20 Iconic Milestones in the Fight for Civil Rights

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  • Voting Rights Act of 1965
  • Million Man March
  • James Byrd Jr.
  • President Obama
  • Trayvon Martin
  • March on Washington
  • Harriet Tubman
  • Emancipation Proclamation
  • Dred Scott Decision
  • NAACP
  • Jackie Robinson Breaks Racial Barriers in Baseball
  • Integration of the U.S. Military
  • Brown v. Board of Education
  • Emmett Till
  • Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)
  • “Little Rock Nine”
  • Woolworth Lunch Counter
  • The March on Washington
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Selma-to-Montgomery March

James Byrd Jr.

In what was called one of the most notorious hate crimes of modern times, James Byrd Jr., 49, was murdered by three white supremacists in Jasper, Texas, in 1998. Offering Byrd a ride home, the men instead drove to a remote country road, beat him, chained his legs to the back of their pick-up truck and dragged him for several miles. In 2009, President Obama signed The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, strengthening hate crime prosecutions nationally. 

(Photo: Reuters /Landov)