USA: 1945-1975 - The Struggle For Civil Rights In The 1960s

The History of the USA between 1840 and 1975 is one of the topics covered in GCSE History. The last period looked at is the time from 1945 until 1975. This is the second of four quizzes on these years and it looks in particular at the struggle for civil rights in 1960s America.

During the 1960s, under the leadership of Martin Luther King and others, African Americans began their struggle for civil rights. They demanded an end to racial discrimination of all kinds in the USA. Much was achieved in the 1960s, despite differences within the coalition - and King's assassination in 1968.

Find out more about the African Americans' struggle for civil rights in the USA in this quiz.

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  1. Malcolm X changed his surname to X, because he regarded his original name as the residue of slavery. What had he been called previously?
    Malcolm X was more radical than King, and less likely to gain the support of liberal whites
  2. At what age was Martin Luther King awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964? He was the youngest ever recipient of the award.
    The award was a huge boost to King, who was in the middle of his campaigning, and to the Civil Rights Movement as a whole
  3. In 1965 the Voting Rights Act was passed. Which was its principal feature?
    The results of the Act were dramatic: black voters qualified in large numbers, and the first elected black officials appeared in both north and south
  4. In 1964 the Civil Rights Act was passed under Johnson's leadership. It forbade discrimination of several kinds in areas like employment. So now discrimination on the grounds of race, colour or national origins was prohibited. There was one further kind of discrimination outlawed - what was it?
    This measure was regarded as a major landmark in legislation, but there were several forms of discrimination which it did not cover
  5. What term is used to mean employers choosing black candidates in favour of white ones, even if the latter appeared to be better qualified?
    Its advocates pressed for this method as the quickest way to even out inequalities; its opponents saw it as patronising to blacks. Nevertheless it was employed in certain types of employment in several parts of the country
  6. In 1963 King led the Washington march, when he made his famous "I have a dream" speech. What was the original goal of the march as expressed in its title?
    Many different groups were involved in the march, so the eventual title was a compromise
  7. In Jack Kennedy's presidency what post did his brother Bobby (Robert) Kennedy occupy?
    Bobby was known as a liberal, and a possible alternative president to his older brother. He encouraged the Civil Rights Movement, but he too was assassinated in 1968
  8. At the 1968 Olympics in Mexico, two US medal winners were disqualified from receiving their awards. On what grounds?
    The Olympic rules were enforced strictly, but the two protestors wanted to highlight continuing racial discrimination in the US
  9. What was the main difference between the Nation of Islam and King's mainstream organisation?
    Clearly this alliance was an uneasy one. King differed fundamentally with the Nation of Islam on many points
  10. In the summer of 1964 three white civil rights activists were murdered in Mississippi. They were helping black voters to enrol on the official voting register. Which organisation was found to be responsible for the deaths?
    In the "Freedom Summer" of 1964 many white students from the north came to the southern states to assist the Civil Rights Movement. These particular murders shocked the nation

Author: Edward Towne

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