THE OLD SOUTH 1739 - 1863

1739 Stono Rebellion; a famous but unsuccessful slave insurrection to drive slavery out of Charleston, South Carolina.

1776 The Declaration of Independence. (is written by American rebels to create a fair, representative government)

1831 The Turener Rebellion; Of slaves and indentured servants leads to a strengthening of slave codes.

1850 The Fugitive Slave Law is passed in the Compromise of 1850 between northern abolitionists and southern slave states.

1861 The Civil War.. Begins between the northern United States and the southern Confederacy.

1863 The Emancipation Proclamation is signed by President Abraham Lincoln freeing slaves in the Confederate south.


1865 The Freedman’s Bureau is established to represent the needs of former slaves in the south.

1867 The Reconstruction Act divides the Confederate states into five military districts, where martial law prevails.

1869 The Ku Klux Klan, a white supremacist group, is officially dissolved.

1875 The Civil Right Act of 1875 is passed. Tennessee also adopts the first set of Jim Crow laws.

1881 Frederick Douglass publishes his personal narrative; The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass.

1883 The Civil Rights Act of 1875 is overturned by the Supreme Court.

1896 The Plessy v. Ferguson Ruling by the Supreme Court upholds segregation in its “Separate but Equal” doctrine.

The Harlem Renaissance 1909-1947

1909 The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is created.

1915 The Ku Klux Klan is revived in the southern states to prevent voting by African Americans.

1947 Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston and James Baldwin were a few of the many writers active in Harlem Renaissance.

The Civil Rights Era 1954-1968

1954 The Supreme Court rules “Separate but Equal” unconstitutional in the landmark case: Brown v. Board of Education.

1956 Blacks in Montgomery, Alabama boycott city bus lines.

1957 The Civil Rights Act is passed.

1963 Medgar Evans, leader of the Mississippi NAACP, is assassinated at his home.

1963 Martin Luther King gives his famous “I have a dream” speech at the march on Washington, D.C.
Read the Speech (imagine an eloquent and impassioned speaker)

1963 Governor George Wallace tries to block the enrollment of black students at the University of Alabama.

1963 President John F. Kennedy is assassinated.

1964 The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is passed.

1965 Malcom X is assassinated.

1967 The Black Panther for Self Defense is founded, advocating “liberty for black people or total destruction of America.”

1967 Thurgood Marshasll is appointed to the Supreme Court.

1968 Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. (And) Robert Kennedy were assassinated.

Today, 1983-1998

1983 President Ronald Reagan signs a bill creating the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday

1984 Reverend Jesse Jackson runs in the Democratic primaries as a presidential hopeful.

1989 Toni Morrision wins the Nobel Prize in literature for her book, Xula.

1990 General Colin Powell, former National Security Advisor, is appointed chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by President George Bush.

Source: From Slavery to Freedom
Compiled by: Jessica Scheppmann

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