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1541

Under the Royal Assent by Commission Act of 1541, a colonial assembly was required to secure the King’s permission unto any colonial statutes and laws.

1957

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference establishes and adopts nonviolent mass action as its cornerstone strategy to gain civil rights and opportunities for blacks. Working initially in the South under the leadership of Martin Luther King, by the mid 1960's King enlarges the organization's focus to address racism in the North.

1968

Martin Luther King is assassinated by James Earl Ray in Memphis, Tennessee.

1967

Robert C. Weaver is appointed Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. He is the first black to hold a Cabinet position in U.S. history.

1964

President Johnson announces the "Great Society" with "abundance and liberty for all", and declares a "War on Poverty."

1963

In Birmingham, a white man is seen placing a box containing a bomb under the steps of the 16th Street Baptist Church, a black congregation. The explosion kills four black girls attending Sunday school. Twenty-three others people are also injured in the blast.

1959

Martin Luther King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail inspires a growing national civil rights movement. In Birmingham, the goal is to end the system of segregation completely in every aspect of public life (stores, no separate bathrooms and drinking fountains, etc.) and in job discrimination.

1955

A white woman named Carolyn Bryant Donham accused 14-year-old lynching victim Emmett Till of making “verbal and physical advances”; but years later, she admitted she’d made the whole thing up.

1954

Brown v. Board decision declares segregation in public schools illegal.
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