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The War Department issued General Order 143 on May 22, 1863, creating the United States Colored Troops. By the end of the Civil War, roughly 179,000 black men (10 percent of the Union Army) served as soldiers in the U.S. Army, and another 19,000 served in the Navy.
Issued on May 18, 1896, the ruling in this Supreme Court case upheld a Louisiana state law that allowed for "equal but separate accommodations for the white and colored races." It was not until the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas and congressional civil rights acts of the 1950s and 1960s that systematic segregation under state law was ended.
In this milestone decision, the Supreme Court ruled that separating children in public schools on the basis of race was unconstitutional. It signaled the end of legalized racial segregation in the schools of the United States, overruling the “separate but equal” principle set forth in the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson case.
Jack Roosevelt Robinson (1919-72) was the first African American to "officially" play in Major League Baseball. When he retired from the game, Jackie Robinson went on to champion the cause of civil rights from his position as a prominent executive of the Chock Full o’Nuts Corporation.
Robinson had grown increasingly impatient with what he regarded as President Eisenhower's failure to act decisively in combating racism. In this letter dated May 13, 1958, he expresses his frustration and calls upon the President to finally guarantee Federal support of black civil rights.
On April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia. Passage of this act came 9 months before President Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation. The act brought to conclusion decades of agitation aimed at ending what antislavery advocates called "the national shame" of slavery in the nation's capital.
March with Martin Luther King, Jr.
Passed by Congress February 26, 1869, and ratified February 3, 1870, the 15th amendment granted African American men the right to vote.
Posted by Darren Cole on February 3, 2011, under Documents, February.
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