Accessibility links

Historic Moments Of The Civil Rights Movement

August 28 is the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, a major milestone in the movement for equality for African Americans. More than 200,000 activists took part in the march, at which Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic "I Have A Dream" speech for racial equality. These photographs show some of the other historic moments in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s.

A black student, Nathaniel Steward, 17, recites his lesson on May 21, 1954, at the Saint-Dominique school in Washington, D.C. The school was among the first to hold integrated classes of black and white students following Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court decision outlawing school segregation.
1

A black student, Nathaniel Steward, 17, recites his lesson on May 21, 1954, at the Saint-Dominique school in Washington, D.C. The school was among the first to hold integrated classes of black and white students following Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court decision outlawing school segregation.

Lawyers Thurgood Marshall (center), George E.C. Hayes (left), and James Nabrit celebrate the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education on May 17, 1954. The ruling declared racial segregation in schools to be unconstitutional. In 1967, Thurgood Marshall became the first African-American to be appointed to the Supreme Court.
2

Lawyers Thurgood Marshall (center), George E.C. Hayes (left), and James Nabrit celebrate the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education on May 17, 1954. The ruling declared racial segregation in schools to be unconstitutional. In 1967, Thurgood Marshall became the first African-American to be appointed to the Supreme Court.

Emmett Till, a 14-year-old from Chicago, was visiting family in Mississippi when he was kidnapped, brutally beaten, shot, and dumped in a river. His two white attackers, who said that they had killed Till because he whistled at a white woman, were acquitted by an all-white jury. The case became a cause célèbre of the civil rights movement.
3

Emmett Till, a 14-year-old from Chicago, was visiting family in Mississippi when he was kidnapped, brutally beaten, shot, and dumped in a river. His two white attackers, who said that they had killed Till because he whistled at a white woman, were acquitted by an all-white jury. The case became a cause célèbre of the civil rights movement.

Civil rights activist Rosa Parks, pictured with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1955. Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger. Her act of civil disobedience marked the beginning of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a protest campaign against segregation on public transport in the state of Alabama.
4

Civil rights activist Rosa Parks, pictured with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1955. Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger. Her act of civil disobedience marked the beginning of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a protest campaign against segregation on public transport in the state of Alabama.

Rosa Parks sits with a journalist in the front of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1956, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled segregation illegal on the city's transport system. The court case was the result of the bus boycott initiated by Parks and fellow activists.
5

Rosa Parks sits with a journalist in the front of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1956, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled segregation illegal on the city's transport system. The court case was the result of the bus boycott initiated by Parks and fellow activists.

Nine black children are escorted by U.S. paratroopers outside a school in Little Rock, Arkansas, on September 25, 1957. U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower had ordered government troops to protect the children from angry protesters as they began attending a white-majority school. The state's governor, Orval Faubus, had ordered the state militia to bar the children from entering the school.
6

Nine black children are escorted by U.S. paratroopers outside a school in Little Rock, Arkansas, on September 25, 1957. U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower had ordered government troops to protect the children from angry protesters as they began attending a white-majority school. The state's governor, Orval Faubus, had ordered the state militia to bar the children from entering the school.

Student activists join hands and sing as they prepare to leave Ohio to register black voters in Mississippi in 1964. The voter registration campaign was known as Freedom Summer.
7

Student activists join hands and sing as they prepare to leave Ohio to register black voters in Mississippi in 1964. The voter registration campaign was known as Freedom Summer.

Black and white protesters chain themselves together during a protest against segregation in front of New York City Hall on August 23, 1963.
8

Black and white protesters chain themselves together during a protest against segregation in front of New York City Hall on August 23, 1963.

Civil rights leader and clergyman Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (third from left) marches with other civil rights leaders in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963. More than 200,000 activists took part in the march, which King described as "the greatest demonstration of freedom in the history of the United States."
9

Civil rights leader and clergyman Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (third from left) marches with other civil rights leaders in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963. More than 200,000 activists took part in the march, which King described as "the greatest demonstration of freedom in the history of the United States."

Activists march from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington.
10

Activists march from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington.

U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson shakes hands with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. after signing the historic Civil Rights Bill in the White House on July 2, 1964.
11

U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson shakes hands with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. after signing the historic Civil Rights Bill in the White House on July 2, 1964.

Coretta Scott King (fifth from right) leads the March on Memphis on April 9, 1968, five days after her husband,  Martin Luther King Jr., was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. On her right, the couple's daughter, Yolanda, walks with her brothers Martin and Dexter.
12

Coretta Scott King (fifth from right) leads the March on Memphis on April 9, 1968, five days after her husband,  Martin Luther King Jr., was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. On her right, the couple's daughter, Yolanda, walks with her brothers Martin and Dexter.

People gather at the Poor People's March on June 19, 1968, in Washington, D.C. The Poor People's Campaign was organized in 1968 by Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to demand economic aid to the poorest communities of the United States. The campaign continued under new leadership after King's assassination in April 1968.
13

People gather at the Poor People's March on June 19, 1968, in Washington, D.C. The Poor People's Campaign was organized in 1968 by Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to demand economic aid to the poorest communities of the United States. The campaign continued under new leadership after King's assassination in April 1968.

XS
SM
MD
LG