Civil Rights Terms

Dred Scott Decision

Dred Scott was a slave from Missouri who then moved with his master to Illinois and Minnesota. These were slave free states. He then went back to a slave state. He claimed he was free as a slave because he was in free territory. They took the disagreement to the Supreme court. Dred Scott was made a slave again. The court also said that Slaves would never have American citizenship. This event happened on March 6, 1857.

The Emancipation Proclamation

Abraham Lincoln gave an order called the Emancipation Proclamation. This declared that all slaves would be freed in the Confederate States. The Proclamation however was not effective. This event occurred on January 1st, 1863.

13th Ammendment

After the Civil War ended, Abraham Lincoln wanted to end Slavery. The amendment banned slavery. It was approved by 27 out of 36 States. 9 states did not ratify- accept the amendment. On Dec 6th, 1865, the 13th amendment stated that you are not allowed to have a slave unless the slave did a crime. It cancelled all other laws that supported slavery.

14th Ammendment

After the Dred Scott decision stated that no slaves would ever be able to become U.S. citizens, On July 9th, 1868, the 14th amendment stated All people that are born in the U.S., are citizens of the US and the state that they live in.

15th Ammendment

Before 1870, African Americans were not allowed to vote. On February 3th, 1870, the 15th amendment stated the right to vote in the US cannot be taken away by the U.S. regardless of race, color or condition.

Plessy Vs. Fergeusen

In the Supreme court case, the court ruled that Segregation was ok as long as equal accommodations were made. On May 18th, 1896 the supreme court said that Segregation was ok as long as African Americans got equal accommodations as others. This meant segregated water fountains, medical care, and public schools.

Brown Vs. Board of Education

Mr. Brown had a daughter that had to go to school far away. On May 17th, 1954, the Supreme court required U.S. public schools to stop segregation. It took a while to happen.

Montgomery Bus Boycott

The Montgomery bus boycott was from December 5th, 1955 to December 21, 1956. After Rosa parks was arrested there was a bus boycott in Montgomery that lasted more than a year. The supreme court ruled segregation bus rules unconstitutional.

Little Rock 9

In 1957, there were 9 African American students who attended an all-white high school. The school’s name was called the Little Rock Central High School. The governor of Arkansas tried to stop them by sending the National Guard, but President Eisenhower overruled his decision.


- Many areas of life where still segregated. Some restaurants and lunch counters were segregated. Sit ins are when demonstrators occupy a place. They will not leave until their demands are met. They started on February 1st, 1960 about Civil Rights. On February 1st , 1960, 4 African American college student Sat down at a lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina

Ruby Bridges

New Orleans schools were still segregated in 1960. A first grader African American girl named Ruby Bridges went to an all-white school. She began attending Frantz Elementary School in November of 1960 when she was 6. The school was in New Orleans. Federal Marshals escorted her and her mother to the school.

Freedom Riders

Protesters began riding in public buses on May 4, 1961. They were going to the South to protest segregation. They rode buses to segregated area of the South.

James Meredith

In 1962, Even some colleges were segregated at this time. James Meredith applied and got accepted to the University of Mississippi, but when they learned about his race, they rejected his application. The supreme court ruled that he could attend the college. When he arrived the college, the entrance was blocked. James Meredith got a degree in political science.

I have a dream

The I have a dream speech was a famous speech by Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King was born on January 25th, 1968 in Atlanta. He gave his I have a Dream speech on August 28th, 1963 at the U.S. Capital to a crowd of over 250,000 people. They gathered there for the march on Washington for jobs and freedom. He called for U.S. citizens to end racism. His speech encouraged the president to pass laws against discrimination. His speech was made in front of the Lincoln Memorial. The speech not only called for African American Rights but for the rights of all people. In his speech he encouraged friendship and Unity between Americans.


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