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  • TIMELINE OF NOTABLE EVENTS


    1619          Twenty Africans arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, aboard a Dutch ship. They were the first Blacks to be forcibly settled as involuntary laborers in the North American British Colonies.
    1739          The Cato revolt, also known as the Stono Rebellion, was the first serious disturbance among slaves. After killing more than 25 whites, most of the rebels, led by a slave named Cato, were rounded up as they tried to escape to Florida. More than 30 blacks were executed as participants.
    1777          George Washington reversed previous policy and allowed the recruitment of Blacks as soldiers. Some 5,000 would participate on the American side before the end of the Revolution.
    1829          The first National Negro Convention met in Philadelphia.
    1857          The Dred Scott decision of the Supreme Court denied that Blacks were citizens of the United States and denied the power of Congress to restrict slavery in any federal territory.
    1865          13th Amendment, the abolition of slavery was passed by Congress.
    1868          14th Amendment was passed extending liberties and rights granted by the Bill of Rights to former slaves.
    1896           In Plessy vs. Ferguson, the Supreme Court upheld a Louisiana state law that allowed "equal, but separate accommodations for white and colored races."
    1918           The First Pan-African Congress met in Paris, France, under the guidance of W. E. B. Du Bois.
    1922-1929  These are the years usually assigned to the Harlem Renaissance.
    1937           Joe Louis defeated James J. Braddock to become heavyweight boxing champion of the world. 
    1947           Jackie Robinson became the first Black major league baseball player. 
    1954           In Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, the Supreme Court completed overturning legal school segregation at all levels.
    1955           Rosa Parks refused to change seats in a Montgomery, Alabama, bus. On December 5 blacks began a boycott of the bus system which continued until shortly after December 13, 1956, when the United States Supreme Court outlawed bus segregation in the city.
    1963           The March on Washington was the largest civil rights demonstration ever. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech.
    1964           Civil Rights Act prohibited discrimination in public places, provided for the integration of schools and other public places, and made employment discrimination illegal. The most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction. 

    1965           Voting Rights Act prohibited discriminatory voting practices adopted in many southern states after the Civil War, including literacy tests as a prerequisite to voting. 

                                 Malcolm X was assassinated in Harlem by members of the Nation of Islam.

    1968           Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. 
    1969           The Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in schools had to end at once and that unitary school systems were required.
    2008           Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States and the first Black U.S. president. In his acceptance speech in Chicago's Grant Park later that evening, Obama said, "If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer."
    2021           Kamala Harris was elected the vice president of the United States and the first Black and Asian American female vice president. 
    2021           On June 17, 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden signed into law an act designating June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day, a federal holiday-the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983.  

    Reference: This timeline was copied from The Davenport University Libraries Black History Month Library Guide