Trace NAACP History
1900 - 1918 | 1920 - 1922 | 1930 - 1939
1940 - 1948 | 1960 - 1979 | 1980 - 1989
1990 - 1999 | 2000 - Present
1900 - 1918 Top
On February 12th The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded by
a multiracial group of activists, who answered "The Call," in the New York City, NY. They initially called themselves the
National Negro Committee.
Ida Wells-Barnett, W.E.B. DuBois, Henry Moscowitz, Mary White Ovington, Oswald Garrison Villiard,
William English Walling led the "Call" to renew the struggle for civil and political liberty.
In the face of intense adversity, the NAACP begins its legacy of fighting legal battles addressing
social injustice with the Pink Franklin case, which involved a Black farmhand, who unbeknowingly killed a policeman in self-defense
when the officer broke into his home at 3 a.m. to arrest him on a civil charge. After losing at the Supreme Court, the following
year the renowned NAACP official Joel Spingarn and his brother Arthur start a concerted effort to fight such cases.
President Woodrow Wilson officially introduces segregation into the Federal Government. Horrified
that President would sanction such a policy, the NAACP launched a public protest.
The NAACP organizes a nationwide protest D.W. Griffiths racially-inflammatory and bigoted silent
film, "Birth of a Nation."
In Buchanan vs. Warley, the Supreme Court has to concede that states can not restrict and officially
segregate African Americans into residential districts. Also, the NAACP fights and wins the battle to enable African Americans
to be commissioned as officers in World War I. Six hundred officers are commissioned, and 700,000 register for the draft..
After persistent pressure by the NAACP, President Woodrow Wilson finally makes a public statement
1920 - 1922 Top
To ensure that everyone, especially the Klan, knew that the NAACP would not be intimidated, the
annual conference was held in Atlanta, considered one of the most active Klan areas.
In an unprecedented move, the NAACP places large ads in major newspapers to present the facts
1930 - 1939 Top
The first of successful protests by the NAACP against Supreme Court justice nominees is launched
against John Parker, who officially favored laws that discriminated against African Americans.
NAACP lawyers Charles Houston and Thurgood Marshall win the legal battle to admit a black student
to the University of Maryland.
After the Daughters of the Revolution barred acclaimed soprano Marian Anderson from performing
at their Constitution Hall, the NAACP moved her concert to the Lincoln Memorial, where over 75,000 people attended.
1940 - 1948 Top
During World War II, the NAACP leads the effort to ensure that President Franklin Roosevelt orders
a non-discrimination policy in war-related industries and federal employment.
NAACP starts a national outcry when Congress refuses to fund their own Federal Fair Roosevelt
Employment Practices Commission.
The NAACP wins the Morgan vs. Virginia case, where the Supreme Court bans states from having laws
that sanction segregated facilities in interstate travel by train and bus.
The NAACP was able to pressure President Harry Truman to sign an Executive Order banning discrimination
by the Federal government.
1950 - 1955 Top
December 25, Harry T. Moore was killed when a bomb was placed beneath the floor joists directly
under his bed; his wife, Harriette, died nine days later.
After years of fighting segregation in public schools, under the leadership of Special Counsel
Thurgood Marshall, the NAACP wins one of its greatest legal victories in Brown vs. the Board of Education.
NAACP member Rosa Parks is arrested and fined for refusing to give up her seat on a segregated
bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Noted as the catalyst for the largest grassroots civil rights movement, that would be spearheaded
through the collective efforts of the NAACP, SCLC and other Black organizations.
1960 - 1979 Top
In Greensboro, North Carolina, members of the NAACP Youth Council launch a series of non-violent
sit-ins at segregated lunch counters. These protests eventually lead to more than 60 stores officially desegregating their
After one of his many successful mass rallies for civil rights, NAACP's first Field Director,
Medgar Evers is assassinated in front of his house in Jackson, Mississippi. Five months later, President John Kennedy was
NAACP pushes for the passage of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act.
U.S. Supreme Court ends the eight year effort of Alabama officials to ban NAACP activities. And
55 years after the NAACP's founding, Congress finally passes the Civil Rights Act.
The Voting Rights Act is passed. Amidst threats of violence and efforts of state and local governments,
the NAACP still manages to register more than 80,000 voters in the Old South.
The NAACP initiates the first bill ever signed by a governor that allows voter registration in
high schools. Soon after, 24 states follow suit.
1980 - 1989 Top
The NAACP leads the effort to extend The Voting Rights Act for another 25 years. To cultivate
economic empowerment, the NAACP establishes the Fair Share Program with major corporations across the country.
NAACP registers more than 850,000 voters, and through its protests and the support of the Supreme
Court, prevents President Reagan from giving a tax-break to the racially segregated Bob Jones University.
The NAACP leads a massive anti-apartheid rally in New York.
NAACP launches campaign to defeat the nomination of Judge Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. As
a result, he garners the highest negative vote ever recorded for a 1989 Silent March of over 100,000 to protest U.S. Supreme
Silent March of over 100,000 to protest U.S. Supreme Court decisions that have reversed many of
the gains made against discrimination.
1990 - 1999 Top
When avowed racist and former Klan leader David Duke runs for US Senate in Louisiana, the NAACP
launches a voter registration campaign that yields a 76 percent turn-out of Black voters to defeat Duke.
The number of Fair Share Program corporate partners has risen to 70 and now represents billions
of dollars in business.
Over thirty years after the assassination of NAACP civil rights activist, Medgar Evers - his widow
Myrlie, is elected Chairman of the NAACP's Board of Directors. The following year, the Kweisi Mfume leaves Congress to become
the NAACPs President and CEO.
In response to the pervasive anti-affirmative action legislation occurring around the country,
the NAACP launches the Economic Reciprocity Program... And in response to increased violence among our youth, the NAACP starts
the "Stop The Violence, Start the Love' campaign.
Supreme Court Demonstration and arrests
2000 - Present Top
TV Diversity Agreements. Retirement of the Debt and first six years of a budget surplus. Largest
Black Voter Turnout in 20 years
Great March. January 17, in Columbia, South Carolina attended by over 50,000 to protest the flying
of the Confederate Battle Flag. This is the largest civil rights demonstration ever held in the South to date.
Cincinnati Riots. Development of 5 year Strategic Plan.
Under the leadership of Chairman Bond
and President Mfume, the NAACP continues to thrive, and with the help of everyone - regardless of race - will continue to
do so into the next millennium...