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Test of Courage



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Diversity Timeline
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timeline 1954-1969


In Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court rules that deliberate public school segregation is illegal. Mexican Americans are ruled to be "persons of a distinct class" entitled to the protection of the 14th Amendment. Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on an Alabama bus to a white man, precipitating the Montgomery bus boycott led by Martin Luther King Jr.


Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, meets with legal resistance and violence. Nine African American students attend the school with the presence of federal troops.


The "Firettes" form in Kings County, California, to provide firefighting and first aid services during daylight hours, when male volunteers are scarce. Cesar Chávez leads the United Farm Workers Union to win bargaining power for Mexican Americans.


Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his "I Have a Dream" speech at the March on Washington. President John F. Kennedy is assassinated.


Congress passes the Civil Rights Act, protecting citizens against discrimination and segregation. Patsy Mink (D-HI) is the first Asian American woman elected to the U.S. Congress.


President Johnson signs executive order requiring federal agencies and contractors to take "affirmative action" in overcoming employment discrimination. President also signs the Immigration Act, which eliminates race, creed and nationality as a basis for admission to the U.S.

Malcolm X is assassinated. Race riots erupt in the Watts section of Los Angeles after an African American woman is killed by a fire truck driven by white men.


The National Organization for Women (NOW) is established to fight for political equality between the sexes.


President Johnson's executive order expands previous nondiscrimination measure to include women. Enforcement is not won until 1973. Congress passes the Age Discrimination Act of 1967, prohibiting employment discrimination against older Americans.


Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated. Unrest and civil disorders erupt in 124 cities across the country. President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968, aimed at curbing discrimination in housing. Senator Robert Kennedy is assassinated. Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D-NY) is the first African American woman elected to Congress. The American Indian Movement (AIM) is founded in Minneapolis.


Police raid the Stonewall Inn, a Greenwich Village bar catering to homosexuals, resulting in two nights of rioting and the beginning of the Gay Rights Movement.


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