Black History and Women Timeline 1960-1969

African American History and Women Timeline

First woman member, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1964
Mrs. Frankie Muse Freeman sworn in, 1964. Getty Images / National Archives

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1960

Ruby Bridges integrated an all-white elementary school in New Orleans, Louisiana

• Ella Baker among others organized SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) at Shaw University

• Wilma Rudolph became the first American woman to win three Olympic gold medals, and was named Athlete of the Year by the United Press

1961

• CORE Freedom Rides began, with the aim of desegregating public buses -- many brave women and men participated

• (March 6) Executive Order by John F. Kennedy promoted "affirmative action" to abolish racial biases in hiring on projects where federal funds were involved

1962

Meredith v. Fair case argued by Constance Baker Motley. The decision allowed James Meredith to be admitted to the University of Mississippi.

1963

• (September 15) Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, Addie Mae Collins, and Cynthia Weston, ages 11-14, killed in the bombing of 16th Street Church in Birmingham, Alabama

• Dinah Washington (Ruth Lee Jones) died (singer)

1964

• (April 6) Mrs. Frankie Muse Freeman becomes the first woman on the new U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

• (July 2) US Civil Rights Act of 1964 became law

Fannie Lou Hamer testified for the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party before the Credentials Committee of the Democratic National Convention

1965

Viola Liuzzo murdered by Ku Klux Klan members after participating in civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama

• affirmative action was required to eliminate racial bias in hiring on federally-funded projects, as defined by Executive Order 11246

• Patricia Harris became the first African American woman ambassador (Luxemburg)

• Mary Burnett Talbert died (activist: anti-lynching, civil rights)

• Dorothy Dandridge died (actress, singer, dancer)

Lorraine Hansberry died (playwright, wrote Raisin in the Sun)

1966

• (August 14) Halle Berry born (actress)

• (August 30) Constance Baker Motley appointed a federal judge, the first African American woman to hold that office

1967

• (June 12) in Loving v. Virginia, Supreme Court ruled that laws prohibiting interracial marriage were unconstitutional, voiding statutes still on the books in 16 states

• (October 13) 1965 Executive Order 11246, requiring affirmative action to eliminate racial bias in hiring on federally-funded projects, was amended to include gender-based discrimination

• Aretha Franklin, "Queen of Soul," recorded her signature song, "Respect"

1968

Shirley Chisholm was the first African American woman elected to the US House of Representatives

• Audre Lorde published her first book of poems, The First Cities.

1969

• (October 29) Supreme Court ordered immediate desegregation of school districts

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