U.S. Civil Rights History

Historical Events


Event of interestEvent of Interest

1866-03-27 US President Andrew Johnson vetoes civil rights bill; it later becomes 14th amendment

17th US President Andrew Johnson
17th US President
Andrew Johnson
  • 1866-06-13 US House of representatives passes 14th Amendment (Civil rights)
  • 1868-07-09 Louisiana and South Carolina are the last states to ratify the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, guaranteeing civil rights
  • 1872-05-22 Amnesty Act restores civil rights to Southerners (except for 500)
  • 1875-03-01 US Congress passes Civil Rights Act; invalidated by Supreme Ct, 1883
  • 1883-10-15 Supreme Court declares Civil Rights Act of 1875 unconstitutional

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1890-01-25 National Afro-American League founded in Chicago by Timothy Thomas Fortune, one of earliest civil rights organizations in America

Orator, Writer and Civil Rights Leader Timothy Thomas Fortune
Orator, Writer and Civil Rights Leader
Timothy Thomas Fortune

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1905-07-11 Black intellectuals and activists lead by W.E.B. Du Bois organize the civil rights Niagara Movement

Civil Rights Activist W.E.B. Du Bois
Civil Rights Activist
W.E.B. Du Bois

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1946-12-05 US President Harry Truman creates Committee on Civil Rights by Exec Order #9808

33rd US President Harry Truman
33rd US President
Harry Truman
  • 1948-02-02 President Harry Truman urges congress to adopt a civil rights program
  • 1950-01-15 4,000 attend National Emergency Civil Rights Conference in Washington, D.C.
  • 1957-05-17 Prayer Pilgrimage, biggest civil rights demonstration to date (DC)
  • 1957-08-07 Congress passes the Civil Rights Act of 1957
  • 1957-08-28 US Senator James Thurmond (Rep, SC) begins 24-hr filibuster against civil rights bill
  • 1957-08-29 Strom Thurmond (Sen-D-SC) ends 24 hr filibuster against civil rights

  • 1957-08-30 US senator Strom Thurmond speaks 24hrs 27m against civil rights

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1957-09-09 US President Eisenhower signs 1st civil rights bill since Reconstruction

34th US President & WWII General Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th US President & WWII General
Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • 1960-02-01 4 students stage 1st civil rights sit-in, at Woolworth's in Greensboro, North Carolina
  • 1960-04-08 US Senate passes Civil Rights Bill with measures against discriminatory voting pracrices
  • 1960-04-10 Senate passes landmark Civil Rights Bill
  • 1960-05-06 US President Eisenhower signs Civil Rights Act of 1960
  • 1963-06-23 The Detroit March to Freedom occurs with 125,000 people participating, the largest civil rights demonstration in America up to that point

USAMarch on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

1963-08-28 200,000 march and demonstrate for African American civil and economic rights in Washington, D.C.
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Civil rights leaders link arms in front of marchers on Constitution Avenue
Civil rights leaders link arms in front of marchers on Constitution Avenue

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1963-08-28 Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his "I have a dream" speech addressing a civil rights march at Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.

Civil Rights Activist Martin Luther King Jr.
Civil Rights Activist
Martin Luther King Jr.
Dancer, Singer, Spy and Civil Rights Activist Josephine Baker
Dancer, Singer, Spy and Civil Rights Activist
Josephine Baker
  • 1964-02-08 US Rep Martha Griffiths address gets civil rights protection for women being added to the 1964 Civil Rights Act
  • 1964-02-17 US House of Representatives accept Law on the civil rights
  • 1964-06-10 Southern filibuster on civil rights bill ends; cloture invoked
  • 1964-06-19 Civil Rights Act of 1964 passes 73-27
  • 1964-06-21 Byron De La Beckwith arrested for the murder of civil rights activist Medger Evers, found guilty 30 yr later
  • 1964-06-21 Three civil rights workers, Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney, disappear after being released from a Mississippi jail, later found murdered by members of the Ku Klux Klan
  • 1964-06-29 Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed after 83-day filibuster in the US Senate

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1964-07-02 US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act into law

36th US President Lyndon B. Johnson
36th US President
Lyndon B. Johnson
  • 1964-08-04 Bodies of civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James E Chaney discovered in an earthen Mississippi dam

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1964-08-22 Civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer speaks at the US Democratic National Convention about her efforts to register to vote in Mississippi

Civil Rights Activist Fannie Lou Hamer
Civil Rights Activist
Fannie Lou Hamer

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1966-04-01 Loyalist led by Ian Paisley, a Protestant fundamentalist preacher, founded the Ulster Constitution Defence Committee to challenge the civil rights movement; it set up a paramilitary-style wing called the Ulster Protestant Volunteers

First Minister of Northern Ireland Ian Paisley
First Minister of Northern Ireland
Ian Paisley

  • 1966-05-13 US Federal education funding is denied to 12 school districts in the South because of violations of the 1964 Civil Rights Act
  • 1966-06-01 2,400 people attend White House Conference on Civil Rights
  • 1966-06-06 Civil rights activist James Meredith wounded by white sniper in Mississippi
  • 1967-10-20 All white federal jury convicts 7 in murder of 3 civil rights workers in Meridan Mississippi

Martin Luther King Shot DeadMartin Luther King Shot Dead

1968-04-04 US civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated by James Earl Ray at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee
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Martin Luther King waves to supporters after delivering his 'I have a dream' speech
Martin Luther King waves to supporters after delivering his 'I have a dream' speech
  • 1968-04-11 US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs 1968 Civil Rights Act
  • 1979-10-14 1st Gay and Lesbian Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. by over 100,000 people
  • 1983-09-14 Texan San Jacinto county sheriff James "Humpy" Parker convicted of violating inmates civil rights and of torture
  • 1985-06-25 Thurman v City of Torrington decides in favor of Tracey Thurman, 1st woman to sue a police department for violating her civil rights (not protecting against abusive husband)
  • 1985-08-14 Political violence by the youth begins after the funeral of assassinated Victoria Mxenge, a civil rights lawyer, who was respected and liked by the Congress of South African Students
  • 1987-10-11 200,000 march for gay and lesbian civil rights in Washington, D.C.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1988-03-22 US Congress overrides President Reagan's veto of sweeping civil rights bill

US President & Actor Ronald Reagan
US President & Actor
Ronald Reagan

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1989-09-02 Reverend Al Sharpton leads a civil rights march through Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

Minister and Civil Rights Activist Al Sharpton
Minister and Civil Rights Activist
Al Sharpton

USARodney King Riots

1992-08-05 4 officers of the Los Angeles Police Department, acquttied on charges of beating Rodney King, are indicted on civil rights charges
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Damage in Los Angeles after the 1992 riots, which killed 63 people and caused over $1 billion in damages
Damage in Los Angeles after the 1992 riots, which killed 63 people and caused over $1 billion in damages

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1993-02-03 Federal trial of 4 police officers charged with civil rights violations in videotaped beating of Rodney King begins in Los Angeles, California

Victim of Police Violence Rodney King
Victim of Police Violence
Rodney King
  • 1993-04-17 Two Los Angeles police officers convicted in federal court of violating Rodney King's civil rights and sentenced to prison, while two others are acquitted,
  • 2000-08-18 A Federal jury finds the US Environmental Protection Agency guilty of discrimination against Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, later inspiring passage of the No FEAR Act.
  • 2002-05-22 American civil rights movement: a jury in Birmingham, Alabama, convicts former Ku Klux Klan member Bobby Frank Cherry of the 1963 murders of four girls in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church
  • 2005-01-06 Mississippi Civil Rights Workers Murders: Edgar Ray Killen is arrested as a suspect for the 1964 murders of three Civil Rights workers.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2013-11-20 US President Barack Obama posthumously awards civil rights activist Bayard Rustin the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Civil Rights Activist Bayard Rustin
Civil Rights Activist
Bayard Rustin
44th US President Barack Obama
44th US President
Barack Obama
  • 2014-12-13 A civil rights protest march in Washington, D.C. takes place, against the police killing of unarmed black men

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2019-03-13 Home of civil rights activists Medgar and Myrlie Evers established as a national monument in Jackson, Mississippi, by President Donald Trump

45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality Donald Trump
45th US President, Businessman and TV Personality
Donald Trump
  • 2019-10-08 Montgomery, Alabama, home of the US civil rights movement, elects Steven Reed as its first black mayor in 200 years

Famous Birthdays


Person of interestVictoria Woodhull

1838-09-23 Victoria Woodhull, American civil rights activist (1872 presidential candidate, woman's suffrage movement), born in Homer, Ohio (d. 1927)

Civil Rights Activist Victoria Woodhull
Civil Rights Activist
Victoria Woodhull

Person of interestTimothy Thomas Fortune

1856-10-03 Timothy Thomas Fortune, American orator, civil rights leader, writer and publisher (New York Age), born in Marianna, Florida (d. 1928)

Orator, Writer and Civil Rights Leader Timothy Thomas Fortune
Orator, Writer and Civil Rights Leader
Timothy Thomas Fortune

Person of interestIda B. Wells

1862-07-16 Ida Bell Wells-Barnett, American journalist and civil rights activist, born in Holly Springs, Mississippi (d. 1931)

Civil Rights Leader, Journalist and Suffragist Ida B. Wells
Civil Rights Leader, Journalist and Suffragist
Ida B. Wells
  • 1863-09-23 Mary Church Terrell, civil rights activist

Person of interestW.E.B. Du Bois

1868-02-23 W. E. B. Du Bois, American civil rights activist, writer (Souls of Black Folk) and founder of the NAACP, born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts (d. 1963)

Civil Rights Activist W.E.B. Du Bois
Civil Rights Activist
W.E.B. Du Bois

Person of interestJames Weldon Johnson

1871-06-17 James Weldon Johnson, American civil rights activist, leader of the NAACP and Harlem Renaissance poet, born in Jacksonville, Florida (d. 1938)

Writer and Civil Rights Activist James Weldon Johnson
Writer and Civil Rights Activist
James Weldon Johnson
  • 1875-07-10 Mary McLeod Bethune, American educator (Bethune-Cookman College) and civil rights leader, born in Maysville, South Carolina (d. 1955)
  • 1891-09-03 Bessie [Annie Elizabeth] Delany, American dentist and civil rights pioneer, born in Raleigh, North Carolina (d. 1995)
  • 1892-04-22 Vernon Johns, American civil rights activist, born in Darlington Heights, Virginia (d. 1965)
  • 1893-07-01 Walter Francis White, American civil rights activist who led the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), born in Atlanta, Georgia (d. 1955)
  • 1895-08-01 Benjamin Mays, African-American educator (Morehouse, Howard University) and civil rights leader, born in Ninety Six, South Carolina (d. 1984)
  • 1896-12-12 Eslanda Goode, American anthropology, civil rights activist and actor under Paul Robeson, born in Washington, D.C. (d. 1965)
  • 1898-04-09 Paul Robeson, American singer (Old Man River), actor and civil rights activist, born in Princeton, New Jersey (d. 1976)
  • 1898-05-03 Septima Poinsette Clark, American educator and civil rights activist, born in CHarleston, South Carolina (d. 1987)
  • 1898-07-27 Queen Mother Moore, African-American civil rights activist and humanitarian, born in New Iberia, Louisiana (d. 1997)
  • 1901-08-30 Roy Wilkins, American civil rights activist and longtime executive director of NAACP, born in St. Louis, Missouri (d. 1981)
  • 1905-07-09 Myles Horton, American educator and Civil Rights Movement teacher, born in Savannah, Tennessee (d. 1990)
  • 1907-05-01 Oliver Hill, American civil rights attorney (Presidential Medal of Freedom 1999), born in Richmond, Virgnia (d. 2007)
  • 1910-03-04 Tancredo Neves, president of Civil rights activist

Person of interestBayard Rustin

1910-03-17 Bayard Rustin, American civil rights leader (March on Washington organizer, Social Democrats USA), born in West Chester, Pennsylvania (d. 1987)

Civil Rights Activist Bayard Rustin
Civil Rights Activist
Bayard Rustin
  • 1910-11-20 Pauli Murray, African American poet and civil rights activist, born in Baltimore, Maryland (d. 1985)
  • 1911-08-14 Ethel Lois Payne, American civil rights journalist and "1st Lady of the Black Press", born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1991)

Person of interestDorothy Height

1912-03-24 Dorothy Height, American civil rights and women's rights activist (National Council of Negro Women), born in Richmond, Virginia (d. 2010)

Women's and Civil Rights Activist Dorothy Height
Women's and Civil Rights Activist
Dorothy Height

Person of interestRosa Parks

1913-02-04 Rosa Parks, American civil rights activist who refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger, born in Tuskegee, Alabama (d. 2005)

Civil Rights Activist Rosa Parks
Civil Rights Activist
Rosa Parks
  • 1914-07-24 Kenneth Bancroft Clark, American civil rights activist (Dark Ghetto) and first black president of the American Psychological Association, born in Panama Canal Zone (d. 2005)
  • 1915-01-06 Don Edwards, American politician and civil rights champion (Rep-D-CA, 1963-94), born in San Jose, California (d. 2015)
  • 1917-03-11 Robert L Carter, Caryville, Florida, American civil rights activist and judge (Brown v. Board of Education, NAACP v. Alabama) (d. 2012)

Person of interestFannie Lou Hamer

1917-10-06 Fannie Lou Hamer, American civil rights activist (Freedom Summer, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), born in Montgomery County, Mississippi (d. 1977)

Civil Rights Activist Fannie Lou Hamer
Civil Rights Activist
Fannie Lou Hamer
  • 1917-12-18 Raiford "Ossie" Davis, American actor, director, author, and civil rights activist (Purlie Victorious, Do the Right Thing, Hot Stuff, Man Called Adam), born in Cogdell, Clinch County, Georgia (d. 2005)
  • 1918-04-23 Gordon Hirabayshi, American civil rights activist and WWII internment opponent (Hirabayshi v. United States), born in Seattle, Washington (d. 2012)
  • 1920-01-12 James Farmer, American civil rights leader, born in Marshall, Texas (d. 1999)
  • 1921-07-31 Whitney M Young Jr, civil rights leader, head of Urban League

Person of interestFred Shuttlesworth

1922-03-18 Fred Shuttlesworth, American civil rights activist, born in Mount Meigs, Alabama (d. 2011)

Civil Rights Activist Fred Shuttlesworth
Civil Rights Activist
Fred Shuttlesworth
  • 1922-09-11 Charles Evers, American civil rights leader (Amazing Grace), born in Decatur, Mississippi
  • 1923-06-08 Malcolm Boyd, American Episcopal Priest, author and civil rights activist, born in Buffalo, New York (d. 2015)
  • 1925-01-31 Benjamin Hooks, civil rights leader
  • 1925-07-02 Medgar Evers, American civil rights activist and NAACP official who was assassinated, born in Decatur, Mississippi (d. 1963)
  • 1925-11-21 Poncke Princen, Dutch anti-Nazi fighter, colonial soldier and human rights activist, born in The Hague, Netherlands (d. 2002)

Person of interestRalph Abernathy

1926-03-11 Ralph Abernathy, American civil rights leader (Southern Christian Leadership Conference), born in Linden, Alabama (d. 1990)

Civil Rights Activist Ralph Abernathy
Civil Rights Activist
Ralph Abernathy
  • 1926-04-10 Johnnie Tillmon, civil rights activist (National Welfare Rights Association), born in Scott, Arkansas (d. 1995)
  • 1927-04-27 Coretta Scott King, American activist and wife of Martin Luther King Jr., born in Heiberger, Alabama (d. 2006)
  • 1928-07-28 Anne Braden, American civil rights activist, journalist, and educator, born in Louisville, Kentucky (d. 2006)

Person of interestMartin Luther King Jr.

1929-01-15 Martin Luther King Jr., American clergyman and leader of the Civil Rights Movement (Nobel 1964), born in Atlanta, Georgia (d. 1968)

Civil Rights Activist Martin Luther King Jr.
Civil Rights Activist
Martin Luther King Jr.
  • 1929-03-12 Lupe Anguiano, Mexican-American civil rights activist
  • 1929-08-16 Wyatt Tee Walker, African-American pastor, civil rights leader, chief of staff for Martin Luther King, Jr. and cultural historian, born in Brockton, Massachusetts (d. 2018)
  • 1929-11-13 Fred Phelps, American Baptist minister and civil rights attorney, born in Meridian, Mississippi (d. 2014)
  • 1930-04-10 Dolores Huerta, American civil rights activist (co-founded United Farm Workers), born in Dawson, New Mexico
  • 1930-08-06 Abbey Lincoln [Anna Wooldridge], African-American civil rights activist, jazz vocalist, songwriter and actress (Nothing But a Man), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2010)
  • 1930-11-10 Clarence M. Pendleton Jr., African-American chairman of the United States Commission on Civil Rights (1981-88), born in Louisville, Kentucky (d. 1988)
  • 1930-12-31 Odetta [Odetta Holmes], American folk singer (Sanctuary), actress and civil rights activist, born in Birmingham, Alabama (d. 2008)
  • 1931-04-06 Ivan Dixon, American actor, director and civil rights activist (Car Wash, Hogan's Heroes, The Final War of Olly Winter), born in NYC, New York (d. 2008)
  • 1932-10-12 Dick Gregory, American comedian, civil rights activist and dietician (Bahamian Diet), born in St. Louis, Missouri (d. 2017)

Person of interestNina Simone

1933-02-21 Nina Simone [Eunice Waymon], American singer and civil rights activist (I Loves You, Porgy), born in Tyron, North Carolina (d. 2003)

Singer and Civil Rights Activist Nina Simone
Singer and Civil Rights Activist
Nina Simone
  • 1933-03-17 Myrlie Evers-Williams, American civil rights activist (NAACP chair), born in Vicksburg, Mississippi
  • 1933-06-25 James Meredith, American civil rights activist (1st African-American at the University of Mississippi), born in Kosciusko, Mississippi
  • 1935-04-26 James Cecil "Humpy" Parker, American disgraced ex-Sheriff convicted of violating inmates civil rights and of torture, born in San Jacinto County, Texas (d. 1994)
  • 1935-08-15 Vernon Eulion Jordan Jr, American civil rights activist (National Urban League), born in Atlanta, Georgia

Person of interestJames Bevel

1936-10-19 James Bevel, American civil rights activist (Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Direct Action), born in Itta Bena, Mississippi (d. 2008)

Civil Rights Activist James Bevel
Civil Rights Activist
James Bevel
  • 1938-02-17 Mary Frances Berry, educator/head (US Commission on Civil Rights)

Person of interestJimmie Lee Jackson

1938-12-16 Jimmie Lee Jackson, American civil rights protester and church deacon, shot and killed by an Alabama State Trooper in 1965, born in Marion, Alabama (d. 1965)

Civil Rights Activist Jimmie Lee Jackson
Civil Rights Activist
Jimmie Lee Jackson
  • 1939-11-06 Michael Schwerner, American civil rights activist, born in NYC, New York (d. 1964)
  • 1939-12-09 Patricia Stephens Due, African-American civil rights activist (FAMU jail-in), born in Quincy, Florida (d. 2012)
  • 1939-12-11 Tom Hayden, American civil rights and antiwar activist and politician (Rep-D-Ca), born in Royal Oak, Michigan (d. 2016)
  • 1940-01-14 Julian Bond, American civil rights leader & politician (D-Ga), born in Nashville Tennessee (d. 2015)
  • 1940-02-21 John Lewis, American politician (Rep-D-Georgia) and prominent civil rights leader (Big Six), born in Troy, Alabama

Person of interestBetty Shabazz

1940-05-28 Betty Shabazz, American educator and civil rights activist who was the widow of Malcolm X, born in Pinehurst, Georgia (d. 1997)

Civil Rights Activist Betty Shabazz
Civil Rights Activist
Betty Shabazz
  • 1941-07-03 Gloria Allred, American feminist and civil rights attorney, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1943-05-10 James Earl Chaney, US civil rights activist
  • 1943-11-23 Andrew Goodman, civil rights worker, murdered in 1964
  • 1948-06-23 Joaquin Avila, American lawyer and civil rights champion who advocated against voter discrimination, born in Compton, California (d. 2018)

Person of interestAl Sharpton

1954-10-03 Al Sharpton [Alfred Charles], American minister and civil rights activist (Keepin' It Real), born in Brooklyn, New York

Minister and Civil Rights Activist Al Sharpton
Minister and Civil Rights Activist
Al Sharpton
  • 1959-10-05 Maya Lin, American designer (Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Civil Rights Memorial), born in Athens, Ohio

Famous Weddings


LoveWedding of Interest

1910-02-03 Author James Weldon Johnson (38) weds civil rights activist Grace Nail Johnson (24) at her family's home

Writer and Civil Rights Activist James Weldon Johnson
Writer and Civil Rights Activist
James Weldon Johnson

LoveWedding of Interest

1932-12-18 Civil rights activist Rosa McCauley (19) weds Raymond Parks (29) in Montgomery, Alabama

Civil Rights Activist Rosa Parks
Civil Rights Activist
Rosa Parks

LoveWedding of Interest

1953-06-18 Civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. (24) marries fellow activist and singer Coretta Scott (26)

Civil Rights Activist Martin Luther King Jr.
Civil Rights Activist
Martin Luther King Jr.

LoveWedding of Interest

1967-03-17 Novelist Alice Walker (23) weds civil rights lawyer Melvyn Leventhal in New York City

Novelist Alice Walker
Novelist
Alice Walker

Famous Deaths

  • 1817-09-09 Paul Cuffe, African American civil rights activist (helped settle Sierre Leone), dies at 58
  • 1874-03-11 Charles Sumner, American politician, Senator Massachusetts (1851-74) and anti-slavery advocate, dies at 63

Person of interestVictoria Woodhull

1927-06-09 Victoria Woodhull, American civil rights activist (1872 presidential candidate, woman's suffrage movement), dies at 88

Civil Rights Activist Victoria Woodhull
Civil Rights Activist
Victoria Woodhull

Person of interestTimothy Thomas Fortune

1928-06-02 Timothy Thomas Fortune, American orator, civil rights leader, writer and publisher (New York Age), dies at 71

Orator, Writer and Civil Rights Leader Timothy Thomas Fortune
Orator, Writer and Civil Rights Leader
Timothy Thomas Fortune
  • 1931-03-09 Ida B Wells-Barnett, African American civil rights activist, dies in Chicago at 78
Civil Rights Leader, Journalist and Suffragist Ida B. Wells
Civil Rights Leader, Journalist and Suffragist
Ida B. Wells
  • 1939-03-19 Lloyd L. Gaines, American civil rights activist
  • 1954-07-24 Mary Church Terrell, educator/civil rights leader, dies at 90
  • 1955-03-21 Walter Francis White, American civil rights activist who led the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), dies at 61
  • 1955-05-18 Mary McLeod Bethune, American educator (Bethune-Cookman College) and civil rights leader, dies at 79
  • 1955-09-07 Earnest Rabel, Austrian/US civil rights activist, dies at 81
  • 1963-06-12 Medgar Evers, American civil rights activist, NAACP official, shot in Jackson, Mississippi at 37

Person of interestW.E.B. Du Bois

1963-08-27 W. E. B. Du Bois, American civil rights activist, writer (Souls of Black Folk) and founder of the NAACP, dies at 95 in Accra, Ghana

Civil Rights Activist W.E.B. Du Bois
Civil Rights Activist
W.E.B. Du Bois
  • 1964-06-21 Andrew Goodman, US civil rights activist, murdered at 20
  • 1964-06-21 James Chaney, US civil rights activist, murdered at 21
  • 1964-06-21 Michael Schwerner, American civil rights activist, murdered at 21
Civil Rights Activist Jimmie Lee Jackson
Civil Rights Activist
Jimmie Lee Jackson
  • 1965-03-11 James Reeb, US vicar/civil rights activist, murdered
  • 1965-03-25 Viola Gregg Liuzzo, US civil rights activist, murdered
  • 1965-06-11 Vernon Johns, American civil rights activist, dies at 73

MurderMartin Luther King Jr.

1968-04-04 Martin Luther King Jr., American clergyman and leader of the Civil Rights Movement (Nobel 1964), assassinated at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee at 39

Civil Rights Activist Martin Luther King Jr.
Civil Rights Activist
Martin Luther King Jr.
  • 1976-01-23 Paul Robeson, American singer (Old Man River), actor and civil rights activist, dies in Philadelphia at 77
  • 1976-05-01 T.R.M. Howard, civil rights leader, entrepreneur, surgeon (b. 1908)

Person of interestFannie Lou Hamer

1977-03-14 Fannie Lou Hamer, American civil rights activist (Freedom Summer, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), dies of breast cancer at 59

Civil Rights Activist Fannie Lou Hamer
Civil Rights Activist
Fannie Lou Hamer
  • 1981-09-08 Roy Wilkins, American civil rights activist and longtime executive director of NAACP, dies at 80
  • 1984-03-28 Benjamin Mays, African-American educator (Morehouse, Howard University) and civil rights leader, dies at 89
  • 1985-07-01 Pauli Murray, African American poet and civil rights activist, dies at 74

Person of interestBayard Rustin

1987-08-24 Bayard Rustin, American civil rights leader (March on Washington organizer, Social Democrats USA), dies of a perforated appendix at 75

Civil Rights Activist Bayard Rustin
Civil Rights Activist
Bayard Rustin
  • 1987-12-15 Septima Poinsette Clark, American educator and civil rights activist, dies at 89
  • 1988-06-05 Clarence M. Pendleton Jr., African-American chairman of the United States Commission on Civil Rights (1981-88), dies at 57
  • 1990-01-19 Myles Horton, American educator and Civil Rights Movement teacher, dies at 84
  • 1990-04-17 Ralph David Abernathy, US civil rights leader, dies

Person of interestRalph Abernathy

1990-10-17 Ralph Abernathy, American civil rights leader (Southern Christian Leadership Conference), dies of a blood clot at 64

Civil Rights Activist Ralph Abernathy
Civil Rights Activist
Ralph Abernathy
  • 1991-05-28 Ethel Lois Payne, American civil rights journalist and "1st Lady of the Black Press", dies at 79
  • 1994-03-13 James Cecil "Humpy" Parker, American disgraced ex-Sheriff convicted of violating inmates civil rights and of torture, dies at 58
  • 1995-09-25 Bessie [Annie Elizabeth] Delany, American dentist and civil rights pioneer, dies at 104
  • 1995-11-22 Johnnie Tillmon, civil rights activist (National Welfare Rights Association), dies at 69
  • 1996-03-10 Lucius E Burch Jr, US civil rights leader, dies at 84
  • 1997-05-02 Queen Mother Moore, African-American civil rights activist and humanitarian, dies at 98

Person of interestBetty Shabazz

1997-06-23 Betty Shabazz, American educator and civil rights activist who was the widow of Malcolm X, dies from burns suffered in a fire started by her young grandson at 63

Civil Rights Activist Betty Shabazz
Civil Rights Activist
Betty Shabazz
  • 1998-11-15 Stokely Carmichael, American civil rights activist (b. 1941)
  • 1998-12-14 Aloyisus Leon Higginbotham, Jr., American civil rights activist & author, dies at 70
  • 2001-04-24 Leon Sullivan, African-American civil rights leader and pastor (b. 1922)

Person of interestNina Simone

2003-04-21 Nina Simone [Eunice Waymon], American singer and civil rights activist (I Loves You, Porgy), dies of breast cancer at 70

Singer and Civil Rights Activist Nina Simone
Singer and Civil Rights Activist
Nina Simone
  • 2005-01-10 James Forman, American civil rights leader (b. 1928)
  • 2005-02-04 Raiford "Ossie" Davis, American actor, director, author, and civil rights activist (Purlie Victorious, Do the Right Thing, Hot Stuff, Man Called Adam), dies from heart problems at 87
  • 2005-03-30 Fred Korematsu, American civil rights activist (b. 1919)
  • 2005-05-02 Kenneth Bancroft Clark, American civil rights activist (Dark Ghetto) and first black president of the American Psychological Association, dies at 90
  • 2005-10-12 C. Delores Tucker, American politician and civil rights activist (b. 1927)
  • 2005-10-13 Vivian Malone Jones, American civil rights activist (b. 1942)

Person of interestRosa Parks

2005-10-24 Rosa Parks, American civil rights activist who refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger, dies of natural causes at 92

Civil Rights Activist Rosa Parks
Civil Rights Activist
Rosa Parks
  • 2006-03-06 Anne Braden, American civil rights activist, journalist, and educator, dies at 81
  • 2006-10-24 Enolia McMillan, American civil rights activist (b. 1904)
  • 2007-08-05 Oliver Hill, American civil rights attorney (Presidential Medal of Freedom 1999), dies at 100
  • 2007-08-10 Henry Cabot Lodge Bohler, American member of Tuskegee Airmen and civil rights activist (b. 1925)
  • 2008-03-16 Ivan Dixon, American actor, director and civil rights activist (Car Wash, Hogan's Heroes, The Final War of Olly Winter), dies of renal failure at 76
  • 2008-12-02 Odetta [Odetta Holmes], American folk singer (Sanctuary), actress and civil rights activist, dies of heart disease at 77

Person of interestJames Bevel

2008-12-19 James Bevel, American civil rights activist (Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Direct Action), dies of cancer at 72

Civil Rights Activist James Bevel
Civil Rights Activist
James Bevel
  • 2010-01-05 Murray Saltzman, Reform Jewish rabbi and civil rights leader (b. 1929)

Person of interestDorothy Height

2010-04-20 Dorothy Height, American civil rights and women's rights activist (National Council of Negro Women), dies at 98

Women's and Civil Rights Activist Dorothy Height
Women's and Civil Rights Activist
Dorothy Height
  • 2010-05-24 Raymond V. Haysbert, African-American business executive and civil rights leader (b. 1920)
  • 2010-08-14 Abbey Lincoln [Anna Wooldridge], African-American civil rights activist, jazz vocalist, songwriter and actress (Nothing But a Man), dies at 80
  • 2011-10-05 Derrick Bell, American legal scholar and civil rights advocate (b. 1930)
  • 2012-01-02 Gordon Hirabayashi, American sociologist & opponent to Japanese-American internment, dies after Alzheimer's disease at 93
  • 2012-01-03 Robert L Carter, American civil rights activist & judge, dies after complications from a stroke at 94
  • 2012-02-07 Patricia Stephens Due, African-American civil rights activist (FAMU jail-in), dies from Alzheimer's disease at 72
  • 2015-02-27 Malcolm Boyd, American Episcopal Priest, author and civil rights activist, dies at 91
  • 2015-08-15 Julian Bond, American civil rights leader and politician (D-Ga), dies at 75
  • 2015-10-01 Don Edwards, American politician and civil rights champion (Rep-D-CA, 1963-94), dies at 100
  • 2016-10-23 Tom Hayden, American civil rights and antiwar activist and politician (Rep-D-Ca), dies at 76
  • 2017-08-19 Dick Gregory, American comedian, civil rights activist and dietician (Bahamian Diet), dies of heart failure at 84
  • 2018-01-23 Wyatt Tee Walker, African-American pastor, civil rights leader, chief of staff for Martin Luther King, Jr. and cultural historian, dies at 88
  • 2018-03-09 Joaquin Avila, American lawyer and civil rights champion who advocated against voter discrimination, dies from complications of colon and liver cancer at 69