The US Supreme Court rules an end to segregation in schools. It overturns the earlier Plessy v Ferguson (1896) decision that permitted “separate but equal” facilities for blacks and whites. In reality, of course, “separate” facilities were hardly ever “equal”.
1955: The Emmett Till murder
Fourteen-year-old Emmett Till from Chicago is brutally murdered by whites while visiting relatives in Mississippi. His alleged crime is saying “Bye, baby” to a white woman in a store for a dare. The case causes outrage among America’s black population.