A Virginia law prohibits black and white children from attending the same schools. The measure will be renewed in 1882, 1902, 1930, 1956, and 1958.
A Tennessee law prohibits black and white children from attending the same schools. The measure will be renewed in 1873, 1901, 1925, and 1932.
The West Virginia Constitution is amended to state, "White and colored persons shall not be taught in the same school."3 In 1873, 1901, and 1931, the state legislature will create laws to enforce the constitutional mandate.
According to a West Virginia law, official records of black births, marriages, and deaths cannot be kept in the same books that contain records of white births, marriages, and deaths.
The Missouri Constitution requires separate public schools for black children. In 1887, 1889, and 1929, the state legislature will create laws to enforce this constitutional mandate.
The North Carolina Constitution requires separate public schools for black children. In 1901, 1903, and 1931, the state legislature will create laws to enforce this constitutional mandate.
The Alabama Constitution requires separate public schools for black children. In 1878, 1901, 1927, 1940, and 1957, the state legislature will create laws to enforce this constitutional mandate.
Booker T. Washington graduates with honors from the Hampton Institute, a black vocational school in Hampton, Virginia.
Wyoming's territorial legislature votes to create separate schools for the instruction of black children.
The Texas Constitution requires voters to pay a poll tax, a free required in order to cast a ballot. Though the measure does not appear to discriminate against any particular race, it will effectively disenfranchise black Texans, who cannot afford the fee.
The Mississippi legislature—the first since Radical Reconstruction to be controlled by Democrats—votes to increase penalties for petty crimes. Under the so-called "pig law," anyone found guilty of stealing a farm animal or any other piece of property worth more than $10 will be charged with grand larceny and sentenced to up to five years in prison.
The Texas Constitution is amended to mandate the creation of two school systems—one provided for white children and another for black children.
An Ohio law prohibits a person of "pure white blood" from marrying or engaging in "illicit carnal intercourse" with anyone who has "a distinct and visible admixture of African blood."4
The Georgia Constitution prohibits black and white children from attending the same schools. In 1895, 1926, 1933, 1945, and 1957, the state legislature will create laws to enforce this constitutional mandate.
In Hall v. DeCuir, the United States Supreme Court overturns a Louisiana statute banning racial discrimination in steamboat travel. The decision is one of the first to undermine anti-segregation measures passed in the South during Radical Reconstruction.
The Mississippi legislature reverses a statute passed during Radical Reconstruction that barred school segregation. The new law prohibits white and black students from attending the same schools.
A Missouri law states, "No person having one-eighth part or more of negro blood shall be permitted to marry any white person." 5 The statute will be renewed in 1909, 1929, and 1949.
A South Carolina law states, "Marriage between a white person and an Indian, Negro, mulatto, mestizo, or half-breed shall be null and void." In 1895, the legislature will amend the state constitution to reflect this statute.
Booker T. Washington returns to his alma mater, the Hampton Institute, in order to teach and mentor students.
The Mississippi legislature revises the state code to declare that any marriage between a white person and an African-American is "incestuous and void."
In Tuskegee, Alabama, Booker T. Washington founds the Tuskegee Institute, a black vocational school modeled on the Hampton Institute.
West Virginia enacts an anti-miscegenation law that prohibits any white person from marrying someone of another race. Those who violate the law are subject to a $100 fine and incarceration for up to one year. Those who perform an interracial marriage ceremony will be charged with a misdemeanor and fined up to $200. The statute and the penalties associated with it will be renewed in 1931 and 1955.
In United States v. Harris, the United States Supreme Court voids the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, which had authorized the federal government to deploy national troops against Klansmen and to prosecute perpetrators of racial in a federal court.
The United States Supreme Court rules that the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which had prohibited racial discrimination in theaters, hotels, trains, and other public accommodations, is unconstitutional. Justice John Harlan delivers the only dissenting opinion in the Civil Rights Cases, expressing concern that the ruling violates the Thirteenth Amendment by condoning "badges of slavery." Henry McNeil Turner, a prominent African-American religious leader, warns that the Court's decision makes "the ballot of the black man a parody, his citizenship a nullity and his freedom a burlesque."6
For the first time since 1856, a Democrat is elected president of the United States. In a close race, Stephen Grover Cleveland defeats James G. Blaine, a Republican congressman from Maine. Cleveland, born in New Jersey and raised in New York, takes every state in the Deep South as well as several Northern states including Connecticut, Delaware, New York and New Jersey.
Florida prohibits interracial marriage. In addition, the legislature bars schools from enrolling both white and black pupils.
Without the resources to attend Harvard University, W. E. B. Du Bois accepts a scholarship to enter Fisk College, a black school in Nashville, Tennessee. During his three years at Fisk, Du Bois will learn a great deal about American race relations and the particularly stringent color line in the South.
Utah enacts a miscegenation law that prohibits any white person from marrying someone of another race. The statute will be renewed in 1907, 1933, and 1953.
W. E. B. Du Bois completes his coursework at Fisk College, graduating at top of his class. With the aid of generous scholarships, he is able to continue his education at Harvard University. During his seven-year stint at the prestigious institution, Du Bois will earn a B.A. in Philosophy and an M.A. in History and will become the university's first African-American student to receive a Ph.D.
The Texas legislature repeals the 1871 statute that barred segregation on public transportation. Railroad companies are now required to maintain separate coaches for black passengers.
During the 1890s, at least 1,132 blacks are lynched or burned alive in the United States.7
Between 1890 and 1906, every southern state passes some sort of statute meant to prevent blacks from registering to vote. Most new elector requirements, such as the poll tax, literacy tests, and the "grandfather clause," appear colorblind, but in practice, function to eliminate the black vote altogether.
A Louisiana law requires railroad companies to provide separate but equal accommodations for black passengers.
A Georgia law prohibits state penitentiaries from housing white and black prisoners in the same quarters or from chaining them together at any time.
A Kentucky law prohibits black and white children from attending the same schools.
An Alabama law requires railroad companies to provide separate but equal accommodations for black patrons.
Georgia bars black and white children from attending the same schools. Any teacher who instructs black and white students in the same classroom forfeits all pay. The law and the penalties associated with it will be renewed in 1926, 1933, and 1945.
The South Carolina Constitution is amended to read, "Separate schools shall be provided for children of the white and colored races, and no child of either race shall ever be permitted to attend a school for children of the other race." In addition, Article 6 of Section 6 is rewritten to assert that each county in which a lynching occurs may be subject to a fine of $2,000 per death. Such a measure reveals that this type of murder is common throughout the state. Similar laws will be passed in 1908 and again in 1932.8
W. E. B. Du Bois receives a Ph.D. in History from Harvard University. He is the first African-American student to earn this degree from the prestigious institution. In the following year, Dr. Du Bois will publish his doctoral dissertation, "The Suppression of the African Slave Trade."
In Plessy v. Ferguson, the United States Supreme Court upholds a Louisiana law that requires the maintenance of "separate but equal" facilities for blacks. The ruling effectively clears the way for state lawmakers to enforce segregation in schools, libraries, hotels, hospitals, prisons, theaters, parks, bathrooms, trains, buses, cemeteries, and wherever whites and blacks may commingle.
Harvard University presents Booker T. Washington with an honorary master's degree for his work in the field of education.
The Oklahoma legislature votes to prohibit any white child from attending a school designated for black students and vice versa.
The United States Supreme Court hears arguments in Cumming v. Board of Education of Richmond County. The Georgia county of Richmond maintains only one high school for whites and no such institution for blacks. Thus, the plaintiffs charge, the county's school board has violated the "separate but equal" doctrine established by the Supreme Court's 1896 ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson. Richmond County claims, however, that it cannot afford to maintain both a white and a black school. The Court rules unanimously in favor of Richmond, refusing to force the county to provide a second school for blacks. In doing so, it establishes a precedent for the legal enforcement of separation without regard for equality.
In Georgia, white and black patrons aboard trains must not sit in the same passenger car. In addition, railroad companies may refuse to admit black passengers into sleeping cars and parlor cars.
During the first decade of the twentieth century, at least 791 blacks are lynched or burned alive in the United States.9
A North Carolina law requires state librarians to maintain separate facilities for the use of black patrons.
The Alabama Constitution is amended to block the passage of any law authorizing or legalizing interracial marriage. The measure will remain unchanged until November 2000.
Booker T. Washington publishes Up From Slavery, his best-selling autobiography.
Booker T. Washington dines with President Theodore Roosevelt at the White House. Washington takes the opportunity to consult the President about several of his political appointments in the South.
The Virginia constitution is amended to mandate school segregation.
W. E. B. Du Bois publishes The Souls of Black Folk, a collection of autobiographical essays and sketches of race relations in the post-Civil War South. In one of the essays, entitled "Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others," Du Bois outlines the flaws in the prominent southern black leader's message.
The Kentucky legislature amends an earlier school segregation statute. Under the new law, private schools and colleges must maintain separate facilities for black pupils.
A Kansas law allows Kansas City to create separate schools for the instruction of black students.
Thomas Dixon, Jr., a former Baptist minister from North Carolina, publishes a novel entitled The Clansman: An Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klan. Dixon describes his aim in writing the book: "My object is to teach the North, the young North, what it has never known—the awful suffering of the white man during the dreadful Reconstruction period. I believe that Almighty God anointed the white men of the South by their suffering during that time immediately after the Civil War to demonstrate to the world that the white man must and shall be supreme."10 Ten years later, director D. W. Griffith will adapt the best seller for his grandiose film The Birth of a Nation, which will become a national box office.
W. E. B. Du Bois organizes the Niagara Movement, a civil rights organization committed to the fight for social and political rights for African-Americans. The group, named for the location of its first meeting (Niagara Falls, New York), takes an official stance against the policies of accommodation promoted by southern black leader Booker T. Washington.
The Oklahoma Constitution is amended to require the state legislature to oversee the creation of separate schools for "colored children." The term "colored," the amendment states, "shall be construed to mean children of African descent who possess any quantum of negro blood, and the term 'white' shall include all other persons."11
A Texas law requires streetcar companies to designate separate seating areas for black riders. A passenger refusing to sit in the appropriate area must pay a fine of up to $25.
Florida railroad companies must provide separate waiting rooms and ticket windows for black patrons at all stations. In addition, railway cars must be clearly marked "For White" or "For Colored." Those companies that refuse to comply may be fined up to $5,000.
The Louisiana legislature revises an anti-miscegenation law first passed in 1894. The new penalty for interracial marriage is imprisonment for up to one year with hard labor. The statute will be renewed in 1910, 1932, 1951, and 1952. The legislature also votes to bar whites and blacks from buying or consuming alcohol on the same premises.
An Oklahoma law requires streetcar and railroad companies to separate white and black riders. Each segregated compartment is to be "divided by a board or marker, placed in a conspicuous place, bearing appropriate words in plain letters, indicating the race for which it is set apart." A passenger refusing to sit in the designated area for his or her race must pay a fine of up to $25. Conductors who fail to enforce the law may be fined up to $500.12
In Oklahoma, a school instructor who violates state segregation laws can be fined up to $50 and may lose his or her teaching certificate. The parents of a white student who attends a "colored school" can be fined up to $20 per day.
A Wyoming law prohibits "all marriages of white persons with Negroes, Mulattos, Mongolian or Malaya."13 The statute will be renewed in 1913, 1931, and 1945.
Colorado prohibits interracial marriage. Offenders are subject to steep fines and imprisonment. Although the state bars segregation in public schools, inns, restaurants, churches, theaters, and other public accommodations, anti-miscegenation statutes will remain on the books until 1957.
Up-and-coming black boxer Jack Johnson defeats the World Heavyweight Champion Tommy Burns in a bout held in Sydney, Australia. Johnson becomes the first black fighter to claim the title.
Following Jack Johnson's stunning victory against white heavyweight champion Tommy Burns, American journalists and boxing fans call for the retired champ Jim Jeffries to reclaim the title for the white race. "Jim Jeffries must now emerge from his alfalfa farm and remove that smile from Johnson's face," California journalist Jack London wrote in the New York Herald. "Jeff it's up to you. The white man must be rescued."14
A North Carolina law requires state penitentiaries to enforce segregation at all times.
South Dakota prohibits interracial marriage. Offenders are subject to a $1,000 fine and imprisonment for up to ten years. The law and the penalties associated with it will be renewed in 1913 and 1929.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is founded in New York City. Originally called the National Negro Committee, the interracial organization's founding members include African-American anti-lynching crusader Ida B. Wells-Barnett, founder of the Niagara Movement, W. E. B. Du Bois, white suffragist Mary White Ovington, and Jewish social worker Henry Moskowitz.
White boxer Victor McLaglen agrees to a match against the reigning World Heavyweight Champion Jack Johnson when Denver Ed Martin, the African-American boxer originally scheduled as Johnson's opponent, fails to show up at the ring. Johnson easily defeats McLaglen, retaining his title.
Retired heavyweight champion Jim Jeffries announces he will begin training in order to come out of retirement and reclaim the title from the reigning champ Jack Johnson.
World Heavyweight Champion Jack Johnson faces "Philadelphia" Jack O'Brien in the ring in Philadelphia. Johnson, under-trained and hung over, manages to defeat O'Brien in six rounds. Johnson retains his title and claims the $5,000 purse.
World Heavyweight Champion Jack Johnson faces an Italian-American boxer named Antonio Rossiliano, or "Tony Ross," in Pittsburgh. Although Johnson knocks Ross down in the first round, breaking the fighter's nose in the process, he allows the bout to continue for a full six rounds in order to give patrons an exciting show. O'Brien deliberately falls to the mat in the last round in order to avoid a punch, sealing yet another victory for Johnson.
In Colma, California, world heavyweight champion Jack Johnson faces "Big" Al Kaufmann. Kaufmann, one of the largest and most experienced of Johnson's opponents, fails to land more than a few punches throughout the fight. Despite a consensus among those in attendance that the victory belongs to Johnson, the referee refuses to declare a winner. The match is ruled a draw.
In Colma, California, world heavyweight champ Jack Johnson faces the reigning World Middleweight Champ Stanley Ketchel. Johnson toys with Ketchel, dragging the fight out through twelve rounds. Although Ketchel manages to catch Johnson with a right that knocks the heavyweight champ to the floor, Johnson pops up and returns a punch that flattens Ketchel and leaves him with far fewer teeth.
During the 1910s, at least 568 blacks are lynched or burned alive in the United States.15
Before thousands of white spectators in Reno, Nevada, World Heavyweight Champ Jack Johnson defends his title against Jim Jeffries, the retired champion. Jeffries, referred to as "the great white hope" and expected by many to reclaim the world title for his race, begins the match with terrific confidence. Johnson, however, quickly dominates the white fighter, taunting him in each round and mocking his critics in the crowd all the while. In the weeks following Johnson's victory, race riots break out in the South and in several northern cities, leaving dozens of people dead and thousands injured (most of them black).
Nevada enacts a miscegenation law that prohibits any white person from marrying or residing with someone of another race. Those who violate the law are subject to fines of up to $500 and incarceration for up to one year. The statute and the penalties associated with it will be renewed in 1929, 1955, and 1957.
Nebraska prohibits interracial marriage. Such unions are declared null and void. Although the state bars segregation in theaters, barbershops, restaurants, and other public accommodations, anti-miscegenation statutes will remain on the books through the 1940s.
A Louisiana law prohibits homes designated for blacks to be built in white communities and vice versa.
Arizona gains statehood. The legislature passes a bill that requires local boards of education to segregate "pupils of the African race" from white students in all elementary schools and to "provide all accommodations made necessary by such segregation."16
Woodrow Wilson begins his administration as president of the United States.
A Louisiana law requires all circus and other tent exhibitions to provide two separate entrances, two ticket offices, and at least two ticket takers to divide black patrons from whites.
An Alabama law prohibits white female nurses from caring for black male patients.
The United States Supreme Court rules that the "grandfather clause," used by many southern states to restrict the black vote, is unconstitutional.
The Birth of a Nation, a feature-length film directed by D.W. Griffith, premieres at Clune's Auditorium in Los Angeles. The film, based on Thomas Dixon's novel, The Clansman, is controversial for its depiction of the Ku Klux Klan as a group of southern freedom fighters. Despite protests from leaders in the African-American community and the refusal of several major cities to host the film, Birth will become a tremendous box-office success and one of the highest grossing films in history.
In Texas, the penalty for interracial marriage and interracial sex is imprisonment for up to five years. The law will be renewed in 1925 and again in 1951.
An Oklahoma law requires telephone companies to maintain separate phone booths for blacks.
Jack Johnson defends his heavyweight title while in exile from the United States due to pending charges related to his sexual relationship with a white woman. He loses to his white opponent, Kansas-born Jess Willard. Black boxers will be excluded from title bouts against whites for the next 22 years.
Booker T. Washington dies at the age of 59 in his home in Tuskegee, Alabama.
In New York City, W. E. B. Du Bois leads a silent march in protest of Jim Crow laws and lynching crimes.
A Virginia law requires penitentiaries to separate black and white prisoners.
A Texas law requires public libraries to maintain separate branches for blacks.
During the 1920s, at least 281 blacks are lynched or burned alive in the United States.17
An Oklahoma statute prohibits schoolteachers from instructing white and black students in the same facility. Anyone who violates the law will be charged with a misdemeanor and will lose his or her teaching certificate for one year.
A Tennessee law requires all coal mining companies to build separate restrooms for black employees.
New Mexico passes a law that forbids black students from entering schoolrooms designated for whites. It requires the creation of separate facilities for black pupils that "shall be as good and well kept as those used by pupils of Caucasian or other decent."18
In Oklahoma, black boxers are forbidden from sparring with whites.
A Connecticut law prohibits movie theaters from featuring films that ridicule African Americans.
A Virginia law requires public halls, movie theaters, opera houses, and all other places of public entertainment to separate white patrons from black patrons.
The Arizona legislature requires each district to vote on whether to segregate each high school in which the number of registered black students reaches 25.
A Kentucky law requires white and black patients to be housed in separate hospital facilities.
Oregon renews an anti-miscegenation statute first passed in 1866. The law prohibits any white person from marrying or residing with someone of another race.
In Tennessee, miscegenation is declared a felony. In addition, the legislature votes to require high schools to segregate students by race.
The South Carolina legislature passes a law that prohibits the adoption of a white child by an African-American. (This measure will be renewed in 1952.) In addition, the legislature forbids textile manufacturing plants from permitting black and white employees to "work together within the same room, or to use the same doors of entrance and exit at the same time...or to use the same stairway and windows at the same time, or to use at any time the same lavatories, toilets, drinking water buckets, pails, cups, dippers, or glasses."19
The South Carolina legislature requires all circuses and other traveling exhibitions to provide two separate entrances, two ticket offices, and at least two ticket takers to divide black patrons from whites.
A Texas law prohibits all boxing, sparring, and wrestling matches between white and African-American competitors.
The South Carolina legislature votes to mandate segregation in public parks, recreation centers, amusement centers, and beaches.
A North Carolina law prohibits the exchange of books between white and black schools.
A South Carolina law requires school bus drivers to be of the same race as the children they transport.
A Virginia law requires all passenger vehicles to separate white riders from black riders. In addition, separate waiting rooms for black patrons must be maintained at bus stations and train depots.
The University of Missouri School of Law refuses to admit Lloyd Lionel Gaines, a black college graduate, on account of his race. The state offers Gaines a scholarship to attend a school outside Missouri, but he refuses the funding and files a lawsuit. Although he loses his case, the NAACP will appeal to the Supreme Court two years later.
Boxer Joe Louis defeats the reigning heavyweight champion Jimmy Braddock to become the first black athlete to hold the world title since Jack Johnson.
After hearing arguments in Gaines v. Canada, the United States Supreme Court rules in favor of Lloyd Lionel Gaines, ordering his admission to the University of Missouri.
A Florida law requires schoolbooks used by black students to be stored separately from those used by whites.
An Alabama law prohibits prison officials from chaining white and black together or from allowing the two races to sleep in the same quarters.
A Kentucky law requires the maintenance of separate retirement homes for blacks.
A Mississippi law requires all charitable hospitals in the state to establish segregated facilities and separate entrances for black patients.
Wyoming renews an anti-miscegenation law that prohibits interracial marriage. Those who violate the law are now subject to fines of up to $1,000 and imprisonment for up to five years.
The Alabama Constitution is amended to state new voting qualifications; electors must demonstrate literacy, must identify and explain any article of the U.S. Constitution, and must prove that they have been employed during the year prior to registration.
Former world heavyweight champion Jack Johnson dies in a car accident near Raleigh, North Carolina.
The Arkansas state legislature passes several statutes that mandate segregation at all polling places, in prisons, and on buses and trains.
A North Carolina law requires state cemeteries to segregate burial plots by race.
Black coal miners in Texas are required to use segregated restrooms.
A Kentucky law prohibits interracial adoptions.
A Missouri law prohibits interracial adoptions.
The Maryland legislature amends an anti-miscegenation statute first passed in 1884. Under the new law, any white woman who births a child conceived with a black or mixed-race man will be imprisoned for up to five years. The law will be renewed in 1957.
The city council in Huntsville, Alabama votes to bar whites and blacks from playing cards, dominoes, checkers, pool, baseball, basketball, football, or golf together.
A Kentucky law prohibits private firms from holding mixed-race dances, social functions, sports contests, or other recreational activities on their premises.
A Louisiana law requires public halls, movie theaters, opera houses, and all other places of public entertainment to separate white and black patrons.
A North Carolina law requires all factories and plants to maintain separate bathrooms for black employees.
The Virginia legislature votes to close any school that enrolls both black and white students.
The Mississippi legislature authorizes the governor to close public parks in order to prevent desegregation.
An Arkansas law requires all state buses to designate whites-only seating areas.
In Birmingham, Alabama, a city ordinance mandates segregation in restaurants and recreational facilities and requires separate bathrooms for black employees in places of business.
W. E. B. Du Bois dies in Ghana at the age of 95. Word of his death reaches civil rights leaders at the March on Washington, who ask marchers for a moment of silence in his honor.
The city council of Sarasota, Florida passes an ordinance that authorizes the chief of police to clear any public beach whenever members of two or more races are present.