Martin Luther King Jr.

On February 21, King is indicted, along with twenty-four other ministers and more than one hundred other blacks, for conspiring to prevent the Montgomery bus company from operation of business.
A United States Discrit Court rules on June 4 that racial segregation on Alabama\'s city bus lines is unconstitutional. On November 13, the United States Supreme Court uninamously upholds the decision.
On December 21, blacks and whites in Montgomery ride for the first time on previously segregated buses.
1957
More than sixty black ministers, committed to a southern civil rights movement, respond to King\'s call for a meeting. In Atlanta on January 9 and 10, they form the organization that will become the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SLCL).
While King and Rev. Ralph Abernathy are in Atlanta for the meeting, Abernathy\'s home and church are bombed in Montgomery. Three other Baptist churches and the home of a white minister are also bombed in response to the victory of the bus boycott.
On February 14, the SCLC meets formally for the first time in New Orleans. King is unanimously elected president.
On May 17, three years to the day after the Brown v. Board of Education decision, King participates with other civil rights leaders in a Prayer Pilgrimage to Washington. He delivers his first major national address, calling for black voting rights. The next month, he meets with Vice-President Richard Nixon.
On September 9, Congress passes the 1957 Civil Rights Act, the first civil rights legislation since Reconstruction. The act created the Civil Rights Commission, established the Civil Right Division of the Justice Department, and empowered the federal government to seek court injunctions against obstruction of voting rights.
The same month, President Dwight D. Eisenhower federalizes the Arkansas National Guard to escort nine black students to Little Rock Central High, a previously all-white high school. A thousand para-troopers are sent to restore order, and troops remain on campus for an entire school year. When the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to delay desegregation, Little Rock schools are closed for the 1958-59 school year. When they reopen, they are integrated.
Martin Luther III, the King\'s second child and first son is born in Montgomery on October 23.
1958
On June 23, King, along with Roy Wilkins of the NAACP and A. Philip Randolph of the AFL-CIO, meets with President Eisenhower.
King is arrested on September 3 in front of the Montgomery Recorder\'s Court and charged with loitering. The charge is later changed to "failure to obey an officer". The following day, he is convicted. He decides to go to jail rather than pay the fine. Over King\'s objection, the fine is paid by Montgomery Police Commissioner Clyde C. Sellers.
On September 20, King is stabbed in the chest by Mrs. Izola Curry in a Harlem department store while autographing his newly published book, STRIDE TOWARD FREEDOM: THE MONTGOMERY STORY.
1959
In early February, Dr. and Mrs. King depart for a monthlong trip to India, where, as the guests of Prime Minister Nehru, they study Gandhi\'s techniques of nonviolence.
King submits his resignation as pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church on November 29. He will join his father as co-pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where the SCLC has its headquarters.
1960
The sit-in movement begins on February 1 at a Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina. In an effort to desegregate lunch counters, movies, hotels, libraries, and other segregated facilities, it spreads rapidly throughout the country.
On May 6, the 1960 Civil Rights Act is signed. The new legislation authorizes judges to appoint referees to help blacks register and vote.
King meets with Senator John F. Kennedy, candidate for president of the United States, on June 24 to discuss racial concerns.
In October, King is arrested in a sit-in at a major Atlanta department store. The charges are subsequently dropped, and all of the jailed demonstrators except King released. King is held on charge of a violating probation in a previous traffic arrest case. He is sentenced to four months of hard labor and transferred to DeKalb County Jail in Decatur, Georgia, and from there to Reidsville State Prison. Only after Senator Kennedy intervenes is he released on two thousand dollar bail.
In a 7 to 2 decision in December, the U.S. Supreme holds that discrimination in bus terminal restaurants operated for the service of interstate passengers is a violation of the Interstate Commerce Act.
1961
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