1964: Civil Rights Battles

Fifty years ago, the civil rights movement in the United States made huge strides among continued setbacks. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law, banning discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin -- but segregation remained the norm in many establishments. Sit-in protests were held in cafes, restaurants and hotels, opposing discriminatory service and hiring practices. Small town all-white schools were required to integrate, and big-city schools began large scale efforts to integrate by bus. Segregationists, angered by the Civil Rights Act, took to the streets as well, often attacking African American demonstrations across the South. Decades of police brutality, capped off by several incidents in the summer of 1964 led to a series of racially-motivated riots in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Jersey City. The year ended hopefully though, as activist Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. was presented with the Nobel Peace Prize for his ongoing efforts to promote peaceful change amid harsh opposition and threats of violence. This is the second of five entries focusing on events of the year 1964 this week (and next Monday). Later entries will feature images from Beatlemania, Alaska's Good Friday earthquake, and the New York World's Fair.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Gennady Teplitskiy / Shutterstock

    2017: The Year in Volcanic Activity

    Out of an estimated 1,500 active volcanoes, 50 or so erupt every year, spewing steam, ash, toxic gases, and lava.

  • David Swindler / 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year

    Winners of the 2017 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest

    Winning images and honorable mentions from the four categories: Wildlife, Landscapes, Aerials, and Underwater.

  • Denis Balibouse / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: 12/2–12/10

    California wildfires, the Sankta Lucia Festival of Light in England, a snowy football game in New York, Glasgow's annual Santa Dash, and much more.

  • Susana Vera / Reuters

    Hopeful Images From 2017

    After another year of news stories that produced photos which can often be difficult or disturbing to view, I’ve made it a tradition to compose an essay of uplifting images from the past year.

Join the Discussion