• Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)

    Jamaican immigrant Marcus Garvey founded the UNIA, which would become the largest African American activist organization in the 1920s. He urged African Americans to develop their own businesses to become economically self-sufficient. He insisted the imperial powers give up their colonial control of Africa. He felt that African Americans should return to Africa.
  • Second Ku Klux Klan Founded

    Like the old KKK, the 20th century version was driven by racist hatred of African Americans, but it also took on new targets, including Jews, Catholics, immigrants and change in general. Although some Klan members supported age-old violent tactics, most sought to influence law-makers. The Klan worked with both parties and helped elect governors, senators and other officials.
  • Eighteenth Amendment Passed

    The Eighteenth Amendement prohibited the manufacture, sale and transportation of alcoholic beverages.
  • Letter Bombs lead to Red Scare

    Bomb shatters in front of the home of Attorney General Mitchell Palmer. There had already been a series of bombings, first, targeting Seattle mayor, then, 16 bombs were addressed to various famous Americans like J.P. Morgan, John Rockefeller, senators, cabinet officials and Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. None of them actually reached their targets, but a few people were injured.
  • Volstead Act Passed

    Defined the liquor forbidden under the 18th Amendment and gave enforcment responsibilities to the Prohibition Bureau of the Department of the Treasury. Alcohol for medicinal and sacramental purposes was permitted.
  • Palmer Raids

    Attorney General Palmer leads a series of raids where federal agents seized suspected anarchists and communists and held them for deportation without due process. Attorney General Mitchell Palmer, rounded up and deported 250 members of the Union of Russian Workers. In one night, 4,000 suspected Communists were arrest in raids across the country.
  • Nineteenth Amendment Ratified

    Women win the right to vote, but it had less impact than many thought it would. Prevailing sex roles continued and men continued to be the head of the household while women to cook clean and raise children.
  • Emergency Quota Act

    Depicting immigrants as radicals, racial inferiors, religious subversives or criminals, nativists pushed for this act that reduced immigration by about 2/3 and established quotas for nationalities on the basis of their numbers in the US in 1910. Restrictionists, however, demanded more stringent action, especially against the largely Catholic and Jewish immigrants from southern and eastern Europe. Many believed that America should be kept "American," meaning white, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant.
  • National Origins Quota Act Passed

    Limited immigration from Europe to 150,000 a year; allocated most of the available slots to immigrants from Great Britain, Ireland, Germany and Scandinavia. It banned all Asian immigrants. This quota system survived until 1960s.
  • John Scopes Arrested

    John Scopes, a high school biology teacher in Dayton TN was arrested for teaching evolution. The Scopes trial attracted national attention. The judge was a fundamentalist sat under a sign that stated “Read Your Bible Daily”. It took the local jury only 8 minutes to convict Scopes, but fundamentalists suffered public ridicule from reporters.
  • Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti are executed

    Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, a shoemaker and fish seller, were arrested for robbing a shoe company in MA. Two men died of gunshot wounds during the robbery, and ballistics experts claimed that the bullets came from Sacco’s gun. The trial focused less on the evidence than on the fact that the defendants were Italian and anarchists.