In "Brown vs Board of Education" the U.S. Supreme Court declares separate educational facilities "inherently unequal."

Rosa Parks is arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man; the action triggers a bus boycott in Montgomery, AL led by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tennis player Althea Gibson becomes the first Africn-American to win a major title -- the Wimbledon doubles-- as well as the French singles and doubles and the Italian singles.

Congress passes the Civil Rights Act of 1957, the first such legislation to be passed since Reconstruction.

President Eisenhower orders federal troops to Little Rock, AR to insure the peaceful interrogation of Central High School.