Utah Restricts Marriage
Utah enacts a miscegenation law that prohibits any white person from marrying someone of another race. The statute will be renewed in 1907, 1933, and 1953.
Du Bois At Harvard
W. E. B. Du Bois completes his coursework at Fisk College, graduating at top of his class. With the aid of generous scholarships, he is able to continue his education at Harvard University. During his seven-year stint at the prestigious institution, Du Bois will earn a B.A. in Philosophy and an M.A. in History and will become the university’s first African-American student to receive a Ph.D.
Texas Restricts Transportation
The Texas legislature repeals the 1871 statute that barred segregation on public transportation. Railroad companies are now required to maintain separate coaches for black passengers.
During the 1890s, at least 1,132 blacks are lynched or burned alive in the United States.7
Between 1890 and 1906, every southern state passes some sort of statute meant to prevent blacks from registering to vote. Most new elector requirements, such as the poll tax, literacy tests, and the “grandfather clause,” appear colorblind, but in practice, function to eliminate the black vote altogether.
Louisiana Restricts Railroads
A Louisiana law requires railroad companies to provide separate but equal accommodations for black passengers.
Georgia Restricts Prisons
A Georgia law prohibits state penitentiaries from housing white and black prisoners in the same quarters or from chaining them together at any time.
Kentucky Restricts Schools
A Kentucky law prohibits black and white children from attending the same schools.
Alabama Restricts Railroads
An Alabama law requires railroad companies to provide separate but equal accommodations for black patrons.
Georgia Restricts Schools
Georgia bars black and white children from attending the same schools. Any teacher who instructs black and white students in the same classroom forfeits all pay. The law and the penalties associated with it will be renewed in 1926, 1933, and 1945.
South Carolina Constitution Amended
The South Carolina Constitution is amended to read, “Separate schools shall be provided for children of the white and colored races, and no child of either race shall ever be permitted to attend a school for children of the other race.” In addition, Article 6 of Section 6 is rewritten to assert that each county in which a lynching occurs may be subject to a fine of $2,000 per death. Such a measure reveals that this type of murder is common throughout the state. Similar laws will be passed in 1908 and again in 1932.8
Du Bois Harvard Ph.D.
W. E. B. Du Bois receives a Ph.D. in History from Harvard University. He is the first African-American student to earn this degree from the prestigious institution. In the following year, Dr. Du Bois will publish his doctoral dissertation, “The Suppression of the African Slave Trade.”
May 18, 1896
Plessy v. Ferguson
In Plessy v. Ferguson, the United States Supreme Court upholds a Louisiana law that requires the maintenance of “separate but equal” facilities for blacks. The ruling effectively clears the way for state lawmakers to enforce segregation in schools, libraries, hotels, hospitals, prisons, theaters, parks, bathrooms, trains, buses, cemeteries, and wherever whites and blacks may commingle.
Jun 24, 1896
Harvard Honors Washington
Harvard University presents Booker T. Washington with an honorary master’s degree for his work in the field of education.
Oklahoma Restricts Schools
The Oklahoma legislature votes to prohibit any white child from attending a school designated for black students and vice versa.
Cumming v. Board
The United States Supreme Court hears arguments in Cumming v. Board of Education of Richmond County. The Georgia county of Richmond maintains only one high school for whites and no such institution for blacks. Thus, the plaintiffs charge, the county’s school board has violated the “separate but equal” doctrine established by the Supreme Court’s 1896 ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson. Richmond County claims, however, that it cannot afford to maintain both a white and a black school. The Court rules unanimously in favor of Richmond, refusing to force the county to provide a second school for blacks. In doing so, it establishes a precedent for the legal enforcement of separation without regard for equality.
Georgia Restricts Railroads
In Georgia, white and black patrons aboard trains must not sit in the same passenger car. In addition, railroad companies may refuse to admit black passengers into sleeping cars and parlor cars.