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Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857)
In Dred Scott v. Sandford, the Supreme Court ruled that Americans of African descent, whether free or slave, were not American citizens and could not sue in federal court. The Court also ruled that Congress lacked power to ban slavery in the U.S. territories. Finally, the Court declared that the rights of slaveowners were constitutionally protected by the Fifth Amendment because slaves were categorized as property.
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
In this case, the Supreme Court upheld a Louisiana law requiring railroads to separate blacks and whites into different passenger cars. The Court affirmed the idea that the races could be segregated by law as long as the public facilities available to each race were “equal, but separate.”
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954)
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka was a landmark 1954 Supreme Court case in which the justices ruled unanimously that racial segregation of children in public schools was unconstitutional.
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka II, Kansas (1955)
In 1955, the Supreme Court considered arguments by the schools requesting relief concerning the task of desegregation. In their decision, the court delegated the task of carrying out school desegregation to district courts with orders that desegregation occur "with all deliberate speed".
Bailey v. Patterson (1962)
The Supreme Court ruled to prohibit racial segregation of interstate and intrastate transportation facilities.
Loving v. Virginia (1967)
Loving v. Virginia is a landmark civil rights decision of the United States Supreme Court, which invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage.
Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education (1971)
Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education was a landmark United States Supreme Court case dealing with the busing of students to promote integration in public schools.
Executive Order 8802 (1941)
Signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 25, 1941, to prohibit racial discrimination in the national defense industry.
Executive Order 9981 (1948)
On July 26, 1948, President Truman issued Executive Order 9981 establishing equality of treatment and opportunity in the Armed Services.
Executive Order 10590 (1955)
On January 15 President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs Executive Order 10590 which creates the President's Committee on Government Policy to enforce the federal government's policy of nondiscrimination in federal employment.
Executive Order 10925 (1961)
Executive Order 10925, required government contractors to "take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed and that employees are treated during employment without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin.
Executive Order 11246 (1965)
Executive Order 11246 established requirements for non-discriminatory practices in hiring and employment on the part of U.S. government contractors.
Emancipation Proclamation (1863)
The proclamation declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free."
Thirteenth Amendment (1865)
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. I
Civil Rights Act (1866)
The Civil Rights Act of 1866 declared all male persons born in the United States to be citizens, "without distinction of race or color, or previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude."
Fourteenth Amendment (1868)
Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States that granted citizenship and equal civil and legal rights to African Americans and slaves who had been emancipated after the American Civil War.
Fifteenth Amendment (1870)
The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the federal and state governments from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen's "race, color, or previous condition of servitude".
Civil Rights Act (1871)
The Enforcement Act of 1871 is an Act of the United States Congress which empowered the President to suspend the writ of habeas corpus to combat the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacy organizations.
Civil Rights Act (1875)
The Civil Rights Act of 1875 was a United States federal law enacted during the Reconstruction Era in response to civil rights violations to African Americans, "to protect all citizens in their civil and legal rights", giving them equal treatment in public accommodations, public transportation, and to prohibit exclusion from jury service.
Civil Rights Act (1957)
The new act established the Civil Rights Section of the Justice Department and empowered federal prosecutors to obtain court injunctions against interference with the right to vote.
Civil Rights Act (1960)
The Civil Rights Act of 1960 was a United States federal law that established federal inspection of local voter registration polls and introduced penalties for anyone who obstructed someone's attempt to register to vote.
Civil Rights Act (1964)
The Civil Rights Act of 1964, which ended segregation in public places and banned employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin, is considered one of the crowning legislative achievements of the civil rights movement.
Voting Rights Act (1965)
The Voting Rights Act of 1965, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, aimed to overcome legal barriers at the state and local levels that prevented African Americans from exercising their right to vote as guaranteed under the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Civil Rights Act (1968)
The Civil Rights Act of 1968 defines housing discrimination as the “refusal to sell or rent a dwelling to any person because of his race, color, religion, or national origin”.
Civil Rights Restoration Act (1987)
The Civil Rights Restoration Act was a US legislative act that specified that recipients of federal funds must comply with civil rights laws in all areas, not just in the particular program or activity that received federal funding.