Civil Rights – 1957

by Candace RichComment — Updated August 3, 2023
Southern Christian Leadership Conference forms with Martin Luther King, Jr., as president.
The Washington Prayer Pilgrimage
The Washington Prayer Pilgrimage was held on May 17 to commemorate the Supreme Court Decision Bown vs. board of Education. This rally, the biggest civil rights demonstration to date, was where Martin Luther King gave his “Give Us the Ballot” speech. For a full text of the speech go to:
During 1956 and 1957 houses in Fountain Heights, Birmingham, are bombed so often that the area acquires a new nickname, “Dynamite Hill.”
The Civil Rights Act of 1957
The Civil Rights Act of 1957 makes it a federal crime to interfere with the voting rights of U.S. citizens. The Civil Rights Commission is established to investigate infringements of this law.
Nashville’s Hattie Cotton Elementary School dynamited and one wing is destroyed.
Tuskegee Boycott
After blacks began a voter registration drive, the Alabama Legislature redrew Tuskegee’s previously square boundaries to exclude all black neighborhoods.

In response, blacks boycotted the city’s stores, doing considerable economic damage to Tuskegee businesses.

The Supreme Court ultimately declared that Alabama’s artful boundary creations were unconstitutional.

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