Approximately 13% of black students in the country attend predominantly white schools. By 1980, the percentage rises to 37%. The percentage of white students attending predominantly white schools drops from 78% in 1968 to 61% in 1980.

In 1968, 64.3% of black students attend schools that are 90% minority.

Almost 85% of Southern whites and 35% of Northern whites object to sending their children to schools that are over 50% black.

A group of parents in San Antonio, Texas file a suit on behalf of their children who attend schools in the Edgewood district, alleging that the Texas system of public school financing discriminates against the poor. The Edgewood districts spends $231 per student and has one of the highest tax rates in the area, while the city's wealthiest school district, Alamo Heights, is able to spend $543 per student with a substantially lower tax rate. The Supreme Court eventually upholds the state financing scheme in 1973 in San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1 (1973).

Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated on the 4th. Riots break out in cities all over the country.

Congress passes the Fair Housing Act, also known as the Civil Rights Act of 1968, on the 10th. President Johnson signs it on the 11th. The Act makes it unlawful to refuse to sell, rent, or negotiate for the sale or rental of a dwelling because of race or religion. Only the Justice Department is authorized to enforce the Act's provisions through lawsuits.

In Green v. New Kent County School Board, 391 U.S. 430 (1968), the Supreme Court holds that segregation must be dismantled "root and branch." It rejects a freedom-of-choice plan that allowed black students to transfer to white schools because it placed the burden of desegregation on black students and preserved white- and black- identified institutions. School officials, the Court says, must "fashion steps which promise realistically to convert promptly to a system without a Śwhite' school and a ŚNegro' school, but just schools."

Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated in Los Angeles on the 6th.

On the 23d, Earl Warren retires as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. President Johnson nominates Associate Justice Abe Fortas to replace Warren as Chief Justice, but Senate opposition and allegations of financial impropriety lead Johnson to withdraw the nomination in October. Fortas resigns from the Court a year later amid financial scandal. The failed nomination leaves the Republicans with two appointments and signals the end of the liberal majority on the Supreme Court. Warren Burger becomes Chief Justice in June 1969, and after two failed nomination attempts, Richard Nixon replaces Fortas with Harry Blackmun in April 1970.

Richard Nixon wins the Presidency, receiving 43.4 % of the vote. Democrat Hubert Humphrey wins 42.7% of the vote, and George Wallace wins 13.5% as a third party candidate. The Democrats maintain their majority in the House of Representatives. A record number of black men and women are elected to Congress.

As president, Nixon shifts the emphasis away from the cutting off of federal funds to coerce desegregation and toward Justice Department sponsored lawsuits. Throughout his presidency, Nixon repeatedly attacks busing as a remedy and states that he will do no more than the minimum required by law. He even proposes a constitutional amendment to prohibit busing to achieve racial balance in the public schools.