Public unease with the pace of racial integration grew after President John F. Kennedy used federal troops to enforce a black man's right to attend Ole Miss.
Fifty years ago this summer, Gallup asked Americans how concerned they were about racial strife.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 50 years ago that state laws against interracial marriage were unconstitutional. But as that case was wending its way through the courts, less than half of Americans agreed.
White Americans became less racially resentful during the Obama years compared with the years before he took office. This change was evident among independents and Democrats, but not among Republicans.
Public opinion changed in significant ways over the course of Barack Obama's presidency on issues such as the economy, trust in government and race relations.
After the Supreme Court ruled 60 years ago that segregated seating on city buses was illegal, six in 10 Americans approved of the decision, but 33% did not.
In 1975, Americans' image of the FBI was much less positive than 10 years earlier, following revelations about FBI surveillance practices.
In 1941, most Americans opposed the poll taxes still in force in the South. But residents in the eight states where the laws persisted still favored them.
In 1942, 48% of Americans said that Japanese-Americans incarcerated during World War II should not be allowed to return to the Pacific coast after the war. Half of this group said the detainees should be sent "back to Japan."