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National Civil Rights Timeline 1955

August 28, 1955

Emmett Till's funeral
Source: photo of Till's mother, Special Collections, University of Memphis Libraries

Fourteen year old Emmett Till is brutally murdered by white men in Mississippi for allegedly whistling at a white woman. His mother has an open-casket funeral for Emmett, and the images of his mangled body bring attention to the inhumane practices of Southern lynchings.

December 1, 1955

Rosa Parks
Source: Wikimedia. Photo original property of the National Archives and Records Administration Records of the U.S. Information Agency Record Group 306.

Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat to a white man, beginning the Montgomery bus boycott.