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Civil Rights In U.S Essay

2249 words - 9 pages

The 1960s were one of the most significant decades in the twentieth century. The sixties were filled with new music, clothes, and an overall change in the way people acted, but most importantly it was a decade filled with civil rights movements. On February 1, 1960, four black freshmen from North Carolina Agriculture and Technical College in Greensboro went to a Woolworth's lunch counter and sat down politely and asked for service. The waitress refused to serve them and the students remained sitting there until the store closed for the night. The very next day they returned, this time with some more black students and even a few white ones. They were all well dressed, doing their homework, ...view middle of the document...

Thousands had taken place by the end of 1960 and many people had often gone to jail for it. The Kennedy Era, 1960 and 63, saw many important events. In 1961, Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes were the first African-Americans admitted into Wayne State University. The March on Washington, August 28, 1963, was a huge gathering of two hundred thousand people who gathered at the nation's capital to show their support for civil rights for blacks and hear Martin Luther King, Jr., speak. It was here that King gave his famous I Have a Dream speech. It was the March on Washington that led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Kennedy Era came to an abrupt halt with the result of his assassination on November 22, 1963.With the death of Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson took over the presidency and then was reelected in the next election of 1964. Johnson won the 64 election by a landslide. His plan was to extend black suffrage and pass the Civil Rights Act in memory of Kennedy. It was during the Johnson Era that blacks gained most of their civil rights. Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed racial segregation in public places, proscribed discrimination in employment, and established enforcement machinery for school integration. The only thing that this legislation failed to address was voting rights. The twenty-fourth amendment was put into law January 23, 1964 and struck down the poll tax. In recent years, a poll tax was to be paid in order for citizens to vote in the South. This kept most African-Americans from voting because they didn't have enough money to pay the tax. In 1965, the Voting Rights Act was passed which gave every citizen the right to vote regardless of intelligence, race, or any other reason. Also, in 1965, the Economic Opportunity Act was passed. This act aimed at calming riots and providing job training and employment for the poor and colored people. By 1966, the mood and phase had changed. Street marchers were no longer effective and the civil rights movement was breaking up.One of the most horrid days in the 60s would have to go down in the books as March 7, 1965. It was a Sunday and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference planned a march from Selma, Alabama, to the state capital, Montgomery. Also, there to help organize the voting rights March was Martin Luther King Jr. This was a distance of about fifty miles. Over five hundred marchers were stopped just outside of Selma by state troopers and were told to go home. The marchers refused and as a result the police then attacked. They beat and tear-gassed the protestors. Seventy people went to the hospital that day. Luckily there were television cameras on the scene to record the bloody incident and show the United States viewers what was really going on. The scenes shocked everyone and Lyndon Johnson was prompted to deplore the violence. This day would be called Bloody Sunday. SCLC petitioned a federal district judge for an order that would allow them to march again...

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