Did You Know? Three Decades in the Civil Rights Movement: From 1941 to 1972
As we countdown to Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Monday Jan. 19) we thought we’d present some Did You Know? facts about the Civil Rights Movement. Today is the 2nd edition in our week long look at the civil rights struggle.
4) Did you know that in 1948 the U.S. Armed Forces was ordered by President Harry Truman to integrate all of its units? Until this order, the Armed Forces had maintained separate units for black and white soldiers. Also in 1948, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that using race as a reason to bar persons from owning property was unconstitutional.
5) Did you know that in 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that racial discrimination in public schools was unconstitutional? In its landmark decision, Brown v. Board of Education, the Court ordered that black pupils be admitted to public schools with “all deliberate speed.” That order was not carried out for three more years.
6) Did you know that on December 1, 1955, a seamstress named Rosa Parks refused to vacate her seat for a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama city bus? She was arrested — an event that would spark the boycott of the city’s segregated bus lines.
The bus boycott was a Herculean effort spearheaded by Martin Luther King, Jr. and participated in by the entire black community of Montgomery. After nearly twelve months, the boycott ended with an historic decision by the Supreme Court requiring the city to fully desegregate its municipal bus lines. King’s involvement in the boycott catapulted him onto the national stage, where for more than a decade he led the civil rights movement in non-violent protest.
Stop by again tomorrow for our continuing look at the past 60 years of the civil rights movement and our countdown to Martin Luther King, J. Day.
And for those who don’t want to wait here is our full list of Did You Know? facts about the civil rights movement.