Facts Figures Black History Month

Black History Month
1619 Dutch ship brings 20 Africans to Jamestown, Va., the first enslaved
Africans in the U.S.
1793 Eli Whitney’s new cotton gin increases demand for slaves
1793 Congress passes Fugitive Slave Act, making it a federal crime to assist a slave trying to escape
1808 Congress bans importation of slaves 1820 Missouri Compromise bans slavery
above the southern border of the state
1831 Nat Turner leads largest slave rebellion prior to Civil War
1849 Harriet Tubman escapes to Philadelphia and subsequently
helps about 300 enslaved people to freedom via the Underground Railroad
1857 In Dred Scott v. Sanford, U.S. Supreme Court declares that Blacks are not
citizens of the U.S. and that Congress cannot prohibit slavery
1859 John Brown leads raid of U.S. Armory and Arsenal at Harpers Ferry, W.Va.
1861 South secedes from Union and Civil War begins
1863 President Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring “all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free”
1865 Civil War ends
1865 Thirteenth Amendment is ratified, prohibiting slavery
1868 Fourteenth Amendment is ratified, allowing Blacks to become citizens
1870 Fifteenth Amendment is ratified, guaranteeing that right to vote cannot be denied because of race, color or previous condition of servitude
1870 Hiram Revels becomes first Black member of Congress
1896 U.S. Supreme Court rules in Plessy v. Ferguson that segregation doesn’t
violate the 14th Amendment’s equal- protection clause as long as conditions provided are “separate but equal”
1900 William H. Carney becomes first Black to be awarded Medal of Honor
1909 NAACP is founded
1926 Carter G. Woodson establishes
“Negro History Week”
1940 Hattie McDaniel becomes first Black to win an Academy Award
1947 Jackie Robinson becomes first Black to play Major League Baseball
1950 Ralph J. Bunche becomes first Black to win the Nobel Peace Prize
1953 Willie Thrower becomes first Black to play quarterback in the National
Football League
1954 In Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka, U.S. Supreme Court rules that racial segregation in public schools violates the 14th Amendment
1955 Two white men who confessed to murdering a 14-year-old Black boy,
Emmett Till, for allegedly whistling at a white woman are acquitted by an all-white juryIN A BOX1955 Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in Montgomery, Ala., leading to theMontgomery Bus Boycott

1957 Little Rock Nine integrate Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas

1960 Four Black students stage famous sit- in at a whites-only Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C.
1961 Freedom rides begin from Washington, D.C.
1962 James Meredith becomes first Black student to enroll at the University
of Mississippi. Violence prompts President Kennedy to send in 5,000 federal troops
1963 More than 200,000 people march on Washington, D.C., in the largest civil- rights demonstration in U.S. history; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gives his
“I Have a Dream” speech
1963 Four young Black girls are killed in the bombing of a Birmingham, Ala., church
1964 President Johnson signs Civil Rights Act of 1964, giving the government more power to protect citizens against race, religion, sex or national-origin discrimination
1965 Malcolm X, former minister in the Nation of Islam and civil-rights activist, is assassinated
1965 Thousands participate in three protest marches from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., for Black voting rights
1965 President Johnson signs Voting Rights Act of 1965
1967 Thurgood Marshall becomes first Black U.S. Supreme Court justice
1967 In Loving v. Virginia ruling, Supreme Court declares law prohibiting
interracial marriages to be unconstitutional
1968 Dr. King is assassinated
1968 President Johnson signs Civil
Rights Act of 1968, which prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of housing
1972 Shirley Chisholm becomes first major-party Black candidate to run for president
1983 Vanessa Williams becomes first Black Miss America
1984 Reverend Jesse Jackson becomes first Black to make serious bid for
1986 First observation of Dr. King’s birthday as a national holiday
1990 Douglas Wilder of Virginia becomes first Black to be elected governor
1991 President George H.W. Bush signs Civil Rights Act of 1991, which strengthens laws on employment discrimination
1993 Dr. Joycelyn Elders becomes first Black Surgeon General
2001 General Colin Powell becomes first Black Secretary of State
2009 Barack Obama becomes first Black president
2014 Hundreds gather in various protests across the country after grand juries decline to indict Michael Brown’s and Eric Garner’s killers