Lesson Plan 13 | Civil Rights Movement (1949-1968)

Overview:

The Civil Rights Movement did not miraculously appear, instead, it was the result of centuries of dissidence to improve the lives of blacks.  By the 20th Century, blacks used a variety of venues to secure political, social and economic rights with isolated, small-scale protests, militant movements, strong leadership, and powerful organizations such as the National Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to achieve equal rights goals. These black and white leaders assumed the risks of crossing racial lines to acquire freedom while fighting fierce opposition of white supremacists.

After Twenty years of Democratic administrations, Americans were looking for new leadership and Republicans were willing to take on the Democrats. Many of the New Deal programs deteriorated and were corrupt. So, the stage was set for Republican General Dwight Eisenhower to be a formidable Republican candidate for the Presidency in 1952. President Eisenhower was aware of the southern Democrats’ commitment to racial segregation, but he was determined to eliminate racial discrimination in all areas under his authority. In 1954, Democrats suffered a major defeat in the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education which overturned the ruling of Plessy v. Ferguson. Democrats were furious and refused to end their segregation practices.

During the Eisenhower Administration, landmark events shaped the Civil Rights Movement in the 20th Century: in 1955, the murder of Emmett Till; the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott; confrontation with Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus to allow black students to attend school in Little Rock; the 1960 black students sit-in protest in Greensboro, and Eisenhower sent 1960 bi-partisan Civil Rights bill to Congress.




Objectives:


  • Study What President Eisenhower Did for Civil Rights
  • Understand Why Democrats Fought Against Civil Rights
  • Study Brown v. Board of Education
  • How the Murder of Emmitt Till Affected the Civil Rights Movement
  • Claudette Colvin precedes Rosa Parks in refusing to give up her seat on a bus https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3NvXzFOb6w & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qldCmA4ORoA
  • Study Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • Study the Effects of the Greensboro Four 
  • President Kennedy’s Civil Rights Leadership
  • The Importance of the Freedom Riders
  • To Review the Democratic Leaders Against Desegregation
  •  To Study More Watershed Events that Shaped the Civil Rights Movement
  • Understand the Importance of the Children’s Crusade
  • To Study how the 1964 Civil Rights Bill passed
  • To Understand the importance of the Selma to Montgomery March 1965
  • The Assassination of Martin Luther King, April 4, 1968
  • The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, June 6, 1968





Time: Three Lessons



Materials:







What Eisenhower Did for Civil Rights:

Dwight David Eisenhower was the Allied Supreme Commander in Europe, President of Columbia University (1948 – 1950), and first Supreme Commander of NATO before running for President. His administration began on January 20, 1953, until January 20, 1961.  Because of his broad support, he was urged by both parties to run for the presidency. Richard Nixon, only 39 years old at the time, was selected as Eisenhower’s running mate and was a Progressive in the tradition of Theodore Roosevelt.

After twenty years of Democratic administrations, Americans were looking for new leadership. Eisenhower displayed excellent political skills and campaigned against the free-spending and dependency-promoting Democratic ways. He was aware of the southern Democratic congressional commitment to racial segregation, but he was determined to eliminate racial discrimination as much as his power would allow. After President Eisenhower's election in 1952, he was challenged with the effects of the landmark decision of Brown v. Board of Education.

Brown v. Board of Education (1954) dismantled the earlier Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) that upheld racial segregation laws, “separate but equal.” After the Brown decision, Southern Democrats continued their practices of segregation and more than one hundred Congressional Democrats signed the Southern Manifesto (1956) to maintain segregated schools in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Virginia. During President Eisenhower’s Administration, he would be challenged by Democratic governors, mayors, senators, members of Congress, sheriffs and other law enforcement officers, who attempted to obstruct his civil rights agenda.

Regardless of these challenges, President Eisenhower issued executive orders to halt segregation in Washington, D.C. and federal agencies. He proposed civil rights legislation with the Civil Rights Act of 1957 to increase black voting rights and protections – it was initially blocked by Democrats with Democratic Senator Strom Thurman’s filibuster to block passage. The bill was then watered-down and weakened by Democrats until finally passed. This was the first civil rights act since Reconstruction, passed by 84% Republicans and only 57% Democrats. President Eisenhower signed it on September 9, 1957.  This Civil Rights Act of 1957 established the Civil Rights Division in the Justice Department to empower federal officials to prosecute individuals who denied another to vote.  The Civil Rights Commission, a six-member group, investigates allegations of voter infringement and is part of the Civil Rights Division. The Civil Rights Division played an important role in helping secure civil rights in the South during the 1960s and 1970s.


Eisenhower proposed a second civil rights bill in 1959. After Democratic opposition, the bill was eviscerated before it passed into law on May 6, 1960.

In addition, President Eisenhower appointed Earl Warren to Chief Justice of Supreme Court; used National Guard to desegregate schools in Little Rock, Arkansas; and named Elbert Tuttle the Republican judge who ended segregation at the University of Mississippi.





June 23, 1958, Republican President Dwight Eisenhower meets with Dr. Martin Luther King and other African-American leaders to discuss plans to advance civil rights. It was under the watch of President Eisenhower that many of the advances in civil rights began to take shape.
June 23, 1958, Republican President Dwight Eisenhower meets with Dr. Martin Luther King and other African-American leaders to discuss plans to advance civil rights. It was under the watch of President Eisenhower that many of the advances in civil rights began to take shape.


1960: May 6, President Eisenhower signs the Civil Rights Act 1960, this was a federal law that established federal inspection of local of local voter registration polls and introduced penalties for anyone who obstructed someone’s attempt to vote. This bill had staunch opposition by many Democrats. (Republican Party Support: 93%, Democratic Party Support, 68%)
1960: May 6, President Eisenhower signs the Civil Rights Act 1960, this was a federal law that established federal inspection of local voter registration polls and introduced penalties for anyone who obstructed someone’s attempt to vote. This bill had staunch opposition by many Democrats. 





Democrats Fight Against Civil Rights:

There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.”  Soren Kierkegaard

The Democrats have always supported a dividing line of citizenship between whites and blacks in their effort to maintain "white supremacy." Southern Democrats used a variety of brutal intimidation such as riots (massacres), whippings, loss of civil rights, and lynchings to maintain their supremacy.  In the years between 1949 through 1968, Tuskegee Institute only recorded twelve blacks and three whites who were lynched. This substantial reduction from previously recorded lynchings can be attributed to a change in tactics by the Democrats to maintain "white supremacy."

Lynching would be replaced by laws that would marginalize blacks, provide separate facilities, suppressing voting rights, establish redlining, provide poor education, support a continuation of Jim Crow laws, and political party platforms that would omit the needs for reforms for blacks. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed because of Republican Senator Everett Dirksen, who was able to break the filibuster of Democratic Senators Robert Byrd of Georgia and Richard Russell of Georgia. Senator Dirksen was able to resurrect the language of Eisenhower’s Attorney General that would make it possible for President Johnson to sign the bill. The law did not immediately change life in the South because many public places closed to avoid integration.









Brown v. Board of Education 1953:

This case was filed for 20 plaintiffs and represented five cases in Kansas, South Carolina, Virginia, Delaware and Washington D.C. All were sponsored by the NAACP concerning the right for black students to attend the public school of their choice and not be segregated by race. They argued that segregation violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Eisenhower’s Assistant Attorney General, J. Lee Rankin, argued for the plaintiffs in Brown V. Board of Education and Thurgood Marshall, NAACP’s chief counsel, also argued for Brown v. Board of Education for Topeka, Kansas.

After Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote the landmark unanimous ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, Democrats in Congress condemned the decision, and more than one hundred Democratic congressmen signed the Southern Manifesto to continue with school segregation. Assistant Attorney General Lee Rankin argued that there should be a plan to desegregate the schools in a systematic way as to avoid any violence. He suggested that local schools submit their proposals to federal judges in their states. Eight years after the landmark decision, the resistance to school desegregation resulted in open defiance and violence. Democrats intensified their legal oppression of blacks in the South, and with no timetable for desegregation of the schools, the South became emboldened.


“I’m eight. I was born on the day of the Supreme Court decision.”


May 17, 1954, Supreme Court, under Republican Chief Justice Earl Warren, handed down the decision on the landmark case of Brown V. Board of Education.
May 17, 1954, Supreme Court, under Republican Chief Justice Earl Warren, handed down the decision on the landmark case of Brown V. Board of Education.




       Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote landmark decision of Brown v. Board of                                                                  Education. President Eisenhower appointed him.

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
Front left to right: Felix Frankfurter (I), Hugo Black (D), Chief Justice Earl Warren (R), Stanley F. Reed (R), William O. Douglass (D) Back left to right: Tom C. Clark (D), Robert H. Jackson (D), Harold H. Burton (R), Sherman Minton (D)


1954: Brown v. Board of Education, George E. C. Hayes (left), Thurgood Marshall (center), James M. Nabrit (right).


Eisenhower’s Assistant Attorney General, J. Lee Rankin

Guiding Questions:

  • Do you think that President Eisenhower was prepared to be President of the United States? Why or why not?
  • What significant accomplishments did Eisenhower have with civil rights? What major legislation did he propose? 
  • What party opposed Eisenhower’s legislation? Why?
  • Why did it take more than eight years for Brown v, Board of Education to be implemented? Why was there no plan to desegregate?
  • What was the Southern Manifesto? 
  • How would you have reacted to school segregation in the 1950s?







Murder of Emmitt Till, 1955:

Fourteen-year-old Emmitt Till was abducted, severely beaten, shot, and thrown into a river with a weight fastened around his neck. Emmitt was from Chicago’s South Side and lived in a middle-class neighborhood with black-owned businesses. He was visiting relatives in Money, Mississippi when he met twenty-one-year-old Carolyn Bryant Donham, a proprietor at a grocery store. Carolyn told her husband, Roy Bryant, that Emmitt was menacing and sexually crude toward her.

A few days later, Roy Bryant and his half-brother, J. W. Milan, would abduct Emmitt and kill him, because he violated the conduct of the Jim Crow- era South. Till’s body was unrecognizable, and his mother, Mamie Till, wanted him returned to Chicago for an open casket funeral so others could see the brutality used against her son. His death became an early impetus for the Civil Rights Movement.

Roy and J. W. were arrested for the murder, but fear of retaliation from local Democratic officials kept many witnesses from testifying. The two men were acquitted. They later admitted to killing Emmitt. Six decades later, Carolyn Bryant Donham would confess that she lied about the accusations against Emmitt Till.

President George W. Bush signed the Emmitt Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act in October 2008.


Emmett Till, murdered August 28, 1955.




Before Rosa, There Was Claudette Colvin, March 2, 1955



Fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin was an active member of the local NAACP Youth Council lead by Rosa Parks in Montgomery, Alabama. On March 2, 1955, Colvin tested the cities’ segregated busing ordinance by refusing to give up her seat to a white rider. She was arrested, fined and jailed. The NAACP and other activists were initially excited at the prospect of organizing a bus boycott and civil rights action around Colvin’s case. Interest soon diminished when it was discovered that Colvin was several months pregnant, and her frequent outbursts and cursing made her less sympathetic to the conservative African-American churches and community.

Nine months later, activist Rosa Parks, “a pillar of the community,” became the suitable person the NAACP chose to challenge Montgomery’s busing ordinance. Parks participated in strategy sessions and discussions in preparation for the challenge against segregation. Lead by Parks, the bus boycott would last more than a year. Claudette Colvin filed a case in the U.S. District Court on February 1, 1956, Browder v. Gayle, along with three others to sue for the end of busing segregation. The decision reached on December 17, 1956, ruled that Brown v Board of Education applied to Browder v. Gayle. The boycott ended on December 20, 1956.

Parks was not a woman that just showed up on the bus one day while she was doing her daily work, she was a part of a well thought out plan to end segregation on the buses in Montgomery. Colvin was interviewed much later in life and said, “My mother told me to be quiet about what I did. Let Rosa be the one. White people are not going to bother Rosa – her skin is lighter than yours and they like her.”


Colvin along with three other young women (Aurelia Browder, Susie McDonald, Mary Louise Smith) would be the plaintiffs in Browder v. Gayle that would be used to strike down segregation on buses.
https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/browder-v-gayle-the-women-before-rosa-parks




Rosa Parks and Montgomery Bus Boycott, December 1, 1955:


The 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision emboldened blacks to begin resisting their white oppressors. After Claudette Colvin’s attempt to challenge the segregated busing ordinance in Montgomery, Rosa Parks, a civil rights activist in Alabama in the 1950s became her replacement. Parks was a youth leader and secretary of the local NAACP in Montgomery and a family friend of the Colvin's. Historians write that Rosa spontaneously decided one day to not give up her seat on the bus to a white person, but she was groomed for this moment. The NAACP planned the incident to challenge segregation laws and social codes in Montgomery (the original Confederate capital) and was invaluable in ending segregated busing. Parks was arrested and fined ten dollars for breaking the city busing ordinance.

Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy helped Parks lead a bus boycott that lasted more than a year to protest discriminatory practices in the cities’ transportation system. Dozens of the cities’ buses were idle which affected the financial solvency of the transit company and downtown businesses. Some segregationists retaliated with violence by burning black churches, bombing Martin Luther King Jr’s home and arresting black citizens for violating a law prohibiting boycotts. The financial impact of the boycott and the U.S. Supreme Court ruling for the plaintiffs in Browder v. Gayle gave the city of Montgomery no choice but to lift the segregation of its public transit system.  The boycott officially ended on December 20, 1956. Martin Luther King, Jr. emerged as a leader of the boycott.

Timeline for Montgomery Bus Boycott:
March 2, 1955 – Claudette Colvin is arrested for breaking the busing ordinance
December 1, 1955 – Rosa Parks is arrested for breaking the busing ordinance
December 5, 1955 - Mongomery Boycott begins
February 1, 1956 - Browder v. Gale filed in U.S. District Court
June 13, 1956 – U.S. District Court found bus segregation unconstitutional in Browder v. Gayle appealed to Supreme Court
December 17, 1956Supreme Court upheld District Court ruling that Brown V. Board of Education applied to Browder V. Gayle
December 20, 1956 – Montgomery Bus Boycott ends

1955, Rosa Parks with Martin Luther King Jr. in the Background
1955, Rosa Parks with Martin Luther King Jr. in the Background


1955: Montgomery Bus Boycott, December 5, the black community launched a boycott in response to Rosa Parks’ arrest.
1955: Montgomery Bus Boycott, December 5, the black community launched a boycott in response to Rosa Parks’ arrest.


The Montgomery Bus Boycott lasted 381 days.
The Montgomery Bus Boycott lasted 381 days.






Greensboro Four February 1, 1960, Lunch Counter sit-in

The Greensboro Four were freshman college students from North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State University who were all inspired by the nonviolent teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. On February 1, 1960, these college students: Ezell Blair; Franklin McCain; Joseph McNeil; and David Richmond sat down at a “whites only” lunch counter at Woolworth’s and politely asked for service. Their request refused, and when asked to leave, they remained in their seats. Each day these four Greensboro students would sit down, ask to be served, were denied, sat quietly, and refused to move. After six months, the Woolworth’s lunch counter was desegregated. The Greensboro Four’s peaceful “sit-in” helped ignite a youth-led movement that would desegregate lunch counters across the South.

The Civil Rights Movement spawned several approaches to end segregation in the Democratic South, these lunch counter “sit-ins” were non-violent but tenacious. In some locations, whites would pour food over the heads of the demonstrators, but they did not retaliate.


Greensboro Four, February 1, 1960, Greensboro, NC
Greensboro Four, February 1, 1960, Greensboro, NC


Greensboro sit-in sparked other communities to join in a six-month-long protest.
Greensboro sit-in sparked other communities to join in a six-month-long protest.




Guiding Questions:
  • How did the murder of Emmitt Till become an early impetus for the Civil Rights Movement?
  • As a Chicago youth, what did the teen not know about the Jim Crow South?
  • What actions did his mother, Mamie Till, take to help galvanize public opinion about the murder of her son?
  • What did the murder trial of Till show about the justice system in the South?
  • Why do you think that Claudette Colvin was not given proper credit for her role in desegregating buses in Montgomery, Alabama?
  • How did Rosa Parks start the first mass-action civil disobedience movement? What event gave her the courage to take a stand against segregation?
  • How effective was the Montgomery Bus Boycott? Why did it succeed?
  • What non-violent leaders inspired the Greensboro Four?
  • How successful were the sit-ins at lunch counters? What did these non-violent groups hope to accomplish?







How Did President Kennedy’s Leadership Affect Civil Rights? (1960)

As the Democratic candidate, John F. Kennedy did not want to take a public stand on civil rights because he wanted to keep the Southern Democratic support. On October 19, 1960, Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested at a sit-in at an Atlanta department store and sentenced to four months of hard labor for violating a suspended sentence in a 1956 traffic violation (King was released on a $2,000 bond). Kennedy wanted to keep the black vote but not at the expense of losing the southern Democrats.

Harris Wofford was the one who made the call to get King released and called Coretta King to express support, not Kennedy. That fact not revealed to Daddy King who switched his vote from Nixon to Kennedy in the November election. Wofford found a way to advantage Kennedy without losing the southern Democratic vote.  In addition, two million pamphlets were distributed to black churches about the call to Coretta King, and Kennedy received most of the black vote in the 1960 election. Clever maneuvering won the black support, but it would take Kennedy nearly two years to make good on even one of his campaign promises.

After Kennedy was elected, he was not very progressive on Constitutional rights protection for blacks. The 1960s were racially charged, and President Kennedy may have empathized with black Americans, but like his predecessor, was reluctant to take on the southern Democrats. It would take until November 1962, to end racial discrimination in federal government public housing, the Executive Order 11063 was signed only after pressure from the NAACP. The atrocities and brutal attacks on blacks in the South were televised across the nation and could no longer be ignored. President Kennedy finally took the initiative and gave a televised address on June 11, 1963, to the country to speak about violent the oppression of blacks.
http://dubois.fas.harvard.edu/sites/all/files/JFK%20Civil%20Rights%20Speech%20June%2011,%201963.pdf
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVdZBtlSirI

On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. would preside over the most massive demonstration the capital had ever seen. King delivered his masterful “I have a Dream” speech, but President Kennedy would decline the opportunity to address the crowd because of stiffening southern Democrat opposition. President Kennedy would be assassinated in November 1963 – President Johnson would later encourage Congress to pass the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 in honor of President Kennedy’s legacy.






Freedom Riders, 1961

The Freedom Riders challenged the Democratic-controlled South to break barriers of segregation by riding buses and trains together throughout the South. These black and white protesters rode together to draw attention to the fact that interstate transportation on buses and trains was segregated even though the Supreme Court’s decision in Boynton v. Virginia (1960) ruled that segregation on public transportation violated the U. S. Constitution.

On May 4, 1960, thirteen Freedom Riders left Washington D.C. on a bus headed for New Orleans. They were refused service in terminal restaurants, were threatened and viciously attacked. Over six months, 60 integrated rides took place with more than 450 riders under the leadership of SNCC (Students Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) and support of CORE (Congress of Racial Equality.) They rode throughout the Jim Crow South and survived attacks. Law enforcement did not protect them, but media coverage flashed an uproar and called for President Kennedy to intervene. On November 1, the Interstate Commerce Commission ruled that segregation on interstate buses was illegal.

SNCC and CORE members wanted Dr. King to join them, King never joined them but instead sent a letter of his support to be read to the Freedom Riders. A generation gap in the Civil Rights Movement began. www.thekingcenter.org/archive/document/speech-freedom-riders#

https://theundefeated.com/features/a-freedom-rider-recalls-martin-luther-king-jr-and-the-complex-ride-to-civil-rights/


1961: May 14, Freedom Riders Challenge Segregated Interstate Transportation in South.
1961: May 14, Freedom Riders Challenge Segregated Interstate Transportation in South.

1961: May 14, Freedom Riders Challenge Segregated Interstate Transportation in the South.
In 1961, the Freedom Riders, a dedicated group of men and women, black and white, young and old across the country boarded buses, trains, and planes bound for the deep South to challenge the outdated Jim Crow laws. The Freedom Riders also protested the non-compliance with a U.S. Supreme Court decision, already three years old, that prohibited segregation in all interstate public transportation facilities.


Freedom Riders Julia Aaron and David Dennis, with National Guardsmen, on a   bus to Mississippi, May 24, 1961. (Photo by Bruce Davidson, Magnum)
Freedom Riders Julia Aaron and David Dennis, with National Guardsmen, on a 
bus to Mississippi, May 24, 1961. (Photo by Bruce Davidson, Magnum)


Greyhound bus full of Freedom Riders is bombed outside Anniston, Alabama (photo, Joe Postiglione)
Greyhound bus full of Freedom Riders is bombed outside Anniston, Alabama (photo, Joe Postiglione)





Democratic Leaders Against Desegregation: 1957 – 1966

The primary error of the two-year delay before implementing Reconstruction policies in the South failed Reconstruction, and the 1954 decision Brown v. Board of Education, with no timetable for enactment, was equally devastating for civil rights. The Southern Manifesto declared that the Brown decision was unconstitutional, and Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and Texas would continue to fight desegregation. (The Southern Manifesto - Congressional Record, 84th Congress Second Session. Vol. 102, part 4 (March 12, 1956). Washington, D.C.)

Some school districts in the southern and border states did desegregate peacefully, but much of the southern Democrats would brutally fight against efforts to desegregate. Southern Democratic governors, mayors, sheriffs, police officers, safety commissioners, and southern Democratic U.S. Senators would violently fight desegregation. 




New Orleans, Louisiana – Democratic Governor James “Jimmie” Davis (May 10, 1960 – May 12, 1964)

Governor James Davis was a segregationist and ran on a promise to continue to fight for segregation in public education. As Governor, he threatened to close the public schools rather than integrate them. In 1960, NAACP would inform six families that their children had passed the entrance examines for all-white schools and would be eligible to attend these schools in the fall.  That fall, the Louisiana State Legislature would continue to stall to slow the integration process, but by November, they would finally have to relent. 

Ruby Bridges would be the first black child to attend the all-white elementary William Frantz School. On November 14, 1960, President Eisenhower dispatched four U.S. Marshalls to escort Ruby to school among jeering crowds; she spent the day in the principal’s office as parents pulled their children out of school. The second day, Ruby was the only student in the school. 


Governor James Davis was a segregationist and ran on a promise to continue to fight for segregation in public education.
Governor James “Jimmie” Davis


Document A
Ruby Bridges - New Orleans, Louisiana 1960
Ruby Bridges - New Orleans, Louisiana 1960


Painting, The Problem We All Live With, by Norman Rockwell created January 14, 1964.   Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA
Painting, The Problem We All Live With, by Norman Rockwell created January 14, 1964.
 Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA



Little Rock, Arkansas – Democratic Governor Orville Faubus, (September 5, 1957)

Governor Faubus became the national symbol of racial segregation when he ordered the state National Guard to prevent blacks from attending the court-ordered integration of the all-white Little Rock’s Central High School. President Eisenhower attempted to negotiate with Governor Faubus and invited him to Newport, Rhode Island, where the President vacationed, to discuss the tense situation in Little Rock. Eisenhower thought that Faubus had agreed to enforce order and allow the nine students to enroll in the high school, but Faubus withdrew the state National Guard, and a full-scale riot erupted.

President Eisenhower lost patience with his Democratic foe, federalized the state National Guard, and sent 1,000 paratroopers of the 101st Airborne to Arkansas. They restored order for the remainder of the school year, ensured the judge’s order was obeyed and protected the nine black students.  President Eisenhower was the first president since Reconstruction to use federal troops to support blacks, but he did so with criticism on both sides of the aisle; those who felt he did not do enough for blacks and others who thought that asserting federal power over states’ rights was wrong.

President Eisenhower sends a telegram to Governor Faubus to tell him… “the only assurance I can give you is…the constitution will be upheld by me…”

Governor Faubus defends his actions and calls for the continued resistance of racial integration by an intrusive federal government. 

President Eisenhower’s justification for using federal troops in Little Rock, Arkansas.


Democrat Arkansas Governor Orville Faubus tried to prevent desegregation of a Little Rock public school.
Democrat Arkansas Governor Orville Faubus tried to prevent desegregation of a Little Rock public school.


Document B
rkansas National Guard troops and large Crowds outside of Little Rock’s Central High School, September 5, 1957
Arkansas National Guard troops and large Crowds outside of Little Rock’s Central High School, September 5, 1957
(Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress)


Document C





Alabama – Democratic Governor George Wallace

Governor C. Wallace was a four-time governor of Alabama and was one of the leading segregationists of the south. In 1958, he ran for governor and lost against John Patterson who was a populist backed by the KKK. Wallace said he “would never be out segregated again.” In 1962, he became a white-hot segregationist and the candidate for the KKK his platform based on states’ rights, racial segregation - that’s how he stayed in office.

People blamed Wallace for many things that happened in the state because of his inaction. A few days before the 16th Street Church bombing, a reporter asked what needs to happen in Alabama for civil rights, he remarked that a couple of first-class funerals were required.


1962: Democrat George Wallace elected governor of Alabama.   Wallace said, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever.”
1962: Democrat George Wallace elected governor of Alabama. 
Wallace said, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever.”


Guiding Questions:
  • Was John F. Kennedy prepared to be president? Why? Why not?
  • What held Kennedy back when it came to civil rights?
  • What did the Freedom Riders hope to accomplish? 
  • Why did the authorities not follow the Supreme court decision on Boynton v. Virginia that made segregation in public transportation illegal?
  • After Brown v. Board of Education, the Southern Manifesto (1956) emboldened what groups?
  • What did President Eisenhower do to help desegregate schools?
  • Describe what you see in Document A with Ruby Bridges. What are the expressions of emotions on all six people?
  • In Document B, what kind of dangerous situation did Governor Faubus allow in Little Rock, Arkansas? Describe what you see.
  • In Document C, what is the mood of the jeering crowd at Little Rock?  Contrast behavior of a mob as compared to an individual?
  • Can you imagine armed troops blocking you from going to school? What would you do?
  • What did George Wallace mean that he would “never be out segregated again?”




 More Watershed Events That Shaped the Civil Rights Movement

Birmingham, Alabama - Children’s Crusade, May 2 – 5, 1963:  
In 1963, Birmingham was considered the most segregated city in America. Martin Luther King Jr., his Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth developed a plan to desegregate Birmingham called Project C (for Confrontation). It was designed to overwhelm the commissioner of public safety, Eugene “Bull” Connor, with protests, boycotts, marches, sit-ins, and other non-violent protests. After a month, more than 2,400 protestors filled the jails. King was one of them and penned his “Letter From a Birmingham Jail.” https://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html

Another SCLC leader, Reverend James Bevel, thought that using children to protest might turn the tide in Birmingham, so the “Children’s Crusade” was born. From May 2 – 5, thousands of young protesters marched the streets of Birmingham, Alabama; they wanted to talk to the mayor about desegregating downtown stores. The young demonstrators were attacked with police dogs, by firefighters with high-powered fire hoses, hit with police batons, and hundreds arrested on the first day.

Despite this brutal treatment, children continued to volunteer to participate. Footage and photographs, by photographers like Charles Moore, circulated across the nation causing an outcry. Downtown businesses and Birmingham leadership felt the pressure, and on May 10th, the two sides reached an agreement. Businesses agreed to desegregate, and all who had been jailed were released. Weeks later, the Birmingham Board of Education announced that all students involved in the Children’s Crusade were expelled – the Court of Appeals overturned this decision.


The young demonstrators were attacked with police dogs, by firefighters with high-powered fire hoses, hit with police batons, and hundreds arrested on the first day.
Charles Moore Photograph of Carolyn Maull, Birmingham, Alabama, Children’s Crusade, May 2-5, 1963. (Life magazine)



The Charles Moore photographs helped rally support for the Civil Rights Movement. Photos appeared in an eleven-page spread in Life magazine dedicated to the Birmingham campaign. In the 1960s, half of the American adults regularly read Life magazine. Do you think these photos would have had the same impact if they appeared in a local publication? Republican Senator Jacob Javits of New York credited Moore’s photographs of the Children’s Crusade with helping to quicken the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964


Democrat “Bull” Connor orders firemen to use their hoses on demonstrators.
Democrat “Bull” Connor orders firemen to use their hoses on demonstrators. (Charles Moore photograph)


1963: The use of dogs on protesters prompted many public figures to speak out against the Birmingham police department’s harsh tactics.


Children arrested during the Children’s Crusade, 1963
Children arrested during the Children’s Crusade, 1963 


Democrat Eugene “Bull” Conner, Public Safety Commissioner in Birmingham, AL


On May 10, 1963, a press conference held in the courtyard of the A. G. Gaston Motel announced that a plan had been worked out between Dr. Martin Luther King, Rev. A.D. King, and Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth with the downtown Birmingham businesses and leadership to desegregate. The KKK was furious with this plan and accused civil rights leaders of attacking white freedom and ruining Birmingham. The Gaston Motel and Rev. A. D. King’s home were bombed on May 11, 1963.  A.G. Gaston was a successful black businessman who offered his motel as the epicenter of the Birmingham civil rights movement.


The Rev. A. D. King’s home bombed after the agreement of desegregation of Birmingham announced.
The Rev. A. D. King’s home bombed after the agreement of desegregation of Birmingham announced.




Mississippi – Democrat Governor Ross Barnett, 1962

"I speak to you now in the moment of our greatest crisis since the War Between the States … The day of reckoning has been delayed as long as possible. It is now upon us. This is the day, and this is the hour … I have said in every county in Mississippi that no school in our state will be integrated while I am your governor. I repeat to you tonight: no school in our state will be integrated while I am your governor. There is no case in history where the Caucasian race has survived social integration. We will not drink from the cup of genocide."  (from a speech broadcast on September 13, 1962, in which Barnett attempted to incite insurrection in order to prevent the enrollment of James Meredith at the University of Mississippi.)


1962: Democratic Mississippi Governor, Ross Barnett said, “We will never surrender to the evil and illegal forces of tyranny.” (Barnett was a son of a Confederate war veteran.)




1962: Efforts to end segregation in Southern colleges were also marred by obstinate refusals to welcome blacks into previously all-white student bodies. Mississippi Democratic Governor Ross Barnett personally turned James Meredith away from registering as the first black student of the University of Mississippi. Several thousand federal troops had to be ordered to the University of Mississippi to maintain order as riots broke out when they protested the admission of James Meredith, a 29-year old veteran.




Alabama – Democrat Governor George Wallace, June 11, 1963

Again, Governor George Wallace professed “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever” by blocking the doorway of the University of Alabama to prevent Vivian Malone and James A. Hood from entering the university. When Wallace refused to budge, President Kennedy called for 100 troops from the Alabama National Guard to assist federal officials, Wallace stepped down. 

“Stand in the Schoolhouse Door,” Democratic Governor George Wallace tries to block integration at the University of Alabama, June 1963.
Stand in the Schoolhouse Door,” Democratic Governor George Wallace tries to block integration at the University of Alabama, June 1963.

1963: Vivian Malone and James A. Hood stand outside the doorway at the University of Alabama. Governor Wallace was unsuccessful to block these students from attending the University of Alabama.
1963: Vivian Malone and James A. Hood stand outside the doorway at the University of Alabama. Governor Wallace was unsuccessful to block these students from attending the University of Alabama. (Malone died on October 13, 2005, she was the sister-in-law of former Attorney General, Eric Holder)




Medgar Evers Assassinated on June 12, 1963

On June 12, 1963, he was murdered outside his home by white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith, Medgar was thirty-seven.  Beckwith was not found guilty due to jury tampering and official misconduct.  It would take until February 5, 1994, to bring justice with a guilty verdict for Beckwith.
Medgar was a prominent civil rights leader who began to organize local chapters of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). He became the first field secretary of the NAACP in Mississippi. He campaigned to desegregate the University of Mississippi, worked to dismantle segregation, organized economic boycotts, organized sit-ins for equal access to public accommodations, lead voter registration drives by traveling throughout the state to register blacks, and helped James Meredith become the first black to attend the University of Mississippi. Medgar also fought for the enforcement of the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka outlawing desegregation in schools.

He was assigned, by the NAACP, to help with the investigation and was instrumental in providing evidence for the Emmitt Till murder case which brought national attention to the Jim Crow South’s treatment of blacks. Evers’ impressive list of civil rights successes made him a target for militant white supremacists. On June 12, 1963, he was murdered outside his home by white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith, Medgar was thirty-seven.  Beckwith was not found guilty due to jury tampering and official misconduct.  It would take until February 5, 1994, to bring justice with a guilty verdict for Beckwith.

Guiding Questions:
  • Why did the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), pick the city of Birmingham to protest segregation?
  • Why did the SCLC decide to use children to protest? Was this Children’s Crusade a good idea? Why or Why not?
  • How Important were Charles Moore’s photographs in galvanizing the American people with support for the Children’s Crusade?
  • Would Moore’s photos have been as impactful if in a local publication, rather than in Life magazine? Why?
  • The SCLC thought they reached an agreement to desegregate Birmingham businesses, what did the KKK do to question that result?
  • The unwillingness to desegregate also affected colleges and universities. What efforts stopped Governor Barnett and Governor Wallace?
  • Why did Democratic governors object to desegregation? Was it necessary for the government to use federal power over state rights with these governors?
  • Why was Medgar Evers killed? 




August 28, 1963, “I Have a Dream”

August 28, 1963, the largest Civil Rights demonstration ever seen took place in Washington D.C., Dr. King delivered his “I have a Dream” speech to more than 200,000 people on the National Mall.
August 28, 1963, the largest Civil Rights demonstration ever seen took place in Washington D.C., Dr. King delivered his “I have a Dream” speech to more than 200,000 people on the National Mall. King’s address captured the idealistic spirit of the expanding civil rights protests. He said, “that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed – we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” 

Because of the political tension in the nation, President Kennedy and Attorney General Robert Kennedy did not think the march was a good idea and choose not to participate. John Lewis, a Freedom Rider, took to the microphone to speak and attacked the Democratic Party for what he called their “split personality” on race and demanded that they act.




16th Street Baptist Church Bombing, September 15, 1963

Three weeks after Martin Luther King’s speech in Washington D.C., four little girls were killed in the church bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church. Black worshipers regularly gathered at the 16th Street Baptist Church and was a well-known center for the civil rights movement. Retaliation from white supremacists supported by local and state officials was rapid and ruthless. Dr. King spoke at the girls’ funeral and declared to segregationist Governor George Wallace that “the blood of our little girls is on your hands.”

The Democrats controlled the city and the state, so no charges materialized; it would take thirty-nine years for a conviction of Bobby Cherry because Republican President George W. Bush reopened the case.



16th Street Baptist Church, September 15, 1963. (Police officers stand guard at a roadblock at the church after the bombing.) In President Kennedy’s speech on June 11, 1963, he said, “Now the time has come for this nation to fulfill its promise, the events in Birmingham and elsewhere have so increased the cries for equality that no city or state or legislative body can prudently choose to ignore them.” Klansmen ignored the President’s call for change and planned another bombing at the 16th Street Baptist Church.

16th Street Baptist Church Bombing Kills Four Girls, September 15, 1963. (Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley)



16th Street Baptist Church Bombing Kills Four Girls, September 15, 1963. (Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley)




October 10, 1963, Attorney General Robert Kennedy Approves Wiretaps on King

“Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy approved FBI wiretaps on Rev. Martin Luther King on this day because of allegations that two of his aides had Communist associations…. Robert Kennedy authorized the wiretaps in response to continued pressure from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Neither President Kennedy nor the attorney general ever challenged Hoover’s allegations about King and Communism. The wiretaps later embarrassed Robert Kennedy when he ran for the U.S. Senate in 1964 and for president in 1968. The FBI conducted a vendetta against Dr. Martin Luther King, seeking to destroy him as the nation’s major civil rights leader. After President Kennedy's assassination in November 1963, the FBI on December 23, 1963, launched a major effort to “neutralize” King. So on January 5, 1964, it placed listening devices (“bugs”) to spy on King, which Kennedy had not authorized. Finally, on November 21, 1964, the Bureau sent a notorious blackmail letter to King and his wife. The letter contained a tape recording purporting to document King’s involvement in extramarital sexual activity, and it included a strong suggestion that King commit suicide.”http://todayinclh.com/?event=ag-robert-kennedy-approves-wiretaps-on-martin-luther-king
http://todayinclh.com/?event=president-kennedy-pressures-dr-martin-luther-king-to-remove-alleged-communist-associates




“Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy approved FBI wiretaps on Rev. Martin Luther King on this day because of allegations that two of his aides had Communist associations…. Robert Kennedy authorized the wiretaps in response to continued pressure from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Neither President Kennedy nor the attorney general ever challenged Hoover’s allegations about King and Communism.
President Kennedy, J. Edger Hoover, and Attorney General Robert Kennedy





Democratic U.S. Senators Opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act: Strom Thurman (D-SC) and Richard Russell (D-GA)

President Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon Johnson picked up the civil rights efforts, but just like his predecessors, he faced stiff opposition from southern Democrats. Senators Strom Thurman (D-SC), Richard Russell (D-GA), Robert Byrd (D-WV) lead filibuster speeches to create resistance to the Civil Rights Bill. It was Senator Everette Dirksen (D-IL) that worked at changing the wording of the bill and thus broke the filibuster.

1964: Democratic Senators, Strom Thurmond of South Carolina and Richard Russell of Georgia, opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
1964: Democratic Senators, Strom Thurmond of South Carolina and Richard Russell of Georgia, opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act.


Virginia – Robert Byrd (D-WV) Filibustered against the 1964 Civil Rights Act

June 10, 1964, Democratic West Virginia Senator, Robert Byrd, repacks  his briefcase after a 14-hour filibuster against the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  (Senator Byrd was a recruiter for the KKK and rose to the title of Kleagle   & Exalted Cyclops of his local chapter.)

June 10, 1964, Democratic West Virginia Senator, Robert Byrd, repacks
his briefcase after a 14-hour filibuster against the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
(Senator Byrd was a recruiter for the KKK and rose to the title of Kleagle 
& Exalted Cyclops of his local chapter.)



J. B. Stoner, Segregationist from Atlanta, GA


J.B. Stoner, a segregationist from Atlanta, Georgia, holds a Confederate flag as he addresses a large crowd of whites at a slave market in St. Augustine, Florida, on June 13, 1964, and then leads them on a long march through an African American residential section. At right is a sign that read "Kill Civil Rights Bill."  AP Photo





June 21, 1964, Three Civil Rights Workers Killed in Mississippi Assisting with Voter Registration

These three young civil rights workers were working to register black voters in Mississippi when abducted and slain by the KKK. Local Democratic officials, including the sheriff, and the deputy sheriff of the County conspired to cover up the murders.
                    Left to right: Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew  Goodman

These three young civil rights workers were working to register black voters in Mississippi when abducted and slain by the KKK. Local Democratic officials, including the sheriff, and the deputy sheriff of the County conspired to cover up the murders. The deaths of these young men caused national outrage. They were pulled over for speeding and held while members of the KKK prepared for their murder. They were later chased down in their car, cornered, shot and buried.






Republican Everette Dirksen (R-IL)

Senator Dirksen had fine-tuned the language of the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 which helped pass it and break the filibuster of the Democratic Senators. Senator Dirksen, borrowed from the diary of Victor Hugo and said, “it was an idea whose time had come.”  Dirksen argued that a law aimed at ending discrimination by hotels, restaurants, and employers met the standard of Hugo. When President Lyndon Johnson signed the bill, he handed the first pen to Dirksen as a sign of his appreciation of the critical role that the senator played in getting the bill passed.

The Chicago Defender, the renowned black newspaper, would also praise Senator Everett Dirksen’s role for leading the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Bill.

Senator Everett Dirksen (R), was also instrumental to the passage of civil rights  legislation in 1957, 1960, 1964, 1965, and 1968
Senator Everett Dirksen (R), was also instrumental to the passage of civil rights
legislation in 1957, 1960, 1964, 1965, and 1968. Dirksen crafted the language for the Civil Rights Act of 1968 which prohibited discrimination in housing.



Democrats’ opposition to the passing of the Civil Rights Bill, July 2, 1964 (80% of Republicans and 68% of Democrats in favor). The act bans discrimination in all public accommodations and by employers. It also establishes the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) to monitor compliance with the law.







The March from Selma to Montgomery 1965:

On February 26, 1964, Jimmy Lee Jackson was beaten and shot by Alabama State Trooper James Bonard Fowler during a peaceful voting rights march on February 18, 1965, in Selma, Alabama.  Jackson was not only a civil rights worker, but also a deacon in the Baptist church. His murder sparked the Selma to Montgomery marches of 1965.

In March 1965, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and other demonstrators attempted three times to make the 54-mile trek for voting rights from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. On the first attempt on March 7, 1965, police waited until the marchers crossed over the county line, then attacked marchers with billy clubs and tear gas. The brutality was broadcast on national television and was known as “Bloody Sunday.”

In March 1965, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and other demonstrators attempted three times to make the 54-mile trek for voting rights from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama

Democrat Sheriff Jim Clark was responsible for much of the violence directed at civil rights protesters taking part in the Selma to Montgomery march including “Bloody Sunday.” Democrat Governor James "Big Jim" Folsom appointed Democratic Sheriff Clarke. (Democrat George Wallace also supported Clarke)

March 7, 1965, known as “Bloody Sunday,” Civil Rights marchers in Selma, A burly trooper swings at John Lewis’s head.
March 7, 1965, known as “Bloody Sunday,” Civil Rights marchers in Selma, A burly trooper swings at John Lewis’s head.


 On the second try, on March 9, 1965, the marchers got as far as the Pettus Bridge and said a prayer and turned back. The third march was on March 21 and was protected by more than 1900 Alabama National Guard under Federal command, ordered by President Lyndon Johnson. Three thousand marchers left Selma and traveled approximately ten miles a day, they finally arrived on March 25, in Montgomery with more than 25,000 marchers.



The protest strategy organized by the SCLC and SNCC was responsible for most of the Alabama protests in 1965 and prompted President Lyndon B. Johnson to introduce new voting rights legislation. The Voting Rights Act was passed on July 9, 1965, and banned discrimination in voting, abolished literacy tests, and other measures devised by Democrats to keep blacks from voting. More Republicans passed the bill than Democrats.

The March from Selma to Montgomery was the conclusion of a stage of the black freedom struggle.  After Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a substantial number of southern blacks were able to register to vote.  On March 25,1965, Dr. King gave his “Our God is Marching on Speech.”  https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/our-god-marching






Democratic Governor of Georgia Lester Maddox 1967 – 1971
Lester Maddox served as Lieutenant Governor under Jimmy Carter, and Maddox was governor of Georgia from 1967 to 1971. He was a populist Democrat and segregationist who defied the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and refused service to blacks at his Pickrick Restaurant that served fried chicken at reasonable prices.  Pick handles came to be known as “pickrick drumsticks” which symbolized his resistance to the civil rights movement and helped him win the governorship.

Maddox eventually closed his restaurant rather than adhere to the public accommodations section of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.








The Rise of Black Power:

The earlier organizations such as Congress for Racial Equality (CORE), Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) were questioned by younger participants because of the slow progress made in civil rights. The nonviolent strategies of traditional marches and sit-ins gave way to a more direct focus on black empowerment for the civil rights movement. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee leader became Stokely Carmichael who coined the slogan, “Black Power,” and he renamed the organization Student National Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Bobby Seale and Huey Newton founded the Black Panther Party on October 15, 1966; Malcolm X called for self-defense against white violence as well as separation from white oppressors with the Black Muslims; and although traditional black leader shunned these young leaders, they built a following for black separatism.

These black militant groups made no common sense to the white supporters and were counterproductive to the causes and goals of the earlier organizations. The rioting and separatism of the militant groups caused lost of political support of whites who were previously dedicated to a common purpose of improving the conditions of blacks. 



http://www.blackpast.org/1966-stokely-carmichael-black-power-0 (Black Power Speech was given on July 28, 1966)






Martin Luther King on April 4, 1967, delivered a speech, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence”

Martin Luther King delivers a speech on Vietnam at a meeting of clergy at Riverside Church, in New York City. He said he can no longer be silent and made a connection between the war in Vietnam and the struggle that he and others waged in the civil rights movement. In his speech, he said, “It seemed there was a real promise of hope for the poor – black and white - through the poverty program…there were experiments and hopes, new beginnings…then the buildup of Vietnam, I watched the program broken…Vietnam continued to draw men, and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube…the war was the enemy of the poor…it was sending their sons and their brothers and their husbands to fight and die in extraordinarily high proportions relative to the rest of the population.”

To get a full understanding of Dr. King’s reasons for his opposition, Read the speech in the link provided. http://www.blackpast.org/1967-martin-luther-king-jr-beyond-vietnam-time-break-silence





Martin Luther King Assassinated on April 4, 1968:

Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed by James Earl Ray on April 4, 1968. The assassination caused numerous riots in cities like Detroit, NYC, Washington D.C., Chicago, Pittsburg, Baltimore, Kansas City, Wilmington, Cincinnati, Louisville, Trenton. Los Angeles did not have a riot due to community activists that averted a repeat of the 1965 riots in Watts.

Fred Shuttlesworth and Ralph Abernathy, the co-founders of the SCLC, became the leaders of the group. Shuttlesworth and Abernathy paid a high price because the Ku Klux Klan beat them both and Abernathy’s home was bombed.
Robert F. Kennedy was in Indianapolis when he commented on the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/rfkonmlkdeath.html



Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed by James Earl Ray on April 4, 1968.


Chicago, Illinois riot after MLK's assassination


Thousands of young people march through Times Square in New York on April 5, 1968, bound for City Hall after a rally in Central Park for Martin Luther King. 
John Lindsay / AP





Robert F. Kennedy Assassinated on June 6, 1968:

Robert Kennedy managed his brother John’s successful presidential campaign. He would later become President John Kennedy’s closest cabinet advisor as Attorney General in the Kennedy administration. Attorney General Kennedy oversaw the FBI’s covert activities against the Klan while his Justice Department aggressively prosecuted Klansmen and their allies.

After President Kennedy's assassination, Robert becomes a Senator and later ran as a U.S. presidential candidate. He was assassinated on June 6, 1968.




Guiding Questions:


  • What do you think the real reason was for Attorney General Robert Kennedy to wiretap Martin Luther King?
  • Why did the Southern Democrats keep fighting against civil rights for blacks in the 1960s? 
  • White and black civil rights workers were attacked and killed, while members of Congress, governors, and other Democratic leaders fought advances in every way. Why?
  • What Republican senator was credited with getting the Civil Rights Bill passed in 1964?
  • What was the reason for the Selma to Montgomery March? What was “Bloody Sunday?”
  • What piece of legislation passed because of the march from Selma to Montgomery? 
  • Can legislation change the minds of segregationists in the South? What do you think about the record of Lester Maddox?
  • Why did many young leaders begin to abandon the nonviolence protests begun by CORE and SNCC?
  • Why did Dr. King oppose the war in Vietnam? How did the Vietnam War affect blacks? 
  • Do you think there were other reasons why blacks rioted after King’s assassination? If so, what were they?





Notes: