
The march was broadcast worldwide via Telstar, the first global satellite. It allowed immediate global coverage of the event. MLK jr gave his famous
'I have a dream'
speech, rallying the crowds even more, showing how much support there was for a civil rights bill.
There was backlash however. 2 weeks after the march, 4 girls were killed in a church bombing in Birmingham
On 2nd July 1964 the Civil rights Act was passed, and an equal opportunities commission was set up
Growing violence against blacks became embarrassing publicity wise, and the Washington march showed public support for a civil rights bill.
He committed himself to writing one up, but was assassinated in November 1963 before he could pass it
Gave blacks key government positions, and improved housing and work opportunities.
The Civil Rights Act
It banned discrimination in education, work and public places. An equal opportunities commission was set up to investigate discrimination
The southern states never enforced these laws, and Civil rights groups noticed. They marched from Selma to Montgomery to highlight the issue. on 7th March 1965, they were stopped at Edmund Petus bridge by state troops with tear gas, clubs and electric cattle prods
Discriminatory state laws became illegal and voter registration tests had to be the same for everyone
2 July 1964 the act was passed by Johnson
A black student who turned down by the University of Mississippi in 1961.
NAACP fought for a federal ruling to admit him and won
He was turned down entry on the first day by uni authorities. 3,000 troops were sent by JFK to stop riots against his administration
Despite harassment, he continued and received his degree. He went on to campaign for civil rights
Voting Rights Act
After the Edmund Petus incident. Johnson forced through the Voting Rights Act on 6th August 1965
It also set up a group of federal invigilators to ensure that blacks were being able to register.
Southern states had so many blacks registering shops and halls had to have temporary registration points set up to meet demand
James Meredith led a march through Mississippi to encourage blacks to register. 3,000 new voters registered that day
He was shot and wounded during the march, however. 250,000 new black voters registered as a result of the march