Civil Rights


Mexican Revolution

Approx. 1910

The Mexican Revolution begins as a revolt against President Porfirio Diaz. The railroads that had once served as a means for trade and development now serve as the main escape from the violence of the revolution.

Citizenship for Puerto Ricans


Puerto Ricans are granted U.S. citizenship.

Immigration Act of 1917

February, 1917

Congress passes the Immigration Act of 1917, which enforces a literacy requirement on all immigrants.


April 6, 1917

On April 6, the United States declares war against Germany, joining WWI.
With many able-bodied American men off to war, "temporary" Mexican workers are encouraged and permitted to enter the United States to work.

Selective Service Act

May, 1917

The Selective Service Act becomes law, obligating Mexican immigrants in the United States to register for the draft even though they are not eligible.

African Americans

Segregated Neighborhoods


Throughout the United States, local ordinances are established to segregate neighborhoods. Towns such as Baltimore, Dallas, Louisville, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Richmond, Roanoke and St. Louis establish such ordinances separating African-American and white neighborhoods.



The National Urban League (NUL) is established in New York City. The purpose of the Urban League was to help African-Americans find jobs and housing resources.

Kappa Alpha Psi


Kappa Alpha Psi, an African-American fraternity is established at Indiana University.



An estimated sixty-one African-Americans are lynched.

Federal Segregation


Woodrow Wilson's administration establishes federal segregation. Across the United States, federal work environments, lunch areas and restrooms are segregated.

Great Migration


The Great Migration picks up steam as African-Americans leave the South for Northern cities.

James Weldon Johnson


James Weldon Johnson becomes field secretary for the NAACP. In this position, Johnson organizes mass demonstrations against racism and violence. He also increases the NAACP's membership rolls in southern states, an action that would set the stage for the Civil Rights Movement decades later.

Silent March


The NAACP organizes a silent march in response to lynchings, race riots and social injustice. Considered the first major civil rights demonstration of the 20th Century, almost 10,000 African-Americans participate in the march.


April 6, 1917

When the United States enters World War I on April 6, an estimated 370,000 African-Americans join the armed forces. More than half serve in the French war zone and more than 1000 African-American officers command troops. As a result, 107 African-American soldiers are awarded the Croix de Guerre by the French government.

Red Summer

May, 1919 - October, 1919

From May 1919 to October 1919, a number of race riots erupted in cities throughout the United States. James Weldon Johnson names these race riots as the Red Summer of 1919.


Angel Island Immigration


Angel Island Immigration Station opens to process and deport Asian immigrants.

Alien Act


California passes alien land law prohibiting "aliens ineligible to citizenship" from buying land or leasing it for longer than three years.

Denied Landing


Aspiring Asian Indian immigrants who had chartered a ship to come to Canada by continuous journey are denied landing in Vancouver.

Right of Naturalization


Servicemen of Asian ancestry who had served in World War I receive right of naturalization.