Tuesday, July 16, 2024

HISTORIC BLACK VEGAS | African-American Timeline: Before Las Vegas

December 14, 2022 by  
Filed under Highlights

Claytee D. White


Last month, I started this timeline with events in Las Vegas Valley that began in 1870. Because of phone calls, I am making two changes. I am sharing a few state and national entries for greater understanding of our local Las Vegas Black history. Secondly, I am including my UNLV phone number so those with questions regarding these entries, will not have to be transferred all over UNLV’s campus looking for me.

1857: Dred Scott Decision: Dred Scott unsuccessfully sued for his freedom, his wife’s and their daughters’ because they had lived in free territory for four years.

1861-1865: American Civil War

1861: Nevada organized as a U. S. Territory

1861: First Nevada Territorial Legislature criminalized gambling and interracial marriage and prohibited “coloreds” including Blacks, Native Americans, and Chinese from appearing as witnesses against white men. Blacks publicly objected and demanded the right to vote, public education for children, the right to bear witness in court, and the right to serve on juries.

1863: January 1: Emancipation Proclamation: applied only to states that had seceded from the union, leaving slavery untouched in the loyal border states, and exempted parts of the Confederacy that had already come under Northern control.

Although the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery in the nation, it captured the hearts and imagination of millions of Americans and fundamentally transformed the character of the war. This Proclamation announced the acceptance of Black men in the union armed forces; almost 200,000 served in the army and navy.

1864: Nevada became a state

1865: Civil War ends

1865: 13th Amendment abolished slavery in the United States (except for punishment for a crime).

1868: 14th Amendment granted citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the U.S. including former enslaved people and guaranteed all citizens equal protection of the laws.

1869: 15th Amendment granted African American men the right to vote.

1865-1877: Reconstruction: Period of reconstructing the society in the former confederate states while establishing and protecting the legal rights of the newly freed Black population. Was Reconstruction successful?

1896: Plessy v. Ferguson: a landmark US Supreme court decision in which the Court ruled that racial segregation laws did not violate the US Constitution as long as the facilities for each race were equal in quality; became known as “separate but equal.”

In January, I will resume with the history of Blacks in Las Vegas in the 1940s. Let me know what I MUST include by calling me at (702) 895-2222.

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