THE ROAD TO EQUALITY

The stir Rosa Parks created in 1955 joins a long list of major civil rights events in the US. The following is a time line of some of these milestones:

Jan. 1, 1863: President Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves in Confederate states.

Dec. 18, 1865: The 13th Amendment, outlawing slavery in the US, is ratified.

July 28, 1868: The 14th Amendment is ratified, validating citizenship rights for all persons born or naturalized in the US. It also declares that citizens are entitled to equal protection of the law.

March 30, 1870: The 15th Amendment is ratified, securing voting rights for all male US citizens, regardless of race.

March 1, 1875: Congress passes a bill that requires equal accommodations for blacks and whites in public facilities other than schools. The Supreme Court overturns the legislation in 1883.

May 18, 1896: The US Supreme Court, in Plessy v. Ferguson, upholds the concept of ``separate but equal'' public facilities for blacks and whites.

May 17, 1954: Overruling Plessy v. Ferguson, the Supreme Court declares that separate educational facilities are unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kan.

Dec. 1, 1955: Rosa Parks refuses to change seats on a Montgomery, Ala., bus.

Aug. 28, 1963: An estimated 200,000 people participate in the March on Washington, protesting racial discrimination and supporting civil rights legislation pending in Congress. Martin Luther King Jr. delivers the speech ``I Have a Dream.''

July 2, 1964: President Lyndon Johnson signs into law the Civil Rights Act, giving federal law-enforcement agencies power to prevent racial discrimination in employment, voting, and use of public facilities.

April 4, 1968: King is assassinated in Memphis, touching off riots across the country.

Oct. 29, 1969: The Supreme Court rules that school districts must end segregation at once. Starting in 1973, the court orders school desegregation in certain Northern cities.

June 22, 1983: The Louisiana Legislature repeals the last racial-classification law in the US.

Jan. 20, 1986: The first national Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is celebrated.

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