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Virginia Recognizes Legitimacy of African American Marriages

Virginia legally recognizes marriages between African Americans and grants children of those marriages legitimacy and inheritance rights.

Republicans Pass Civil Rights Bill

The Republican majority Congress passes a Civil Rights Bill to protect the rights of blacks. After repeated presidential vetoes, Congress overrides Johnson to enact the bill.

Sit In at Massachusetts Legislature

Two African Americans sit in the Massachusetts Legislature. It is the first time black representatives have participated in this branch of American government.

Congress Expands Freedmen's Bureau

Congress passes an act to expand the Freedmen’s Bureau. Johnson vetoes the act, but again Congress overrides his veto.

Johnson Meets with Delegation

Johnson meets with a delegation headed by Frederick Douglass to discuss the issue of black suffrage.

Army Creates Black Cavalry

The U.S. Army creates black cavalry and infantry regiments.

Emancipation Celebration

Nearly 15,000 people gather in the nation’s capital to celebrate Emancipation.

Confederate States Enact Black Code

The former Confederate States enact Black Code laws to counteract the thirteenth amendment.

Tennessee Ratifies Fourteenth Amendment

Congress votes to readmit Tennessee after its ratification of the fourteenth amendment.

Race Riots

Race riots take place in Memphis, Tennessee and New Orleans, Louisiana.

Republicans Push to Extend Suffrage

Republicans efforts begin to extend suffrage in the District of Columbia. Initial attempts fail with President Johnson’s vetoes. Suffrage is finally granted in 1867.

Republicans Favor Increased Intervention in South

Congress passes the first civil rights act. President Johnson’s veto of the bill is overturned by a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress, and the bill becomes law. Johnson’s attitude contributes to the growth of the Radical Republican movement. These Republicans favor increased intervention in the South and more aid to former slaves, and ultimately to Johnson’s impeachment.

Republicans Gain Veto-Proof Majority

Republicans gain veto-proof majorities in both the Senate and the House.

Fisk University Established

In Nashville, Tennessee, Fisk University is established for former slaves by the American Missionary Association. The school becomes the first black American college to receive a class “A” rating by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools in 1878. W.E. B. DuBois graduates from Fisk in 1888.

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