Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-1956)
Sparked by the arrest of Rosa Parks on December 1, 1955, the Montgomery Bus Boycott was a 13 month protest that ended with the supreme court ruling that segragation on public buses is unconstitutional. Martin Luther King Jr. became the the civil rights leader.
Integration of Mississippi Universites (1955-1956)
In 1956, Clyde Kennard, a black, Korean War veteran, attempted to enroll at Mississippi Southern College. But, Dr. William David McCain, the college president tried to prevent this by going to the local black leaders and the segregational state political establishments. He also used the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, which he was a member of to make Kennards enrollment impossible.. As a result, Kennard was twice arrested on criminal charges and eventually was sentenced to seven years in state prison.
Desegragating Little Rock (1957)
Governer of Arkansas, Orval Faubus, called the National Guard on September 4th to prevent entry to the nine African American students who had the right to attend an integrated school, Little Rock Central High School. The nine students were chosen to attend because of their excellent grades. On the first day of school, only one of the nine students showed up because she didn't get the phone call about the danger of going to school. She was harassed by white protesters outside the school, and the police had to take her away in a patrol car to protect her. Afterward, the nine students had to carpool to school and be escorted to each class by military personnel. Out of the Nine students, only one graduated from that high school. (Ernest Green) Minnijean Brown was suspended for spilling a bowl of chili on a white student who had been harassing her in the school lunch line. Later she was expelled for verbally assaulting a white female student.
The Murder of Emmett Till (1955)
Emmett Till was a African American boy who was brutally murdered at the age of 14 for whistling at a white woman. The murder was one of the events that motivated the Civil Rights Movement. At the Funeral Emmett's mother requested to have a open casket so everyone could see what his murderers did to him. Emmett was taken out of his uncles house beaten, shot, and was thrown in the Tallahatchie River. When his murders were put on trial, the jury were all white men. The trial only took 67 minutes and both defendants were acquitted. The acquittal outraged people throughout the United States and even throughout Europe, which started the Civil Rights Movement.