May 1961: The first Freedom Ride takes off from Washington D.C. In December 1960 the Supreme Court rules that all bus stations and terminals serving interstate travelers be integrated. Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) workers take Freedom Rides to ensure segregation. Despite sentencing and violence, volunteers continue the rides until the attorney general petitioned the Interstate Commerce Commission to issue a ruling against segregation of interstate facilities.
September 1962: James Meredith requires federal protection to enroll at the University of Mississippi.
June 1963: President Kennedy sends the Alabama National Guard to enforce integration at the University of Alabama.
August 1963: More than 200,000 gathered at the Lincoln Memorial in a massive protest march on Washington. It was the largest civil rights demonstration. Martin Luther King gives his famous “I have a dream" speech at the demonstration.
July 1964: A comprehensive Civil Rights Act is signed into law.
February 1965: Civil Rights leader Malcolm X is assassinated as he speaks in Harlem.
August 1965: The Voting Rights Act is signed into law. In three years, 740,000 African-Americans voters are registered.
August 1965: The Watts section of Los Angeles breaks out in riots. The riots last six days and leave 34 people dead, 1072 injured and 4000 arrested. Close to 1000 buildings were destroyed and nearly $40 million in damage was done.
April 1968: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. He was 39 years old.