Thursday, November 6, 2008

Obama's Election

Thr election of Senator Barrack Obama added an important victory in the Civil Rights battle. As Thomas L. Friedman, a columnist for the NY Times commented on November 4th,

"A civil war that, in many ways, began at Bull Run, Virginia, on July 21, 1861, ended 147 years later via a ballot box in the very same state. For nothing more symbolically illustrated the final chapter of America’s Civil War than the fact that the Commonwealth of Virginia — the state that once exalted slavery and whose secession from the Union in 1861 gave the Confederacy both strategic weight and its commanding general — voted Democratic, thus assuring that Barack Obama would become the 44th president of the United States."

While Mr. Friedman's history may not be rigorously accurate, his parallel is thought provoking.

Here is our chronological list of the top ten events in the Civil Rights Movement.

Emancipation Proclamation - January 1, 1863 - Slaves are declared free in those states still in rebellion against the United States
Freeman's Bureau - March 3, 1865 - Bureau was designed to protect the interests of former slaves
Civil Rights Act - April 9, 1865 - All persons born in US are citizens
13th Amendment - December 1865 - Abolished slavery
14th Amendment - June 13, 1866 - Granted citizenship and protected the civil liberties of recently freed slaves
Founding of the NAACP - February 12, 1909 -
Montgomery Bus Boycott - December 1, 1955 - Rosa Parks refuses to give up seat
Little Rock High School - September 4, 1957 - Black students attempt to to enter Little Rock High School
1964 Civil Rights Act - June 15, 1964 - Made racial discrimination in public places, such as theaters, restaurants and hotels, illegal. It also required employers to provide equal employment opportunities.
Election of Senator Barrack Obama - November 4, 2008 - Americans elect first black President

Please see USA History: Civil Rights 1860-1980 for more information.

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