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Timeline: Civil Rights Era (1956 - 1971)
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1400
Basketball great Wilt Chamberlain scores 100 points in a single NBA game, setting a record that still stands.

NPR Learn More: Remembering Wilt Chamberlain
From All Things Considered

PBS Learn More: King of the Court
From The Online NewsHour

1400
African American radical Malcolm X becomes national minister of the Nation of Islam. He rejects the nonviolent civil-rights movement and integration, and becomes a champion of African American separatism and black pride. At one point he states that equal rights should be secured "by any means necessary," a position he later revises.

NPR Learn More: Malcolm X Papers
From All Things Considered

1400
More than 200,000 people march on Washington, D.C., in the largest civil rights demonstration ever; Martin Luther King, Jr., gives his "I Have a Dream" speech.

NPR Learn More: The Speeches of MLK
From NPR Specials

PBS Learn More: King's Legacy
From The Online NewsHour

1400
Four African American girls are killed in the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.

NPR Learn More: Birmingham Church Bombing Trial
From Morning Edition

PBS Learn More: Justice in Alabama
From The Online News Hour

1963
Sidney Poitier becomes the first black actor to win an Oscar for Best Actor, for his role in Lilies of the Field.

NPR Learn More: Sidney Poitier
From Fresh Air

PBS Learn More: Sidney Poitier
From American Masters

1400
Martin Luther King, Jr., writes his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," his famous statement about the civil rights movement.

1400
The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), CORE and the NAACP and other civil-rights groups organize a massive African American voter registration drive in Mississippi known as "Freedom Summer." Three CORE civil rights workers are murdered. In the five years following Freedom Summer, black voter registration in Mississippi will rise from a mere 7 percent to 67 percent.

1400
Romare Bearden, considered perhaps the greatest modern African American artist, completes his African American -themed collage series "Projections."

1400
President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act, which gives the federal government far-reaching powers to prosecute discrimination in employment, voting, and education.

1400
Martin Luther King, Jr. is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

NPR Learn More: Remembering Dr. King
From The Tavis Smiley Show



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