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Posted: December 28, 2011

MLK Chronology 1965-1968

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The chronology of the life of  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


1965 February 21 Malcolm X, leader of the Organization of Afro-American Unity and former Black Muslim leader, is murdered in New York City.

March 7 A group of marching demonstrators (from SNCC and SCLC) led by SCLC's Hosea Williams are beaten when crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge on their planned march to Montgomery, Alabama,from Selma, Alabama. Their attackers were state highway patrolmen under the direction of Al Lingo and sheriff's deputies under the leadership of Jim Clark. An order by Governor Wallace had prohibited the march.

March 9 Unitarian minister, James Reeb, is beaten by four white segregationists in Selma. He dies two days later.

March 15 President Johnson addresses the nation and Congress. He describes the voting rights bill he will submit to Congress in two days and uses the slogan of the Civil Rights Movement, "We Shall Overcome."

March 16 Sheriff's deputies and police on horseback in Montgomery, Alabama beat black and white demonstrators.

March 21 – 25 Over three thousand protests marchers leave Selma for a march to Montgomery, Alabama protected by federal troops. They are joined along the way by a total of twenty-five thousand marchers. Upon reaching the capitol, they hear an address by Dr. King.

March 25 Mrs. Viola Liuzzo, wife of a Detroit Teamsters Union business agent, is shot and killed while driving a carload of marchers back to Selma.

July Dr. King visits Chicago, Illinois. SCLC joins with the Coordinating Council of Community Organizations (CCCO), led by Al Raby, in the Chicago Project.

August - In Alabama, SCLC spearheads voter registration campaigns in December Green, Wilcox and Eutaw counties, and in the cities of Montgomery and Birmingham, Alabama.

August 6 The 1965 Voting Rights Act is signed by President Johnson.

August 11-16 In Watts, the black ghetto of Los Angeles, riots leave a total of thirty-five dead. Twenty-eight are black.

1966 February Dr. King rents an apartment in the black ghetto of Chicago,Illinois.

February 23 Dr. King meets with Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Black Muslims, in Chicago.

March Dr. King takes over a Chicago slum building and is sued by its owner.

March 25 The Supreme Court of the United States rules all poll tax unconstitutional.

Spring Dr. King tours Alabama to help elect black candidates. The Alabama Primary is held, and for the first time since Reconstruction, blacks vote in significant numbers.

May 16 An antiwar statement by Dr. King is read at a large Washington rally to protest the war in Vietnam. Dr. King agrees to serve as a co-chairman of Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam.

June Stokely Carmichael and Willie Ricks (SNCC) use the slogan "Black Power" in public for the first time before reporters in Greenwood, Mississippi.

June 6 James Meredith is shot soon after beginning his 220-mile "March Against Fear" from Memphis, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi.

July 10 Dr. King launches a drive to make Chicago an "open city" regarding housing.

August 5 Dr. King is stoned in Chicago as he leads a march through crowds of angry whites in the Gage Park section of Chicago's southwest side.

September SCLC launches a project with the aim of integrating schools in Grenada, Mississippi.

Fall SCLC initiates the Alabama Citizen Education Project in Wilcox County.

1967 January Dr. King writes his book Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? while in Jamaica.

March 12 Alabama is ordered to desegregate all public schools.

March 25 Dr. King attacks the government's Vietnam policy in a speech at the Chicago Coliseum.

April 4 Dr. King makes a statement about the war in Vietnam, "Beyond Vietnam," at the Riverside Church in New York City.

May 10-11 One black student is killed in a riot on the campus of all Negro Jackson State College, Jackson, Mississippi.

July 6 The Justice Department reports that more than 50 percent of all eligible black voters are registered in Mississippi, Georgia,Alabama, Louisiana and South Carolina.

July 12-17 Twenty-three people die and 725 are injured in riots in Newark, New Jersey.

July 23-30 Forty-three die and 324 are injured in the Detroit riots, the worst of the century.

July 26 Black leaders, Martin Luther King, Jr., A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins and Whitney Young appeal for an end to the riots, "which have proved ineffective and damaging to the civil rights cause and the entire nation."

October 30 The Supreme Court upholds the contempt-of-court convictions of Dr. King and seven other black leaders who led the 1963 marches in Birmingham, Alabama. Dr. King and his aides enter jail to serve four-day sentences.

November 27 Dr. King announces the formation by SCLC of a Poor People's Campaign, with the aim of representing the problems of poor blacks and whites.
1968 February 12 Sanitation workers strike in Memphis, Tennessee.

March 28 Dr. King leads six thousand protesters on a march through downtown Memphis in support of striking sanitation workers. Disorder breaks out during which black youths loot stores. One sixteen-year-old is killed and fifty people are injured.

April 3 Dr. King's last speech titled "I've Been to the Mountain Top" is delivered at the Memphis Masonic Temple.

April 4 Dr. King is assassinated as he stands talking on the balcony of his second-floor room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. He dies in St. Joseph's Hospital from a gunshot wound in the neck.

April 9 Dr. King is buried in Atlanta, Georgia.

June 5 Presidential candidate Senator Robert Kennedy is shot in Los Angeles and dies the next day.

1986 January 18 Following passage of Public Law 98-144, President Ronald Reagan signs a proclamation declaring the third Monday in January of each year a public holiday in honor of the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.

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