20 Iconic Milestones in the Fight for Civil Rights

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  • 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
  • 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

Montgomery Bus Boycott

On Dec. 5, 1955, Rosa Parks, a 42-year-old seamstress, was arrested after she refused to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus. Her arrest galvanized civil rights advocates and launched a boycott of the Montgomery City bus system lasting 381 days, resulting in the desegregation of the city's buses in 1956. (Photo: Underwood Archives/Getty Images)