Montgomery Bus Boycott Timeline  

The Montgomery Bus Boycott was one of the first victories in the Civil Rights Movement in the country. This boycott also saw the rise of a young reverend named Martin Luther King, Jr. and made him into a household name. Here is a timeline of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the foundation for which was laid long before the arrest of Rosa Parks.

Montgomery Bus Boycott Timeline:

2nd March 1955: 15-year old Claudette Colvin, an African American, refuses to give up her seat in the bus and is arrested for it.

21st October 1955: Another African American named Mary Louise Smith is arrested for not giving up her seat to a White passenger in the bus. Mary Louise was 18 years old at that time.

1st December 1955: African American seamstress, Rosa Parks, refuses to give up her seat in the bus and is arrested for disorderly conduct.

2nd December 1955: Professor Jo Ann Robinson, E D Nixon and other Civil Rights activists in the city meet and begin to discuss staging a bus boycott to show their anger at the arrest of Rosa Parks, who was a member of the Montgomery chapter of NAACP and a past secretary of the chapter. Initially, the boycott was meant to be just for a single day. The activists form an organization called Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) and a young reverend named Martin Luther King, Jr. is elected as the president.

5th December 1955: 90 percent of African American community joins the one-day boycott. Seeing the success of the boycott, it was decided to continue it.

8th December 1955: The MIA meets the city officials and bus companies to reach a compromise. However, the proposal put forth by the MIA to give African Americans a fair but segregated seating in buses is shot down.

13th December 1955: The MIA starts a carpooling system and slowly the number of cars in the system increase to over 200 cars. Majority of the cars in the system were owned by African American churches.

16th December 1955: The mayor of the city forms a biracial committee to try and negotiate a compromise between the African Americans and the bus companies. Unfortunately, no compromise is reached after the first meeting and the committee never met again.

9th January 1956: The MIA leaders meet city officials once more to negotiate the end of the bus boycott, but no compromise is reached.

23rd January 1956: The mayor of the city declares that the bus boycott will be handled with toughness and he was no longer ready to have any more negotiations with the MIA.

26th January 1956: Martin Luther King, Jr. is arrested and then sent to jail for speeding.

27th January 1956: King gets a number of phone calls threatening him and he contemplates giving up the leadership of the bus boycott. However, he decides not to when he hears a divine voice asking him to keep on fighting.

30th January 1956: The MIA decides to file a lawsuit against the city and bus companies for its segregation after being urged by Fred D Gray, an attorney. The same night, a bomb is hurled at King's home while his wife and child were inside the house. This angered the African American community, but King managed to calm the people by talking to them.

1st February 1956: Gray files a lawsuit on behalf of 4 female clients to challenge the segregation laws in the city and public transportation. This leads to E D Nixon's home being bombed, but thankfully no one gets hurt.

10th February 1956: A rally organized by White Citizens Council to praise the efforts of the city officials to prevent desegregation is attended by thousands of Whites.

13th February 1956: A Grand Jury is set up to see whether the boycott is in violation of state boycott conspiracy law.

20th February 1956: A bus settlement proposal put forth by a group of White businessmen is shot down by the African Americans.

21st February 1956: The Grand Jury indicts around ninety leaders of the boycott and accuses them of violating a law that bars boycotts without having a just cause.

19th March 1956: Martin Luther King is found guilty of violating the boycott conspiracy law and is asked to pay a fine of $500 or get incarcerated for a year. The sentence is delayed as King appeals against it. The other leaders of MIA are not tried.

28th March 1956: Many cities outside the South start taking part to show their support for the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

23rd April 1956: The Supreme Court dismisses an appeal filed after a lower court ruled that segregation in South Carolina was unlawful. Many assume that this ruling was meant for all intrastate buses and the bus companies in Montgomery decide to have a policy to desegregate the buses.

24th April 1956: Desegregation of buses begin in many cities in the South, but the mayor of Montgomery states that segregation in the city would continue and threatens to arrest bus drivers who do not adhere to the segregation laws of the city.

1st May 1956: The city officials try to get an injunction from a judge to ensure that the local bus companies follow the segregation laws. The injunction is issued after a week.

11th May 1956: The federal court in Montgomery begins the hearing of lawsuit filed by Fred Gray on behalf of 4 female plaintiffs.

5th June 1956: The federal court rules that the segregation in the city and its buses is against the law.

19th June 1956: The federal judges of the city issue an injunction stating that the segregation in the city buses is unlawful, but it is not enforced as an appeal is filed in the US Supreme Court.

13th November 1956: The US Supreme Court upholds the verdict of the federal court and declares that segregation laws in the state of Alabama are unlawful.

14th November 1956: The MIA meets to put an end to the boycott, but only after the decision of the Supreme Court is implemented.

17th December 1956: The City Commission files an appeal in the US Supreme Court against the ruling, but it is rejected.

20th December 1956: The city is forced to implement the ruling of the Supreme Court and the MIA meet to end the boycott.

21st December 1956: The Montgomery Boycott comes to an end after 13 months.

More Articles :

Montgomery Bus Boycott Timeline




Significance Of Montgomery Bus Boycott      The significance of Montgomery Bus Boycott is highlighted as it altered the way the protests were done during the Civil Rights Movement. It was crucial non-violent event that helped furthering the cause of the movement and in addition, it also helped other civil rights groups to evolve. More..




Home  • Archaeological Periods   • Art History  • Artifacts • Biography   • Computer   • Holiday History   • Miscellaneous  • Military History   • Privacy Policy   • Contact

Montgomery Bus Boycott Timeline )
Copyright © 2012, All Rights Reserved.