American Racial History Timeline, 1900-1960

1900

Race riot in New Orleans is sparked by a shoot-out between the police and a negro laborer. Twenty thousand people are drawn into the riot that lasted four days. (Brown and Stentiford, xxiv)

Race riot in New York City. (Brown and Stentiford, 128)

South Carolina – Railroads [Statute]
Amended the act of 1898, repealing section six. The new law stated that railroads were not required to have second-class coaches. Penalty: Employees violating the law faced misdemeanor charges punishable by a fine between $25 and $100. Passengers who refused to sit in their assigned car were guilty of a misdemeanor and could be fined from $25 to $100. (Jim Crow History.org)

1901-1909, Theodore Roosevelt Administration

1901

Congress becomes resegregated when George H. White of North Carolina fails in his reelection bid. Negroes would not serve again in Congress until 1929. (Brown and Stentiford, 562)

Alabama – Miscegenation [Constitution]
Declared that the legislature could never pass any law authorizing or legalizing “any marriage between any white person and a Negro, or descendant of a Negro.” (Jim Crow History.org)

Alabama – Education [Constitution]
Separate schools to be provided for white and colored children. No child of either race to be permitted to attend a school of the other race. (Jim Crow History.org)

Assassination of President McKinley.

Booker T. Washington publishes Up From Slavery. (Brown and Stentiford, 598)

Between 1901 and 1947, the California state government enacted laws that created segregated communities for “Asian Americans.” (Brown and Stentiford, 49)

1902

Thomas Dixon, Jr. publishes his response to Harriet Beecher Stowe, The Leopard’s Spots: An Historical Romance of the White Man’s Burden, 1865-1900, a best-selling novel which introduces readers to the Negro Problem and trauma that the North inflicted upon the South during Reconstruction. (Brown and Stentiford, 237)

Louisiana – Streetcars [Statute]
All streetcars must provide separate but equal accommodations. Penalty: Passengers or conductors not complying could receive a fine of $25 or imprisonment up to 30 days. A railway company that refused to comply could receive a fine of $100, or imprisonment between 60 days and six months. (Jim Crow History.org)

1903

W.E.B. DuBois publishes his landmark polemic, The Souls of Black Folk. It pronounces that the “problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.” (Brown and Stentiford, xxv)

Florida – Miscegenation [Statute]
Intermarriage with a Negro, mulatto, or any person with one-eighth Negro blood shall be punished. Penalty: Imprisonment up to ten years or a fine not more than $1,000. (Jim Crow History.org)

South Carolina – Railroads [Statute]
Amended 1900 law stating that railroads were required to furnish separate apartments for white and colored passengers only on passenger trains, not on freight trains. (Jim Crow History.org)

Arkansas – Streetcars [Statute]
Streetcar companies are to separate white and black passengers. Penalties: Passengers who refused to take their assigned seat will be charged with a misdemeanor and fined $25. Companies that fail to enforce the law will also be found guilty of a misdemeanor and fined $25. (Jim Crow History.org)

1904

Race riot in Springfield, Ohio. (Brown and Stentiford, 128)

Congress bars Chinese immigration with amendments to the Chinese Exclusion Act. (Brown and Stentiford, 53)

Kentucky passes the “Day Law” which requires racial segregation of all public and private schools. (Brown and Stentiford, 438)

Mississippi – Streetcars [Statute]
Streetcars were to provide equal but separate accommodations for white and colored passengers. Penalties: Passengers could be fined $25 or confined up to 30 days in county jail. Employees liable for a fine of $25 or confinement up to 30 days in jail. A streetcar company could be charged with a misdemeanor for failing to carry out law and be fined $100 and face imprisonment between 60 days and six months. (Jim Crow History.org)

1905

Georgia – Public accommodations [Statute]
Any person could donate lands to a city for a park, with the condition that the use of a park be limited to the white race only, or to white women and children only, or to the colored race. Municipalities could accept such gifts for the “exclusive use of the class named.” (Jim Crow History.org)

Florida – Streetcars [Statute]
Separation of races required on all streetcars. Gave Caucasian mistresses the right to have their children attended in the white section of the car by an African nurse, but withheld from an African woman the equal right to have her child attended in the African section by its Caucasian nurse. (Jim Crow History.org)

South Carolina – Streetcars [Statute]
Authorized streetcars to separate the races in their cars. Penalty: Conductors who failed to enforce the law could be fined up to $100, or imprisoned for up to 30 days for each offense. (Jim Crow History.org)

Thomas Dixon, Jr. publishes The Clansman: An Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klan, the second installment of his Reconstruction trilogy. (Brown and Stentiford, 238)

Founding of American Breeders Association. (Brown and Stentiford, 530)

The Niagara Movement forms. An organization of black intellectuals who opposed Booker T. Washington and his Tuskegee Machine, the Niagara movement promoted negro political equality and voting rights. (Brown and Stentiford, xxv)

1906

The Burke Act provides citizenship to Indians in certain areas under certain conditions. (Brown and Stentiford, 580)

Founding of U.S. based journal, Eugenics and Social Welfare Bulletin. (Brown and Stentiford, 530)

Founding of the Race Betterment Foundation. (Brown and Stentiford, 530)

Berea College v. Kentucky, Supreme Court upholds Kentucky law that forbids the education of whites and negroes in the same facility. (Brown and Stentiford, 72)

Rumors of negro assaults on white women lead to a race riot in Atlanta. The riot claims the lives of 25 negroes and one white. Hundreds are injured. (Brown and Stentiford, xxv)

Race riot in Brownsville, Texas. (Brown and Stentiford, 128)

Race riot in Greensburg, Indiana. (Brown and Stentiford, 128)

Mississippi – Railroads [Statute]
Railroad commission to provide separate waiting rooms for white and black passengers. Separate restrooms were to be provided also. (Jim Crow History.org)

Mississippi – Miscegenation [Statute]
Prohibited marriage between a white person with a Negro or mulatto or a person with one-eighth or more Negro blood, or with an Asian or person with one-eighth or more “Mongolian” blood. (Jim Crow History.org)

South Carolina – Railroads [Statute]
Firms providing meals to passengers at railroad stations were prohibited from serving meals to white and colored passengers in the same room, at the same counter, or at the same table. Penalty: Misdemeanor, could be fined from $25 to $100, or imprisoned up to 30 days. (Jim Crow History.org)

1907

Alabama – Miscegenation [State Code]
Restated 1867 constitutional provision prohibiting intermarriage and cohabitation between whites and blacks. Penalties remained the same. A political code adopted in the same year defined the term “Negro” to include “mulatto,” which was noted as “persons of mixed blood descended from a father or mother from Negro ancestors, to the fifth generation inclusive, though one ancestor of each generation may have been a white person.” Note: This code added two additional generations to the original 1867 definition of what constituted a “Negro” person. (Jim Crow History.org)

Florida – Railroads [Statute]
Separate waiting rooms for each race to be provided at railroad depots along with separate ticket windows. Also called for separation of the races on streetcars. Signs in plain letters to be marked “For White” and “For Colored” to be displayed. Penalties: Railroad companies that refused to comply with the provision could be fined up to $5,000. (Jim Crow History.org)

Texas – Streetcars [Statute]
Required all streetcars to comply with the separate coach law passed in 1889. Penalty: Streetcar companies could be fined from $100 to $1,000 for failing to enact law. A passenger wrongfully riding in an improper coach was guilty of a misdemeanor, and faced fines from $5 to $25. (Jim Crow History.org)

The “Gentleman’s Agreement” between President Theodore Roosevelt and Japanese leaders restricts Japanese immigration to the United States. (Brown and Stentiford, 53)

First use of “racialism,” as “prejudice based on race difference” (Barkan, 2), in the English language. (Online Etymology Dictionary)

Oklahoma admitted to the Union with a constitution modeled on Mississippi’s. (Brown and Stentiford, 563)

1908

Georgia – Penal institutions [Statute]
Separate eating and sleeping accommodations were required for white and black prisoners, and while working. (Jim Crow History.org)

Race riot in Springfield, Illinois. (Brown and Stentiford, 128)

Jack Johnson, a negro, reigns as heavyweight boxing champion until 1915. (Brown and Stentiford, 419)

Louisiana – Public accommodation [Statute]
Unlawful for whites and blacks to buy and consume alcohol on the same premises. Penalty: Misdemeanor, punishable by a fine between $50 to $500, or imprisonment in the parish prison or jail up to two years. (Jim Crow History.org)

Louisiana – Miscegenation [Statute]
Concubinage between the Caucasian or white race and any person of the Negro or black race is a felony. Penalty: Imprisonment from one month to one year, with or without hard labor. (Jim Crow History.org)

1909-1913, William Howard Taft Administration

Federal patronage of negroes sharply curtailed under President Taft. (Brown and Stentiford, 679)

1909

Florida – Railroads [Statute]
Separate accommodations required by race. Penalty: Passengers who failed to comply with law would be fined up to $500. (Jim Crow History.org)

Texas – Railroads [Statute]
Depot buildings required to provide separate waiting areas for the use of white and Negro passengers. (Jim Crow History.org)

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is founded in New York City. Some of the members of the Niagara Movement contribute to the founding of the NAACP. The board of directors of the NAACP includes several white progressives. (Brown and Stentiford, xxv)

1910-1930

“Great Migration” of 500,000 negroes to the North. (Gilmore, 17)

1910

Founding of the Urban League (NUL). (Schuman et al, 54)

Founding of the Eugenics Record Office. (Brown and Stentiford, 530)

The NAACP launches its monthly magazine, The Crisis. (Roberts and Klibanoff, 14)

Louisiana – Miscegenation [Statute]
Restatement of the law passed in 1908, using the words “Persons of the Caucasian and colored races.” (Jim Crow History.org)

1911

Alabama – Jails [Statute]
Unlawful for any sheriff or jailer “to confine in the same room or apartment of any jail or prison white and Negro prisoners.” (Jim Crow History.org)

Franz Boas (Jew) publishes The Mind of Primitive Man, a turning point in anthropological thought, ushering in the notion of cultural relativism and the ethnological method. (Brown and Stentiford, 529)

1912

First International Conference on Eugenics. (Brown and Stentiford, 530)

Hispanics in New Mexico finally receive full citizenship after admission to the Union. Texas restricts the right to own land to members of the white race. (Howe, 810)

Jones Act conferes U.S. citizenship on Puerto Ricans. (Brown and Stentiford, 374)

Louisiana – Residential [Statute]
Building permits for building Negro houses in white communities, or any portion of a community inhabited principally by white people, and vice versa prohibited. Penalty: violators fined from $50 to $2,000, “and the municipality shall have the right to cause said building to be removed and destroyed.” (Jim Crow History.org)

Woodrow Wilson Administration, 1913-1921

In the Wilson administration’s first congressional session “there were no less than twenty bills advocating ‘Jim Crow’ cars in the District of Columbia, race segregation of Federal employees, excluding negroes from commissions in the army and navy, forbidding the intermarriage of negroes and whites, and excluding all immigrants of Negro descent. (Gilmore, 18)

President Wilson issues an executive order segregating the federal government’s operations in Washington. (Gilmore, 18) Wilson segregates the federal civil service. (Brown and Stentiford, 679)

President Wilson segregates the U.S. Navy and replaces negroes who hold appointed offices with whites. (Brown and Stentiford, 564)

1913

U.S. v. Sandoval, Supreme Court describes American Indians as “essentially, a simple, uninformed and inferior people” incapable of exercising the privileges of citizenship. (Brown and Stentiford, 581)

Florida – Education [Statute]
Unlawful for white teachers to teach Negroes in Negro schools, and for Negro teachers to teach in white schools. Penalty: Violators subject to fines up to $500, or imprisonment up to six months. (Jim Crow History.org)

1914-1918, First World War

World War I engulfs Europe, and involves much of the world through colonial empires and alliances. (Brown and Stentiford, xxv)

1914

Louisville, Kentucky enacts a law forbidding whites and negroes from residing in areas where members of another race were the majority. (Brown and Stentiford, 115)

Louisiana – Public accommodation [Statute]
All circuses, shows and tent exhibitions required to provide two ticket offices with individual ticket sellers and two entrances to the performance for each race. (Jim Crow History.org)

Texas – Railroads [Statute]
Negro porters shall not sleep in sleeping car berths nor use bedding intended for white passengers. (Jim Crow History.org)

1915

Alabama – Health Care [Statute]
White female nurses were prohibited from caring for black male patients. (Jim Crow History.org)

Texas – Miscegenation [State Code]
The penalty for intermarriage is imprisonment in the penitentiary from two to five years. (Jim Crow History.org)

The Great Migration begins. Many negroes move first from rural areas to cities in the South, then to Northern cities. The Great Migration peaks in the early 1940s. (Brown and Stentiford, xxv)

Lynching of Leo Frank in Georgia. (Gilmore, 197)

Film director D.W. Griffith adapts several novels by Thomas Dixon, Jr. into the nation’s first modern motion picture, The Birth of a Nation, which depicts the Ku Klux Klan as heroic defenders of white womanhood and civilization. (Brown and Stentiford, xxv)

Rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan in Stone Mountain, Georgia. (Brown and Stentiford, 239)

Supreme Court in Guinn v. United States strikes down the grandfather clause in voting. (Brown and Stentiford, 228)

1916

Founding of U.S. based journal, Eugenical News. (Brown and Stentiford, 530)

Madison Grant publishes The Passing of the Great Race. (Brown and Stentiford, 562)

1917-1918, First World War (U.S. involvement)

1917

The Immigration Act of 1917 bans “idiots,” “feeble-minded persons,” “criminals” “epileptics,” “insane persons,” alcoholics, “professional beggars,” all persons “mentally or physically defective,” polygamists, and anarchists.

Asiatic Barred Zone Act bans immigration from all of Southwest and South Asia.

June – A race riot in East St. Louis, Illinois, erupts over housing and jobs between working-class whites and negroes. Eight whites and about 100 negroes are killed in the riot. Thousands of fleeing residents of the city lose their possessions and homes in the aftermath. (Brown and Stentiford, xxv)

August – A race riot in Houston erupts between the negro soldiers stationed at Camp Logan and the white residents and police officers in nearby Houston. Over 100 soldiers are arrested, and 63 of them are court-martialed. Twenty are later executed, seven are set free, and the rest are given life sentences. (Brown and Stentiford, xxv)

U.S. buys the Virgin Islands from Denmark. (Nugent, 281)

U.S. Army officials try to force the French to segregate troops on the basis of race. (Gilmore, 18)

Buchanan v. Warley, Supreme Court invalidates laws requiring racial segregation of neighborhoods. (Brown and Stentiford, 114)

First use of “racialist” in the English language. (Online Etymology Dictionary)

The Asiatic Barred Zone act restricts Asian Indian immigration to the United States. The law deems Asians ineligible for American citizenship. (Brown and Stentiford, 53)

1918

Louisiana – Prisons [Statute]
Provided for the segregation of the races in all municipal, parish and state prisons. (Jim Crow History.org)

1919

Texas – Public accommodations [Statute]
Ordered that Negroes were to use separate branches of county free libraries. (Jim Crow History.org)

Congress passes the Indian Veterans Citizenship Act which gives U.S. citizenship and full civil rights to Indian WW1 veterans. (Brown and Stentiford, 580)

Race riots across the nation claim more than 200 lives. The biggest riot is in Chicago. (Brown and Stentiford, xxv) Race riot in Charleston, South Carolina; in Longview, Texas. (Brown and Stentiford, 128)

“Red Summer” – an estimated 25 race riots in the United States. (Brown and Stentiford, 128)

Founding of Commission on Interracial Cooperation. (Gilmore, 19)

1920s

Decline in scientific respectability of racial typology. (Barkan, 4)

Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) gains thousands of followers, until the group’s dissolution in the late 1920s. The popularity of UNIA stems from the Black Star Line, a shipping company, founded in 1919. (Brown and Stentiford, xxv)

Resegregation of Harvard University dorms. (Brown and Stentiford, 563)

1920

North Carolina repeals its poll tax. (Brown and Stentiford, 603)

Mississippi – Miscegenation [Statute]
Persons or corporations who printed, published or circulated written material promoting the acceptance of intermarriage between whites and Negroes would be guilty of a misdemeanor. Penalty: Fine up to $500 or imprisonment up to six months, or both. (Jim Crow History.org)

August – The Nineteenth Amendment passes, granting the right to vote to women. (Brown and Stentiford, xxv)

Lothrop Stoddard publishes The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy.

1921-1923, Warren Harding Administration

1921

Second International Conference on Eugenics. (Brown and Stentiford, 530)

A race riot in Tulsa, Oklahoma, nearly wipes out the entire negro area, including the “Black” Wall Street. (Brown and Stentiford, xxv)

Louisiana – Housing [Statute]
Prohibited Negro and white families from living in the same dwelling place. (Jim Crow History.org)

Louisiana – Education [Constitution]
Called for separate, free public schools for the education of white and black children between the ages of six and eighteen years. (Jim Crow History.org)

Arkansas – Miscegenation [Statute]
Prohibits cohabitation between whites and blacks and defines the term “Negro” as any person who has any Negro blood in his veins. (Jim Crow History.org)

1922

Texas – Voting Rights [Statute]
“…in no event shall a Negro be eligible to participate in a Democratic party primary election held in the State of Texas…” Overturned in 1927 by U.S. Supreme Court in Nixon v. Herndon. (Jim Crow History.org)

Ozawa v. United States, Supreme Court confirms the policy which refused American citizenship to Japanese immigrants. (Brown and Stentiford, 401)

Dyer anti-lynching bill passes the House with Republican support, but fails in the Senate due to Southern Democratic resistance. (Brown and Stentiford, 256)

Virginia passes a law that makes negro-white intermarriage a crime. (Brown and Stentiford, 503)

1923-1929, Calvin Coolidge Administration

1923

Rosewood Massacre in Florida. (Brown and Stentiford, 304)

Dyer federal anti-lynching bill defeated by Southern opposition in Congress. (Brown and Stentiford, 197)

Supreme Court in Moore v. Dempsy overturns some criminal cases in which negroes had been excluded from juries. (Brown and Stentiford, 228)

United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind, Supreme Court rules that Indians (subcons) are not white and denies citizenship to “Indian-Americans.”

1924

Immigration Act of 1924 restricts immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe. (Brown and Stentiford, 53)

Asian Exclusion Act, a component of the Immigration Act of 1924, prohibits individuals from Asian nations from immigrating to the United States. The language of the law defined any individual from an Asian nation as ineligible for U.S. citizenship. (Brown and Stentiford, 53)

Virginia passes the Racial Integrity Act. The law requires the Virginia Bureau of Vital Statistics to record a racial description of every newborn baby. It outlaws marriages between white and nonwhite partners. (Brown and Stentiford, 275)

Virginia passes a eugenic sterilization law. (Brown and Stentiford, 275)

Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 gives U.S. citizenship to all American Indians born in the United States. (Brown and Stentiford, 580)

1925-1935

American Communists alone arguing for complete equality of the races. (Gilmore, 4)

Negro literature, art, and criticism form the Harlem Renaissance, an influential cultural movement. The Harlem Renaissance leads to similar cultural movements in Chicago and Kansas City. (Brown and Stentiford, xxvi)

1925

Georgia – Business licenses [Statute]
No license would be issued to any person of “the white or Caucasian race to operate a billiard room to be used, frequented, or patronized by persons of the Negro race” and vice versa. (Jim Crow History.org)

Texas – Education [Statute]
Required racially segregated schools. (Jim Crow History.org)

Texas – Public accommodations [Statute]
Separate branches for Negroes to be administered by a Negro custodian in all county libraries. (Jim Crow History.org)

Texas – Miscegenation [Penal Code]
Miscegenation declared a felony. Nullified interracial marriages if parties went to another jurisdiction where such marriages were legal. (Jim Crow History.org)

Psychologists begin to attack the concept of inherent mental differences between racial groups. (Barkan, 5)

A. Philip Randolph forms the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. (Brown and Stentiford, xxvi)

1926

Georgia – Race classification [State Code]
Classified a “Negro” as any person with at least one quarter Negro blood. (Jim Crow History.org)

Georgia – Education [State Code]
Required schools to be racially segregated.Teachers who were guilty of receiving or teaching white and colored pupils in the same school would not be compensated. (Jim Crow History.org)

Georgia – Miscegenation [State Code]
Colored clergyman can marry Negroes only. Also nullified interracial marriages if parties went to another jurisdiction where such marriages were legal. (Jim Crow History.org)

Texas – Public carriers [Statute]
Public carriers to be segregated. (Jim Crow History.org)

Historian Carter G. Woodson founds Negro History Week, later evolving into Black History Month. (Brown and Stentiford, xxvi)

Arthur Estabrook and Evan McDougle publish Mongrel Virginians: The Win Tribe. (Brown and Stentiford, 275)

Corrigan v. Buckley, Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of racial covenants. (Brown and Stentiford, 720)

Carl Brigham develops the SAT test. (Brown and Stentiford, 562)

1927

Alabama – Education [State Code]
All schools to be segregated by race. (Jim Crow History.org)

Georgia – Miscegenation [Statute]
“Unlawful for a white person to marry anyone except a white person.” Another statute enacted the same year changed the law to read that all persons with any ascertainable trace of Negro blood must be classified as persons of color. Penalty: Both races would be imprisoned in the penitentiary for one to two years. (Jim Crow History.org)

Georgia – Public accommodations [City Ordinance]
No Negro barber in Atlanta allowed to serve white children under fourteen years of age. Court later declared the ordinance unconstitutional. (Jim Crow History.org)

Florida – Education [Statute]
Criminal offense for teachers of one race to instruct pupils of the other in public schools. (Jim Crow History.org)

Florida – Race classification [Statute]
Defined the words “Negro” or “colored person” to include persons who have one eighth or more Negro blood (Jim Crow History.org)

Buck v. Bell, Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of state eugenic sterilization laws. (Brown and Stentiford, 275)

Supreme Court rules in Lum v. Rice that “separate but equal” applies to Asians and is within the discretion of the State in regulating its public schools and does not conflict with the 14th Amendment. (Brown and Stentiford, 235)

1928

Founding of U.S. based journal, Eugenics: A Journal of Race Betterment. (Brown and Stentiford, 530)

Alabama – Miscegenation [State Code]
Miscegenation declared a felony. (Jim Crow History.org)

Alabama – Race classification [State Code]
Classified all persons with any Negro blood as colored. (Jim Crow History.org)

Alabama – Public accommodations [State Code]
Forbid the use by members of either race of toilet facilities in hotels and restaurants which were furnished to accommodate persons of the other race. (Jim Crow History.org)

The Ku Klux Klan makes a large march down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. (Brown and Stentiford, 445)

Anti-lynching bill dies in Congress. (Brown and Stentiford, 256)

American communists continue their campaign against segregation. The national platform of the CPUSA includes calls for full racial equality, the abolition of Jim Crow laws, enfranchisement of African Americans, integration of schools, juries, unions, and the military, a federal law against lynching, the end of chain gangs, and equal job opportunities and pay. (Brown and Stentiford, 177)

Louisiana – Public Carrier [Statute]
Equal but separate accommodations to be provided on all public carriers. (Jim Crow History.org)

Georgia – Miscegenation [State Code]
Miscegenation declared a felony. Also unlawful for Caucasian persons to marry Asians or Malays. (Jim Crow History.org)

Georgia – Race classification [Statute]
Required all persons to fill out voter registration forms with information concerning their racial ancestry. If there was any admixture of Negro blood in the veins of any registrant, person would be considered a person of color. (Jim Crow History.org)

1929-1933, Herbert Hoover Administration

1929

Debut of Amos ‘n’ Andy on the radio. (Brown and Stentiford, 25)

The crash of the stock market reveals serious problems with the American economy. (Brown and Stentiford, xxvi)

1930s

“Raciology” a vanishing vocation. (Barkan, 4)

1930

The Hays Code prohibits depictions of miscegenation in Hollywood films. (Brown and Stentiford, 533)

Nation of Islam founded in Detroit, Michigan. (Brown and Stentiford, 566)

Mississippi – Education [State Code]
Required schools to be racially segregated, and the creation of separate districts to provide school facilities for the greatest number of pupils of both races. In addition, authorized the establishment of separate schools for Native Americans. (Jim Crow History.org)

Mississippi – Miscegenation [State Code]
Miscegenation declared a felony. Nullified interracial marriages if parties went to another jurisdiction where such marriages were legal. Also prohibited marriages between persons of the Caucasian race and those persons who had one eighth of more Asian blood. (Jim Crow History.org)

1931

Georgia – Public carriers [Statute]
Motor common carriers could confine themselves to carry either white or colored passengers. (Jim Crow History.org)

Scottsboro Boys trial. (Gilmore, 118)

1932

Third International Conference on Eugenics. (Brown and Stentiford, 530)

Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment lasts from 1932 to 1972. (Brown and Stentiford, 307)

First use of “racist” as a noun in the English language. (Online Etymology Dictionary)

Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected president. His promise of a New Deal and a “Black Cabinet” in 1933 attracts many negro voters to the Democratic Party. (Brown and Stentiford, xxvi)

Louisiana – Miscegenation [State Code]
Outlawed interracial marriages. Nullified interracial marriages if parties went to another jurisdiction where such marriages were legal. Also prohibited Negroes and Indians to marry each other. (Jim Crow History.org)

Louisiana – Residential [State Code]
No person or corporation shall rent an apartment in an apartment house or other like structure to a person who is not of the same race as the other occupants. (Jim Crow History.org)

South Carolina – Public accommodations [Statute]
All circuses and tent show must provide separate entrances for white and black customers. (Jim Crow History.org)

South Carolina – Education [State Code]
Required racially segregated schools. (Jim Crow History.org)

South Carolina – Miscegenation [State Code]
Miscegenation declared a misdemeanor. Also forbid marriages between persons of the Caucasian and Asian races. (Jim Crow History.org)

1933-1945, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Administration

1933

Georgia – Education [State Code]
The board of education was responsible to provide instruction of black and white children in separate schools. (Jim Crow History.org)

NAACP begins its legal campaign to desegregate education. (Gilmore, 2)

Negroes launch the “Don’t Buy Where You Can’t Work” economic campaign. (Brown and Stentiford, 246)

The act which establishes the Civilian Conservation Corps forbids discrimination on the basis of race. (Brown and Stentiford, 162)

1934

Louisiana repeals its poll tax. (Brown and Stentiford, 632)

Indian Reorganization Act overturns the Dawes Act. (Brown and Stentiford, 209)

Tydings-McDuffie Act promises independence to the Philippines, strips Filipinos of citizenship, and caps immigration at 50 per year. (Nugent, 273)

The Nation of Islam comes under the leadership of Elijah Muhammad. (Brown and Stentiford, xxvi)

Costigan-Wagner federal anti-lynching bill defeated by Southern opposition in Congress. (Brown and Stentiford, 196)

1935-1950

A domestic ideal of racial tolerance, necessitated by the demands of fighting fascism, becomes the “American way.” (Gilmore, 3)

1935

Arkansas – Public accommodations [Statute]
All race tracks and gaming establishments were to be segregated. (Jim Crow History.org)

Georgia – Miscegenation [State Code]
Illegal for a white to marry anyone but a white. Penalty:Felony, one to two years imprisonment. (Jim Crow History.org)

Georgia – Health Care [State Code]
Separate mental hospitals to be established for blacks. (Jim Crow History.org)

Georgia – Public Carriers [Statute]
Required segregation on all public transportation. (Jim Crow History.org)

South Carolina – Education [Statute]
Required school bus drivers to be of the same race as the children they transported. (Jim Crow History.org)

Texas – Health Care [Statute]
Established a state tuberculosis sanitarium for blacks. (Jim Crow History.org)

Texas – Public carriers [State Code]
Directed that separate coaches for whites and blacks on all common carriers. (Jim Crow History.org)

Delaware state law requires racial segregation in public education. (Brown and Stentiford, 105)

A repatriation act is passed that pays Filipinos their passage back home on condition they never return. (Nugent, 273)

Ethiopia, the last African nation under native rule, is attacked by Italy. (Brown and Stentiford, xxvi)

The National Council of Negro Women is formed. (Brown and Stentiford, xxvi)

W.E.B. Du Bois publishes Black Reconstruction, a book that reinterpreted Reconstruction to highlight the gains that came about for negroes. (Brown and Stentiford, 251)

Segregation of CCC camps. (Brown and Stentiford, 162)

Costigan-Wagner federal anti-lynching bill defeated by Southern opposition in Congress. (Brown and Stentiford, 196)

1936

Pearson v. Murray, Maryland Supreme Court orders the University of Maryland Law School to admit negro students. (Brown and Stentiford, 112)

Opening prayer at the Democratic National Convention delivered by a negro. (Roberts and Klibanoff, 26)

Samuel Dickstein’s (Jew) House of Un-American Activities Committee becomes a permanent feature of Congress. (Gilmore, 171)

First use of “racism” in the English language (from the French term, “racisme,” in 1935). (Online Etymology Dictionary)

Jesse Owens wins four gold medals at the Summer Olympics in Berlin. (Brown and Stentiford, xxvi)

1937

Costigan-Wagner federal anti-lynching bill defeated by Southern opposition in Congress. (Brown and Stentiford, 196)

Florida repeals its poll tax. (Brown and Stentiford, 632)

Death of Madison Grant.

1938

Department of the Interior under Harold Ickes produced the first of 26 episodes of American All, Immigrants All, broadcast on the CBS network, celebrating the contributions of immigrant and minority Americans. (Brown and Stentiford, 664)

The American Anthropological Association unanimously passes a resolution condemning racism. (Gilmore, 199)

The Carnegie Corporation commissions Swedish economist Gunnar Myrdal to write a comprehensive study of American race relations. (Roberts and Klibanoff, 4)

Gunnar Myrdal arrives in the U.S. (Roberts and Klibanoff, 4)

First use of “racist” as an adjective in the English language. (Online Etymology Dictionary)

Gaines v. Canada. Supreme Court rules that states which provide a legal education for white students must also make a comparable education available to negro students. (Brown and Stentiford, 113)

Boxer Joe Louis defeats Max Schmeling in a rematch from a 1937 fight. (Brown and Stentiford, xxvi)

Costigan-Wagner federal anti-lynching bill defeated by Southern opposition in Congress. (Brown and Stentiford, 196)

1939-1945, Second World War

1939

On the personal invitation of Eleanor Roosevelt, Marian Anderson sings at the Lincoln Memorial. (Brown and Stentiford, xxvi)

Television is introduced to the American public at the New York World’s Fair. (Brown and Stentiford, 770)

Thomas Dixon, Jr. publishes his final novel, The Flaming Sword, which claims communism and miscegenation threaten to destroy America. (Brown and Stentiford, 239)

1940s

The University of Pennsylvania, the most racially egalitarian university in 1946, boasted only 40 negroes out of an institutional enrollment of 9,000. Negro enrollment in the North and the West never exceeded 5,000 negroes in the 1940s. (Brown and Stentiford, 595)

1940

NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund is chartered. (Brown and Stentiford, 554)

Nationality Act further clarifies the citizenship status of American Indians. (Brown and Stentiford, 580)

Alabama – Miscegenation [State Code]
Prohibited intermarriage and cohabitation between whites and blacks or the descendant of any Negro. Penalty: Imprisonment in the penitentiary for two to seven years. Ministers and justices of the peace faced fines between $100 and $1,000 and could be imprisoned in the county jail for up to six months. (Jim Crow History.org)

Alabama – Prisons [State Code]
Unlawful to chain together white and black convicts or allow them to sleep together. (Jim Crow History.org)

Alabama – Railroads [State Code]
Code commanded that separate waiting rooms be provided for blacks and whites as well as equal but separate accommodations on railroad cars. Did not apply to passengers entering Alabama from another state that did not have similar laws. (Jim Crow History.org)

Alabama – Education [State Code]
County Boards of Education to provide free separate schools for white and colored children. (Jim Crow History.org)

Costigan-Wagner federal anti-lynching bill defeated by Southern opposition in Congress. (Brown and Stentiford, 196)

Author Richard Wright publishes Native Son, a chilling novel about youth, poverty, and Jim Crow. It is called the “new American tragedy.” (Brown and Stentiford, xxvi)

President Roosevelt appoints William Hastie as his “Aide on Negro Affairs” and Benjamin O. Davis to brigadier general. (Brown and Stentiford, 247)

1941-1945, Second World War (U.S. involvement)

The United States joins the Allies and wages war against the Axis Powers of Germany, Japan, and Italy in World War II. Negro activists call for a Double V campaignk, the defeat of enemies abroad and racism in America. (Brown and Stentiford, xxvi)

1941

January – The 332nd Fighter Group – Tuskegee Airmen – of the Army Air Corps forms. (Brown and Stentiford, xxvi)

June – A. Philip Randolph threatens a March on Washington. President Roosevelt issues Executive Order 8802 banning racial discrimination in hiring of government of defense industry during World War II. (Schuman et al, 54)

Florida – Voting rights protected [Statute]
Poll tax repealed. (Jim Crow History.org)

1942

Mississippi – Voting rights [Constitution]
Instituted poll tax requirement. (Jim Crow History.org)

Mississippi – Miscegenation [State Code]
Marriage between white and Negro or Asian void. Penalty: $500 and/or up to ten years imprisonment. Anyone advocating intermarriage subject to fine of $500 and/or six months. (Jim Crow History.org)

Mississippi – Health Care [State Code ]
Segregated facilities at state charity hospital and separate entrances at all state hospitals. (Jim Crow History.org)

Louisiana – Health Care [Statute]
Separate but equal accommodations for the races to be provided in old age homes. (Jim Crow History.org)

South Carolina law requires racial segregation in public education. (Brown and Stentiford, 105)

President Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066 into law, which declared ares of the United States as military areas and allowing military leaders to exclude or remove individuals deemed to be a threat. (Brown and Stentiford, 51)

Internment of Japanese Americans from West Coast states begins, lasting until 1946. (Brown and Stentiford, xxvi)

James Farmer founds the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). (Schuman et al, 54)

Ashley Montagu publishes Man’s Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race. (Barkan, 3)

The Marine Corps accepts its first negro recruits. (Brown and Stentiford, 247)

Popularization of the “Double V” campaign (victory against foreign and domestic racists). (Brown and Stentiford, 248)

1943

Texas – Public carriers [State Code]
Ordered separate seating on all buses. (Jim Crow History.org)

The Magnuson Act repeals the Chinese Exclusion Act and permits Chinese nationals in the U.S. to become naturalized citizens.

Beaumont, Texas race riot. (Brown and Stentiford, 67)

Major race riot in Detroit. (Schuman et al, 54)

243 instances of racial violence in 47 American cities during 1943. (Brown and Stentiford, 219)

Zoot Suit race riot in Los Angeles. (Brown and Stentiford, 372)

An American Dilemma becomes the cornerstone of the later Brown v. Board of Education ruling. (Roberts and Klibanoff, 6)

James Farmer of CORE leads the first successful “sit-in” protest in Chicago. (Brown and Stentiford, 288)

1944

Florida – Miscegenation [Statute]
Illegal for whites and Negroes to live in adultery. Penalty: up to $500, or up to two years imprisonment. (Jim Crow History.org)

Harry McAlpin becomes the first negro admitted to a White House press conference. (Roberts and Klibanoff, 34)

Smith v. Allwright, Supreme Court abolishes the white primary. (Brown and Stentiford, 155)

1945-1953, Harry Truman Administration

1945

Florida – Antidefamation [Statute]
Unlawful to print, publish, distribute by any means, any publications, handbills, booklets, etc. which tends to expose any individual or any religious group to hatred, contempt, ridicule, or abuse unless the name and address of those doing so is clearly printed on the written material. (Jim Crow History.org)

Georgia repeals its poll tax. (Brown and Stentiford, 632)

Nat “King” Cole launches the first negro radio variety show on NBC. (Brown and Stentiford, xxvi)

John Johnson founds Ebony magazine. (Brown and Stentiford, 423)

Georgia – Education [Constitution]
Separate schools to be provided for the white and colored races. (Jim Crow History.org)

Alabama – Public Carriers [Statute]
Required separate waiting rooms and ticket windows for the white and colored races as well as separate seating on buses. Penalty: Misdemeanor carrying a fine of $500. (Jim Crow History.org)

Alabama – Voting Rights [Constitution]
Established voting qualifications to included being able to read and write, understand and explain any article of the U.S. Constitution. Elector had to be employed for the greater part of the 12 months preceding registration. (Jim Crow History.org)

1946

National Football League welcomes its first negro players, integrating professional football. (Brown and Stentiford, 755)

Secretary of State Dean Acheson issues a study of the damage domestic racism had on American diplomacy. (Brown and Stentiford, 164)

The Luce-Celler Act of 1946 grants naturalization rights to Indians and Filipinos and reestablishes immigration from India and the Philippines.

Morgan v. Commonwealth of Virginia, Supreme Court forbids racial segregation of bus passengers engaged in interstate travel. (Brown and Stentiford, 184)

December 5 – President Truman issues Executive Order 9808 which establishes the President’s Committee on Civil Rights. (Brown and Stentiford, 279)

Cold War, 1947-1991

1947

President Truman’s Committee on Civil Rights issues its 178-page report, “To Secure These Rights.” The report calls for laws requiring states to end discrimination in education, mandating a ban against discrimination in the armed services, laws to guarantee fair employment practices for blacks, federal prohibition of lynching, repeal of poll taxes and other discriminatory voting restrictions, denial of federal grants when discrimination in evidence, an expanded civil rights division at the Justice Department, creation of permanent civil rights commissions at the federal and state levels, specific federal ban on police brutality, and enforcement of a Supreme Court decision against restrictive real estate covenants. (Roberts and Klibanoff, 38)

Arkansas – Public Accommodation [Statute]
A series of statutes were passed that made segregation at polling places, on motor carriers and railroad cars and within prisons mandatory. (Jim Crow History.org)

Arkansas – Public accommodation [Statute]
Required separate washrooms in mines. (Jim Crow History.org)

Arkansas – Voting rights [Statute]
Required voters to pay poll tax. (Jim Crow History.org)

Arkansas – Miscegenation [Statute]
Sexual relations and marriage between whites and blacks illegal. Penalty: First conviction $20 to $100, second, $100 minimum and up to 12 months imprisonment, third and subsequent convictions, one to three years imprisonment. (Jim Crow History.org)

Arkansas – Health Care [Statute]
Separate tuberculosis hospitals to be established for Negroes. (Jim Crow History.org)

Arkansas – Education [Statute]
Required segregation of races in public schools. (Jim Crow History.org)

82% of the American people are reportedly opposed to Truman’s civil rights program. (Brown and Stentiford, 788)

President Truman speaks at the annual meeting of the NAACP, the first chief executive to ever do so. (Brown and Stentiford, 788)

Jackie Robinson joins the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first negro player in Major League Baseball since 1887, breaking the color line in baseball. (Schuman et al, 54)

NAACP issues a document entitled An Appeal to the World to the United Nations. (Brown and Stentiford, 164)

William and Alfred Levitt, both Jews, pioneer the mass production of suburban housing (Levittowns). (Brown and Stentiford, 471)

Patton v. Mississippi, Supreme Court rules all-white juries unconstitutional. (Brown and Stentiford, 558)

1948

Trujillo v. Garley, Indians gain the right to vote in New Mexico. (Brown and Stentiford, 581)

Harrison v. Laveen, Indians gain the right to vote in Arizona. (Brown and Stentiford, 581)

February 2 – President Truman sends a special message to Congress proposing a ten-point civil rights program, including an antilynching measure, abolition of the poll tax, a permanent fair employment practices committee, a Justice Department civil rights bureau, and the abolition of segregation in interstate commerce. (Brown and Stentiford, xxv)

President Truman introduces civil rights legislation and issues Executive Orders concerning fair treatment in federal employment and desegregation of the military. (Schuman et al, 54)

President Harry S. Truman orders the desegregation of the U.S. military with Executive Order 9981. (Brown and Stentiford, xxvi)

Larry Doby integrates the American League in Major League Baseball, playing for the Cleveland Indians. (Brown and Stentiford, xxvi)

U.N. Declaration on Human Rights declares, “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all forms.” (Davis, xvi)

Democratic Party splits after the adoption of a strong civil rights plank at its national convention. (Roberts and Klibanoff, 40)

A group of Southern Democrats form the States Rights Democratic Party to oppose the reelection of Harry Truman because of his proposed civil rights program. (Brown and Stentiford, 233)

Perez v. Sharp, California Supreme Court strikes down California’s anti-miscegenation law. (Brown and Stentiford, 397)

Sipuel v. Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma, Supreme Court orders OU to provide negro students with the same legal education it provided for white students. (Brown and Stentiford, 144)

Shelley v. Kraemer, Supreme Court strikes down de jure racial segregation, restricted covenants, in housing. (Brown and Stentiford, 316)

1949

Georgia – Voting rights [Statute]
Those persons registering to vote were required to correctly answer ten out of thirty questions. Many of the questions were quite difficult. (Jim Crow History.org)

Texas – Employment [Statute]
Coal mines required to have separate washrooms. (Jim Crow History.org)

A federal courts orders the University of Kentucky to admit negroes to its engineering, graduate, law, and pharmacy schools. (Brown and Stentiford, 438)

Essayist James Baldwin critiques Richard Wright’s depiction of negro protest to racism in his short essay, “Everybody’s Protest Novel.”

Kansas statute permits racial segregation in education in cities with over 15,000 population. (Brown and Stentiford, 105)

By 1949, at least 17 states – Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia – and the District of Columbia had enacted laws requiring racial segregation of public school children. Four other states – Arizona, Kansas, New Mexico, and Wyoming – provided for a local option in determing whether to segregate public education. Wyoming was the only state that did not exercise this option. (Brown and Stentiford, 104)

NBA welcomes three negroes players, integration of professional basketball. (Brown and Stentiford, 755)

1950s

The first segment of the Civil Rights Movement is underway by 1954.

Emergence of rock and roll music. (Brown and Stentiford, 694)

Korean War, 1950-1953

1950

Texas – Public accommodations [Statute]
Separate facilities required for white and black citizens in state parks. (Jim Crow History.org)

Sweatt v. Painter, Supreme Court rules that when considering segregated graduate education, “intangibles” must be considered part of “substantive equality.” (Roberts and Klibanoff, 49)

McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents, Supreme Court rules that an institution of higher education could not provide different treatment to a student on the basis of race. (Roberts and Klibanoff, 49)

Henderson v. United States, Supreme Court abolishes racial segregation in railroad dining cars. (Roberts and Klibanoff, 49)

Thirty states have anti-miscegenation laws on the books. (Brown and Stentiford, 503)

Ralph Bunche becomes the first negro to win the Nobel Peace Prize. (Klarman, From Jim Crow, 3)

Integration of the NBA. (Brown and Stentiford, 63)

Althea Gibson breaks the color line in tennis. (Brown and Stentiford, 329)

Carr v. Corning, segregated schools legal in Washington, D.C. (Brown and Stentiford, 102)

1951

Texas – Voting rights [Constitution]
Required electors to pay poll tax. (Jim Crow History.org)

Texas – Miscegenation [Statute]
Unlawful for person of Caucasian blood to marry person of African blood. Penalty:Two to five years imprisonment. (Jim Crow History.org)

NBC institutes a code of standards and practices that required that all groups represented on the radio be treated with dignity and respect. (Brown and Stentiford, 666)

South Carolina repeals its poll tax. (Brown and Stentiford, 632)

John Johnson founds Jet magazine. (Brown and Stentiford, 423)

CBS adapts Amos ‘n’ Andy, a popular radio program that promoted racial stereotypes of negroes, into a weekly half-hour television show with an all black cast. (Brown and Stentiford, 25)

USIA creates a pamphlet for American ambassadors designed to help them depict American race relations in a positive manner, The Negro in American Life. (Brown and Stentiford, 165)

Brown reaches the Supreme Court. (Brown and Stentiford, 108)

Louisiana – Adoption [Statute]
Forbid interracial adoptions. (Jim Crow History.org)

Louisiana – Miscegenation [Statute]
Cohabitation between whites and blacks illegal. Penalty: Up to $1,000, or up to five years imprisonment, or both. (Jim Crow History.org)

1952

Texas – Health Care [Statute]
Establishment of TB hospitals for blacks. (Jim Crow History.org)

NBC implemens a policy of “integration without identification, allowing the negro to appear on the radio without explicit reference to race. (Brown and Stentiford, 666)

The McCarran-Walter Act lifts the ban on Asian immigration established by the Asian Exclusion Act. (Brown and Stentiford, 54)

Supreme Court hears arguments in the Brown case. (Brown and Stentiford, 108)

Ralph Ellison publishes Invisible Man, a stinging critique of Jim Crow. (Brown and Stentiford, xxvi)

Louisiana – Miscegenation [State Code]
Prohibited marriage between whites and persons of color. Penalty: Up to $1,000 and/or five years imprisonment. (Jim Crow History.org)

South Carolina – Voting rights protected [State Code]
Repealed poll tax statute. (Jim Crow History.org)

South Carolina – Employment [State Code]
Unlawful for cotton textile manufacturers to allow different races to work together in same room, use same exits, bathrooms, etc. Penalty $100 and/or imprisonment at hard labor up to 30 days. (Jim Crow History.org)

South Carolina – Miscegenation [State Code]
Marriage of white with Negro, mulatto, Indian, or mestizo void. Penalty: Not less than $500 and/or not less than 12 months imprisonment. (Jim Crow History.org)

South Carolina – Adoption [Statute]
Crime to give colored person custody of a white child. (Jim Crow History.org)

South Carolina – Public carriers [State Code]
Public carriers to be segregated. (Jim Crow History.org)

1953-1961, Dwight Eisenhower Administration

1953

Texas – Public carriers [Penal Code]
Public carriers to be segregated. (Jim Crow History.org)

Tennessee repeals its poll tax. (Brown and Stentiford, 632)

CBS pulls Amos ‘n’ Andy from the air after negro protests. (Brown and Stentiford, 25)

Earl Warren becomes chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. (Roberts and Klibanoff, 42)

Desegregation of public schools in Washington, D.C. (Brown and Stentiford, 165)

The Baton Rouge bus boycott is the first of its kind in the American South that attempted to end segregation on city buses. (Brown and Stentiford, 66)

1954

The Supreme Court decides for the plantiffs in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education. The ruling makes illegal segregation and discrimination in the nation’s public schools. (Brown and Stentiford, xxvi)

Bolling v. Sharpe, Supreme Court outlaws racial segregation in Washington, D.C. public schools. (Brown and Stentiford, 101)

Hernandez v. Texas, Supreme Court rules that the Fourteenth Amendment extends beyond whites and negroes and covers individuals of Mexican ancestry. (Oyez)

Founding of the Citizens’ Councils in Mississippi. (Roberts and Klibanoff, 66)

Over three million Hispanics deported by the federal government in Operation Wetback. (Brown and Stentiford, 373)

Louisiana – Education [Statute]
Immediately after the Brown decision, Louisiana amended its Constitution to state that all public and elementary schools would be operated separately for white and black children. Penalty: $500 to $1,000 for not enforcing and imprisonment from three to six months. (Jim Crow History.org)

1955

Georgia – Voting rights protected [State Code]
Repealed poll tax. (Jim Crow History.org)

Brown II, Supreme Court renders its decision on the implementation of Brown. (Roberts and Klibanoff, 71)

Emmett Till, a fourteen-year-old black native of Chicago, is kidnapped and murdered while visiting family in Mississippi for whistling at a white woman. Two men are arrested for his murder, but are later acquitted, sparking a national controversy and widespread coverage by the white Northern press. (Roberts and Klibanoff, 87)

Massive resistance, a segregationist strategy to reduce integration, is outlined on the editorial pages of the Richmond News Leader on November 21, 1955. (Roberts and Klibanoff, 109)

NAACP activist Rosa Park is arrested in Montgomery, AL for violating a city ordinance and Alabama state law by refusing to give up her seat on a municipal bus to a white man. Her decision inspired the later Montgomery Bus Boycott which lasted for 381 days. (Roberts and Klibanoff, 109)

Alabama – Public Carrier [Statute]
Called for segregation on public transportation. (Jim Crow History.org)

South Carolina – Education [State Code]
Regular school attendance statute repealed. (Jim Crow History.org)

1956

Texas – Public accommodations [Municipal Ordinance]
Abolished previously required segregation in the city of San Antonio’s swimming pools and other recreational facilities. (Jim Crow History.org)

Gayle v. Browder, Supreme Court outlaws segregation in all public transportation. (Brown and Stentiford, 615)

Autherine Lucy attempts to integrate the University of Alabama but fails. (Brown and Stentiford, 217)

Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott begun in 1955 ends after 381 days, drawing national and international attention, and propels Martin Luther King, Jr., to the forefront of the civil rights crusade. (Schuman et al, 54)

By the end of 1956, eleven southern states had enacted 106 pro-segegation laws. (Roberts and Klibanoff, 118)

Alabama legislature rules that the U.S. Supreme Court has no standing to force the desegregation of public schools. (Roberts and Klibanoff, 128)

Integration of the University of North Carolina. (Roberts and Klibanoff, 133)

NAACP barred from the State of Alabama (Roberts and Klibanoff, 141)

November – U.S. Supreme Court rules that the racial segregation of Montgomery buses is unconstitutional. (Roberts and Klibanoff, 141)

Billy Holiday, acclaimed jazz singer, publishes her autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues. (Brown and Stentiford, xxvii)

Alabama – Public accommodation [City Ordinance]
The city of Huntsville, Ala., passed a municipal ordinance that set aside one day a week when Negroes could use the municipal golf course. (Jim Crow History.org)

Alabama – Recreation [City Council Resolution ]
The Huntsville, Ala., City Council passed a resolution that made it unlawful for white and blacks to play cards, dice, dominoes, checkers, pool, billiards, softball, basketball, baseball, football, golf, or track together. Also applied to swimming pools and beaches. (Jim Crow History.org)

Alabama – Public Carriers [City Ordinance]
Birmingham, Ala., acted to “reaffirm, reenact and continue in full force and effect” ordinances which prescribed segregated seating on city buses to prevent “incidents, tensions and disorder.” (Jim Crow History.org)

Mississippi – Education [State Code & Constitution]
Separate schools to be maintained. All state executive officers required to prevent implementation of school segregation decision by “lawful means.” Governor may close any school if he determines closure to be in best interest of majority of children. (Jim Crow History.org)

Mississippi – Public carriers [State Code]
Public carriers to be segregated. (Jim Crow History.org)

Mississippi – Public accommodation [Statute]
Firms and corporations authorized to choose their clientele and the right to refuse service to any person. (Jim Crow History.org)

Louisiana – Recreation [Statute]
Firms were prohibited from permitting on their premises any dancing, social functions, entertainments, athletic training, games, sports or contests in which the participants are members of the white and Negro races. (Jim Crow History.org)

Louisiana – Public carriers [Statute]
Revised older laws requiring that common carriers provide separate waiting rooms for white intrastate passengers and for Negro intrastate and interstate passengers. (Jim Crow History.org)

Louisiana – Employment [Statute]
Provided that all persons, firms or corporations create separate bathroom facilities for members of the white and Negro races employed by them or permitted to come upon their premises. In addition, separate eating places in separate rooms as well as separate eating and drinking utensils were to be provided for members of the white and Negro races. Penalty: Misdemeanor, $100 to $1,000, 60 days to one year imprisonment. (Jim Crow History.org)

Louisiana – Public accommodations [Statute]
All public parks, recreation centers, playgrounds, etc. would be segregated. This provision was made “for the purpose of protecting the public health, morals and the peace and good order in the state and not because of race.” (Jim Crow History.org)

South Carolina – Public accommodations [Statute]
State Commission of Forestry given authority to operate and supervise only racially separated parks and to admit to the facilities of the parks only persons who have the express permission of the state. (Jim Crow History.org)

1957

Georgia – Public accommodations and recreation [State Code]
Political subdivisions may alienate parks, etc. (Jim Crow History.org)

Georgia – Education [State Code]
No public funds to be allocated to non-segregated schools. Penalty: felony. (Jim Crow History.org)

South Carolina – Education [State Code]
No appropriations for schools from and to which students transfer because of court order. (Jim Crow History.org)

Alabama – Education [State Code]
No child compelled to attend schools that are racially mixed. (Jim Crow History.org)

Alabama – Public accommodations and recreation [State Code]
Political subdivisions may alienate recreational facilities if approved by referendum. (Jim Crow History.org)

Louisiana – Education [Constitution]
All public schools to be racially segregated. (Jim Crow History.org)

Louisiana – Education [Statute]
Compulsory attendance suspended in school systems where integration ordered; no state funds to non-segregated schools. (Jim Crow History.org)

Arkansas – Education [Statute]
No child required to enroll in a racially mixed school. (Jim Crow History.org)

Arkansas – Public Carrier [Statute]
Required segregation on all public carriers. (Jim Crow History.org)

Founding of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). (Schuman et al, 54)

Allen v. Merrill, Indians gain the right to vote in Utah. (Brown and Stentiford, 581)

Clash in Little Rock, Arkansas, over the desegregation of Central High School. President Eisenhower dispatches federal troops to keep order and enforce desegregation. (Schuman et al, 54)

September 2 – Eisenhower sends in the U.S. Army’s 1,200-man 327th Battle Group of the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock to take control of Central High School. At the same time, he federally mobilized the entire Arkansas National Guard, about 10,000 Guardsmen, mainly to prevent Governor Faubus from attempting to use the Guard to oppose the federal soldiers. With this overwhelming show of disciplined soldiers, the threat from the mobs abated, although the shouting continued. The Little Rock Nine were able to enter Central High and begin attending classes on September 25. (Brown and Stentiford, 478)

The Civil Rights Act of 1957 pledges the federal government to prosecute abuses of negro civil rights. (Brown and Stentiford, xxvii)

With the support of the governor and the state legislature, the school board closed all public high schools in Little Rock after the end of the 1957-1958 year. The schools remain closed for one year. (Brown and Stentiford, 479)

1958

Arkansas – Education [Statute]
Governor may close schools by election with ballot to read: “For racial integration of all schools within the …school district,” or “Against racial integration of all schools within the school district.” (Jim Crow History.org)

Georgia – Voting rights [Statute]
This statute made voter registration extremely tedious and difficult. Law was designated as “An act to effect a complete revision of the laws of this state relating to the qualification and registration of voters.” For example, one of the questions asked “Under what constitutional classification do you desire to make application for registration?” (Jim Crow History.org)

Georgia – Public carriers [State Code]
Segregation on public carriers. (Jim Crow History.org)

Mississippi – Recreation [Statute]
Authorized governor to close parks to prevent desegregation. (Jim Crow History.org)

Louisiana – Health Care [Statute]
All human blood to be used in the state of Louisiana for transfusions to be labeled with the word “Caucasian,” “Negroid,” or “Mongoloid” so as to clearly indicate the race of the donor. If the blood was not labeled it was not permitted to be used. (Jim Crow History.org)

Florida – Education [Statute]
County boards of education may adopt regulation for closing schools during emergencies. Schools to close automatically when federal troops used to prevent violence. (Jim Crow History.org)

Florida – Public Carrier [Statute]
Races to be segregated on public carriers. (Jim Crow History.org)

Texas – Education [Statute]
No child compelled to attend schools that are racially mixed. No desegregation unless approved by election. Governor may close schools where troops used on federal authority. (Jim Crow History.org)

Cooper v. Aaron, Supreme Court rules unanimously for integration to proceed immediately at Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas. (Brown and Stentiford, 186-187)

Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy, and other negro ministers form the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. (Brown and Stentiford, xxvi)

Little Rock reopens and integrates its public schools. (Brown and Stentiford, 479)

1959

Alaska admitted to the Union.

George Lincoln Rockwell founds the American Nazi Party. (Brown and Stentiford, 577)

Arkansas – Public Carriers [Statute]
Required assignment of passengers to segregated seats on all intrastate buses. (Jim Crow History.org)

20 Responses to American Racial History Timeline, 1900-1960

  1. White Preservationist says:

    1930 – an important American essay on Southern White/Black race-relations entitled “The Briar Patch” was published by Southern author Robert Penn Warren in the well-known collection of essays entitled I’ll Take My Stand: The South and the Agrarian Tradition by Twelve Southerners – the various essayists published in that book came to be known collectively as the Southern Agrarians, the Vanderbilt Agrarians, and/or the Nashville Agrarians in the years following publication of their influential book

  2. James Joyce says:

    Well researched site – I love Bernard Cornwell’s work! – Will look to incorporate some of your ideas into my site. Thanks!

  3. BREE says:

    WOW! Excellent research. I am looking to incorporate your info on a future site I am in the process of developing. Although the physical chains are no longer in place and the laws that were establish to support the eugenics stance of the past albeit how long ago ..people of the diaspora have systematically bought into the color divide. People of color are bleaching and surgically trying to alter themselves to by into the definition of a european or white if you will classification of who is worthy. Recently I went to a blog were people of India were trying to find ways to lighten their skin.. their was one so drastic as to ask how she could change the complexion of a one month old baby. Hello! melanin is not a curse. It is and will always be part of God’s design ..recognize that this is a numbers game and a struggle to keep a white eurocentric minority on top. The struggle is for the minds that have trapped themselves of in this game.. stop practicing self hatred and be about the businesss of defining yourselves. God did not make a mistake!!

  4. catherine gill says:

    i was looking for the history of william a howe developmental center. who is willian howe, did he donate the land the center is built on. the center was stsrted in 1972 that is all i found out can u please help me.

  5. I do not understand why Kim Jung Il is always stirring up crises. I imagine he is a loose cannon (both figuratively and literally!). Any mentally stable leader would comprehend that it is not good to be on the verge of war without any real reason.

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  7. Angel Washington says:

    Im so glad that today as a African American that things has changed. It’s just sad to see or hear about racism and segregation.

  8. Im so glad that today as a moth that things has changed. It’s just sad to see or hear about mothballs and lavender.

  9. 313Chris says:

    I’m so glad today as white man that I’m not a nigger.

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  11. Matt says:

    I say, how things change with effort and motivation by Civil Rights leader. Great research by the way. Interesting stuff.

    That said, I noticed plenty of the Jim Crow Laws were redundant. You would think after the first several laws on the same thing, there wouldn’t be a need for them.

  12. Audrey Washington says:

    We should be very careful. History is appearing to repeat itself. States passing laws that affects minorities especially in the states where segregation was prominent.
    We have politicians, celebrities, and government officials and other people of influence with their hidden agenda of racism changing the laws and the culture.

  13. monalisa Argento says:

    to 313Chris
    You might be a white man and glad of it, but you forget to mention that you are a fool for the stupid comments you posted. People like you are well and truly fools. Brainless at that.

  14. 313Chris says:

    @monalisa Argento

    Put your clothes back on, sweetheart. I’m spoken for.

  15. Pingback: Ku Klux Klan after World War II | knlynch

  16. jacob nielsen says:

    honestly this whole generation is pathetic there is no difference between any one we all are the same who cares if we r white or black or any other race or religion i just think that everyone out there has their own opinion if u dont like a certain type of race or religion keep it to urself dont share with everyone i honestly believe that we all are equal and deserve to be treated right in stead whites treat blacks like they are nothing but garbage and honestly i am sick of it so quit being racist about people.

  17. Pingback: The History of “Racism” in America | murderbymedia

  18. Pingback: Uncomfortably Predictable: Race, Community and the Cycle of Violence | YWCA USA Blog

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