African American History, 1877-1919
| African American
James Garfield inaugurated as President, assassinated later in the year; Chester Arthur becomes President
| Tennessee introduces racial segregation on the railways, opening a pattern of legalised discrimination in public facilities that will spread through the Southern states.
| July The black activist Booker T. Washington (18561915) opens the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama to provide agricultural and industrial education for black Americans to equip them for economic independence.
| Dec. Five thousand black Americans move to Arkansas from South Carolina in response to persistent discrimination and violence.
| Brookly Bridge opened; Pendleton Act passed, first civil service legislation
| Oct. The Supreme Court prepares the ground for systematic racial segregation by declaring the 1875 Civil Rights Act unconstitutional on the grounds that the Reconstruction Acts do not extend to public facilities and are concerned with discrimination by states rather than individuals.
Nov. A racially integrated local government in Danville, Mississippi is ousted by whites and four black people are killed; Whites kill four black people in a coup which ousts the racially integrated local government in Danville, Virginia.
| Grover Cleveland elected President
| May Black activist Ida Wells-Barnett (18621931) wins $500 damages after refusing to sit in an all-black railway coach; the result is overturned by the Tennessee Supreme Court in 1887; Timothy Thomas Fortune (18561928) establishes the influential black newspaper the New York Age.
| Haymarket Square bombing and riots
| Mar. The leading American union organisation, the Knights of Labor, allows a black delegate to address its national convention; he declares that one of the organisation's objects should be `the abolition of those distinctions which are maintained by creed or color'. His appearance is criticised by segregationist delegates but the Knights go on to organise thousands of black workers, despite pressure to exclude them. However, many individual unions continue to hold out against black membership; Twenty black people are killed in racial violence in Mississippi
| The Colored Farmers' Alliance is established; by 1890 it has a million members.
| Sears Roebuck begins business in Chicago
| Florida introduces legislation to enforce racial segregation in public facilities; Mississippi follows in 1888 and Texas in 1889; National Colored Farmers Alliance formed;Black players barred from baseball
| Jacob Riis publishes How the Other Half Lives, an expose on immigrants and tenant housing; Battle of Wounded Knee brings "Indian Wars" to a close
| Mar. An attempt to secure Federal funds to combat illiteracy among freed slaves (at a time when literacy tests are being adopted as a condition of securing the right to vote) is defeated in the Senate by 37 votes to 31.
| Sherman Anti-Trust Act passed, making monopolies illegal; First full year that Jane Addams' Hull House is open
| Nov. A constitutional convention in Mississippi adopts literacy tests and the poll tax to disenfranchise what are described as `unworthy' voters; a black appeal to President Benjamin Harrison to intervene on the grounds that this disproportionately affects black citizens is ignored.
| Jan. The Lodge Bill, an attempt to prevent infringements on black voting rights, is rejected by the Senate.
| Sept. Black cotton pickers in Texas establish a union and strike for increased pay.
| Boston opens first subway in America; Coney Island opens
| black workers are killed when they are attacked by white rioters Mar. in New Orleans.
| Sept. Booker T. Washington delivers the `Atlanta Compromise' speech at the Cotton States International Exposition in Atlanta, calling on black Americans to concentrate on education,...
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