During the civil rights era in the United States, groups and individuals worked to end racial segregation and the unequal treatment of African-Americans. Led by prominent figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., protesters and organizers used grassroots campaigns and legal means to transform a nation and seek a brighter future for all Americans.
In the 1950s and 1960s, civil rights activists in the United States used nonviolent protest, civil disobedience and legal action to end segregation and pursue equality for all Americans.
Black History Month celebrates the contributions of African Americans to American history and culture.
Martin Luther King Jr. was a minister and activist who led the U.S. civil rights movement from the 1950s until his 1968 assassination.
The 1963 political rally known as the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was a key moment in the struggle for civil rights.
Events in the Civil Rights Movement
The civil rights movement began as a grassroots effort in local communities but eventually drew national attention to the racial discrimination and disenfranchisement of African-Americans, particularly in the American South. Explore some of the key events and milestones that defined the era.
- Civil Rights Movement
- Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954)
- Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955)
- Integration of Central High School (1957)
- Greensboro Sit-In and the Sit-In Movement (1960)
- Freedom Rides (1961)
- Integration of Ole Miss (1962)
- March on Washington (1963)
- Birmingham Church Bombing (1963)
- Freedom Summer (1964)
- Civil Rights Act (1964)
- Selma to Montgomery March (1965)
- Voting Rights Act (1965)
- Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. (1968)
People in the Civil Rights Movement
Many civil rights activists faced angry crowds, insults, violence, death threats or worse. Get to know some of the courageous men and women who changed America for future generations.
Fact Check We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, contact us!
This Day in History
Lawrence of Arabia dies, 1935
T.E. Lawrence, known to the world as Lawrence of Arabia, dies as a retired Royal Air Force mechanic living under an assumed name. The legendary war hero,…
Relive the epic events of the times in this sweeping collection from HISTORY.
Keep up with the latest History shows, online features, special offers and more.Sign up