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, on what is Martin Luther King’s actual birthday, is our 4th edition in our week long look at the civil rights struggle.
10) Did you know that in 1962, civil rights organizers launched a massive voter registration campaign within the black community in Mississippi? The effort was largely unsuccessful, due to poll taxes and reading tests that were still in place in Mississippi and other Southern states to bar blacks from voting.
Also in 1962, James Meredith, a black college student from Mississippi, won his Supreme Court case to be granted admission to the University of Mississippi. Federal troops were sent by President Kennedy to protect Meredith and ensure his full enrollment.
11) Did you know that on June 12, 1963, Medgar Evers, a field secretary for the National Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), was shot in the back on his way home from a meeting. Evers was the first of many prominent civil rights activists assassinated by segregationists in the 1960s. Evers’ death motivated President Kennedy to call on Congress to pass a comprehensive civil-rights bill.
12) Did you know that in August, 1963, two months after Evers’ assassination, Martin Luther King Jr. led more than a quarter of a million people in the March on Washington for Civil Rights? The march culminated with King’s famous “I Have a Dream” oration.
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.