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Last Updated: Apr 21st, 2011 - 14:44:53 

Black History Month

Black History Timeline
By ClassBrain Staff
Jan 5, 2011, 12:47 PST

Black History - Timeline of Historical Events


U.S. Postage Stamp - USPS


The 1800s


1856 - Wilberforce University was established.  The African Methodist Episcopal Church founded the first black school of higher learning.

Source:     Wilberforce University


1863 - January 1st, Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation declaring… “That all persons held as slaves are, and henceforward shall be, free.”

Source:     National Archives and Records Administration


1865 - Documented Abolition of Slavery, Amendment XIII to the U.S. Constitution.

Source:     The Library of Congress


1870 – The first African American senator, Hiram Revels takes oath of office.

Source:     National Archives and Records Administration


1900 - 1949


1915 - Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson establishes the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life & History.

Source:     The Association for the Study of African American Life And History


1926 - Negro History Week” declared by Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson at the Wabash Street YMCA.

Source:     U.S. Department of State


1944 - Frederick Douglass Patterson established the United Negro College Fund.

Source:     The United Negro College Fund, Inc.


1950 - 1969


1954 - Brown versus the Board of Education in Topeka, Kansas.  Supreme Court rules unanimously that segregation in public schools is unconstitutional.

Source:     National Archives and Records Administration


1955 - December 1st, Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat in the front of the bus to a white passenger.

Source:     Time Magazine - Time 100


1957 – January/February, Martin Luther King, Jr., Charles K. Steele, and Fred L. Shuttlesworth established the SCLC-Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a major force in organizing the Civil Rights Movement.

Source:     SCLC Magazine


1963 - August 28th, about 250,000 people listen as Reverend King delivered his famous, “I Have a Dream” speech.
Read his "I Have A Dream Speech."

Source:     The History Channel – Great Speeches


1964 - July 2nd, President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964, making segregation in public facilities and discrimination in employment illegal.

Source:     The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission


1965 - August 10th, Congress passes the Voting Rights Act making it easier for southern blacks to register to vote.

Source:     U.S. Department of Justice


1968 - April 4th, Reverend King is shot and killed.  April 11th, President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968 prohibiting discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing.

Source:     EPA - Office of Civil Rights


1970 - 2000


1970 - The entire month of February is declared “Black History Month.”

Source:     The Gale Group


1988 - March 22nd, Congress passes the Civil Rights Restoration Act expanding the reach of non-discrimination laws within private institutions receiving federal funds.

Source:     Department of Justice – Civil Rights Division


1991 - President Bush signs the Civil Rights Act of 1991 strengthening existing civil rights laws and providing for damages in cases of intentional employment discrimination.

Source:     National Archives and Records Administration

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