Civil Rights Terms 1857-1963

Dred Scott Decision (1857) - Dred Scott was a slave who traveled to Illinois and Minnesota. Dred claimed he was free because he was in free territory. Chief Justice Roger Taney stated Dred was still a slave because he was the property of his owner.
Emancipation Proclamation (1863) - Abraham Lincoln gave an order called The Emancipation Proclamation which declared that all slaves were free in Confederate States. Lincoln had no power over the Confederate States and the slaves were not freed.
13th Amendment (1865) - Abraham Lincoln wanted to end slavery after the Civil War, so he created an amendment to the Constitution which stated all slaves will be free. However, not all of the states agreed.
14th Amendment (1868) - The 14th Amendment stated that anyone born in the United States could be an American citizen.
15th Amendment (1870) - The 15th amendment made it so that every man in America had the right to vote.
Plessy vs. Ferguson (1896) - There was a Supreme Court hearing that stated that all segregation is OK as long as African Americans were given equal accommodations. The accommodations the African Americans were given were not equal.
Brown vs. Board of Education (1954) - The Supreme Court ruled that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. This made it possible for black and white students to attend school together.
Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955) - In Montgomery, Alabama and other places in the United States, there were separate seating for black and white people. One day, Rosa Parks, a black woman, refused to give up her seat for a white man. She was arrested and thrown in jail. From then on African Americans boycotted the city buses. Finally on December 21, the Supreme Court the segregated bus rule was unconstitutional.
Little Rock Nine (1957) - Even though the Supreme Court ruled that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional, many schools did not allow black students to attend school with white students. However, nine students tried to attend the Little Rock Central High School. The governor of Arkansas tried to prevent this by sending in the National Guard, but President Eisenhower overruled his decision.
Sit-ins (1960) - Restaurants during this time were heavily segregated. One day, four black college students sat down at a lunch counter in North Carolina. The counter was designated for white people only, but the black students refused to get up. This was there way of protesting.
Ruby Bridges (1960) - New Orleans schools were still segregated, but first grader Ruby Bridges was chosen to attend a previously all white school. She and her mother were escorted to the school by federal marshals. Many of the white students were pulled out of the school due to Ruby attending. Eventually Ruby graduated high school and college.
Freedom Riders (1963) - People of different races and genders decided to ride buses to segregated parts of the south to protest and challenge the laws. All of the Freedom Riders believed segregation was wrong.
James Meredith (1962) - Some colleges during this time were segregated. James Meredith applied and got accepted to attend the University of Mississippi. When the school officials learned his race they rejected his application. The Supreme Court ruled that he could attend, but when he arrived college, the entrance was blocked. Eventually he was able to successfully attend and graduate with a degree in Political Science.
"I Have a Dream" Speech (1963) - Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech to a crowd of over 250,000 people. The people had gathered as part of the March on Washington for jobs and freedom. He called for U.S. citizens to end racism. His speech and the march encouraged the President to pass laws against discrimination.

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