Civil Rights

To live freely and participate in society is a right many take for granted. Acquiring and maintaining civil rights have been a struggle for different groups throughout U.S. history. Civil rights are personal rights guaranteed and protected by the U.S. Constitution and federal laws enacted by Congress. These personal rights and laws include protection from unlawful discrimination.

In the 1883 landmark civil rights cases, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Congress did not have the power to prohibit discrimination in the private sector. This ruling stripped the Civil Rights Act of 1875 of much of its ability to protect civil rights. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, the legal justification for voiding the Civil Rights Act of 1875 was part of a larger trend by members of the Supreme Court to invalidate most government regulations of the private sector. An exception was made for laws and regulations designed to protect public morality. 

In the 1930s, during the New Deal, most of the Supreme Court justices shifted their legal theory to allow for greater government regulation of the private sector under the commerce clause. This change paved the way for the federal government to enact civil rights laws prohibiting both public and private sector discrimination based on the commerce clause. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the nation’s premier civil rights legislation. It outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; required equal access to employment and public places; and enforced school desegregation and the right to vote. The law did not end discrimination, but it did open the door to further progress.

Although the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments outlawed slavery, provided for equal protection under the law, guaranteed citizenship and protected the right to vote, individual states continued to allow unfair treatment of minorities and passed Jim Crow laws allowing segregation of public facilities. These were upheld by the Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson (1895), which found state laws requiring racial segregation in public facilities that were “separate but equal” to be constitutional. This finding helped continue legalized discrimination well into the 20th century.

Following World War II, pressures to recognize, challenge and change inequalities for minorities grew. One of the most notable challenges to the status quo was the 1954 landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, which questioned the notion of “separate but equal” in public education. The Supreme Court found that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal,” and they violate the 14th Amendment. This decision polarized Americans, fostered debate and served as a catalyst to encourage federal action to protect civil rights. [Sources: nps.gov, en.wikipedia.org, and hhs.gov.]

Legacy Stories from the Americans All Heritage Honor Roll

We are pleased to host and share these legacy stories created by honorees’ family, friends and associates. They, like us, appreciate that heritage and culture are an integral part of our nation's social fabric and want to help students participate effectively in our nation's economy, workforce and democracy.

Language
State
Last Name of Individual
First Name of Individual
Group name

Timeline of the Women's Suffrage Movement: 1937-1981 Maryland (January 1, 1937 - December 31, 1981) Birth-Control, Candidate, Civil Rights, Commission, Congress, ERA, FDA, Female, Frist, Miscegenation, Navy, NOW, Supreme-Court, Voting, WAC, WAVE, Women’s Rights

The word “suffrage” means “voting as a right rather than a privilege,” and has been in the English language since the Middle Ages. Suffrages originally were prayers. Then the meaning was extended to requests for assistance, then the assistance provided by a supporting vote, and finally the vote itself. Therefore, in 1787 the Constitution used suffrage to mean “an inalienable right to vote.”

Timeline of the Women's Suffrage Movement: 1984-Current Maryland (January 1, 1984 - ?) Black, Democrat, Department, First, Female, Hispanic, Indian-American, Jewish, Latina, 19th-Amendment, Presidential, Republican, Secretary, State, Supreme-Court, Congress, Vote

The word “suffrage” means “voting as a right rather than a privilege,” and has been in the English language since the Middle Ages. Suffrages originally were prayers. Then the meaning was extended to requests for assistance, then the assistance provided by a supporting vote, and finally the vote itself. Therefore, in 1787 the Constitution used suffrage to mean “an inalienable right to vote.”

Timeline of the Women's Suffrage Movement: Summary (January 1, 1849 - ?)

The word “suffrage” means “voting as a right rather than a privilege,” and has been in the English language since the Middle Ages. Suffrages originally were prayers. Then the meaning was extended to requests for assistance, then the assistance provided by a supporting vote, and finally the vote itself. Therefore, in 1787 the Constitution used suffrage to mean “an inalienable right to vote.”

Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, 54th Massachusetts (March 13, 1863 - August 4, 1865) Military, Civil War, Shaw, Glory, Fort Wagner, Carney, Hallowell, Medal of Honor

On January 26, 1863, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton authorized Massachusetts Governor John Albion. Andrew to create volunteer companies of artillery "for duty in the forts of Massachusetts and elsewhere, and such corps of infantry for the volunteer military service as he may find convenient.

Civil War: Background and Causes South Carolina (April 12, 1961 - April 9, 1865) Union, Confederacy, slavery, Lincoln, Douglas, Brown, Stowe, Taney, Scott, succession, Tubman, Andersonville, Pennington, Truth, Davis, Fifty-Fourth, 54th

The Civil War is one of the most complex, studied and written about events in U.S. history and was fought from April 12, 1861 to April 9, 1865. Although many theories have been considered, it is now generally agreed that the main cause of the conflict was the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of Black people.

Timeline of the Civil Rights Movement: Background and Summary Maryland (c.1600 - December 31, 2014) American History, Assassination, Boycott, Constitutional Amendments, Desegregation, Discrimination, Education, Equality, Freedom Marches, Jim Crow, Lunch Counter Protests, Plessy, Public Laws, Riots, Segregation, Slavery, Voting Rights, Women's Rights

To live freely and participate in society is a right many take for granted. Throughout U.S. history, acquiring and maintaining civil rights has been a struggle for different groups—especially Native Americans and African Americans. The Europeans who set up trade and settlements in the Americas, beginning with Columbus’ 1492voyage, saw slaves as an indispensable source of labor. African slavery was already part of the social construct and economy of Spain and Portugal and spreading to other parts of Europe.

Timeline of the Civil Rights Movement: 1789 to 1920 Maryland (January 1, 1789 - December 31, 1920) American History, Assassination, Boycott, Constitutional Amendments, Desegregation, Discrimination, Education, Equality, Freedom Marches, Jim Crow, Lunch Counter Protests, Plessy, Public Laws, Riots, Segregation, Slavery, Voting Rights, Women's Rights

To live freely and participate in society is a right many take for granted. Throughout U.S. history, acquiring and maintaining civil rights has been a difficult struggle for many groups. We have created timelines that highlight their struggles. Each group of entries cannot exceed 2,000 words, so the timeline dates are structured accordingly.

Timeline of the Civil Rights Movement: 1925 to 1962 Maryland (January 1, 1925 - December 31, 1962) American History, Assassination, Boycott, Constitutional Amendments, Desegregation, Discrimination, Education, Equality, Freedom Marches, Jim Crow, Lunch Counter Protests, Plessy, Public Laws, Riots, Segregation, Slavery, Voting Rights, Women's Rights

To live freely and participate in society is a right many take for granted. Throughout U.S. history, acquiring and maintaining civil rights has been a difficult struggle for many groups. We have created timelines that highlight their struggles. Each group of entries cannot exceed 2,000 words, so the timeline dates are structured accordingly.

Timeline of the Civil Rights Movement: 1963 to 1968 Maryland (January 1, 1963 - December 31, 1968) American History, Assassination, Boycott, Constitutional Amendments, Desegregation, Discrimination, Education, Equality, Freedom Marches, Jim Crow, Lunch Counter Protests, Plessy, Public Laws, Riots, Segregation, Slavery, Voting Rights, Women's Rights

To live freely and participate in society is a right many take for granted. Throughout U.S. history, acquiring and maintaining civil rights has been a difficult struggle for many groups. We have created timelines that highlight their struggles. Each group of entries cannot exceed 2,000 words, so the timeline dates are structured accordingly.

Timeline of the Civil Rights Movement: 1969 to 2014 Maryland (January 1, 1969 - December 31, 2014) American History, Assassination, Boycott, Constitutional Amendments, Desegregation, Discrimination, Education, Equality, Freedom Marches, Jim Crow, Lunch Counter Protests, Plessy, Public Laws, Riots, Segregation, Slavery, Voting Rights, Women's Rights

To live freely and participate in society is a right many take for granted. Throughout U.S. history, acquiring and maintaining civil rights has been a difficult struggle for many groups. We have created timelines that highlight their struggles. Each group of entries cannot exceed 2,000 words, so the timeline dates are structured accordingly.

Timeline of the Civil Rights Movement: Abolition, Underground Railroad and the Civil War, 1700 to 1865, Part 1 Maryland (January 1, 1700 - December 31, 1865) Abolition, African American, American History, Antislavery, Civil Rights, Constitutional Amendments, Discrimination, Desegregation, Education, Equality, Negro, Plessy, Public Laws, Quaker, Riots, Segregation, Slavery, Underground Railroad, Women's Rights

To live freely and participate in society is a right many take for granted. Throughout U.S. history, acquiring and maintaining civil rights has been a difficult struggle for many groups. We have created timelines that highlight their struggles. Each group of entries cannot exceed 2,000 words, so the timeline dates are structured accordingly.

Timeline of the Civil Rights Movement: Abolition, Underground Railroad and the Civil War, 1700 to 1865, Part 2 Maryland (January 1, 1700 - December 31, 1865) Abolition, African American, American History, Antislavery, Civil Rights, Constitutional Amendments, Discrimination, Desegregation, Education, Equality, Negro, Plessy, Public Laws, Quaker, Riots, Segregation, Slavery, Underground Railroad, Women's Rights

To live freely and participate in society is a right many take for granted. Throughout U.S. history, acquiring and maintaining civil rights has been a difficult struggle for many groups. We have created timelines that highlight their struggles. Each group of entries cannot exceed 2,000 words, so the timeline dates are structured accordingly.

Timeline of the Women's Suffrage Movement: 1648-1849 Maryland (January 21, 1648 - ?) Adams, Blackwell, Bloomer, Brent, Constitution, Convention, Emma, Female, Lily, Lowell, Lyon, Mott, Oberlin, Parade, Prince, Property Rights, Reformer, Stanton, Seneca, Stevens, Taft, Tubman, Union, Voting, White, Willard, Wright, Wollstonecraft

The word “suffrage” means “voting as a right rather than a privilege,” and has been in the English language since the Middle Ages. Suffrages originally were prayers. Then the meaning was extended to requests for assistance, then the assistance provided by a supporting vote, and finally the vote itself. Therefore, in 1787 the Constitution used suffrage to mean “an inalienable right to vote.”

Timeline of the Women's Suffrage Movement: 1850-1868 (January 1, 1850 - December 31, 1868) Anthony, Association, Blackwell, Bloomer, Clark, Court, Davis, Douglass, Elections, Equal Rights, Foster, Garrison, Male, Property, Severance, Smith, Stanton, Stone, Stowe, Truth, Vineland

The word “suffrage” means “voting as a right rather than a privilege,” and has been in the English language since the Middle Ages. Suffrages originally were prayers. Then the meaning was extended to requests for assistance, then the assistance provided by a supporting vote, and finally the vote itself. Therefore, in 1787 the Constitution used suffrage to mean “an inalienable right to vote.”

Timeline of the Women's Suffrage Movement: 1869-1873 Maryland (January 1, 1869 - December 31, 1873) AERA, African, Anti-Suffragism, Association, Attorney, AWSA, Constitutional, Convention, Equal Rights, 15th Amendment, House, Jurors, Legislation, Legislature, Men, NWSA, States, Supreme Court, Territory, Vote, Woman’s Journal

The word “suffrage” means “voting as a right rather than a privilege,” and has been in the English language since the Middle Ages. Suffrages originally were prayers. Then the meaning was extended to requests for assistance, then the assistance provided by a supporting vote, and finally the vote itself. Therefore, in 1787 the Constitution used suffrage to mean “an inalienable right to vote.”

Timeline of the Women's Suffrage Movement: 1874-1887 Maryland (January 1, 1874 - December 31, 1887) Activism, Amendment, Association, Black, Constitution, CWFA, Declaration, Elections, Equal, History, Male, National, Native American, Protest, School Elections, Supreme Court, Voting, WCTU

The word “suffrage” means “voting as a right rather than a privilege,” and has been in the English language since the Middle Ages. Suffrages originally were prayers. Then the meaning was extended to requests for assistance, then the assistance provided by a supporting vote, and finally the vote itself. Therefore, in 1787 the Constitution used suffrage to mean “an inalienable right to vote.”

Timeline of the Women's Suffrage Movement: 1888-1902 Maryland (January 1, 1888 - December 31, 1902) Anti-suffrage, CESL, ICW, IWSA, Constitution, Conference, Convention, Female, NAWSA, NCCWA, NCVJ, Organization, Referendum, Religion, Remonstrance, School Elections, Supreme Court, Vote

The word “suffrage” means “voting as a right rather than a privilege,” and has been in the English language since the Middle Ages. Suffrages originally were prayers. Then the meaning was extended to requests for assistance, then the assistance provided by a supporting vote, and finally the vote itself. Therefore, in 1787 the Constitution used suffrage to mean “an inalienable right to vote.”

Timeline of the Women's Suffrage Movement: 1903-1912 Maryland (January 1, 1903 - December 31, 1912) AFL, Amendment, Anti-Suffrage, Association, CESL, Chinese, Congress, Constitutional, Court, Convention, ELSSW, Expatriation, HERL, First, IAW, IWD, Legislature, March, NAOWS, New York City, Triangle, Union, WTUL, WTULNY

The word “suffrage” means “voting as a right rather than a privilege,” and has been in the English language since the Middle Ages. Suffrages originally were prayers. Then the meaning was extended to requests for assistance, then the assistance provided by a supporting vote, and finally the vote itself. Therefore, in 1787 the Constitution used suffrage to mean “an inalienable right to vote.”

Timeline of the Women's Suffrage Movement: 1913-1918 Maryland (January 1, 1913 - December 31, 1918) Alpha, Conference, CUWS, Parade, Congress, Election, Puck, Mother’s March, Paul, Municipal, Silent-Sentinels, Wilson

The word “suffrage” means “voting as a right rather than a privilege,” and has been in the English language since the Middle Ages. Suffrages originally were prayers. Then the meaning was extended to requests for assistance, then the assistance provided by a supporting vote, and finally the vote itself. Therefore, in 1787 the Constitution used suffrage to mean “an inalienable right to vote.”

Timeline of the Women's Suffrage Movement: 1919-1936 Maryland (January 1, 1919 - December 31, 1936) Alpha, ABCL, Anthony, Citizenship, CCC, Department-of-Labor, ERA, FERA, First, Immigration, LWV, 19th Amendment, NCAI, NCW, Nobel, NWP, NYA, Prison-Train, Puerto Rico, She, Supreme Court, “Watchfires,” Wilson

The word “suffrage” means “voting as a right rather than a privilege,” and has been in the English language since the Middle Ages. Suffrages originally were prayers. Then the meaning was extended to requests for assistance, then the assistance provided by a supporting vote, and finally the vote itself. Therefore, in 1787 the Constitution used suffrage to mean “an inalienable right to vote.”