Four black college students from the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College staged the first of the Civil Rights Movement’s sit-ins. The students sat down at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, and attempted to order but were refused service. The sit-in movement grew to more than 140 cities. Participants faced harassment, violence, and arrest in their attempts to integrate public lunch counters.
In Shelly v. Kraemer, the Supreme Court reinforced the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of “equal protection of the laws" when it ruled that state courts could not enforce racially restrictive housing covenants.
The Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 amended the Fair Housing Act of 1968 (which prohibited housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin). The 1988 law extended protections to families with children and those with disabilities, and established harsher penalties for violation.
The National Organization for Women (NOW) is an activist women’s rights organization founded in 1966 by Betty Friedan and others. In the 1960s and 1970s, NOW helped lead the feminist movement in its efforts to eliminate sex discrimination and secure reproductive and equal rights for women. As the largest feminist organization in the United States, NOW continues to address issues of equality, race, economy, health, sexuality, and violence against women.