Ms. Geek Speaks: Re-writing the Civil Rights Timeline (work in progress)

The problem with many Civil Rights Timelines is that they are not inclusive. The Civil Rights Timeline for Infoplease.com (by Borgna Brunner and Elissa Haney) doesn’t mention Vincent Chin or Japanese American reparations or Wounded Knee. It does include Ferguson, Michigan (12 June 2016).

Perhaps the more important question is: When should a modern history timeline for Civil Rights begin? Why not with the ratification of the 19th amendment which granted women the right to vote? Women and men had been advocating for women’s suffrage since before the American Civil War.

Another ideal time would be the passing of the Magnuson Act (17 December 1943). The Magnuson Act affected the Chinese Exclusion Act which was significant because the 6 May 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act was one of the most significant restrictions on free immigration because it prohibited all immigration of Chinese laborers. The act was supposed to last only a decade, but renewed with the Geary Act in 1892 and then made permanent in 1902. The Chinese Exclusion Act was the first law implemented that targeted a specific ethnic group and designed to prevent them from immigrating to the United States. It was not fully repealed by the Magnuson Act.

Also known as the Chinese Exclusion Repeal Act of 1943, the Magnuson Act (named for U.S. Representative Warren G. Magnuson of Washington) allowed Chinese immigration and allowed Chinese immigrants in the U.S. to become naturalized citizens.

Asian immigrants had been prevented from becoming citizens by the Naturalization Act of 1790. However, the Magnuson Act continued the ban against Asians, including ethnic Chinese, from owning property and businesses.

The Magnuson Act was passed two years after mainland China became an major allied nation of the U.S. and Great Britain in World War II. The act was still restrictive toward Chinese immigration as it limited the annual quota to only 105 new entry visas, low in comparison to other non-Asian nationalities and ethnicities. The Magnuson Act was repealed in 1965 and with it the property-ownership rights denied Chinese Americans in many states were also repealed.

Another point is that often Latinos led the way, setting precedents for the more well-known Civil Rights milestones such as Brown v. Board of Education.

Over all, my impression is that the history we have been taught has been Eurocentric and for Civil Rights, focused on the East Coast, neglecting the contributions of Latinos and Asians.

1903:

Mexican and Japanese farm workers organize first farm workers union called the Japanese-Mexican Labor Association (JMLA). This was the first organization to win a strike against the agricultural industry according to Tolerance.org.

1904:

According to Tolerance.org, the first border patrol was established and its goal was to keep Asian laborers from entering the U.S. by way of Mexico.

1905:

Lucy Gonzales Parsons from San Antonio, TX founds the Wobblies, the Industrial Workers of the World according to Tolerance.org.

1910: Mexican Revolution

The Mexican Revolution results in immigration for jobs and domestic stability.

1912: 

New Mexico enters the union as an officially bilingual state. Funds are authorized for bilingual education. In the State Constitution, Article XII prohibits segregation for children of “Spanish descent.” According to Tolerance.org, Mexican American delegates mandated state business be carried out in Spanish and English.

1914:

In the Ludlow Massacre, the Colorado militia attacks striking coal miners. More than 50 people, mostly Mexican Americans (including 11 children and 3 women) are killed.

28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918: World War I

1917: 

War-related industries need more workers and Latino migrate to fill positions as machinists, mechanics, meat packers and steel mill workers.

Congress passes the Jones Act which grants Puerto Ricans citizenship. The U.S. military has controlled Puerto Rico since the end of the Spanish American War in 1898.

1918:

California v. Harada : The state Supreme Court rules that the American-born children of Jukichi Harada could own land by virtue of their American citizenship rights.

World War I ends on 11 November 1918.

1920:

The 19th Amendment was ratified on 18 August 1920 granting women the right to vote. (Infoplease.com)

1921:

Margaret Sanger founds the American Birth Control League, which evolves into the Planned Parenthood Federation of America in 1942. (Infoplease.com)

San Antonio’s Orden Hijos de América (Order of the Sons of America) organizes Latino workers to fight for fair wages, education and housing according to Tolerance.org.

The Immigration Act of 1921 restricts the entry of southern and easter Europeans. Agricultural businesses successfully defeat efforts to limit the immigration of Mexicans according to Tolerance.org.

1922:

Takao Ozawa v. U.S. declares Japanese ineligible for naturalized citizenship. (Cetel.org)

New Mexico passes an alien land law. (Cetel.org)

Cable Act declares that any American female citizen who marries “an alien ineligible to citizenship” would lose her citizenship. (Cetel.org)

Estate of Tesubumi Yano: The California Supreme Court ruled that non-citizen parents had guardianship rights over property (agricultural land) owned by the American-born daughter.

1923:

U.S. v. Bhagat Singh Thind declares Asian Indians ineligible for naturalized citizenship. (Cetel.org)

Idaho, Montana, and Oregon pass alien land laws. (Cetel.org)

Terrace v. Thompson upholds constitutionality of Washington’s alien land law. (Cetel.org)

Porterfield v. Webb upholds constitutionality of California’s alien land law. (Cetel.org)

Webb v. O’Brien rules that sharecropping is illegal because it is a ruse that allows Japanese to possess and use land. (Cetel.org)

Frick v. Webb forbids aliens “ineligible to citizenship” from owning stocks in corporations formed for farming. (Cetel.org)

1924:

Immigration Act denies entry to virtually all Asians. (Cetel.org)

1,600 Filipino plantation workers strike for eight months in Hawaii.(Cetel.org)

1927:

Based in Los Angeles, the Confederación de Uniones Obreras Mexicanas (Federation of Mexican Workers Union-CUOM) becomes the first large-scale effort to organize and consolidate Mexican American workers, according to Tolerance.org.

1928:

Republican Octaviano Larrazolo (1859-1930) of New Mexico becomes the first Latino U.S. Senator. He had previously been governor of the state (1919-1921).

1929:

Several organizations merge to form the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), a civil rights group working against discrimination and segregation of Latinos.

1931:

According to Tolerance.org, the first labor strike incited by cultural conflict occurred in Ybor City (Tampa), FL because cigar factory owners wanted to eliminate lectores, the people who read aloud to the cigar rollers. Their intent was to replace them with radios. The lectores were suspected of radicalizing workers.

1932:

Benjamin Nathan Cardoza (1870-1938) becomes the first Latino Supreme Court Justice. Cardoza was a Sephardic Jew whose grandparents were from the Portuguese Jewish community. He was the second Jewish Supreme Court Justice, the first being Louis Brandeis who served 1916-1939.

1933:

California Latino unions lead the El Monte Strike over the declining wages for strawberry pickers. In May of 1933, the wages were only nine cents an hour, but the strikers were able to raise that to 20 cents an hour by July.

1934:

The Indian New DealThe brainchild of BIA director John Collier, the New Deal was an attempt to promote the revitalization of Indian cultural, lingual, governmental, and spiritual traditions. This blueprint for reform was written by non-Indians who felt they knew how to champion Indian rights. (Legends of America)

Johnson-O’Malley ActThis Congressional Act stipulated that the federal government was to pay states between 35 and 50 cents per day for Indian children enrolled in schools. (Legends of America)

Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) – The IRA was the centerpiece of the Indian New Deal. It encouraged Indians to “recover” their cultural heritage, prohibited new allotments and extended the trust period for existing allotments, and sought to promote tribal self-government by encouraging tribes to adopt constitutions and form federally-chartered corporations. In order to take advantage of IRA funding, tribes were required to adopt a U.S. style constitution. Tribes were given two years to accept or reject the IRA. Tribes who accepted it could then elect a tribal council. 174 tribes accepted it, 135 which drafted tribal constitutions. However, 78 tribes rejected the IRA, most fearing the consequences of even further federal direction. (Legends of America)

1935:

Mary McLeod Bethune organizes the National Council of Negro Women, a coalition of black women’s groups that lobbies against job discrimination, racism, and sexism. (Infoplease.com)

1936:

The federal law prohibiting the dissemination of contraceptive information through the mail is modified and birth control information is no longer classified as obscene. Throughout the 1940s and 50s, birth control advocates are engaged in numerous legal suits. (Infoplease.com)

1938:

On 4 December, El Congreso del Pueblo de Habla Española (The Spanish-Speaking Peoples Congress) holds its first conference in Los Angeles. Founded by Luisa Moreno and led by Josefina Fierro de Bright, the congress was the first national effort to bring together Latino workers from different ethnic backgrounds together.

1939: World War II Begins.

1941:

The Fair Employment Practices Committee is formed to handle cases of employment discrimination. According to Tolerance.org, more than one-third of all complaints from the Southwest are filed by Latinos.

1942:

Due to wartime worker shortages, the U.S. starts the Bracero Program which allows Mexican citizens in to the U.S. as a temporary work force, a move supported by the agricultural industry looking for low-cost labor. The program doesn’t end until 1965.

Japanese nationals and Japanese-American citizens of all ages are forced to leave Western United States and interned in relocation camps from 19 February 1942 to 30 June 1946.

1943:

Los Angeles Zoot Suit Riot. For over a week, white sailors search for Mexican American teens dressed in zoot suits and beat them up.

1944

Senator Dennis Chávez (1888-1962) of New Mexico (along with Sheridan Downey (D Calif.), Robert F. Wagner (D N.Y.), James E. Murray (D Mont.), Arthur Capper (R Kan.), William Langer (R N.D.) and George D. Aiken (R Vt.)) introduces the first Fair Employment Practices Bill which was intended to prevent discrimination against workers or potential workers based on race, creed or national origin. The bill doesn’t pass, but is an important predecessor for the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Chávez was in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1931-1935 and then in the Senate from 1935 to 1962. He was the first elected Latino Democrat in the Senate.  The 1964 Civil Rights Act included discrimination against a person based on sex/gender which the Fair Employment Practices Bill did not.

1945: World War II Ends. 

1946:

The Luce-Celler Act of 1946 (Clare Boothe Luce and Emanuel Celler) provided for an immigration quota of 100 Filipinos and 100 Asian Indians.  As the Philippines became independent of the U.S. in 1946, Filipinos would have been barred from immigration without this act. The act allowed Filipino and Asian Indians to become naturalized citizens and could own homes. During World War II,  India had been an anti-German Allied nation as part of the British Commonwealth and would become an independent nation in 1947.

1947:

Mendez v. Westminster: The California State Supreme Court rules in favor of Mexican-American parents from several school districts who challenge the segregation of Latino students into separate schools. The case is an important precedent for Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 according to Tolerance.org. According to Wikipedia, five Mexican-American fathers (Thomas Estrada, William Guzman, Gonzalo Mendez, Frank Palomino, and Lorenzo Ramirez) claimed their children and 5,000 children of Mexican descent were separated into schools in the Orange County cities of Westminster, Garden Grove, Santa Ana and El Modena school districts. In Mendez’s case, because his sister Soledad Vidaurri had light-skinned children and a French surname, her children and her brothers could not be enrolled in the same school. The Los Angeles courts found that the segregation was unconstitutional. The school district appealed to the Ninth Federal Court Circuit District which affirmed the lower court decision, citing a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. The decision didn’t challenge the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson case because the segregation was not based on race, and was not implemented through a state law. Then Governor Earl Warren signed into law a repeal of all remaining segregationist provisions in California state law and Earl Warren would be the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court when Brown v. the Board of Education came before the Supreme Court in 1954. In 2007, the U.S. Postal Service honored the 60th anniversary of the ruling with a 41-cent stamp.

1948:

On 26 July, President Truman signs Executive Order 9981, which states, “It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin.” (Infoplease.com)

Oyama v. California: The Supreme Court ruled that Fred Oyama’s 14th Amendment rights were violated when the state of California moved to repossess land purchased by Fred Oyama’s non-citizen father in his son’s name while both were in the Japanese American internment camps.  This weakened the 1913 and 1920 California alien land laws used to justify the legal move by the state of California.

Takahashi v. California Fish and Game Commission: Issei fisherman Torao Takahashi sued Fish and Game after being denied a commercial fishing license upon his return to Terminal Island after being released from the Japanese American internment camps. This challenged a state law that stated aliens ineligible for citizenship could not obtain a commercial fishing license.

Perez v. Sharp (also Perez v. Lippold and Perez v. Moroney): The California Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that the state’s ban on interracial marriage violated the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. California was the first state to abolish anti-miscegenation law in the U.S. Under California state law at the time Mexican-American Andrea Perez was considered white. She had applied to marry African-American Sylvester Davis.  It preceded Loving v. Virginia (1967) and was cited in the decision by Chief Justice Warren.

1952:

Fujii v. California: The Supreme Court ruled that California’s 1920 Alien Land Law and other state laws like it, violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. The Oyama case did not address the constitutionality of the law, but rather only the individual rights of Fred Oyama.  This decision nullified alien land laws.

1953:

Operation Wetback” (1953-1958) results in the arrests and deportation of 3.8 million Latin Americans, including U.S. citizens.

The U.S. Supreme Court case Hernandez v. Texas strikes down discrimination based on class and ethnic distinctions. The case arose from the 1950  trial of Pete Hernandez for the murder of Joe Espinosa. The legal team challenged the decision because of “the systematic exclusion of persons of Mexican origin from all types of jury duty in at least seventy counties in Texas.” The ruling extended the 14th Amendment protections racial, national and ethnic groups in the U.S. for whom discrimination could be proved.

1954: 17 May

The Supreme Court rules on the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kans., unanimously agreeing that segregation in public schools is unconstitutional. The ruling paves the way for large-scale desegregation. The decision overturns the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson ruling that sanctioned “separate but equal” segregation of the races, ruling that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” It is a victory for NAACP attorney Thurgood Marshall, who will later return to the Supreme Court as the nation’s first black justice. (Infoplease.com)

1955:

August: Fourteen-year-old Chicagoan Emmett Till is visiting family in Mississippi when he is kidnapped, brutally beaten, shot, and dumped in the Tallahatchie River for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Two white men, J. W. Milam and Roy Bryant, are arrested for the murder and acquitted by an all-white jury. They later boast about committing the murder in a Look magazine interview. The case becomes a cause célèbre of the civil rights movement. (Infoplease.com)

1955:

1 December (Montgomery, Ala.) NAACP member Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat at the front of the “colored section” of a bus to a white passenger, defying a southern custom of the time. In response to her arrest the Montgomery black community launches a bus boycott, which will last for more than a year, until the buses are desegregated Dec. 21, 1956. As newly elected president of the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., is instrumental in leading the boycott. (Infoplease.com)

1955:

The Daughters of Bilitis (DOB), the first lesbian organization in the United States, is founded. Although DOB originated as a social group, it later developed into a political organization to win basic acceptance for lesbians in the United States. (Infoplease.com)

1957: January-February

Martin Luther King, Charles K. Steele, and Fred L. Shuttlesworth establish the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, of which King is made the first president. The SCLC becomes a major force in organizing the civil rights movement and bases its principles on nonviolence and civil disobedience. According to King, it is essential that the civil rights movement not sink to the level of the racists and hatemongers who oppose them: “We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline,” he urges. (Infoplease.com)

1957:

September (Little Rock, Ark.) Formerly all-white Central High School learns thatintegration is easier said than done. Nine black students are blocked from entering the school on the orders of Governor Orval Faubus.President Eisenhower sends federal troops and the National Guard to intervene on behalf of the students, who become known as the “Little Rock Nine.” (Infoplease.com)

1960:

The Food and Drug Administration approves birth control pills. (Infoplease.com)

February 1: (Greensboro, N.C.) Four black students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College begin a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter. Although they are refused service, they are allowed to stay at the counter. The event triggers many similar nonviolent protests throughout the South. Six months later the original four protesters are served lunch at the same Woolworth’s counter. Student sit-ins would be effective throughout the Deep South in integrating parks, swimming pools, theaters, libraries, and other public facilities. (Infoplease.com)

April: (Raleigh, N.C.) The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) is founded at Shaw University, providing young blacks with a place in the civil rights movement. The SNCC later grows into a more radical organization, especially under the leadership of Stokely Carmichael (1966–1967). (Infoplease.com)

1961:

President John Kennedy establishes the President’s Commission on the Status of Women and appoints Eleanor Roosevelt as chairwoman. The report issued by the Commission in 1963 documents substantial discrimination against women in the workplace and makes specific recommendations for improvement, including fair hiring practices, paid maternity leave, and affordable child care. (Infoplease.com)

May 4: Over the spring and summer, student volunteers begin taking bus trips through the South to test out new laws that prohibit segregation in interstate travel facilities, which includes bus and railway stations. Several of the groups of “freedom riders,” as they are called, are attacked by angry mobs along the way. The program, sponsored by The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), involves more than 1,000 volunteers, black and white. (Infoplease.com)

1962:

October 1: James Meredith becomes the first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi. Violence and riots surrounding the incident cause President Kennedy to send 5,000 federal troops. (Infoplease.com)

1963:

Betty Friedan publishes her highly influential book The Feminine Mystique, which describes the dissatisfaction felt by middle-class American housewives with the narrow role imposed on them by society. The book becomes a best-seller and galvanizes the modern women’s rights movement. (Infoplease.com)

April 16: Martin Luther King is arrested and jailed during anti-segregation protests in Birmingham, Ala.; he writes his seminal “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” arguing that individuals have the moral duty to disobey unjust laws. (Infoplease.com)

May: During civil rights protests in Birmingham, Ala., Commissioner of Public Safety Eugene “Bull” Connor uses fire hoses and police dogs on black demonstrators. These images of brutality, which are televised and published widely, are instrumental in gaining sympathy for the civil rights movement around the world. (Infoplease.com)

June 10: Congress passes the Equal Pay Act, making it illegal for employers to pay a woman less than what a man would receive for the same job. (Infoplease.com)

June 12: (Jackson, Miss.) Mississippi’s NAACP field secretary, 37-year-old Medgar Evers, is murdered outside his home. Byron De La Beckwith is tried twice in 1964, both trials resulting in hung juries. Thirty years later he is convicted for murdering Evers. (Infoplease.com)

August 28: (Washington, D.C.) About 200,000 people join the March on Washington. Congregating at the Lincoln Memorial, participants listen as Martin Luther King delivers his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. (Infoplease.com)

September 15: (Birmingham, Ala.) Four young girls (Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, and Addie Mae Collins) attending Sunday school are killed when a bomb explodes at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, a popular location for civil rights meetings. Riots erupt in Birmingham, leading to the deaths of two more black youths. (Infoplease.com)

1964:

January 23: The 24th Amendment abolishes the poll tax, which originally had been instituted in 11 southern states after Reconstruction to make it difficult for poor blacks to vote.  (Infoplease.com)

Summer: The Council of Federated Organizations (COFO), a network of civil rights groups that includes CORE and SNCC, launches a massive effort to register black voters during what becomes known as the Freedom Summer. It also sends delegates to the Democratic National Convention to protest—and attempt to unseat—the official all-white Mississippi contingent. (Infoplease.com)

July 2: President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction, the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination of all kinds based on race, color, religion, or national origin. The law also provides the federal government with the powers to enforce desegregation. (Infoplease.com)

1964: 4 August: (Neshoba Country, Miss.) The bodies of three civil-rights workers—two white, one black—are found in an earthen dam, six weeks into a federal investigation backed byPresident Johnson. James E. Chaney, 21; Andrew Goodman, 21; and Michael Schwerner, 24, had been working to register black voters in Mississippi, and, on June 21, had gone to investigate the burning of a black church. They were arrested by the police on speeding charges, incarcerated for several hours, and then released after dark into the hands of the Ku Klux Klan, who murdered them. (Infoplease.com)

In Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court strikes down the one remaining state law prohibiting the use of contraceptives by married couples. (Infoplease.com)

1965:

In Delano, CA, Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta found the United Farm Workers Association. It becomes the largest and most influential farm worker union in the U.S. and Huerta becomes the first woman to lead such a union. The group joins the strike already started by Filipino grape pickers.

1966:

The National Organization for Women (NOW) is founded by a group of feminists including Betty Friedan. The largest women’s rights group in the U.S., NOW seeks to end sexual discrimination, especially in the workplace, by means of legislative lobbying, litigation, and public demonstrations. (Infoplease.com)

The Cuban American Adjustment Act allows Cubans who have lived in the U.S. for at least a year to become naturalized U.S. citizens.

1967:

Executive Order 11375 expands President Lyndon Johnson’s affirmative action policy of 1965 to cover discrimination based on gender. As a result, federal agencies and contractors must take active measures to ensure that women as well as minorities enjoy the same educational and employment opportunities as white males. (Infoplease.com)

1968:

The EEOC rules that sex-segregated help wanted ads in newspapers are illegal. This ruling is upheld in 1973 by the Supreme Court, opening the way for women to apply for higher-paying jobs hitherto open only to men. (Infoplease.com)

In Los Angeles, Latino high school students stage walkouts to protest being punished for speaking Spanish on school grounds, not being allowed to use the restrooms during lunc and being discouraged from applying for college. Thirteen students were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and conspiracy.

1969:

California becomes the first state to adopt a “no fault” divorce law, which allows couples to divorce by mutual consent. By 1985 every state has adopted a similar law. Laws are also passed regarding the equal division of common property. (Infoplease.com)

According to Tolerance.org, inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, Puerto Ricans youth form the Young Lords Organization forms and creates free breakfast programs as well as political education and activist movements.

1970:

In Schultz v. Wheaton Glass Co., a U.S. Court of Appeals rules that jobs held by men and women need to be “substantially equal” but not “identical” to fall under the protection of the Equal Pay Act. An employer cannot, for example, change the job titles of women workers in order to pay them less than men. (Infoplease.com)

The U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare issues a memorandum stating that students cannot be denied access to educational programs because they cannot speak English. (Tolerance.org)

1971:

Ms. Magazine is first published as a sample insert in New York magazine; 300,000 copies are sold out in 8 days. The first regular issue is published in July 1972. The magazine becomes the major forum for feminist voices, and cofounder and editor Gloria Steinem is launched as an icon of the modern feminist movement. (Infoplease.com)

1972:

March 22: The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification. Originally drafted by Alice Paul in 1923, the amendment reads: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” The amendment died in 1982 when it failed to achieve ratification by a minimum of 38 states. (Infoplease.com)

In Eisenstadt v. Baird the Supreme Court rules that the right to privacy includes an unmarried person’s right to use contraceptives.  (Infoplease.com)

1972:

June 23: Title IX of the Education Amendments bans sex discrimination in schools. It states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” As a result of Title IX, the enrollment of women in athletics programs and professional schools increases dramatically. (Infoplease.com)

1973:

As a result of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court establishes a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion, overriding the anti-abortion laws of many states. (Infoplease.com)

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits discrimination in consumer credit practices on the basis of sex, race, marital status, religion, national origin, age, or receipt of public assistance. (Infoplease.com)

1974: 

In Corning Glass Works v. Brennan, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that employers cannot justify paying women lower wages because that is what they traditionally received under the “going market rate.” A wage differential occurring “simply because men would not work at the low rates paid women” is unacceptable. (Infoplease.com)

Lau v. Nichols: In this class-action lawsuit brought by Chinese-speaking students against the San Francisco school district, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that students cannot be denied access to educational programs because of their inability to speak or understand English.  The decision benefits other immigrant groups as well.

Congress passes the Equal Educational Opportunity Act of 1974. Bilingual education becomes more widely available. (Tolerance.org).

1975:

Congress votes to expand the U.S. Voting Act to require language assistance at polling stations. The original 1965 act, applied only to African Americans and Puerto Ricans. This extended coverage to Native Americans, Asian Americans and Latinos.

1976:

The first marital rape law is enacted in Nebraska, making it illegal for a husband to rape his wife. (Infoplease.com)

1978:

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act bans employment discrimination against pregnant women. Under the Act, a woman cannot be fired or denied a job or a promotion because she is or may become pregnant, nor can she be forced to take a pregnancy leave if she is willing and able to work. (Infoplease.com)

1982:

Chinese-American Vincent Jen Chin was murdered by Chryslter plant superintendent Ronald Ebens and his stepson, Michael Nitz who mistake him for a Japanese American. The men were sentenced to three years probation for the state charges of manslaughter.  Ebens faced two civil rights trials and was acquitted in 1987. The civil lawsuit was settled out of court, but Ebens sought relief in 2015.

1986:

Immigration Reform and Control Act approved by Congress. Legalizes certain undocumented workers and also set sanctions against employers who hire undocumented workers. (Tolerance.org)

1988:

Civil Liberties Act of 1988 granted reparations for the surviving Japanese-American people who had been interned by the U.S. government, recognizing “fundamental violations of the basic civil liberties and constitutional rights” of the internment.

1994: 

Proposition 187 which made illegal aliens ineligible for public benefits passes on the general election ballot.

1997:

A U.S. District Court judge rules California’s Prop 187 is unconstitutional. (Tolerance.org).

2005:

Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, and Cesar Chavez Voting Rights Act Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006 renews the Voting Rights Act provisions that include multilingual ballots. (Tolerance.org)

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