Washington, D. C. - The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands was signed into law by Abraham Lincoln. It became part of the War Department (called the Defense Department after 1949).
The supposed goal of the Act was to help freed Black Americans find relief and become self-sufficient. Since it was a product of the Slavery War, the bill was to expire after one (1) year.
Major General Oliver Otis Howard was the first commissioner of the bureau. This is the same Howard that helped found Howard Seminary (later, Howard University).
A second Freedmen's bill was passed in 1866, which extended the duration of the Bureau until 1868.
In 1872, the Bureau closed.
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.
Galveston, Texas - General Order Number 3 was read. It was from the Emancipation Proclamation. This began the end of chattel slavery in Texas.
The Proclamation withdrew legal support for slavery. It was limited to the Confederacy. Those who were loyal to the Union, were compensated for any people the government freed. It was not a law. It was similar to a military order.
Chattel slavery was not officially abolished until the (13th) Thirteenth Amendment went into effect. That was six months later, on December 6th, 1865.
In June 1866, Juneteenth began. It is the oldest celebration of the end of chattel slavery, in the world.
Jackson, Mississippi - The state government passed 'An Act to regulate the relation of master and apprentice, as relates to freedmen, free negroes, and mulattoes..'
Among other limits, the law sent Black American children to whites for unpaid work. It was slavery, under the guise of child welfare.
Washington, D. C. - The Thirteenth Amendment was ratified. This ended the legal status of chattel slavery.
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
The words, in Section 1, were taken from the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, article six (6).
Section 2 gave Congress power to make slavery a crime. Congress never used this power to effect, until 1948. Congress let those who broke the law, on slavery, get away with a fine, with no jail time.
Pulaski, Tennessee - The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was formed. Six (6) ex-Confederate officers, Frank McCord, Richard Reed, John Lester, John Kennedy, J. Calvin Jones and James Crowe, were its first members.
The KKK was the most violent and racist terrorist group, in United States history (outside of the local police). Its purpose was to harass, attack, and murder Black Americans.
The KKK only allowed white male members. The women's version was the Women of the Ku Klux Klan (WKKK). It has always helped the KKK, in its many forms, until today.
The violence of the KKK led the United States government to pass the Enforcement Acts. These three (3) Acts passed in 1870 and 1871, made the actions of the KKK illegal.
The Enforcement Acts led to a gradual decline in KKK activity.
'The Birth of A Nation' (1915) led to a rebirth of the KKK in 1915. President Woodrow Wilson saw the film at the White House. He called it history written in lightning. This effect led to the era of the second KKK.
This second era of the KKK lasted until World War 2. This was its largest and most powerful period. There were tens of thousands of members all over the country. In the 21st Century, the KKK is very limited, but still aided by the WKKK.