The Civil Rights Movements
After the Civil War, African Americans in the South faced wicked Jim Crow Segregation and were treated unfairly in society. In Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), the Supreme Court ruled the government could use “separate, but equal” laws to keep the races apart. This unjust ruling meant that African Americans had to use different restrooms, schools, and other facilities that whites used. In 1954, Thurgood Marshall argued in the Court Case, Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, that it was unconstitutional to not allow African American children to attend white schools. The Supreme Court agreed and ruled government enforced school segregation was unconstitutional. This was a major victory for the USA to truly pursue equality under the law.
Rosa Parks and others fought against segregation as well. She refused to give up her seat for a white person on a bus in Alabama in 1955. Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist pastor, supported Rosa Parks and organized the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to peacefully protest against segregation in the USA. King used boycotts, sit-ins, and other peaceful means. He always stressed that those who wished to end segregation must do so through nonviolent tactics.
Violence against Civil Rights workers, riots breaking out in various cities, and other obstacles occurred as many attempted to pursue equality in the USA. Some leaders, such as Malcom X, initially refused to pursue the nonviolent, peaceful approach of Martin Luther King Jr. Despite these hurdles, Martin Luther King Jr. and others continued to strive to bring all races together and pursue equality for all Americans. Before his assassination, Malcom X began to express more sympathy for Martin Luther King’s ideology and approach.
When JFK was assassinated, in 1963, by Lee Harvey Oswald, Lyndon Baines Johnson became President of the USA. In office, LBJ pursued the Civil Rights agenda of JFK to help to end the Jim Crow segregation and discrimination that plagued the USA. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed while Johnson was in office. This act prohibited discrimination based on race, religion, origin, or sex. LBJ wanted legislation proposed to bring direct relief to those in poverty. The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 was a piece of legislation used to reach this goal. He funded government programs, like plans to train people to get jobs, the Head Start program to provide early education for poor kids, and other government funded programs. Like FDR, LBJ felt that the USA government had to play a role in helping to alleviate and end poverty.
In 1964, LBJ, a Democrat, faced off against Barry Goldwater, a Republican. Goldwater wanted the government out of people’s lives, to remove big spending projects, and to not enforce morality. This was the “conservative” approach to politics in the 1960s. LBJ defeated Goldwater. LBJ wanted what he called The Great Society. He felt a big government was needed to eradicate poverty and end racist government policies. For instance, he wanted the government to create insurance for the poor, Medicaid, and insurance for the elderly, Medicare.
US History Lesson Plans Include
1) Bell ringer / opening activity
2) PowerPoint presentation
3) Guided notes worksheet for PowerPoint presentation
4) Bonus worksheet (vocabulary, crosswords, word search, etc.)
5) Daily quiz / assessment - exit slip!
6) Content reading handout
7) Compatible with ALL textbooks
8) Answer keys for all worksheets, handouts, & assessments
9) Editable documents (word, PowerPoint, etc.)
10) PDF copies for easy viewing & printing
11) Aligned to national standards
12) Works with Unit or as a stand alone lesson