1712: Slaves revolted in New York City April 6th; 21 were executed
1739: A series of slave uprisings put down in South Carolina
1741: Slave revolt in New York City again; 13 slaves were hanged, 13 burned, 71 deported
1770: Crispus Attucks was killed on March 5th. Allegedly he was leading a mob against the British. Known as the Boston Massacre.
1774: Rhode Island abolishes slavery.
1783: Massachusetts Supreme Court decision in final Quock Walker trial declared slavery illegal.
1784: Thomas Jefferson’s proposal to ban slavery in new territories after 1802 was narrowly defeated March 1st.
1787: The NorthWest Ordinance, adopted July 13 by Continental Congress for Northwest Territory, north of Ohio River, west of New York; made rules for statehood, and guarenteed freedom of religion, support for schools, and no slavery.
1793: Eli Whitney invented cotton gin, which received its patent in 1794, reviving southern slavery.
1795: U.S. brought peace from Algerian pirates by paying $1 million ransom for 115 seamen September 5th, followed by annual tributes.
1808: Legislation outlawing slave imports goes into effect. Some 250,000 slaves were illegally imported.
1810: The third U.S. Census found a slave population of 1,191,364 and the population of all other non-white free persons at 186,446.
1811: About 400 slaves revolted in Louisiana and marched on New Orleans. The insurrection was suppressed; 2 whites and some 75 slaves were killed.
1816: The American Colonization Society, which sought to address slavery issue by transporting freed blacks to Africa, formed in Washington D.C. December 1816-January 1817.
1820: First organized immigration of blacks to Africa from U.S. began with 86 free blacks sailing to Sierra Leone in February. Henry Clay’s Missouri Compromise bill passed by Congress March 3rd, making slavery allowable in Missouri, but not west of the Mississippi River. (Compromise Repealed 1854)
1822: Liberia is founded on the coast of West Africa by freed Black Slaves from the U.S. who settled at the Capital city Monrovia with the aid of The American Colonization Society.
1824: Slavery abolished in the State of Illinois August 2nd.
1831: William Lloyd Garrison began abolitionist newspaper The Liberator January 1st. Nat Turner, a black slave in Virginia, led a local slave rebellion that began August 21st; 57 whites were killed. Troops were called in. 100 slaves were killed. Turner was captured, tried, and hanged November 11th.
1833: American Anti-Slavery Society founded in Philadelphia, December 4th.
1850: Senator Henry Clay’s Compromise of 1850 admitted California as 31st state September 9th, with slavery forbidden therein. It also made fugitive slave law harsher; and ended District of Columbia’s slave trade.
1852: Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published.
1854: Republican Party formed at Ripon, WI, February 28th. Opposed Kansas-Nebraska Act, which left issue of slavery to vote of settlers. Act became law May 30th.
1856: Proslavery group sacked Lawrence, KS, May 21; abolitionist John Brown led antislavery contingent against Missourians at Osawatomie, KS, August 30. Antislavery Republican Party’s first presidential nominee John C. Fremont, defeated by James Buchanan. Abraham Lincoln made 50 speeches for Fremont.
1857: In the Dred Scott case, which involved determination of constitutionality or already-repealed Missouri Compromise, Supreme Court decided March 6th that slaves did not become free in a free state, and blacks were not and could not be citizens.
1858: Lincoln-Douglas debates in Illinois, August 21-October 15.
1859: Abolitionist John Brown, with 21 men, seized U.S. armory at Harper’s Ferry, WV, October 16. U.S. Marines captured raiders, killing several. Brown was hanged for treason December 2.
1860: Republican Abraham Lincoln elected president November 6th in a four-way race.
1861: Seven southern states set up Confederate States of America February 8th, with Jefferson Davis as president. Civil War begins as Confederate troops fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston SC, April 12. By May, 11 states had seceded.
1862: Union forces were victorious in Western campaigns and took New Orleans May 1st. Battles in East were largely inconclusive despite heavy casualties. The Battle of Antietam, in Western Maryland September 17th, was bloodiest one-day battle of war, each side lost more than 2,000 men.
1863: President Lincoln issued Emancipation Proclamation January 1st, freeing all slaves in areas still in rebellion. Union forces won major victory at Gettysburg, PA, July 1st-3rd. About 1,000 were killed in Draft Riots in New York City; some blacks were hanged by mobs July 13th-16th.
1865: General Robert E Lee surrendered 27,800 confederate troops to General Grant at Appomattox Court House in VA, April 9th. J.E. Johnston surrendered 31,200 to Sherman at Durham Station, NC, April 18. President Lincoln was shot April 14th by John Wilkes Booth in Ford’s Theater, Washington D.C., died the following morning. 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery, ratified December 6th.
1866: Congress took control of Southern Reconstruction, backed by freedman’s rights in legislation vetoed by President Andrew Jackson; veto overridden by Congress, April 9th. Ku Klux Klan formed secretly in South to terrorize blacks who voted. Disbanded 1869-1871.
1868: 14th Amendment, providing for citizenship of all persons born or naturalized in U.S. and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, ratified, July 9th.
1870: 15th Amendment, making race no bar to voting rights, ratified February 8th.
1872: Amnesty Act May 22 restored civil rights to citizens of the south, except for 500 confederate leaders.
1875: Congress passed Civil Rights Act March 1st, giving equal rights to blacks in public accommodations and by jury duty. Supreme Court invalidated act in 1883. First Jim Crow segregation law enacted in Tennessee.
1877: Republicans agreed to end federal Reconstruction of South.
1881: Booker T Washington founded Tuskegee Institute for Black Students.
1896: Supreme Court, in Plessy v. Ferguson, May 18, approved racial segregation under the separate but equal doctrine.
1901: Booker T Washington’s Up From Slavery published.
1908: Springfield, Illinois, torn by anti-black rioting August 14th-15th.
1909: National Conference on the Negro convened May 30th, leading to founding of National Association for The Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
1915: D.W. Griffith’s film The Birth Of A Nation released. William J. Simmons partly inspired by film to revive Ku Klux Klan, which peaks in 1920’s.
1936: Jesse Owens won four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics.
1937: Joe Loius knocked out James J. Braddock to become World Heavyweight Champion June 22nd.
1940: Richard Wright’s Native Son was published.
1941: Four Freedoms- Freedom of Speech and Religion, Freedom from Want and Fear- termed essential by President Roosevelt in speech to Congress January 6th. President Roosevelt signed executive order June 25th barring federal government and war contractors from racial discrimination. Order also established Fair Employment Practice Committee.
1942: U.S. and Britain invaded Northern Africa November 8th.
1943: Detroit race riot, June 21, left 34 dead, 700 injured; 6 killed in riot in New York City’s Harlem section, August 2nd.
1947: Jackie Robinson joined Brooklyn Dodgers April 11th, breaking color barrier in major league baseball.
1952: Last racial and ethnic barriers to naturalization removed, June 26th-27th, with passage of Immigration and Naturalization Act?? (President Harry S. Truman)
1954: Supreme Court ruled unanimously May 17th that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional, in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.
1955: Supreme Court ordered all deliberate speed in intergration of public schools on May 31st. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in Montgomery Alabama on December 1st. Her arrest, detention, and conviction sparked a boycott of bus system, organized by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Montgomery’s black community on December 5th. Bus segregation ordinance declared unconstitutional by federal court in 1956. Boycott ended December 23rd 1956.
1956: Massive resistance to Supreme Court desegregation rulings was called for March 12th by 101 southern congressmen. U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled against racial segregation on intrastate buses April 23rd.
1957: Congress approved Civil Rights Act of 1957, on April 29th, making it the first such bill passed since the Reconstruction to protect voting rights. President Eisenhower signed act into law September 9th; the act provided for the creation of Civil Rights Commission. On September 4th, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus, a Democrat, called in National Guardsmen to bar nine black students from entering all-white high school in Little Rock. Faubus complied September 21st with federal court order to remove Guardsmen, but local authorities ordered black students to withdraw. President Eisenhower sent troops into Little Rock on September 24th to enforce court order.
1960: Sit-ins began February 1st when four black college students in Greensboro, North Carolina refused to move from a Woolworth lunch counter after being denied service. By September 1961 more than 70,000 students, whites and blacks, had participated in sit-ins President Eisenhower signed Civil Rights Act on May 6th.