US Minorities Civil Rights Timeline 1863-1963
ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™
1863 – Jan 1 The Emancipation Proclamation is an order issued to all segments of the Executive branch (including the Army and Navy) of the United States by President Abraham Lincoln, Wilberforce University, Ohio is first college owned & operated by African Americans
1864- Apr 8 The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution outlaws slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime
1865 – Black Codes were laws passed by Southern states in 1865 and 1866, after the Civil War. These laws had the intent and the effect of restricting African Americans‘ freedom, and of compelling them to work in a labor economy based on low wages or debt. President Abraham Lincoln signed the Freedmen’s Bureau that established the Freedman’s Saving and Trust Company to help the newly emancipated black community, Black Codes were part of a larger pattern of Southern whites trying to suppress the new freedom of emancipated African American slaves, the freedmen.
1866 – Civil Rights Act of 1866 is a U.S. federal law declaring that everyone born(except certain Native Americans) in the U.S. and not subject to any foreign power is a citizen, without regard to race, color, or previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude, Sep 21 ‘Buffalo Soldiers‘ members of the U.S. 10th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army serving at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas were formed.
1868 – First African American elected to the U.S. House of Representatives: John Willis Menard
1870 – Feb 3 Fifteenth Amendment that gave African-American males the right to vote. Mar 3 Thomas Mundy Peterson first African-American to vote in an election under the provisions of the 15th Amendment.
1871 – Civil Rights Act of 1871, sometimes called The Second Ku Klux Klan Act, is a U.S. federal law where several of its provisions still exist today as codified statutes; the most important still-existing provision is 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The act was the second of three Enforcement Acts passed by the United States Congress from 1870 to 1871 during the Reconstruction Era to combat attacks on the suffrage rights of African Americans from groups like the Ku Klux Klan.
1876 – 1965 The Jim Crow laws were state and local laws in the United States that mandated de jure racial segregation in all public facilities in Southern states of the former Confederacy, with, starting in 1890, a “separate but equal” status for African Americans.
1882 – May 8 Chinese Exclusion Act signed by Chester A. Arthur was a U.S. federal law following revisions made in 1880 to the Burlingame Treaty of 1868. Those revisions allowed the U.S. to suspend immigration, and Congress subsequently acted quickly to implement the suspension of Chinese immigration, a ban that was intended to last 10 years. This law was repealed by the Magnuson Act on December 17, 1943.
1885-86 Anti-Chinese Riots Washington
The China Town in Seattle was burned down on October 24. That year there were also violent riots against Chinese in Washington, Alaska, California, Wyoming, South Dakota and Nevada1889 Wong Kim Ark, born of Chinese parents, wins Supreme Court case establishing that a person born in the U.S. is a citizen regardless of parentage
1896 Plessy v. Ferguson, landmark United States Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of state laws requiring racial segregation in public facilities under the doctrine of “separate but equal“
1905 Anti-Japanese Movement
Japanese and Korean Exclusion League formed in San Francisco by 67 labor unions, barring employing Japanese, pressuring School Board to segregate Japanese from white children
1907 Asian Exclusion Act League
Japanese and Korean Exclusion League renamed the Asian Exclusion League to combat the influx of Indian immigrants
1910 – First African-American woman millionaire: Madam C. J. Walker
1911 – First African-American attorney admitted to the American Bar Association: William Henry Lewis
1913 – Mar 3 Woman Suffrage Parade of 1913 was a march down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. on organized by the suffragist Alice Paul for the National American Woman Suffrage Association.
1917 – Feb 5 Immigration Act of 1917 (aka Asiatic Barred Zone Act) was passed by the US Congress with an overwhelming majority, overriding President Woodrow Wilson’s December 14, 1916, veto. This act banned homosexuals, idiots, feeble-minded persons, criminals, epileptics, alcoholics, professional beggars, anyone “mentally or physically defective”, polygamists, anarchists, anyone over the age of sixteen who were illiterate, people from much of Asia and the Pacific Islands from entering the country.
1919 Jun 1, Red Summer refers to the race riots that occurred in more than three dozen cities in the United States during the summer and early autumn of 1919. In most instances, whites attacked African Americans. In some cases many blacks fought back, notably in Chicago, where, along with Washington, D.C. and Elaine, Arkansas,
1920 – Aug 18 The Nineteenth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution prohibits each state and the federal government from denying any citizen the right to vote based on that citizen’s sex.
1922 – Nov 13 Ozawa v. U.S. Supreme Court rules that Takao Ozawa is ineligible for citizenship because of his “Mongolian” ancestry
1923 The U.S. rules that Asian Indians are ineligible for citizenship. Filipinos are ruled ineligible for citizenship and therefore are barred from immigrating to the U.S.
1924 May 25 The Immigration Act of 1924, or Johnson–Reed Act, including the National Origins Act, and Asian Exclusion Act was a United States federal law that limited the annual number of immigrants who could be admitted from any country, Jun 2 Fisk University Protests resulted in the school’s principal trying to force the school to abide by and teach the Jim Crow Laws and not try to challenge or reject them.
1925 Hidemitsu v. U.S. Supreme Court rules that to maintain distinction of race and color in naturalization laws, a Japanese person cannot be naturalized.
1929 – Charles Hamilton Houston, a prominent African-American lawyer, Dean of Howard University Law School, and NAACP Litigation Director who played a significant role in dismantling the Jim Crow laws, which earned him the title “The Man Who Killed Jim Crow”. He is also well known for having trained almost a quarter of the nation’s black law students, one of whom was Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Through his work at the NAACP, Houston played a role in nearly every civil rights case before the Supreme Court between 1930 and Brown v. Board of Education (1954).
1931 – Mar 25 Nine black teenage boys accused of rape in Alabama in 1931 they came to be known as the Scottsboro Boys. The case included a frameup, an all-white jury, rushed trials, an attempted lynching, an angry mob, and is an example of an overall miscarriage of justice.
1938 – Jun 25 The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938
1940 – First African American to be portrayed on a U.S. postage stamp: Booker T. Washington
1942 – Feb 19 Executive Order 9066, which allowed local military commanders to designate “military areas” as “exclusion zones,” from which “any or all persons may be excluded.” This power was used to declare that all people of Japanese ancestry were excluded from the entire Pacific coast, including all of California and much of Oregon, Washington and Arizona, except for those in internment camps.
1948 – May 3 Shelley v. Kraemer, 334 U.S. 1 (1948), is a landmark United States Supreme Court case which held that courts could not enforce racial covenants on real estate , Jul 26 Executive Order 9981, which states, “It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin.”
1949, the Japanese American Citizen’s League initiated efforts in the U.S. Congress to gain the right of Japanese immigrants to become naturalized citizens of the U.S., a right denied to them for over fifty years.
1949 and 1950 The American G.I. Forum initiated local “pay your poll tax” drives to register Mexican American voters. Although they were unable to repeal the poll tax, their efforts did bring in new Hispanic voters who would begin to elect Latino representatives to the Texas House of Representatives and to Congress during the late 1950s and early 1960s.
1950 – First African American to receive a “lifetime” (officially “during good behavior”) appointment as federal judge: William H. Hastie of U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, First African American to win Nobel Peace Prize: Ralph Bunche
1951 – Dec 24 The 1951 Christmas Eve Ku Klux Klan bombing of the home of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) activists Harry and Harriette Moore in Mims, Florida, resulting in their deaths.
1952 – Jun 27 The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 aka The McCarran-Walter Act repeals the racial restriction of the 1790 Naturalization Law. First generation Japanese receive the right to become naturalized citizens.
1954 – May 17, The Supreme Court rules on the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas., unanimously agreeing that segregation in public schools is unconstitutional.
1955 – Aug 28 Fourteen-year-old Chicagoan Emmett Till is visiting family in Mississippi when he is kidnapped, brutally beaten, shot, and dumped in the Tallahatchie River for allegedly whistling at a white woman., Dec 1 Rosa Parks (Montgomery, AL) NAACP member, refuses to give up her seat at the front of the “colored section” of a bus to a white passenger, defying a southern custom of the time. This act set off the The Montgomery Bus Boycott, a political and social protest campaign against the policy of racial segregation on the public transit system of Montgomery, Alabama The campaign lasted from Dec 1, 1955 to Dec 20, 1956, when a federal ruling, Browder v. Gayle, took effect, and led to a United States Supreme Court decision that declared the Alabama and Montgomery laws requiring segregated buses to be unconstitutional.
1957 – Jan 23 The 1957 Ku Klux Klan murder of Willie Edwards, Jr. Klansmen forced Edwards to jump to his death from a bridge into the Alabama River. Jan–Feb Martin Luther King Jr., Charles K. Steele, and Fred L. Shuttlesworth establish the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, of which King is made the first president. Sept 4 (Little Rock, AR) Nine black students are blocked from participating in integration of a formerly all-white Central High School on the orders of Governor Orval Faubus. President Eisenhower sends federal troops and the National Guard to intervene on behalf of the students, who become known as the “Little Rock Nine.“
1959 – The Mexican American Political Association (MAPA), founded in Fresno, California came into being in 1959 and drew up a plan for direct electoral politics. MAPA soon became the primary political voice for the Mexican-American community of California. Hiram Fong, one of Hawaii’s first senators, was the first Asian American elected as US Senator
1960 – Feb 1 (Greensboro, NC) Four black students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College begin a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter. Apr (Raleigh, NC) The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) is founded at Shaw University, providing young blacks with a place in the civil rights movement.
1961 – May 4 Over the spring and summer, student volunteers begin taking bus trips, Freedom Rides, through the South to test out new laws that prohibit segregation in interstate travel facilities, which includes bus and railway stations.
1962 – Oct 1 James Meredith becomes the first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi. Violence and riots surrounding the incident cause President Kennedy to send 5,000 federal troops.
1963 – St. Augustine Movement became the stage for a great drama leading up to the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 Apr 16 Martin Luther King, Jr., is arrested and jailed during anti-segregation protests in Birmingham, Ala.; he writes his seminal “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” arguing that individuals have the moral duty to disobey unjust laws. May During civil rights protests in Birmingham, AL, Commissioner of Public Safety Eugene “Bull” Connor uses fire hoses and police dogs on black peaceful demonstrators that included children. Jun 11 Pres John F. Kennedy addresses Americans from the Oval Office proposing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that would revolutionist American society. Proposing equal access to public facilities, end segregation in education and guarantee federal protection for voting rights. Jun 12 Jackson, Mississippi’s NAACP field secretary, 37-year-old Medgar Evers, is murdered outside his home by the Ku Klux Klan. Byron De La Beckwith is tried twice in 1964, both trials resulting in hung juries. Aug 28 Martin Luther King, Jr. (Washington, D.C.) About 200,000 people join the March on Washington. Congregating at the Lincoln Memorial, participants listen as Martin Luther King delivers his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Sep 15 (Birmingham, AL) Four young girls (Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, and Addie Mae Collins) attending Sunday school are killed when a bomb set by the Ku Klux Klan explodes at the 16th Street Baptist Church, a popular location for civil rights meetings.
Sources: Wikipedia.com, Infoplease.com and USA.gov
To Continue the Timeline: US Minorities Civil Rights Timeline 1964-2009