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Movement Chronology:
from the Civil War to the Present
1865 | 1896 | 1919 | 1941 | 1960 | 1968


Lincoln assassinated. Andrew Johnson becomes President.


Molly Maguires terrorize Mauch Chunk PA.


Knights of Labor founded as secret society. Ulysses S. Grant, Republican President.


Panic of 1873 begins Long Depression (1873-1879).


 Great Railroad Strike. Socialist Labor Party founded. Rutherford B. Hayes, President. Last federal troops withdrawn from South. End of Reconstruction and beginning of Jim Crow era.


Tuskegee Normal and Industrial School founded. International Working People’s Association (Black International) founded.
"Chicago Idea"—One Big Union. Manifesto of Chicago Socialist Revolutionary Club written by Johann Most.
Chester Arthur succeeds James Garfield as President.


Supreme Court invalidates Civil Rights Act of 1875


Grover Cleveland, President.


Haymarket Riot. August Spies, Address to the court. American Federation of Labor founded by Samuel Gompers.


Benjamin Harrison, President.


Mississippi institutes poll tax and literacy law. NWSA and AWSA merge to form NAWSA, the National American Woman Suffrage Association.


World’s Columbia Exposition (Chicago)


Peak year for lynchings. 789,000 immigrants. Ida B. Wells, Southern Horrors.


Panic of 1893.
American Railway Union formed with Debs as president.
Grover Cleveland, President, again.


Successful American Railway Union strike. Pullman strike. Debs jailed in Woodstock, Ill, dates his espousal of Socialism to this period.


Booker T. Washington, Atlanta Exposition Address.


Plessy v. Ferguson legalizes segregation.


Social Democratic Party founded by Debs, absorbs American Railway Union.
William McKinley, President.

Wilmington, NC "Race Riot." AKA The Wilmington Insurrection. An armed and organized gang of white Democrats deposed, assassinated, and confiscated the property of black and Republican elected leadership of Wilmington.


Socialist Labor Party rejected by American Federation of Labor, attempts to form rival unions, then breaks up to become Socialist Party. Debs campaigns for president as Social Democrat.


Socialist Party of America founded. MicKinley assassinated by loner with anarchist leanings, Leon Czolgosz. Theodore Roosevelt, President.

Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst form the Women's Social and Political Union in London. Beginning of militant suffragism.


Debs campaigns for President as Socialist.


W.E.B. DuBois founds Niagara Movement. Industrial Workers of the World founded. Debs, Address at Founding Convention. Women's Trade Union League organizes daily street meetings near factory gates at noon and closing time in New York City.


DuBois, Niagara Address (We Claim Our Rights)


Debs campaigns as Socialist. Race riot in Springfield, Ill. Suffragists begin open-air soapbox campaigns.


Lincoln Emancipation Conference, precipitated by race riot, draws a prestigious mix of progressives and old abolitionists. They discuss founding a new organization to enforce civil rights for African Americans.
William Taft, President.


National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) founded.

Triangle Factory Fire, Manhattan, March 25. 146 dead due to locked doors and obstructions in upper story tenement garment factory. International Ladies Garment Workers Union.


Debs campaigns as Socialist; receives 6% (897,011 votes); most successful Socialist campaign in U.S. history. Woodrow Wilson elected President. Alice Paul organizes the Congressional Union within NAWSA. The Progressive Party (T. Roosevelt) endorses woman suffrage.


 Marcus Garvey, Universal Negro Improvement Association. National Woman's Party founded by militants Alice Paul and Lucy Burns. Trained in London by the Pankhursts, they broke with NAWSA over their conciliatory tactics and state rather than federal orientation. In the same year, Carrie Chapman Catt, newly elected president of NAWSA, repudiated the states right platform and announced a "winning plan" for a federal amendment.


 Bolshevik November Revolution. America enters World War I.


Debs, Canton, OH speech. Arrested and sentenced to ten years in prison under Sedition Act. Statement to the Court.


Bolsheviks form Russian Communist Party. Red Scare. Palmer Raids. Emma Goldman deported. J. Edgar Hoover forms FBI’s Radical Division. American Communist Party formed and immediately forced underground.
Red Summer: Beginning in Texas, race riots broke out across the country with the most violent occurring in Chicago and Washington DC, but also in Charleston, SC, Knoxville, TN, Omaha, NE and other places. In general they were the result of competition between blacks and whites over labor.


Debs runs as Socialist for president while in prison. (919,000 votes).
Nineteenth Amendment ratified granting suffrage to women. Warren G. Harding elected president.


U.S. Communist Party formed. Debs released.


National Woman’s Party, led by Alice Paul, promotes ERA in Congress.

Communist Party re-emerges as Communist Party of the United States, a member of Comintern (Soviet-led international Communist organization).
ca. 1934
Elijah Muhammad founds Nation of Islam.
Dec. 8, Roosevelt asks Congress to declare war against Japan
American Communists pursue common anti-Nazi interests with US and make wartime accommodations to capitalism. During this period their membership climbs to all-time high of 60,000-80,000. However, as much as 30% turnover means that at any one time there are many more former Communists than active Communists in the US.
CORE organized out of Fellowship of Reconciliation to desegregate interstate bus travel.
Eleven leaders of Communist Party of the US are convicted of violating the Smith Act, which outlawed groups teaching and advocating the violent overthrow of the government.
Brown v. Board of Education. Army-McCarthy Hearings.
August 28: Emmett, Till, aged 14, is lynched for allegedly whistling at a white girl in a grocery store in Money, MS. A photo of the open casket makes national and international news.
Dec. 1: Rosa Parks provides catalyst for Montgomery bus boycott.
Schools are integrated in Little Rock. Foundation of Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). First March on Washington organized by Philip Randolph.
Greensboro sit-ins.
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) founded. April 28: Robert Alan Haber and Sharon Jeffreys organize human rights conference which marks the debut of SDS. They invite the four instigators of the Greensboro sit-ins. Also present: James Farmer and Michael Harrington. May 13: "Black Friday" in Berkeley/Bay Area as police attack demonstrators outside San Francisco City Hall where members of HUAC are holding hearings on "Communist subversion" in Bay Area. Tom Hayden and Abbie Hoffmann, unbeknownst to each other, are both present and experience radicalization.
Freedom Riders begin desegregating interstate buses. Beaten and jailed in Birmingham. King organizes Albany demonstration, antagonizes SNCC. Kennedy appoints President’s Commission on the Status of Women, chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt.
Massive demonstrations in Birmingham.:
March 7, 1962 A Cornell University student group invites Malcolm X of the Nation of Islam and James Farmer of CORE to debate on "separation vs. integration"
June 11-15, 1962 SDS gathers in Port Huron for national convention, produces Port Huron Statement.
King, Letter from Birmingham Jail. March on Washington. King, I Have a Dream. 16th St. Baptist Church in Birmingham is bombed; four little girls are killed.
President’s Commission on the Status of Women
published. President Kennedy assassinated. Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique.
Freedom Summer for the Mississippi Voter Registration Project.
March Malcolm X leaves Nation of Islam to form Organization for Afro-American Unity. Travels to Mecca.
April 3 Malcolm X, "The Ballot or the Bullet", speech delivered at Corey United Methodist Church, Cleveland.
July Civil Rights Act of 1964. Sex amendment to Title VII, job discrimination clause of Civil Rights Act, passed through efforts of Alice Paul and NWP.
4 August
Gulf of Tonkin incident provides Johnson with warrant to escalate the Vietnam War.
  Economic Research and Action Project (ERAP), led by Sharon Jeffries,.organizes in nine American cities. Cleveland and Swarthmore chapters emphasize radical group process. Peace Research and Education Project (PREP) organizes around issue of Vietnam War. Democratic National Convention: Delegates from the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party are denied a role in the Democratic Convention. Johnson elected President. SNCC staff retreat generates position paper on women in the organization.
  September Berkeley Free Speech Movement kicks off. Savio, Speech at Berkeley.
  December King receives Nobel Peace Prize.
Malcolm X assassinated by members of Nation of Islam. King and SNCC speak out against Johnson’s Vietnam War policy. First anti-war demonstration in Washington organized by SDS. Tom Hayden goes to Hanoi. Watts riots. Casey Hayden and Mary King, Memo on Sex and Caste.
Stokely Carmichael becomes leader of SNCC, initiating Black Power movement. Founding of NOW (National Organization for Women).
Massive antiwar March on Washington. "Revolutionary Contingent" attempts to levitate Pentagon, marks appearance of Yippies. Summer of Love in San Francisco. CORE becomes separatist organization.
Shulamith Firestone and Pam Allen found New York Radical Women. Ti-Grace Atkinson elected president of NOW-New York.
Eldridge Cleaver, Political Struggle in America. Nixon elected President.
Consciousness raising developed by NYRW. Mary Daly publishes The Church and the Second Sex. First issues of Voice of the Women’s Liberation Movement; Notes from the First Year.
30 Jan
Tet offensive begins in Vietnam.
March Robert F. Kennedy enters presidential campaign. On March 31, Johnson declines to run.
April 3 April, King, I’ve Been to the Mountaintop. 4 April, King assassinated. 
  June Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated.
  Aug Democratic National Convention disrupted by widespread demonstrations. Johnson vice president Hubert Humphrey nominated.
Indictment of Chicago Eight. SDS merges with Progressive Labor Party. Weathermen launch Days of Rage in Chicago.
Founding of Redstockings out of breakup of NYRW. Ti-Grace Atkinson leaves NOW to form New York Radical Feminists. National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL) founded. Shirley Chisholm, For the Equal Rights Amendment.
Kent State massacre. Invasion of Cambodia.
Firestone publishes The Dialectic of Sex. Kate Millett publishes Sexual Politics. Newsweek runs cover story on feminism (16 March). Ladies Home Journal sit-in, 19 March, results in August supplement on feminism. Party of NOW members from Pittsburgh disrupt Senate hearing with demands for action on ERA. Rita Mae Brown resigns from NOW-NY over issue of lesbianism.
Chicago Seven acquitted of conspiracy charges, five members convicted on incitement charges (later overturned).
Jane Collective begins performing illegal abortions in Chicago. Lorraine Rothman invents the Del-Em, a safe, cheap suction device for early abortions.
1st issue of Ms. (July). Congress passes the ERA. Congress passes Title IX banning sex discrimination in federally assisted educational programs.
Members of Jane collective arrested. Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton result in making abortion constitutional. First publication of Our Bodies, Our Selves. Mary Daly publishes Beyond God the Father.
Heide, For the Revolution: Tomorrow is Now. 
First conference on "Women and the Environment." Passage of Equal Credit Opportunity Act
Kathie Sarachild and Carol Hanisch publish Feminist Revolution, attacking liberal feminism. End of early radical feminism. National Womens Health Network founded. Members of Rothman’s Feminist Womens Health Center arrested for practicing medicine without a license.
Susan Griffin, Woman and Nature. Mary Daly, Gyn/Ecology.
Women’s Pentagon Actions (November 80-81, ecofeminist)
Carolyn Merchant, The Death of Nature.
Mary Daly, Pure Lust.
Webster v. Sullivan returns abortion regulation to states. Interest in self-help abortion techniques revives briefly.