Washington, D. C. - Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln was regarded as the greatest President in United States history. He helped win the American Slavery War (Civil War), ended chattel slavery, and united the nation.
Abraham Lincoln was murdered at Ford's Theater. He was shot in the back of the head, while watching a play. His murderer, Booth, was a pro-slavery supporter.
Booth was tracked and found. On April 26, 1865, Booth was shot dead.
Washington, D. C. - President Ulysses Grant signed the Act to Establish the Department of Justice. It was formed to enforce the laws of the post-Slavery War era. These included the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. It was also a way to stop the Ku Klux Klan.
Birth of the Justice Department
Washington, D. C. - Posse Comitatus was passed which ended Federal protection for black people in the South. It was a result of the compromise of 1877, that gave Rutherford B. Hayes the presidency. Hayes signed the law.
The Reconstruction Acts and Enforcement Acts were passed to protect the rights of black people, from traitorous whites, in the South. President Ulysses S. Grant used the military to enforce the law and uphold the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments.
Black people were attacked and killed for voting, assembling, and holding office, by whites. President Ulysses S. Grant used the Army to protect the rights of black people, in the South. Yet, Grant gave up on black people to help the Republican party in Ohio, in 1875.
The governor of Ohio, that won the election, in 1875, was Rutherford B. Hayes. From that point, the Republicans made a further deal to sacrifice black people in the 1876 Presidential election. It made Rutherford B. Hayes the first Democrat elected since the Slavery War.
The deal made between the Republican and Democrat party led to the law that ended Federal protection for black people in the South.
Posse Comitatus - p.190 Section 15
Washington, D. C. - The United States Supreme Court decided States had the power to stop black people from voting.
In the case, Giles v. Harris, Alabama law blocked black people from voter registration. Alabama made a new constitution that required tests to be registered to vote.
The tests were given only by whites. The tests blocked all black people. Jackson W. Giles was a black man who wanted to vote. He joined 5,000 other black people who wanted the same. Giles sued in court.
The Federal District Court dismissed the case on procedure. The amount of damages was too small. The case was appealed. It reached the United States Supreme Court. The Court held the law was legal.
Washington, D. C. - The Mann Act, or White-Slave Traffic Act, became law. It was passed to stop black boxing champion Jack Johnson from travelling with the white woman, Lucille Cameron.
Whites tried to use Cameron to make a case against Johnson. She refused to help. Whites went to Belle Schreiber. She was a white woman Johnson knew before the Mann Act had passed (1909 and early 1910). In court, she said Johnson was with her. An all-white jury convicted Johnson of being with a white woman.
To escape jail, Johnson fled the country, for seven (7) years. When he came back, federal agents arrested him. Johnson was sent to the Federal prison in Leavenworth, Kansas. He was behind bars from September 1920, until July 9, 1921.
Washington, D. C. - President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938, into law. The FLSA blocked farm workers. It did not cover domestic workers. At the time, about 65% of black people were farm and domestic workers. The FLSA left them without any legal safeguards.
The FLSA was another piece to Roosevelt's New Deal. With Congress, he helped whites and excluded black people. Not until 1966 were some farm workers given help under the FLSA. This was well after many black people had left the farms for the factories. Domestic workers were added, in 1974.
Original - Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938
Racist Exclusions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938
Washington, D. C. - The United States Supreme Court upheld race based segregation of passengers on trains (Mitchell v. United States). Arthur Wergs Mitchell was the plaintiff. He was the first black Congressman, to win as a Democrat.
On the evening of April 20th, 1937, Mitchell traveled on a train in 1st class, from Chicago. As the train passed through Arkansas, the conductor moved Mitchell to the colored car. Mitchell objected. The conductor threatened him with arrest, if he didn't move.
Mitchell moved to the colored car. He filed suit. The case went to the United States Supreme Court. The decision required interstate trains to provide the same segregated service to both black and white customers.
Arthur Wergs Mitchell
Washington, D. C. - The 'Prohibition of Discrimination in the Defense Industry' was signed. It was Executive Order 8802.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued this order. It was meant to stop a planned march on Washington, by black people. The march was planned for the following week.
A. Phillip Randolph planned the March on Washington Movement (MOWM), for July 1st, 1941. 100,000 black people were to attend. After Order 8802 was issued, Randolph stopped the march.
The Order said racial bias was not allowed in the war business. It had little power. On May 27th, 1943, Executive Order 9346 replaced Order 8802 and 8823, with much more Presidential power.
Washington, D. C. - The GI Bill was the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed it into law.
In 1944, the United States military was segregated. The GI Bill was written to support legal segregation when the black veterans returned.
This Act provided 4 major benefits. Veterans got low-cost mortgages. There were low-interest loans to start a business or farm. One (1) year of unemployment compensation went to veterans. And, there were dedicated payments of tuition and living expenses. This was for high school, college, or vocational school.
Over one (1) million black men returned from World War 2. Under the Act, these black veterans were due these benefits. But, they were blocked from most of them.
Banks denied low-cost, zero down-payment home loans to black veterans. From 67,000 mortgages, less than 100 in New York and northern New Jersey went to black veterans.
The GI Bill helped black veterans get an education. But, the gap, between blacks and whites, got worse. Whites got college degrees while black veterans got high school diplomas.
There were not enough segregated schools for black veterans. White schools denied black veterans admission. Whites had full access to higher education degrees and benefits. Black veterans were denied access to these same white colleges and schools.
Almost all black veterans were denied the low-interest loans to start a business or a farm. This was despite what was promised in the GI Bill.
Washington, D. C. - President Ronald Reagan declared the 'War on Drugs' at the Justice Department. This was the second time the United States government made drugs a policy focus. The first time was by President Richard Nixon, in 1971.
Reagan made his 'drugs' speech years before the crack cocaine hysteria of the 1980s. It came before the mass incarceration law that Reagan signed, in 1984. By the time crack cocaine appeared, all the pieces were in place to wage a legal, civil war against black people. Over the next 20 years, prison rates of young, black men exploded.
Reagan's Drug War
Washington, D. C. - The Center for Disease Control (CDC) made its first attempt to blame AIDS on black women. After this report, race was counted as a factor in AIDS.
The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) was the AIDS report from the CDC. It made a link betwen black and hispanic women and AIDS. Never again, was AIDS questioned as a disease. It made black women the face of it.
AIDS & Black women
AIDS Blamed on Black Americans
Washington, D. C. - The Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 was signed into law. It took immediate effect. This was the first Federal law that began the era of Mass Incarceration. It targeted black men and boys, for jail and prison.
This act enabled the notorious mandatory minimum sentences. It eliminated Federal parole. Civil forfeiture powers were expanded.
The second act was the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986. It created the 100:1 sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine. Black people were charged with crack. Whites were charged with powder cocaine. Black people suffered 100 times longer time in jail and prison compared to whites, for the same act.
The third act was the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988. It restored the death penalty to Federal sentences, which focused on black men.
The final act of Federal law, was the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act (1994). It expanded the Federal Death Penalty. Higher education for inmates was eliminated. The three-strikes provision was added to court sentences.
Washington, D. C. - The first legal observance of Martin Luther King Day was in the United States. This was the first Federal holiday for a black man.
On November 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed, into law, to make it a Federal holiday. States were not required to observe the holiday. At first, many states refused to accept it. This included many southern states.
By 2000, all states recognized the Federal holiday, but called it by other names. Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Virginia called it Stonewall Jackson Day. These states chose to honor a Confederate General who fought the United States, to uphold slavery.
First Observance of Martin Luther King Day
Washington, D. C. - President Ronald Reagan signed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986. This began the 100:1 sentencing disparity between crack cocaine and powder cocaine.
This was the second of three Mass Incarceration Acts of the 1980s and 1990s. In 1984, the first brought mandatory-minimum sentences. 1994, the third and last brought 3 strikes.
By 2002, it was clear the Anti-Drug Abuse Act was almost entirely meant for black people. 85% of inmates, in prison on the 100:1 sentencing, were black people.
Reagan Spoke on Anti-Drug Abuse Act
Report on Anti-Drug Abuse Act
Washington, D. C. - Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas during his confirmation hearings for the United States Supreme Court. Hill worked for Thomas, at one time, and said he sexually harrassed her.
Thoams was chosen by President George H. W. Bush to replace Thurgood Marshall on the Supreme Court. Marshall had died. He was part of the Civil Rights movement, as an attorney. In contrast, Thomas had no Civil Rights background.
The primary reason Bush had chosen Thomas, was to keep a token black on the Supreme Court. Further, Thomas had a record of loyalty to whites, to the harm of black people. This was opposite to Marshall, who most whites despised due to his Civil Rights history.
Before he got the job, Thomas had to be approved by Congress. Future President Joe Biden led the confirmation hearings. Biden got Hill to testify in public that Thomas was a sexual threat.
While Thomas was no ally of black people, Biden used this to publicly show a black man, as a sexual predator. Biden used this racist stereotype to push his Mass Incarceration bill, just 2 years later.
Despite the statements by Hill, Thomas was given the job on the Supreme Court, by Congress. In the decades Thomas was a Supreme Court justice, at best, he had an unfriendly effect on the rights of black Americans.
Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill
Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill Congressional Hearings
Washington, D. C. - A gathering of a million black American men took place at the National Mall, for one day. Men from across the United States came to attend the event. It was conducted peacefully, and without major incident.