Black History Month 2022

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Montgomery Bus Boycott Began



Montgomery, Alabama - The Montgomery Bus Boycott began. This was days after the arrest of Rosa Parks. She was tried on charges of disorderly conduct and violating a local ordinance. The trial was only 30 minutes. Parks was found guilty. Her fine was ten dollars ($10). Plus, there were four dollars ($4) in court costs.

Parks appealed her conviction. This was a direct challenge to the law of racial segregation.

On December 1st, the night of Parks' arrest, the Women's Political Council (WPC) gave out leaflets. It showed the start of the boycott, on Monday, December 5th.

On Saturday, December 3rd, the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) made a list of demands to be met. Martin Luther King, Jr. led the MIA.

On December 7th, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) called the boycott an 'agitation among negroes.' The FBI tried to find 'derogatory information' to discredit King.

Montgomery Bus Boycott Leaders Booked



Montgomery, Alabama - The leaders of the Montgomery Bus Boycott gave themselves to the police. The City of Montgomery decided that the boycott was illegal, from a 1921 law.

Tuesday, February 21st, 1956, 89 were charged with an illegal boycott. The charged included Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Reverend Ralph Abernathy, and Edgar Nixon.

On Wednesday, February 22nd, all 89 peacefully went to the police station. All were booked and released on bond.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was the only one who went to trial. Judge Eugene W. Carter found King guilty. King was fined $500, plus $500 for court costs. King appealed the verdict. Judge Carter changed the sentence to 386 days of jail.

King said, 'I was optimistic enough to hope for the best but realistic enough to prepare for the worst. This will not mar or diminish in any way my interest in the protest. We will continue to protest in the same spirit of nonviolence and passive resistance, using the weapon of love.'

On April 30th, 1957, King's appeal was denied. The Court of Appeals ruled his lawyers missed the 60-day deadline. December 1957, King paid the fine.

Montgomery Bus Boycott Ended



Montgomery, Alabama - The Montgomery Bus Boycott ended. It lasted 1 year and 2 weeks. Martin Luther King, Jr. read a prepared statement. 2,500 people, at Holt Street and First Baptist Churches came to hear it.

King urged 'the Negro citizens of Montgomery to return to the buses tomorrow morning on a non-segregated basis.' A person, from the audience, asked about segregated benches downtown. King said the Supreme Court ruling was only for city buses.

King said 'it is true we got more out of this (boycott) than we went in for. We started out to get modified segregation (on buses) but we got total integration.' This was from a Birmingham News account.

At 6:00 a.m., December 21st, 1956, King joined E. D. Nixon, Ralph Abernathy, and Glenn Smiley on one of the first integrated buses. There were only a few instances of verbal abuse and occasional violence.

The Montgomery Advertiser wrote, 'The calm but cautious acceptance of this significant change in Montgomery’s way of life came without any major disturbances.'

SCLC Formed



Atlanta, Georgia - The birth of what became the Southern Christian Leadership Conference was organized. It was first called Southern Leadership Conference on Transportation and Nonviolent Integration.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Stabbed



Harlem, New York - Izola Curry stabbed Martin Luther King, Jr. in the chest. She used a steel letter opener. To save King's life, surgeons opened his chest to remove the weapon.

King was on a book tour to promote his book, Stride Toward Freedom. The tour took King to Harlem, and Blumstein's Department Store. There, as King signed books, Curry came forward. She asked King his name. After she got her answer, she lunged at King and stabbed him in the chest.

After Curry stabbed King, a bystander grabbed her. Curry was ruled insane by the court. She died of natural causes, in New York, in 2015, at 98 years of age.

Birmingham Black Rights Campaign



Birmingham, Alabama - The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) planned protests of racial segregation. These protests were led by Martin Luther King, James Bevel, and Fred Shuttlesworth. King called Birmingham the most segregated city in the country.

As the protests continued, volunteers ran low. It was decided to include children. They came from elementary, middle, and high school.

The Commissioner of Public Safety, Eugene 'Bull' Connor acted against the children. Connor sent high pressure water hoses and attack dogs at the children. Hundreds of children and adults were arrested.

40% of Birmingham's population was black. Yet, none worked for the Birmingham Police Department.

Images of this period showed the harsh brutality of segregation in the South. Whites attacked defenseless and huddled children, because of skin color. The children were no threat to anyone.

Birmingham May Bombings of 1963



Birmingham, Alabama - Bombs exploded at the home of A. D. King (Martin Luther King's brother), and under the room where Martin Luther King had stayed the previous nights.

The first bomb was placed by a uniformed police worker. He drove a marked police car to the home of A. D. King. There he placed a bomb near the porch. The second was thrown at Room 30, of the Gaston Motel.

There was a month-long protest in Birmingham, for racial justice. Finally, local white Birmingham politicians and bureaucrats agreed to concessions. On Friday, May 10th, they agreed to limit racial discrimination and lessen segregation.

In response, on Saturday, May 11th, a white supremacist rally was called outside Birmingham, in Bessemer, Alabama. That evening, at 10:45 p.m., a bomb exploded at A. D. King's home, planted by the Birmingham police.

Just before midnight, at 11:58 p.m., the bomb exploded at the Gaston Hotel. The explosion could be heard across town.

Later, President John F. Kennedy remarked, 'the people who've gotten out of hand are not the white people, but the Negroes by and large.' On this basis, Kennedy called on the military to enter Birmingham.

No deaths or injuries were caused by the explosive devices (bombs). Martin Luther King had left earlier, to go to Atlanta.

The guest, in the room below King's, slept elsewhere. He had planned to sleep there, to get a break from the meetings at his house. But, fatigue forced him to sleep at home.

The bomb at the home of A. D. King did not do enough damage to cause injury. No one was prosecuted for the bombings.

Medger Evers Killed



Jackson, Mississippi - Medger Evers was murdered, at his home. The murderer, Byron De La Beckwith, was tried and convicted.

Early Wednesday morning, Medger Evers returned home to his waiting wife and children. Evers got out of his car. He carried T-shirts that read 'Jim Crow Must Go' in his hands. There, he was shot in the back, from an Enfield 1917 rifle. The bullet struck the 37 year-old Evers through his heart.

After the shot, Evers staggered 30 feet, to the front door of his house. There he collapsed. His wife, Myrtle, found him there.

Evers was taken to the local hospital. He was refused entry, because he was black. His family explained who he was and the hospital admitted him. Evers was in the hospital for 50 minutes, and died.

On June 19th, 1963, Evers was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Martin Luther King, Jr. was in the funeral procession. Evers' funeral got full military honors.

Myrtle Evers fought to get the murderer convicted. On February 5th, 1994, Byron De La Beckwith was convicted of Evers' murder. It took 30 years, but Evers' murderer was sent to prison. Beckwith died in prison on Jaunary 21st, 2001.

'I Have A Dream' Speech Given



Washington, D. C. - At the March on Washington, Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke to the crowd. It was his 'I Have A Dream' speech.

The event was formally known as the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It took place at the National Mall. 250,000 attended.

Martin Luther King and Malcom X Met



Washington, D. C. - Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. met for only one time. It was at the U. S. Capitol. They attended a filibuster of the 1964 Civil Rights bill.

On Thursday morning, it was in the low 70s, and partly cloudy. Malcom X flew from New York. He came and sat in the visitors' gallery, in the Senate. King was in the gallery, on the far end.

Later a press conference was held. As it ended, King and Malcolm X went through separate doors. It is speculated James 67X, made sure they ran into each other.

King offered to shake Malcolm X's hand. As they shook hands, Malcolm X said, 'Now you’re going to get investigated.' Both smiled.

Martin Luther King Got Nobel Peace Prize



Oslo, Norway - Martin Luther King Jr. received his Nobel Prize. The award event was held in the hall of the University of Oslo.

Mr. Jahn, Chairman of the Nobel Committee, gave the prize to King.

Third Selma March



Selma, Alabama - A third Selma march began. It was to end in Montgomery, the state capitol.. It began at Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Thousands began the march.

Unlike the earlier Selma marches, the march itself was peaceful. It had the support of President Johnson and military protection. More than 20,000 took part.

After the march, Viola Liuzzo was killed, by the KKK. She came from Detroit to join the march. As she and a black teenager drove marchers back to Selma, the KKK shot, into the car.

Liuzzo was killed by the gunfire. Le Roy Moton, who was in the car with her, was unharmed. He was nineteen (19) years of age. This helped push whites to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

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Selma Marches

1965 Voting Rights Act Signed



Washington, D. C. - President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

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Voting Rights Act

Planned Parenthood Awarded Martin Luther King



New York, New York - Coretta Scott King, wife of Martin Luther King, accepted the Margaret Sanger Award, on his behalf. She gave an acceptance speech at the award event.

This was seven (7) years before abortion was made legal in the United States. The Supreme Court used the Fourteenth Amendment, in Roe v. Wade, for abortion. Roe, was a fake name, for a white woman.

Margaret Sanger wanted to eliminate black Americans through a process of family planning. This was designed to limit the birth of black babies. Eventually, Planned Parenthood was able to pursue the 'quiet' genocide of abortion, on black Americans.

Margaret Sanger Award

Martin Luther King, Jr. Condemned Vietnam War



New York, New York - Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a speech called 'Beyond Vietnam' at Riverside Church. King spoke as head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. It was before a crowd of 3,000 people.

King said, 'Stop all bombing of North and South Vietnam. Declare a unilateral truce. I hope it would lead to peace talks. Set a date for withdrawal of all troops from Vietnam. Give the National Liberation Front a role in negotiations.'

The speech was condemned by 168 newspapers across the country. Senator Barry Goldwater (Arizona) said it 'could border a bit on treason.' President Lyndon Baines Johnson immediately ended King's access to the White House.

Beyond Vietnam

Martin Luther King, Jr. Killed



Memphis, Tennessee - Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered. King was shot at the Lorraine Hotel, on a Thursday, at 6:01 p.m. A 30-06 rifle was used. Only one shot was fired and it hit King in the throat.

The prior year, King condemned the Vietnam War. President Lyndon Johnson turned his back on King, as a result. The war continued, non-stop. Anti-war demonstrations began to increase, the rest of 1967.

On January 30, 1968, a major attack began against the United States in Vietnam. It was the 'Tet Offensive.' The United States military and President Johnson saw that the enemy had no plan to quit.

On March 28, 1968, the Tet offensive ended. The same day, King arrived in Memphis. King led a march, for Black sanitation workers. The workers had been on strike since February, 1968.

The marchers walked down Beale street. In the back, store windows were broken. As the marchers turned onto Main street, riot police waited. The police attacked. Riot clubs and tear gas were used. King was led away, safely. Hundreds were arrested. A black teenager was killed by police.

On Sunday, March 31, 1968, President Johnson went on television, and spoke for 40 minutes. He began with peace talks for the war. At the end, Johnson said he would not run for re-election.

Four days later, King was killed, in Memphis.

Joseph Louw, a 28 year-old South African, took the photograph just before the murder. Some suspect Louw was there working with the FBI and CIA as surveillance of the Black Rights (civil rights) leader.

First Martin Luther King Day Observed



Washington, D. C. - The first legal observance of Martin Luther King Day was in the United States. This was the first Federal holiday for a black man.

On November 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed, into law, to make it a Federal holiday. States were not required to observe the holiday. At first, many states refused to accept it. This included many southern states.

By 2000, all states recognized the Federal holiday, but called it by other names. Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Virginia called it Stonewall Jackson Day. These states chose to honor a Confederate General who fought the United States, to uphold slavery.

First Observance of Martin Luther King Day

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