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Today in Civil Rights History: Birth Anniversary of Civil Rights Icon Fannie Lou Hamer

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ninety-two years ago today, civil rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer was born in Ruleville, Mississippi. Hamer joined the civil rights movement late in life and quickly became a major national figure.  In 1962, she was among the first to volunteer to register to vote in Indianola, Mississippi, having traveled to the town to register after … Read More

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Today in Civil Rights History: The Voting Rights Act becomes Law

Thursday, August 6, 2009

In the early 1960s, television images of police attacking civil rights marchers shocked the nation and spurred the passage of sweeping civil rights legislation. On March 7, 1965, police in Alabama used tear gas and billy clubs to attack over 500 civil rights activists who marched from Selma to Montgomery to dramatize the call for … Read More

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Today in Civil Rights History: Civil Rights Act of 1964 becomes Law

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Forty-five years ago today, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlaws discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, and sex in public accommodations, employment, and federally funded programs. It also established a framework within the federal government for combating discrimination … Read More

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This Week in Civil Rights History: The Anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad’s Completion

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

On May 10, 1869, the first transcontinental railroad in the United States was completed.  The railroad ran from Council Bluffs, Iowa to Sacramento, Calif. Though it was designed to connect the East and West coasts of the U.S., it wasn’t connected to the eastern U.S. rail network until 1872. Chinese workers were recruited to lay the … Read More

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Today in Civil Rights History: First African American Senator Gives Speech on U.S. Senate Floor

Monday, March 16, 2009

On March 16, 1870, Senator Hiram Rhodes Revels became the first African American to give a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate. In his speech, Revels urged Congress to pressure the Georgia General Assembly to reinstate Black state legislators who had been illegally denied their seats. In April 1868, Georgia voters ratified a … Read More

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