According to a poll by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, 65% of whites believe in the principle of integration.
At his inauguration as Governor of Alabama, George Wallace states: "In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny . . . and I say . . . Segregation now! Segregation tomorrow! Segregation forever!"
Civil rights protesters led by Martin Luther King, Jr. begin boycotts, sit-ins, and demonstrations in Birmingham‹perhaps the South's most segregated city. On April 10th, the Birmingham protesters are dispersed by police dogs in a violent scene televised across the country. King is arrested and jailed for a week. He issues his famous Letter from a Birmingham Jail, explaining why civil disobedience is justified. King is released from jail on April 20th.
King organizes the Children's Crusade in Birmingham. On the 2nd, he sends some 1000 children from the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church on a demonstration march through downtown Birmingham. The police promptly arrest them and take them off to jail. The next day, hundreds of students assemble at the church for another march. Police Commissioner Eugene "Bull" Connor orders firemen to turn high-pressure hoses on the protesters, and policemen confront the students with attack dogs. Over 2000 protesters are thrown in jail, and many are knocked unconscious by the fire hoses. Protesters begin throwing stones and police respond by beating them with night sticks; the protests escalate into ever-more violent confrontations. Photographers and cameramen capture the treatment of the protesters on film, and the resulting outrage sways public sympathies further toward the Civil Rights Movement. By May 10th, the Mayor of Birmingham and local business men agree to the eventual desegregation of public facilities.
In Watson v. City of Memphis, 373 U.S. 526 (1963), the Supreme Court rejects the City of Memphis' request for a delay in desegregating its facilities. The Court writes, "Brown never contemplated that the concept of Śdeliberate speed' would countenance indefinite delay in elimination of racial barriers in schools."
On the 11th, Governor George Wallace tries to stop two black students from entering Alabama's state university by standing in the doorway.
On the 12th, Medgar Evers, a field secretary for the NAACP, is murdered in Jackson, Mississippi.
On the 28th, two hundred fifty thousand demonstrators participate in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, gathering at the Lincoln Memorial. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.
Governor George Wallace fights a court desegregation order and delays the opening of Alabama public schools. President Kennedy federalizes the Alabama National Guard to enforce the admission of black students.
On the 15th, Birmingham's Sixteenth Street Baptist church is bombed, killing four young black girls attending Sunday school.
On the 22nd, President Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson becomes President.