May 17 - Supreme court rules in Brown v. Board of Education that segregated schools are illegal.
December 1 - Rosa Parks is arrested in Montgomery, Alabama , for not giving up her seat to a white person.
December 5 - Montgomery bus boycott begins; it last until December 21, 1956.
November 13 - Supreme Court rules that segregation of Montgomery buses is illegal.
January 10-11 - southern Leadership conference (SCLC) is founded with Martin Luther King Jr., as president.
September - In Little Rock, Arkansas, national Guard and angry mobs prevent African American students from integrating white Central High School.
September 23 - "Little Rock Nine" enter Central High for the first time. Two days later, on September 25, they receive protection from federal troops ordered in by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
February 1 - In Greensboro, North Carolina, African American students "sit in" at a white lunch counter. Lunch counter sit-ins spread throughout the South.
April 15-17 - Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) is founded by students from nine states.
November 24, 1960 - Four black first grade girls integrate two public schools in New Orleans, Louisiana. Ruby Bridges is one of the first graders.
December 5 - Supreme Court bans segregation in bus terminals.
May-September - Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) "Freedom Rider" challenge segregation on interstate buses and in bus terminals; SNCC riders join them.
November - Albany Movement begins. Members of SNCC, NAACP, and Martin Luther King Jr., work to end segregation in Albany, Georgia. The campaign ends unsuccessfully in August 1962.
April - SNCC, SCLC, CORE, and NAACP from the Council of Federal Organizations (COFO) to begin united voter registration drive. Their first major project. "The Freedom Vote," begins in the Fall of 1963.
September - Federal troops are needed to halt riots when African American James Merideth enters all white University of Mississippi.
April - May - Campaign for civil rights in Birmingham, Alabama, is led by Martin Luther King, Jr.
June 11 - Alabama governor George Wallace stands in doorway of school to stop integration of the University of Alabama.
June 12 - Medgar Evers, leader of the Mississippi NAACP, is murdered.
August 28 - March on Washington draws more than 250,000 people.
September 15 - Four young African American girls are killed in bombing of Sixteenth street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.
January 23 - Twenty-fourth Amendment to the Constitution outlaws poll tax in federal elections.
March - Malcolm X forms the Organization of Afro-American Unity after leaving the Nation of Islam.
June - August - "Freedom Summer": 1,000 young volunteers work to register voters in Mississippi.
June 21 - Ku Klux Klan murder civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman in Mississippi.
July 2 - President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil rights Act into law.
January - March - Voting rights campaign takes place in Selma, Alabama.
February 21 - Malcolm X is assassinated in New York City.
August 6 - President Lyndon B. Johnson signs Voting Rights Act into law.
August 11 -16 - African Americans riot in Watts, Los Angeles.
June 16 - Stokely Carmichael publicly uses term Black Power which signals a new direction for the movement.
October - Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale start the Black Panther Party for self-defense in Oakland, California.
October 2 - Thurgood Marshall is sworn in as the first African American Supreme Court Justice.
April 4 - Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.