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Timeline 1942-1973
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1950 1957 1958 1956

Southern Negro Leadership Conference on Transportation and Nonviolent Integration (later known as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference) is organized in Atlanta on January 11 with King as its chairman.

Ghana becomes independent, March 6, beginning period of decolonization in sub-Saharan Africa.

Malcolm X (born Malcolm Little), minister of Temple No. 7 of the Nation of Islam since 1954, leads demonstration outside a police station in Harlem, April 14, to protest the beating of a Black Muslim and demand his transfer to a hospital.

First federal civil rights bill since 1875 is passed on August 29 after it is significantly weakened in the Senate to avoid a filibuster. The act makes conspiring to deny citizens their right to vote in federal elections a federal crime and gives federal prosecutors the power to obtain injunctions against discrimnatory practices used to deny citizens their voting rights.

Federal district court orders nine African-American students admitted to Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, on September 3, but Governor Orval Faubus uses the National Guard to prevent them from entering the school. After the district court orders Faubus to end his interference on September 20, the governor withdraws the Guard, and on September 23 the students are attacked by a large mob. Eisenhower sends more than 1,000 paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock on September 24 and places the Arkansas National Guard under federal control. Students are escorted to class by armed soldiers on September 25.

September├▒October: More than 200 reporters (according to U.S. Army estimates) converge on Little Rock to cover the integration of Central High School. They include Trezzvant Anderson, Relman Morin (whose reporting for the Associated Press was later awarded a Pulitzer Prize), James L. Hicks, Paul Welch, Grey Villiet, and Marc Crawford (all four of whom are beaten), Anthony Lewis, Ted Poston (whose series "Nine Kids Who Dared," profiling each of the new students, appears in the New York Post), Murray Kempton, Benjamin Fine, and Al Nall.

Several articles appear about the news coverage itself, among them: Benjamin Fine, "Guardsmen Curb Newsmen's Work," New York Times, September 6, 1957; Ray Moseley, "Northern Newsmen Withstood Mob's Abuse To Report Little Rock Story," Quill December 1957; and John Chancellor, "Radio and Television Had Their Own Problems in Little Rock Coverage," Quill, December 1957.

In the many weeks some of us spent in Little Rock, we saw it transformed into a kind of giant press room, as we covered a story that kept beating its own punch lines. It was certainly the most widely reported domestic story of the year, and, speaking only in terms of dramatic potential, it was one hell of a story to cover.
It had action: swirling crowds at the high school; paratroopers with fixed bayonets; surprise walkouts in courtrooms; and the dismal spectacle of reporters and photographers beaten by a mob.
It had drama: a teen-aged Negro girl walking a long gauntlet of hate in front of the school; a trip to the Newport White House on a foggy weekend day; and the daily ritual of soldiers escorting children into the high school.
—John Chancellor, "Radio and Television Had Their Own Problems in Little Rock Coverage," Quill, December 1957.