August 21, 2013 / 9:24 AM / 6 years ago

Timeline: Key dates in civil rights movement

(Reuters) - August 28 marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The address was a key event in the struggle of black Americans for racial equality.

The following are major dates in the modern U.S. civil rights movement:

1948 - President Harry Truman desegregates the armed forces.

1954 - Supreme Court outlaws segregation in public schools in Brown v. Board of Education.

1955-57 - Bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, sparked by seamstress Rosa Parks and organized by King.

1962 - James Meredith enrolls at University of Mississippi after President John F. Kennedy sends in troops.

1963 - Images of Birmingham, Alabama, police using fire hoses and dogs on black demonstrators gain widespread sympathy for civil rights movement.

1963 - About 250,000 people gather for March on Washington. King gives “I Have a Dream” speech.

1964 - President Lyndon Johnson signs sweeping Civil Rights Act, forbidding discrimination in many areas of life.

1965 - King leads march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in support of black voter registration.

1965 - Johnson signs Voting Rights Act.

1968 - King assassinated, sparking riots in more than 100 cities.

1978 - Supreme Court rules in Bakke v. Regents of University of California that fixed racial quotas are illegal.

2003 - In Grutter v. Bollinger, Supreme Court upholds University of Michigan Law School policy that takes race into account for admissions.

2013 - In Shelby County v. Holder, Supreme Court strikes down Section 4 of 1965 Voting Rights Act, which determined if a state or locality required approval before changing voting laws.

Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Scott Malone and Lisa Von Ahn

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