The Society for Human Rights was founded by Henry Gerber in Chicago. The society was the first gay rights organization in the country, though the society soon disbanded and all copies of the Friendship and Freedom newsletter were destroyed. Read more about Henry Gerber's life.
1939 African American
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund were established. The fund aimed to use the courts to fight discrimination and segregation. Read about the history of the Fund.
June 1941 Everyone
President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802 prohibiting discrimination in defense industries or the government because of race, creed, color, or national origin. The Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC) was established to enforce the order. The committee ended in 1946 due to lack of support in congress.
As World War II ended, tension increased between the United States and the Soviet Union and the Cold War began. The Cold War increased pressure for equality since the poor treatment of African Americans hurt the United States' image abroad. Read about President Truman's support for civil rights.
1954 African American
The US Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments from all five cases in Delaware, Kansas, South Carolina, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, under the umbrella case, Brown v. Board of Education. Follow the timeline of Brown v. Board of Education.