Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” after being arrested on April 12 during a civil rights demonstration in Birmingham, Alabama. On the day of King’s arrest, a group of white religious leaders issued “A Call for Unity,” a statement urging an end to the demonstrations; King’s letter was a response to that statement. In his letter, King justified the movement’s tactics and admonished white churches for not supporting rights for African Americans.
Martin Luther King Jr. and others led more than 200,000 civil rights supporters in a March on Washington. There, King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, declaring that “we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
The Montgomery bus boycott began on December 6, 1955, prompted by the arrest five days earlier of Rosa Parks. The boycotters were led by Martin Luther King Jr. They walked and carpooled to protest segregation in public transportation. They faced harassment and violence from white police and residents. In November 1956, the Supreme Court ruled in Gayle et al. v. Browser that segregation of the city’s buses was unconstitutional. African Americans returned to Montgomery’s buses on December 21, 1956.
Martin Luther King Jr. organized a freedom march from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery, Alabama, to protest voter registration interference by the police. The march was halted when Alabama state troopers stopped and beat the protestors at Pettus Bridge. The march resumed with 3,200 protestors on March 21. They were escorted at President Johnson’s orders by the National Guard. The march reached Montgomery with more than 25,000 protestors on March 25.
Martin Luther King Jr. and others formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference after the success of the Montgomery bus boycott. The SCLC remained active and influential in the Civil Rights Movement throughout the 1950s and 1960s.
The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) is a civil rights organization that was established by Martin Luther King Jr. and other African American leaders just after the Montgomery bus boycott in 1956. The SCLC played a major roll in the Civil Rights Movement. The organization helped to organize the 1963 march on Washington, DC, and worked to secure voting rights for African Americans in the South.
J. Edgar Hoover (1895–1972) was the controversial director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from 1924 to 1972. After studying law, Hoover worked for the Department of Justice and the attorney general. At just twenty-nine years old, he was named director of the FBI. Hoover reorganized the FBI and instituted new policies and training to transform the bureau into a respected and specialized organization. In the 1930s, Hoover led the FBI in investigating cases of espionage, communism, and fascism, as well as well-known criminals....