TIME LINE

THE BALTIMORE SUN

1945

Oct. 30: Brooklyn Dodgers executive Branch Rickey signs Jackie Robinson, infielder with the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro leagues, to a minor-league contract.

1946

April 18: Robinson makes his minor-league debut for the Montreal Royals, the International League affiliate of the Dodgers.

1947

The NAACP says 1946 was "one of the grimmest years" in African-American history, with "blowtorch killing and eye-gouging of Negro veterans freshly returned from a war to end torture and racial extermination."

April 15: Jackie Robinson debuts with the Dodgers, becoming the first African-American to play for a major-league club.

July 5: Larry Doby makes his major-league debut with the Cleveland Indians, becoming the first African-American to play in the American League.

Sept. 12: Robinson wins 1947 Rookie of the Year Award.

October 29: The President's Committee on Civil Rights issues a study, "To Secure These Rights," that condemms racial discrimination and prejudice in the United States.

1948

June 25: World heavyweight champion Joe Louis retires from boxing.

July 26: President Truman signs Executive Order 9981, which calls for equality of treatment and opportunity for all Americans in the armed forces.

1949

June 3: Wesley A. Brown (right) is the first African-American to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy.

July 12: Robinson makes his All-Star Game debut for the National League.

September: Robinson becomes the National League batting champion (.342 average).

Nov. 19: Robinson is named MVP.

1950

September: Althea Gibson, 22, becomes the first African-American to be accepted for competition in the National Tennis Championships.

May: Boston Celtics pick Charles "Chuck" Coooper, making him the first African-American drafted by a National Basketball Association team. The first African-American actually to play in an NBA game is Earl Lloyd of the Washington Capitols, later this year against the Rochester Royals.

1951

June: Althea Gibson becomes the first African-American to play at Wimbledon.

1952

The Tuskegee Institute reports that this is the first year with no lynchings. It had been tracking lynchings for 71 years.

1954

May 17: The United States Supreme Court, in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kan., rules unanimously that racial segregation of public schools is unconstitutional.

Sept. 7-8: Massive school desegregation begins in Baltimore and Washington, as a result of the Supreme Court decision.

September: Willie Mays of the New York Giants is the National League's batting champion (.345 average) and later is named MVP.

1955

Dec. 1: Rosa Parks refuses to surrender her seat when ordered by a bus driver in Montgomery, Ala. This sparks a citywide bus boycott that would last a year and lead to the emergence of Martin Luther King Jr. as a national civil rights leader.

1956

Dec. 13: Dodgers trade Jackie Robinson to rival Giants.

1957

Jan. 5: Robinson announces his retirement.

Feb. 14: Martin Luther King, Bayard Rustin and black ministers form the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to link diverse nonviolent protest groups that support civil rights.

Aug. 29: Congress passes the Voting Rights Bill of 1957, the first major civil rights legislation in more than 75 years.

Sept. 24-25: President Dwight D. Eisenhower orders federal troops into Little Rock, Ark., after Gov. Orval Faubus tries to block a federal court order to desegregate a Little Rock school.

1962

Jan. 22: Robinson is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, his first year of eligibility.

1963

Aug. 28: More than 250,000 people participate in the March on Washington at the Lincoln Memorial. Martin Luther King delivers his "I Have a Dream" speech.

1964

Jan. 23: The 24th Amendment forbids the use of the poll tax to prevent voting.

June 19: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 passes, banning discrimination in public accommodations, education and employment.

1965

Jan. 2: The SCLC launches a voter drive in Selma, Ala., which escalates into a nationwide movement.

Aug. 6: President Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Aug. 11-21: The Watts riots in Los Angeles result in 34 deaths and more than 3,500 arrests.

1966

April: Emmett Ashford becomes the first African-American umpire in the major leagues.

October: The Black Panther Party is founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale in Oakland, Calif.

Nov. 8: Frank Robinson of the Orioles, after winning the American League Triple Crown, r is named Most Valuable Player.

1967

May 1-Oct. 1: The "long, hot summer" is the worst racial disturbance in American history. The most serious outbreaks occur in Newark, N.J., Detroit, New York, Washington, Atlanta, Chicago and Cambridge, Md.

June 27: Thurgood Marshall (right), who was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Johnson, is confirmed by the Senate. He is the first African-American to sit on the bench.

1968

March 2: The Kerner Commission reports that "white racism" was the principal cause of the riots that rocked the nation in 1967 and that the United States is headed toward two communities, "one white, one black, separate and unequal."

April 4: Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, Tenn. His death sparks riots in more than 125 places in the country.

April 11: President Johnson signs the Fair Housing Act prohibiting racial discrimination in the sale and rental of most housing units in this country.

1969

July 1: Kenneth Gibson becomes the first black mayor of a large Eastern city, Newark, N.J.

1972

Oct. 24: Jackie Robinson dies of a heart attack at age 53 in Stamford, Conn.

1973

May 29: Thomas Bradley is elected the first black mayor of Los Angeles.

1974

April 8: Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hits his 715th home run, breaking Babe Ruth's major-league record.

Oct. 3: Frank Robinson is named baseball's first black manager, by the Cleveland Indians.

1977

Jan. 27-Feb. 3: ABC televises the miniseries "Roots" on eight consecutive nights.

1980

May 18: Racial disturbances beginning on May 17 result in 15 deaths in Miami.

1982

Aug. 2: Jackie Robinson becomes the first baseball player to be depicted on a U.S. postage stamp.

1983

April 12: Harold Washington is elected the first black mayor of Chicago.

Nov. 2: President Reagan signs into law a bill designating the third Monday in January a federal holiday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday (Jan. 15).

1986

Jan. 16: A bronze bust of King is the first of any black American placed in the Capitol.

1987

The Rookie of the Year award is renamed after Jackie Robinson.

1988

July 20: Jesse Jackson receives 1,218.5 votes at the Democratic National Convention.

1989

April 1: Bill White, a six-time All-Star first baseman, is chosen president of the National League. He is the first African-American to hold the top executive position in a major U.S. professional sports league.

April 21: Businessman Comer Cottrell becomes co-owner of the Texas Rangers. He is first African-American co-owner of a major-league baseball team.

Aug. 10: Gen. Colin L. Powell is named chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest military position in this country.

1991

Nov. 3: Carol Moseley-Braun of Illinois is the first black woman elected to the U.S. Senate.

1993

February: Baseball's Executive cCouncil suspends Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott for one year and fines her $25,000 for making slurs against blacks, Jews and Asians.

Sept. 7: Joycelyn Elders (right) becomes the first black and the first woman U.S. surgeon general.

Oct. 7: Toni Morrison becomes the first black woman to win the Nobel Prize in literature.

1995

Oct. 16: The Million Man March is held in Washington, D.C. Organized by the Nation of Islam, it is promoted as a day of atonement and reconciliation.

1996

Feb. 8: Attorney General Janet Reno announces the Justice Department will investigate a series of fires at predominantly black churches.

Feb. 20: Former Congressman Kweisi Mfume is sworn in as head the NAACP.

Pub Date: 4/15/97

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