10 PIVOTAL CIVIL RIGHTS EVENTS…
Executive Order 9981
On July 26, 1948, President Harry S. Truman issued Executive Order 9981 mandating full integration in all branches of the U.S. military. By the time the Korean conflict ended in the following decade, this had largely been achieved. William H. Johnson's Training for War, a silk-screen print made circa 1941, recalls President Harry S. Truman's Executive Order.
Brown v. Board of Education
A unanimous ruling of the United States Supreme Court in the case of Brown v. Board of Education declared that separate educational facilities for black and white children are inherently unequal. The landmark ruling is suggested by Romare Bearden's lithograph, The Lamp (1984).
Montgomery Bus Boycott
After Rosa Parks was arrested on Dec. 1, 1955 for refusing to let a white passenger take her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus, African Americans began a prolonged boycott of the bus company by walking or carpooling for more than a year. On Dec. 21, 1956, black passengers once again rode Montgomery City Lines. The Boycott is represented by a detail from Walking, a painting made in 1958 by Charles Alston.
Little Rock Nine
After the Supreme Court declared segregated schools unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education (1954), many public school systems were slow to adapt to the new legal reality. In 1957, nine courageous students became the first African Americans to attend Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, where they endured virulent harassment and received the protection of federal troops. George Hunt's painting America Cares (1997) remembers the nine courageous students.
Lunch Counter Sit-Ins
When four African-American college students placed an order at a "whites only" lunch counter in Greensboro, NC, in 1960, they sparked acts of civil disobedience in many other cities. The sit-in movement to integrate "whites- only" lunch counters is recalled by an exhibit created for the National Civil Rights Museum by StudioEIS, a design and fabrication firm in New York.
To test a ruling that outlawed segregation of bus stations and terminals serving interstate travelers, biracial groups of men and women volunteered to take bus rides through the South, using the "wrong" facilities at stops. Several Freedom Riders were injured because of mob violence instigated by segregationists, eliciting an outpouring of support and concern. A gouache by May Stevens, Freedom Riders, made in 1963, honors the men and women.
March on Washington
More than 250,000 people marched in Washington, DC for racial justice in 1963, and Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. March on Washington, painted in 1964 by Alma Thomas, commemorates the great demonstration.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Designed to provide broad protections against discrimination on the basis of race, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Among its other provisions, the law prohibited discrimination in public accommodations such as hotels, restaurants and theaters. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is suggested by Dixie Cafe, a brush-and-ink drawing made in 1948 by Jacob Lawrence.
In the spring of 1965, demonstrators demanding an end to discrimination gathered in Selma, Alabama, to march to the state capital, Montgomery, fifty miles away, This is represented by Selma March, an acrylic painting made in 1991 by Bernice Sims.
Voting Rights Act of 1965
With leaders of the civil rights movement standing by, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law, strengthening the federal government's ability to prevent state and local governments from denying citizens the right to vote because of their race. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is suggested by Bruce Davidson's photograph Youths on the Selma March, 1965.
These stamps were issued as a group (of 10) in 2005. A Great Recognition of the Movement! RLHSR.