January 14, 1963: During his inaugural speech, Governor George Wallace of Alabama utters the phrase, “Segregation now, Segregation tomorrow, Segregation forever.”
March 15, 1963: “Game of Change.” Defying a state injunction prohibiting them from playing an integrated team, an all-white Mississippi State basketball team traveled to East Lansing, Michigan for a NCAA regional game with Loyola of Chicago.
April 1963: Birmingham Campaign to protest racial discrimination in Birmingham, Alabama, begins.
April 16, 1963: Dr. Martin Luther King, arrested during demonstrations in Birmingham, pens his famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html
June 11, 1963: “Stand in the Schoolhouse Door.” Governor Wallace, in a symbolic gesture to prevent integration at the University of Alabama, stands in the schoolhouse door of Foster Auditorium in an attempt to keep students Vivian Malone and James Hood from registering.
June 11, 1963: President Kennedy gives a televised nationwide address on civil rights. http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/jfkcivilrights.htm
June 12, 1963: Hours after President Kennedy’s address, civil rights activist Medgar Evers is shot to death in Jackson, Mississippi. Byron De La Beckwith is convicted of his murder in 1994.
June 19, 1963: President Kennedy introduces his civil rights bill into Congress. Exactly one year later, on June 19, 1964, the U.S. Senate passes the bill. On July 2, 1964, President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act into law.
July 4, 1963: The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People posthumously awards Medgar Evers the 1963 Spingarn Medal.
August 18, 1963: James Meredith graduates from the University of Mississippi.
August 28, 1963: March on Washington. Dr. Martin Luther King delivers his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial. www.archives.gov/press/exhibits/dream-speech.pdf
September 15, 1963: On a Sunday morning, four young girls are killed in a bomb explosion at the Sixteenth Avenue Baptist Church in Birmingham.
November 5, 1963: Edward T. Breathitt is elected governor in Kentucky. On January 27, 1966, Governor Breathitt signs the Kentucky Civil Rights Act of 1966 into law.
November 22, 1963: President Kennedy assassinated.