|The Thirteenth Amendment
officially abolished and continues to prohibit slavery. Approved December 6, 1865
|The Fourteenth Amendment
provides a broad definition of United States citizenship, overturning the
Dred Scott case, which excluded African Americans. It requires the states to
provide equal protection under the law to all persons (not only to citizens)
within their jurisdictions, and was used in the mid-20th century
to dismantle legal segregation, as in Brown v. Board of Education.
Approved July 28, 1868
|The Fifteenth Amendment provides
that governments in the United States may not prevent a citizen from voting
based on that citizen's race, color, or previous condition of servitude (i.e.
slavery). It was ratified on February 3, 1870.
|1-3 May 1866
During 3 days of racial violence in Memphis, Tennessee, white civilians and
police killed 46 African Americans and injured numerous others. At least two
whites were also killed. In addition, mobs burned 90 houses, 12 schools, and
4 churches. The establishment of Fort Pickering, a post for black troops, and
the use of black soldiers to patrol the city contributed to the tension that
erupted into one of the bloodiest riots of the Reconstruction Era. It was
only one of several violent outbreaks in the South that helped Radical
Republicans win support for their own plan of Military Reconstruction.
|In 1869 Robert Brown
Elliot served as adjutant general of South Carolina, with responsibility for
establishing a state militia to protect black and white citizens from the Ku
Klux Klan. The following year, he became the first black general to command
the South Carolina National Guard.
|On June 15, 1877 Henry
O. Flipper, born into slavery in Georgia, became the first African American
to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. After joining the
10th Cavalry, 2nd Lieutenant Flipper served as the Army’s only black officer
until 1882 when he was court-martialed for embezzling funds from the
commissary. Although acquitted, the Army still discharged him for
"conduct unbecoming an officer." Almost 100 years later, his
innocence was substantiated during an official records review, which cleared
Flipper’s name and changed his dismissal to an honorable discharge.