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Jim Crow Laws and World War II and Civil Rights Timeline

  • 14th Amendment

    the 14th Amendment to the Constitution gave Black people equal protection under the law.
  • 15th Amendment

    15th Amendment granted Black American men the right to vote.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1875

    Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which prohibited discrimination in public accommodations, including inns, theaters, public conveyances on land or water, and "other places of public amusement."
  • End of Reconstruction

    Following an agreement reached with prominent southern Democrats, the Republican Rutherford B. Hayes was chosen as the nation's next president by the electoral college. Reconstruction came to an end when the last of the federal forces was withdrawn from the South.
  • Civil Rights Cases of 1883

    The Civil Rights Act of 1875 was declared unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court in the Civil Rights Cases of 1883. The Court determined that the 14th Amendment forbade discrimination by governments but not by individuals. For African Americans, this civil rights reversal was terrible.
  • Ida B. Wells

    Ida B. Wells began writing articles and campaigning against lynching. At least 161 blacks were lynched in 1892, probably the highest number in a single year.
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    Segregation was made official in the federal civil service by Woodrow Wilson. The District of Columbia was completely segregated by the end of World War I.
  • Jim Crow laws

    Black Americans were subjected to discrimination under Jim Crow laws in every southern state as well as many northern cities.
  • United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA)

    In Jamaica, Marcus Garvey founded the United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), which supported pan-Africanism and black nationalism. Garvey relocated his headquarters to New York City later in the decade, and the UNIA grew into a sizable grassroots movement.
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    Great Migration

    Blacks from the rural South moved to northern cities, the West, and southern cities during the Great Migration. 500,000 to 1 million people migrated to the North between 1915 and 1920; in the 1920s, another 700,000 to 1 million people migrated to the North and West.
  • Race riot in East St. Louis, Illinois

    A race riot in East St. Louis, Illinois, resulted in at least forty black people being assaulted and killed. Three weeks later, some 10,000 black people marched silently down Fifth Avenue in New York City to denounce racism, particularly riots that targeted black communities.
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    Ku Klux Klan

    3 million people belonged to the Ku Klux Klan when it was at its height in the early 1920s. In Washington, D.C., on August 8, 1925, 35,000 KKK members marched down Pennsylvania Avenue.
  • Oscar DePriest

    The first African American to be elected to Congress from a district north of the Mason-Dixon Line was Republican Oscar DePriest of Chicago.
  • 1940's

    Prior to World War II, the majority of Black people held low-paying jobs as domestic helpers, manufacturing laborers, farmers, or servants. Although employment in the military industry was flourishing, most Black Americans didn't get higher-paid positions.
  • Executive Order 8802

    Executive Order 8802, signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, outlawed hiring discrimination in the defense sector and created the Fair Employment Practices Commission. In response, A. Philip Randolph and other black leaders called off their planned march on Washington.
  • Executive Order 8802

    President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802. All Americans, regardless of race, creed, color, or country of origin, were now eligible to apply for national defense occupations and other government positions.
  • Executive Order 9981

    President Harry Truman launched a civil rights program at the start of the Cold War and signed Executive Order 9981 to prohibit discrimination in the military. These occasions paved the way for grassroots movements to pass racial equality laws and spark the civil rights movement.
  • No recorded lynchings

    Since it started maintaining statistics, the Tuskegee Institute said that 1952 was the first year without any documented lynchings.