Civil Rights Movement Timeline

Civil Rights Movement Timeline

  • July 1948
    • Executive Order 9981
      • President Truman signs Executive Order 9981 abolishing discrimination in the U.S. Armed Forces. Executive Order 9981 was the first major blow to segregation, giving hope to African-American activists that change was possible.
  • May 1854
    • Brown V. Board of Education Topeka, Kanas
      • Supreme Court rules on the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kans., unanimously agreeing that segregation in public schools is unconstitutional. The ruling paves the way for large-scale desegregation. The decision overturned the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson ruling that sanctioned “separate but equal” segregation of the races, ruling that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” It is a victory for NAACP attorney Thurgood Marshall, who will later return to the Supreme Court as the nation’s first black justice.
  • December 1955
    • Montgomery Bus Boycott
      • NAACP member Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat at the front of the “colored section” of a bus to a white passenger, defying a southern custom of the time. In response to her arrest the Montgomery black community launches a bus boycott, which will last for more than a year, until the buses are desegregated Dec. 21, 1956. As newly elected president of the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., is instrumental in leading the boycott.
  • Sep 1957
    • Little Rock Nine
      • Little Rock, Arkansas – Nine black students are blocked from entering the school on the orders of Governor Orval Faubus. President Eisenhower sends federal troops and the National Guard to intervene on behalf of the students, who become known as the “Little Rock Nine.”
  • February 1960
    • Greensboro Sit-in
      • Four black students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College begin a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter. Although they are refused service, they are allowed to stay at the counter. The event triggers many similar nonviolent protests throughout the South. Six months later the original four protesters are served lunch at the same Woolworth’s counter. Student sit-ins would be effective throughout the Deep South in integrating parks, swimming pools, theaters, libraries, and other public facilities.
  • May 1961
    • Freedom Riders
      • Over the spring and summer, student volunteers begin taking bus trips through the South to test out new laws that prohibit segregation in interstate travel facilities, which includes bus and railway stations. Several of the groups of “freedom riders,” as they are called, are attacked by angry mobs along the way. The program, sponsored by The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), involves more than 1,000 volunteers, black and white.
  • April 1963
    • MLK Jailed  in Birmingham
      • Martin Luther King is arrested and jailed during anti-segregation protests in Birmingham, Ala.; he writes his seminal “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” arguing that individuals have the moral duty to disobey unjust laws.
  • August 1963
    • March on Washington
      • About 200,000 people join the March on Washington. Congregating at the Lincoln Memorial, participants listen as Martin Luther King delivers his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.
  • September 1963
    • 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing
      • Four young girls (Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, and Addie Mae Collins) attending Sunday school are killed when a bomb explodes at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, a popular location for civil rights meetings. Riots erupt in Birmingham, leading to the deaths of two more black youths
  • January 1964
    • 24th Amendment
      • The 24th Amendment abolishes the poll tax, which originally had been instituted in 11 southern states after Reconstruction to make it difficult for poor blacks to vote
  • July 1964
    • Johnson signs Civil Rights Act of 1964
      • President Johnson 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. The law also provides the federal government with the powers to enforce desegregation
  • February 1965
    • Malcom X Murdered
      • Malcolm X, black nationalist and founder of the Organization of Afro-American Unity, is shot to death. It is believed the assailants are members of the Black Muslim faith, which Malcolm had recently abandoned in favor of orthodox Islam.
  • March 1965
    • Selma to Montgomery Marches
      • 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. The incident is dubbed “Bloody Sunday” by the media. The march is considered the catalyst for pushing through the voting rights act five months later.
  • August 1965
    • Voting Rights Act 1965
      • Congress passes 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.


Emily Dickinson Explication

Emily Dickinson states that “The Soul selects her own society then shuts the Door”. This is speaking about how the world is shut out from her “divine majority” instead of she being shut out from the world; this is The Soul’s choice. When she is shut out, quite literally, she is “present no more”, she is not mingling with the mass of an “ample nation”. Also the Soul is uncompromising towards anyone that tries to enter into her Society once the metaphorical door is shut. She seems to be shutting out the everyone and she will not open up to anyone, even chariots, a sign of wealth and majesty, and even an emperor cannot persuade her. The Emperor who is kneeling, a sign of submission and loyalty, with all his wealth is “at her low Gate” where all the peasant and lower class people would be stopped at in a kingdom which in this case is her ‘Attention’ where her selected,”Divine Majority” is above all. In the third stanza the poet shows the severity of the Soul’s exclusiveness – even from “an ample nation” of people, she easily settles on one single person, she has to “choose one”, to include in her kingdom, be apart of the Divine Majority”, someone who she want in her ‘attention’; so immediately and without doubt in her decision everyone else is locked out. “Then close the Valves of her attention” is a metaphor of her not giving anyone, “from an Ample nation” except the one she had to choose, any attention. She closes with an image of a stone which symbolizes how she reacts to other people who seek her attention; the other people who she had locked out. She give them the plain and non-responsive look of a “Stone” after she closed “the Values of her attention”.


Jacob Riis Photograph

In Sleeping Quarters, Rivington Street Dump, Jacob Riis

Jacob Riis, immigrated to the United States in 1870 and was a pioneer in the use of photography as an agent of social reform. This photo depicts the deplorable conditions of the slum in New York during the 19th century. What you are looking at is sleeping quarters by the Rivington Street dump. The tattered beds in the background look like they are made for small children, which would mean that the grown men that sleep on them would be cramped.  The tiny living quarter is obviously shared between more than one person and so the space would be cramped as it is but to make it worse the roof is feet away from  the ground. The men would be cluttered. The men do not have many ways to entertain themselves in the small quarters, so they resort to smoking and sitting on the roof. The man’s clothes are filthy. He probably has no other alternative suites of clothes. The facial expression shows that the man is obviously not happy; he looks like the only happiness he has in the pipe he has in his mouth. Also, it seems to be that there are no light structures in the space, so the light went out when the sun went down which adds to the already depressive atmosphere. The drum in the centre of the room is the only table structure they have so they seem to conserve space by trying to hang things like the kettle from the roof and some other things in the background in the peak of the roof. I have no doubt the walls are not made of a heat sustainable material, so in the winter it would be terribly cold. The presence of rodents and insects are inevitable, which adds to what I assume is already a terrible smell and immense amounts of filth.  This picture is a true representation of the conditions that lower class people had to deal with in 19th century New York.

@Mrs. G (Credit)

Jonathan Edwards Vs. Charles Chauncy

‘In Jonathan Edwards’s, “The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God” he uses ‘scripture evidence’ (91) as the basis on which to create the parameters for what we can judge as a work of God in order to forge a justifiable relationship between reason and religion. On the other hand Charles Clancy, in “The State of Religion in New England”, addresses his vitriolic view of the revivals as ‘pure chaos, breeding disorder and godlessness’(94) with remarks to the work of George Whitefield, Gilbert Tennent and James Davenport ultimately defying the credibility of their work to discriminate the revivalist movement.

Jonathan Edwards uses ‘scripture evidences’ (91) and personal observation to justify his argument. His writing is an attempt to secularize from superstition through religious methods. He uses ‘distinguishing’ (91) evidence that are true ‘marks of a work of the Spirit of God’ (91) to defend the revivalist movement; most concerns of said work being ‘notorious, and known by everybody’ (91) unlike scientific inquiries that he deems useless. He draws the idea that ‘work of the Spirit of God’ (91) has brought about an extraordinary influence and immediate religious experience among the people. He writes about his personal experiences of persons ‘crying out loud, shrieking’ (92) which he sees as an act of God. He explains this divine movement and understanding can be understood through ‘the Spirit that is at work’ (91) and that it will make people more ‘sensible’ in that regard (92). In Henry May’s ‘The Age of Reason and Age of Enthusiasm”, he recounted Edward’s view, that nothing humans conceive is true without of some sort of divine perception. “Human knowledge, much as Edwards delighted in it, was essentially worthless without divine illumination.” Moreover, Charles Clancy’s theology is based on traditional intellectual ways of thinking. Clancy undermines the “false methods of making their peace with god” (96) of the revivalist. Clancy aim is to refute the revivalist movement, which he says brings about “Visions, Trances, and convulsions” (97). Clancy questions to say that “solid and substantial religion” (95) cannot come from such “superstitious, enthusiastick and nonsensical preachers and sermons” (95). He says it is a “show of Religion instead of the Substance” (96) showing how he feels in that the ideas of the Enlightenment challenged traditional ideas through science and focused more on religious reasoning.

Both writers give firm stances for their views as it regards religion and reason. This contrast in these men’s ideology’s show a true divide between the Enlightenment and the Great Awakening.   

The Scarlet Letter Close Reading

New Edition: Page 479 – 480

In the following exert from ‘The Scarlet Letter”, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, introduces Hester Prynne as she is put before a crowd with her child, to be ridiculed by the crowd and to publicly and forcefully accept the full consequences for her mistake through public shame. Hester Prynne uses her baby, ‘one token of her shame’ to conceal another. Hester is not solely protecting her baby but is using the baby, a symbol that shows her shame, to protect another from being publicly exposed. Hester is not acting off her motherly love but is acting disgracefully. She is ashamed of her actions but does not show this to the crowd when ‘she took the baby on her arm, and, with a burning blush, and yet a haughty smile, and a glance that would not be abashed, looked around at her townspeople and neighbours.’ She does so because she comes to understand that ‘one token of her shame would but poorly serve to hide another’. We then see the first reference to Hester’s literal mark of shame, ‘On the breast of her gown, in fine red cloth, surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold thread, appeared the letter A’. It can be inferred that this letter A signifies adultery just as the baby itself signifies adultery as well. Hester is condemned for her action because she lives in a Puritan society where the law and religion run hand in hand. Adultery is a law in the church as goes again Puritan teachings. The artfulness and vibrancy that ‘was so artistically done, and with so much fertility and gorgeous luxuriance of fancy’ made it be easily see by all and, ‘it had all the effect of a last and fitting decoration to the apparel which she wore’. The effect of it vibrancy is to show the public what type of person Hester is and the actions she has taken part in, publicly humiliating her. Also, the apparel she wore was ‘greatly beyond what was allowed by the sumptuary regulations of the colony.’ This mean what she wore was not permitted by the society she lived in.

When the young woman—the mother of this child—stood fully revealed before the crowd, it seemed to be her first impulse to clasp the infant closely to her bosom; not so much by an impulse of motherly affection, as that she might thereby conceal a certain token, which was wrought or fastened into her dress. In a moment, however, wisely judging that one token of her shame would but poorly serve to hide another, she took the baby on her arm, and, with a burning blush, and yet a haughty smile, and a glance that would not be abashed, looked around at her townspeople and neighbours. On the breast of her gown, in fine red cloth, surrounded with an elaborate embroidery and fantastic flourishes of gold thread, appeared the letter A. It was so artistically done, and with so much fertility and gorgeous luxuriance of fancy, that it had all the effect of a last and fitting decoration to the apparel which she wore; and which was of a splendor in accordance with the taste of the age, but greatly beyond what was allowed by the sumptuary regulations of the colony.


Just Keep “Progressing”


The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad is considered one of the oldest Railroads in North America. This railroad, was pioneered by Philip E. Thomas and George Brown. The understanding of the railroad is that it is marked as a major break in American industrialization. The Railroad that would run from the port of Baltimore West to Ohio River was chartered by the Commonwealth of Virginia, Chapter 123 of the 1826 Session Laws of Maryland on March 8, 1827.

Construction began in 1828, with the the first division opening, between Baltimore and Ellicotts Mills, Md, in May of 1830. By 1857, the B & O Railroad was steadily developed with it next division in St Louis. The Railroad played many major roles. One of these major roles being transporting Union Troops and Supplies during the Civil War. By the late 19th century the B & O railroad developers had made a breakthrough by connected the railroad with Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York.

As the B & O Railroad got along, in the mid 20th century, it became a freight carrier. As it began to face financial difficulties it was procured by the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Company in 1963 and they became one in 1965 covering 11,000 miles of track. In the 1970’s, the B & O railroad and CSX Corporation, under the control of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Company combined resulting in 27,000 miles of track. This merged ended the history of the B & O track.

“The name may be gone, but the road will always be remembered.”


This artifact represents many of the themes if the prolegomenon. These would include the result of the industrial age, the constant and rapid progression americans are known for and the unfortunate wrecking brought to nature during its construction. The railroad shows an obvious meaning and role in industrialization, however, apart from this the railroad’s development journeys through the moving frontier right up until the Frontier “close” in 1809.

Work Cited:\…/us…/the-closing-of-the-frontier

For more information:

Ol’ Frontier…

In Train Dream the frontier is a prime element of the novel that acts as a framework for the overall plot. THE Frontier according to Turner is the setting stone for American democracy. He theoretically describes it as the “meeting point between savagery and civilization…”. In the novel, Grainer is a lumberjack who is working to clear land for a rail way. Turner describes industrialization as primal and the driving force in American society. Turner makes many remarks about “development” and this is right in Grainers line of work and the goal America is trying to achieve when they bring in Chinese workers to build the railroad.


9/11 – Never Forgotten

SEPT 11 2001 NYC

On the morning of September 11, 2001, 19 men of the terrorist group Al-Qaeda, hijacked four airliners and crashed them into specified American targets. Of the four planes, one crashed into the Pentagon in Washington DC, one crashed into the a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and the last two were flown into the World Trade Centre in New York City. A total of 2,977 people were killed . The 9/11 event was a particularly criminal and inhuman act along a continuum of anti-american attacks that gave birth to a war and brought about everyday sociological changes for Americans. 9/11 has left a scar in many families which has yet to be healed, fifteen years later.

Mr Blake Weir, my interviewee was only a Junior in high school, 16 years of age. He was about to be let out of class when a teacher across the hall came into the class and said a plane just flew into the World Trade Centre. He says he had no context about the situation in that period of time, he could not understand what was going on. By the time he arrived for his next class the following period, he says he was informed that a second plane had been flown into the buildings.  In that moment, he and the rest of his class watched the replays of the tragedy still confused as to what, why and how this event had happened. He said he was friends with several students who were of Saudi and Pakistani descent. They were segregated by nationality, meaning the middle easterners were separated from the Americans. Apart from this, they were subjected to hate and became victims of bullying due to the actions of Al-Quaeda. Mr. Weir felt inclined to make the point to them that he would stick up for the regardless of the circumstances. 

9/11 brought many repercussions as it relates to foreign conflict. Mr Weir mentions a family friend of his, who recently graduated from the US military. He spoke about the irony in the fact that his friend may be deployed in the Middle East as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attack he witnessed fifteen years ago as a teenager.

In his final remakes he spoke about the comparison between his exposure to terrorism versus that of the people living in Palestine and Israel where terrorism is a daily threat.

“…for 16 years of my life I have never come into immediate interactions with that…it was a total game changer in that regard.”

Also, 9/11, in particular has left a mark on many lives of people who were around at that time and people who merely witnessed the event unfold on the television. This event has changed many policies such as airport security and moreover is one of the more formative events that has occurred in the last 20 years.

“…its realistic that in his time, he will be deployed in the middle east and knowing that some element of his deployment is because of something that happened fifteen years ago…”

“…anyone who was old enough…and understands the gravity of the event probably remembers where they were then…”


Reich Article – Train Dreams and River of Shadows

The Triumphant Individual – Train Dreams

This is the parable of the self-made man. This is describing the little guy who works hard takes risks, believes in himself, and earns wealth, fame and honor. He is a liner and a maverick, true to himself, plain speaking, self-reliant, uncompromising in his ideal. He gets the job done.

In Train Dreams the Triumphant Individual in none other than the main character, Robert Grainer. Robert Grainer is a prime example for this parable. From the beginning he had nothing, he was a orphaned child shipped to America that found happiness in his family but had everything taken away by a wildfire leaving him to start over again. He lost his family and thus was lost in despair and depression which brought his world tumbling down.  What Robert achieves from his life of ash would be an inspirational story  for anyone who reads.