Years of hope, tragedy

March 29, 1998

The stories of the Evers, King and Shabazz families are entwined with the decades-long struggle to intergrate American society. Over the next two days, the landmark events of those years will be chronicled.


Dec. 24: Medgar Evers marries Myrlie Beasley in Vicksburg, Miss.


June 18: Martin Luther King Jr. marries Coretta Scott in Marion, Ala.

June 30: Darrell Kenyatta Evers is born.


Jan. 11: Evers files an application with the all-white University of Mississippi Law School. Thurgood Marshall acts as his attorney.

May 17: The U.S. Supreme Court rules unanimously in Brown vs. Board of Education that racial segregation in public schools is unconstitutional.

Sept. 7-8: School desegregation begins in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., as a result of the Supreme Court decision.

Sept. 13: Reena Evers is born. Three days later Medgar Evers is denied admission to law school.

Oct. 31: The Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. appoints Dr. King pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala.

Nov. 24: Evers is hired by the NAACP to open a regional office in Jackson, Miss. He is paid $4,500 a year.


April 11: Roy Wilkins is named to lead the NAACP.

Aug. 28: Emmett Till, a Chicago youth who was visiting relatives, is lynched in Money, Miss.

Nov. 17: Yolanda Denise King is born in Montgomery.

Dec. 1: Rosa Parks refuses to relinquish her seat on a Montgomery bus.

Dec. 5: Montgomery bus boycott begins and Dr. King is elected president of the Montgomery Improvement Association.


Jan. 26: Dr. King is arrested for speeding in Montgomery.

Jan. 30: A bomb is thrown onto the porch of the King home in Montgomery while Coretta Scott King and Yolanda are inside. No one is injured.

Dec. 20: After a year of court

rulings, Montgomery buses are integrated.


Feb. 14: The Southern Christian Leadership Conference is founded. Dr. King is elected first president. At the first convention, Evers is elected secretary, but later is forced to resign by Wilkins.

Feb. 18: Dr. King appears on the cover of Time magazine.

Sept. 9: Congress passes the first civil rights act since Reconstruction.

Sept. 24-25: President Dwight D. Eisenhower federalizes the Arkansas National Guard to escort nine black students to Central High School in Little Rock.

Oct. 23: Martin Luther King III is born.


Jan. 14: Malcolm X marries Betty X in Lansing, Mich.

Sept. 3: Dr. King is arrested on a loitering charge in Montgomery.

Sept. 17: Dr. King's book, "Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story," is published.

L Sept. 20: Dr. King is stabbed by a deranged woman in Harlem.

Nov. 16: Attallah Shabazz is born.


Feb. 2-March 10: Dr. and Mrs. King spend a month in India.

July 13-17: Mike Wallace television documentary about the Nation of Islam, "The Hate That Hate Produced," airs.


Jan. 10: James Van Dyke Evers is born.

Jan. 24: King family moves to Atlanta.

Feb. 1: Sit-ins begin at lunch counters in Greensboro, N.C.

April 15: The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee is founded in Raleigh, N.C.

Nov. 8: John F. Kennedy is elected president.

Dec. 25: Qubilah Bahiyah Shabazz is born.


Jan. 30: Dexter Scott King is born in Atlanta.

April: "The Black Muslims in America" by C. Eric Lincoln is published.

May 4: 13 people recruited by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) begin Freedom Ride to integrate interstate travel. Their goal is travel by bus from Washington, D.C., to New


Dec. 15: Dr. King begins attack on segregation in Albany, Ga.


July 22: Ilyasah Shabazz is born.

Sept. 20: James Meredith attempts to become the first black to enroll at the University of Mississippi. With a Supreme Court order and federal protection, he enters the Oxford school on Oct. 1.

Oct. 16: Dr. King meets Kennedy at the White House.


March: Evers files suit on behalf of his 8-year-old daughter, Reena, to force integration of the Jackson public schools.

March 28: Bernice Albertine King is born.

April 16: Dr. King writes "Letter from Birmingham Jail" after being imprisoned for protesting segregated eating facilities.

May: Playboy publishes Malcolm X interview by Alex Haley.

May 3-5: "Bull" Connor orders use of police dogs and fire hoses against protesters in Birmingham, Ala.

May 20: Supreme Court rules Birmingham segregation laws are unconstitutional.

May 28: A Molotov cocktail is thrown onto the carport at Evers house.

June 1: Evers and Wilkins are among those arrested for demonstrating in downtown Jackson.

June 12: Medgar Evers is assassinated in front of his Jackson home.

June 19: Evers is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

June 23: Byron De La Beckwith is charged with murdering Evers.

Aug. 28: Dr. King delivers "I Have A Dream" speech during The March on Washington. Afterward, King and other civil rights leaders meet with Kennedy.

Sept. 15: Four young black girls are killed in a Birmingham church bombing.

Oct. 10: Robert F. Kennedy authorizes the FBI to tap Dr. King's Atlanta telephone and subsequently approves a tap on SCLC telephones.

Nov. 22: President John F. Kennedy is assassinated.

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