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  • U.S.
    1954

    The Brown v. Board of Education decision was finalized

    U.S.
    1954

    Bridges was born during the middle of the Civil Rights Movement. Brown v. Board of Education was decided three months and twenty-two days before Bridges' birth. The famous court ruling declared the process of separating schools for black children and white children unconstitutional. Though the Brown v. Board of Education decision was finalized in 1954, southern states were extremely resistant to the decision that they must integrate for the six following years.




  • Tylertown, Mississippi, U.S.
    Wednesday Sep 08, 1954

    Birth

    Tylertown, Mississippi, U.S.
    Wednesday Sep 08, 1954

    Bridges was the eldest of five children born to Abon and Lucille Bridges.




  • New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
    1959

    Bridges attended a segregated kindergarten

    New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
    1959

    Bridges attended a segregated kindergarten in 1959.




  • New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
    1960

    William Frantz Elementary School

    New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
    1960

    In early 1960, Bridges was one of six black children in New Orleans to pass the test that determined whether they could go to the all-white William Frantz Elementary School.




  • New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
    1960

    The integration of the New Orleans school system

    New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
    1960

    In 1960, when Ruby was six years old, her parents responded to a request from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and volunteered her to participate in the integration of the New Orleans school system, even though her father was hesitant.




  • New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
    Monday Nov 14, 1960

    Judge J. Skelly Wright's court order for the first day of integrated schools in New Orleans

    New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
    Monday Nov 14, 1960

    Judge J. Skelly Wright's court order for the first day of integrated schools in New Orleans on Monday, November 14, 1960, was commemorated by Norman Rockwell in the painting, The Problem We All Live With (published in Look magazine on January 14, 1964).




  • New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
    Monday Nov 14, 1960

    Barbara Henry

    New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
    Monday Nov 14, 1960

    As soon as Bridges entered the school, white parents pulled their own children out; all the teachers except for one refused to teach while a black child was enrolled. Only one person agreed to teach Bridges and that was Barbara Henry, from Boston, Massachusetts, and for over a year Henry taught her alone, "as if she were teaching a whole class."


  • New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
    Nov, 1960

    White parents began bringing their children

    New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
    Nov, 1960

    That first day, Bridges and her mother spent the entire day in the principal's office; the chaos of the school prevented their moving to the classroom until the second day. On the second day, however, a white student broke the boycott and entered the school when a 34-year-old Methodist minister, Lloyd Anderson Foreman, walked his five-year-old daughter Pam through the angry mob, saying, "I simply want the privilege of taking my child to school ..." A few days later, other white parents began bringing their children, and the protests began to subside.


  • New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
    1961

    Robert Coles

    New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
    1961

    Child psychiatrist Robert Coles volunteered to provide counseling to Bridges during her first year at Frantz. He met with her weekly in the Bridges home, later writing a children's book, The Story of Ruby Bridges, to acquaint other children with Bridges' story.


  • New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
    1961

    The Bridges family suffered for their decision to send her to William Frantz Elementary

    New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
    1961

    The Bridges family suffered for their decision to send her to William Frantz Elementary: her father lost his job as a gas station attendant; the grocery store the family shopped at would no longer let them shop there; her grandparents, who were sharecroppers in Mississippi, were turned off their land; and Abon and Lucille Bridges separated.


  • Connecticut College, Connecticut, U.S.
    Sep, 1995

    Bridges and Robert Coles were awarded honorary degrees

    Connecticut College, Connecticut, U.S.
    Sep, 1995

    In September 1995, Bridges and Robert Coles were awarded honorary degrees from Connecticut College and appeared together in public for the first time to accept the awards.


  • U.S.
    1998

    1998 made-for-TV movie Ruby Bridges

    U.S.
    1998

    Her childhood struggle at William Frantz Elementary School was portrayed in the 1998 made-for-TV movie Ruby Bridges. The young Bridges was portrayed by actress Chaz Monet, and the movie also featured Lela Rochon as Bridges' mother, Lucille "Lucy" Bridges; Michael Beach as Bridges' father, Abon Bridges; Penelope Ann Miller as Bridges' teacher, Mrs. Henry; and Kevin Pollak as Dr. Robert Coles.


  • New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
    1999

    Ruby Bridges Foundation

    New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
    1999

    After graduating from a desegregated high school, she worked as a travel agent for 15 years and later became a full-time parent. She is now chair of the Ruby Bridges Foundation, which she formed in 1999 to promote "the values of tolerance, respect, and appreciation of all differences". Describing the mission of the group, she says, "racism is a grown-up disease and we must stop using our children to spread it."


  • U.S.
    2000

    Bridges' Through My Eyes won the Carter G. Woodson Book Award

    U.S.
    2000

    Bridges' Through My Eyes won the Carter G. Woodson Book Award in 2000.


  • New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
    20th Century

    Current life

    New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
    20th Century

    Bridges, now Ruby Bridges Hall, still lives in New Orleans with her husband, Malcolm Hall, and their four sons.


  • U.S.
    Monday Jan 08, 2001

    Bridges was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal

    U.S.
    Monday Jan 08, 2001

    On January 8, 2001, Bridges was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Bill Clinton.


  • New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
    2005

    Hurricane Katrina 2005

    New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
    2005

    Like hundreds of thousands of others in the greater New Orleans area, Bridges lost her home (in Eastern New Orleans) to catastrophic flooding from the failure of the levee system during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Hurricane Katrina also greatly damaged William Frantz Elementary School, and Bridges played a significant role in fighting for the school to remain open.


  • California, U.S.
    Oct, 2006

    The Alameda Unified School District in California named a new elementary school for Bridges

    California, U.S.
    Oct, 2006

    The Alameda Unified School District in California named a new elementary school for Bridges in October 2006, and issued a proclamation in her honor.


  • Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
    Nov, 2007

    The Power of Children: Making a Difference

    Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
    Nov, 2007

    In November 2007, the Children's Museum of Indianapolis unveiled a new permanent exhibit documenting her life, along with the lives of Anne Frank and Ryan White. The exhibit, called "The Power of Children: Making a Difference", cost $6 million to install and includes an authentic re-creation of Bridges' first grade classroom.


  • New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
    2010

    Bridges had a 50th-year reunion at William Frantz Elementary with Pam Foreman Testroet

    New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
    2010

    In 2010, Bridges had a 50th-year reunion at William Frantz Elementary with Pam Foreman Testroet, who had been, at the age of five, the first white child to break the boycott that ensued from Bridges' attendance at that school.


  • Washington D.C., U.S.
    Friday Jul 15, 2011

    Bridges met with President Barack Obama at the White House

    Washington D.C., U.S.
    Friday Jul 15, 2011

    On July 15, 2011, Bridges met with President Barack Obama at the White House, and while viewing the Norman Rockwell painting of her on display he told her, "I think it's fair to say that if it hadn't been for you guys, I might not be here and we wouldn't be looking at this together".


  • Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
    Saturday May 19, 2012

    Bridges received an Honorary Degree

    Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
    Saturday May 19, 2012

    On May 19, 2012, Bridges received an Honorary Degree from Tulane University at the annual graduation ceremony at the Superdome.


  • William Frantz Elementary School, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
    Monday Mar 23, 2020
    08:08:00 AM

    A statue of Bridges

    William Frantz Elementary School, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
    Monday Mar 23, 2020

    In 2014, a statue of Bridges was unveiled in the courtyard of William Frantz Elementary School.


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