June
The black community of Baton Rouge, Louisiana launches a mass boycott against segregated buses, marking the beginning of the direct action phase of the Civil Rights Movement. Organized through a network of local black churches, the boycott is led by Reverend T.J. Jemison, pastor of one of the largest black churches in the city. The boycott lasts seven days and proves highly successful. It galvanizes the black community; the New York Times reports that at least 90% of the black population participates. Eventually, white city leaders compromise by agreeing to reserve the two side front seats of the bus for whites and the long rear seat for blacks. All other seating is to be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Although the victory is limited, news of the success of this direct-action grass-roots strategy reverberates throughout black church networks across the South.

The Supreme Court orders a second round of arguments in Brown, originally scheduled for October 12.

September
Chief Justice Vinson dies unexpectedly of a heart attack on the 8th. President Eisenhower nominates California Governor Earl Warren to replace Vinson as interim Chief on the 30th. The Court reschedules arguments in Brown for December. Warren is confirmed as Chief Justice by the Senate in March of 1954.

December
Second round of arguments in Brown v. Board of Education.