Amendment (explanation) Date Reason Historical Relevance icon

Amendment (explanation) Date Reason Historical Relevance

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Amendment (explanation) Date Reason Historical Relevance






























1848 -The first women's rights convention is held in Seneca Falls, New York. After 2 days of discussion and debate, 68 women and 32 men sign a Declaration of________, which outlines grievances and sets the agenda for the women's rights movement. A set of 12 resolutions is adopted calling for equal treatment of women and men under the law and voting rights for women.

1850 The first National Women's Rights Convention takes place in Worcester, Mass., attracting more than 1,000 participants. National conventions are held yearly (except for 1857) through 1860.

1869-May-Susan B. _______ and Elizabeth Cady Stanton form the National Woman Suffrage Association. The primary goal of the organization is to achieve voting rights for women by means of a Congressional amendment to the Constitution.

Dec. 10-The territory of _W_______ passes the first women's suffrage law. The following year, women begin serving on juries in the territory.

1893 -Colorado is the first state to adopt an amendment granting women the right to vote. Utah and Idaho follow suit in 1896, Washington State in 1910, California in 1911, Oregon, Kansas, and Arizona in 1912, Alaska and Illinois in 1913, Montana and Nevada in 1914, New York in 1917; Michigan, South Dakota, and Oklahoma in 1918.

1903-The National Women's Trade Union League (WTUL) is established to advocate for improved wages and working conditions for women.

1913 –Alice____ and Lucy Burns form the Congressional Union to work toward the passage of a federal amendment to give women the vote. The group is later renamed the National Women's Party. Members picket the White House and practice other forms of civil disobedience.

1916 -Margaret _______r opens the first U.S. birth-control clinic in Brooklyn, N.Y. Although the clinic is shut down 10 days later and Sanger is arrested, she eventually wins support through the courts and opens another clinic in New York City in 1923.

1919-The federal woman suffrage amendment, originally written by Susan B. Anthony and introduced in Congress in 1878, is passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate. It is then sent to the states for ratification.

1920 -The Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor is formed to collect information about women in the workforce and safeguard good working conditions for women.

Aug. 26-The 19th __________ to the Constitution granting women the right to vote, is signed into law by Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby.


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


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.


The Food and ______ Administration approves birth control pills.


President John Kennedy establishes the President's Commission on the Status of Women and appoints Eleanor _________lt 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.

1963-Betty _______ 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.

Congress passes the Equal ___ Act, making it illegal for employers to pay a woman less than what a man would receive for the same job.


Title VII of the Civil Rights Act bars discrimination in employment on the basis of race and sex. At the same time it establishes the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to investigate complaints and impose penalties.


The National Organization for _____ (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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Title_____ 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.


As a result of Roe v ____ the Supreme Court establishes a woman's right to safe and legal abortion, overriding the anti-abortion laws of many states.

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.


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


1619 The first African slaves arrive in __________.

1746 Lucy Terry, an enslaved person in 1746, becomes the earliest known black American poet when she writes about the last American Indian attack on her village of Deerfield, Massachusetts. Her poem, Bar's Fight, is not published until 1855.

1773 -___________ _____________ book Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral is published, making her the first African American to do so.

1787- Slavery is made illegal in the _________ ___________. The U.S Constitution states that Congress may not ban the slave trade until 1808.

1793 -____________ invention of the cotton gin greatly increases the demand for slave labor.

1793- A federal fugitive slave law is enacted, providing for the return slaves who had escaped and crossed state lines.

1800 -Gabriel Prosser, an enslaved African-American blacksmith, organizes a slave revolt intending to march on Richmond, Virginia. The conspiracy is uncovered, and Prosser and a number of the rebels are hanged. Virginia's slave laws are consequently tightened.

1808 -Congress bans the importation of slaves from Africa.

1820 -___ ___________ ____________ bans slavery north of the southern boundary of Missouri.

1822-_______ _____, an enslaved African-American carpenter who had purchased his freedom, plans a slave revolt with the intent to lay siege on Charleston, South Carolina. The plot is discovered, and Vesey and 34 coconspirators are hanged.

1831 -Nat Turner, an enslaved African-American preacher, leads the most significant slave uprising in American history. He and his band of followers launch a short, bloody, rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia. The militia quells the rebellion, and Turner is eventually hanged. As a consequence, Virginia institutes much stricter slave laws.

_______ _____ _______ begins publishing the Liberator, a weekly paper that advocates the complete abolition of slavery. He becomes one of the most famous figures in the abolitionist movement.

1846 - ___ _____ _______, introduced by Democratic representative David Wilmot of Pennsylvania, attempts to ban slavery in territory gained in the Mexican War. The proviso is blocked by Southerners, but continues to enflame the debate over slavery.

-__________ ____________ launches his abolitionist newspaper, The Northern Star

1849 - _________ _________ escapes from slavery and becomes one of the most effective and celebrated leaders of the Underground Railroad.

1850- The continuing debate whether territory gained in the Mexican War should be open to slavery is decided in the Compromise of 1850-____________ is admitted as a free state, Utah and New Mexico territories are left to be decided by popular sovereignty, and the slave trade in Washington, DC, is prohibited. It also establishes a much stricter fugitive slave law than the original, passed in 1793.

1852- Harriet Beecher Stowe Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin is published. It becomes one of the most influential works to stir anti-slavery sentiments.

1854-Congress passes the _______ _________ ____, establishing the territories of Kansas and Nebraska. The legislation repeals the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and renews tensions between anti- and proslavery factions.

1857 - The Dred ______ case holds that Congress does not have the right to ban slavery in states and, furthermore, that slaves are not citizens.

1859 -____ _____ and 21 followers capture the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Va. (now W. Va.), in an attempt to launch a slave revolt.

1861 -The Confederacy is founded when the deep South secedes, and the Civil War begins.

1863 - President Lincoln issues the ____________ ____________, declaring "that all persons held as slaves" within the Confederate states "are, and henceforward shall be free."

1865- Congress establishes the Freedmen's Bureau to protect the rights of newly emancipated blacks (March).

The Civil War ends (April 9).Lincoln is assassinated (April 14).

The Ku Klux Klan is formed in Tennessee by ex-Confederates (May).

Slavery in the United States is effectively ended when 250,000 slaves in Texas finally receive the news that the Civil War had ended two months earlier (June 19).

1865-________ ____________ to the Constitution is ratified, prohibiting slavery (Dec. 6).

1865-1866 Black codes are passed by Southern states, drastically restricting the rights of newly freed slaves.

1867 -A series of Reconstruction acts are passed, carving the former Confederacy into five military districts and guaranteeing the civil rights of freed slaves.

1868 -__________ __________ to the Constitution is ratified, defining citizenship. Individuals born or naturalized in the United States are American citizens, including those born as slaves. This nullifies the Dred Scott Case (1857), which had ruled that blacks were not citizens.

1869 -Howard University's law school becomes the country's first black law school.

1870 - _____________ ______________ to the Constitution is ratified, giving blacks the right to vote.

_______ Revels of Mississippi is elected the country's first African-American senator. During Reconstruction, sixteen blacks served in Congress and about 600 served in states legislatures.

1877 -Reconstruction ends in the South. Federal attempts to provide some basic civil rights for African Americans quickly erode.

1879 -The Black Exodus takes place, in which tens of thousands of African Americans migrated from southern states to Kansas.

1881-Spelman College, the first college for black women in the U.S.

Booker T. ___________ founds the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in Alabama. The school becomes one of the leading schools of higher learning for African Americans, and stresses the practical application of knowledge. In 1896- George Washington Carver begins teaching there as director of the department of agricultural research, gaining an international reputation for his agricultural advances.

1882-The American _____________ Society, founded by Presbyterian minister Robert Finley, establishes the colony of Monrovia (which would eventually become the country of Liberia) in western Africa. The society contends that the immigration of blacks to Africa is an answer to the problem of slavery as well as to what it feels is the incompatibility of the races. Over the course of the next forty years, about 12,000 slaves are voluntarily relocated.

1896 –___________ v. Ferguson. This landmark Supreme Court decision holds that racial segregation is constitutional, paving the way for the repressive Jim Crow laws in the South.

1905 -_ _ _ ________founds the Niagara movement, a forerunner to the NAACP. The movement is formed in part as a protest to Booker T. Washington's policy of accommodation to white society; the Niagara movement embraces a more radical approach, calling for immediate equality in all areas of American life.

1909 -W.E.B. Du Bois The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is founded in New York

1914 Marcus ______ establishes the Universal Negro Improvement Association, an influential black nationalist organization "to promote the spirit of race pride" and create a sense of worldwide unity among blacks.

1920s The Harlem Renaissance flourishes in the 1920s and 1930s. This literary, artistic, and intellectual movement fosters a new black cultural identity.

1931- Nine black youths are indicted in Scottsboro, Ala., on charges of having raped two white women. Although the evidence was slim, the southern jury sentenced them to death. The Supreme Court overturns their convictions twice; each time Alabama retries them, finding them guilty. In a third trial, four of the Scottsboro boys are freed; but five are sentenced to long prison terms.

1947 - ______ _________ breaks Major League Baseball's color barrier when he is signed to the Brooklyn Dodgers by Branch Rickey.

1948- Although African Americans had participated in every major U.S. war, it was not until after World War II that President Harry S. Truman issues an executive order integrating the U.S. armed forces.

1952 -_______X becomes a minister of the Nation of Islam. Over the next several years his influence increases until he is one of the two most powerful members of the Black Muslims (the other was its leader, Elijah Muhammad). A black nationalist and separatist movement, the Nation of Islam contends that only blacks can resolve the problems of blacks.

1954 -Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kans. declares that racial segregation in schools is unconstitutional (May 17).

1955- A young black boy, _______ ____, is brutally murdered for allegedly whistling at a white woman in Mississippi. Two white men charged with the crime are acquitted by an all-white jury. They later boast about committing the murder. The public outrage generated by the case helps spur the civil rights movement (Aug.).

_______ ______ refuses to give up her seat at the front of the "colored section" of a bus to a white passenger (Dec.1). In response to her arrest Montgomery's black community launch a successful year-long bus boycott.

1957 - The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), a civil rights group, is established by Martin ______ King

Nine black students are blocked from entering the school on the orders of Governor Orval Faubus. (Sept. 24). Federal troops and the National Guard are called to intervene on behalf of the students, who become known as the "Little Rock Nine." Despite a year of violent threats, several of the "Little _______ Nine" manage to graduate from Central High.

1960 -Four black students in Greensboro, North Carolina, begin a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth's lunch counter (Feb. 1). Six months later the "Greensboro Four" are served lunch at the same Woolworth's counter. The event triggers many similar nonviolent protests throughout the South.

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) is founded, providing young blacks with a place in the civil rights movement (April).

1961- 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.

1962 -James ________becomes the first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi (Oct. 1). President Kennedy sends 5,000 federal troops after rioting breaks out.

1963- ^ Martin Luther King, Jr. Martin Luther King is arrested and jailed during anti-segregation protests in Birmingham, Ala. He writes "Letter from Birmingham Jail," which advocated nonviolent civil disobedience.

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom is attended by about 250,000 people, the largest demonstration ever seen in the nation's capital. Martin Luther King delivers his famous "_ __ _ _____" speech. The march builds momentum for civil rights legislation (Aug. 28).

Despite Governor George Wallace physically blocking their way, Vivian Malone and James Hood register for classes at the University of Alabama.

Four young black girls 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 (Sept. 15).

1964 -President _________ signs the Civil Rights Act, the most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction. It prohibits discrimination of all kinds based on race, color, religion, or national origin (July 2).

The bodies of three civil-rights workers are found. Murdered by the KKK, James E. Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner had been working to register black voters in Mississippi (Aug.).

1965 -Malcolm X, black nationalist and founder of the Organization of Afro-American Unity, is assassinated (Feb. 21).

State troopers violently attack peaceful demonstrators led by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., as they try to cross the Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. Fifty marchers are hospitalized on "Bloody Sunday," after police use tear gas, whips, and clubs against them. The march is considered the catalyst for pushing through the voting rights act five months later (March 7).

Congress passes the Voting Rights Act of 1965, making it easier for Southern blacks to register to vote. Literacy tests, poll taxes, and other such requirements that were used to restrict black voting are made illegal (Aug. 10).

In six days of rioting in Watts, a black section of Los Angeles, 35 people are killed and 883 injured (Aug. 11-16).

1966 -The Black Panthers are founded by ______ ________ and Bobby Seale (Oct.).

1967 -Stokely Carmichael, a leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), coins the phrase "black power" in a speech in Seattle (April 19).

Major race riots take place in Newark (July 12-16) and Detroit (July 23-30).

President Johnson appoints ________ ________ to the Supreme Court. He becomes the first black Supreme Court Justice.

The Supreme Court rules in Loving v. Virginia that prohibiting interracial marriage is unconstitutional. Sixteen states still have anti-miscegenation laws and are forced to revise them. 1968

Martin Luther King, Jr., is assassinated in Memphis, Tenn. (April 4).

President _______ signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968, prohibiting discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing (April 11).

1978-The Supreme Court case, Regents of the University of California v. Bakke upheld the constitutionality of affirmative action, but imposed limitations on it to ensure that providing greater opportunities for minorities did not come at the expense of the rights of the majority (June 28).

1992 -The first race riots in decades erupt in south-central Los Angeles after a jury acquits four white police officers for the videotaped beating of African-American Rodney King (April 29).

2003-In Grutter v. Bollinger, the most important affirmative action decision since the 1978 Bakke case, the Supreme Court (5–4) upholds the University of Michigan Law School's policy, ruling that race can be one of many factors considered by colleges when selecting their students because it furthers "a compelling interest in obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body." (June 23)

2006-In Parents v. Seattle and Meredith v. Jefferson, affirmative action suffers a setback when a bitterly divided court rules, 5 to 4, that programs in Seattle and Louisville, Ky., which tried to maintain diversity in schools by considering race when assigning students to schools, are unconstitutional.

2008 -Sen. Barack Obama, Democrat from Chicago, becomes the first African American to be nominated as a major party nominee for president.

On November 4, Barack Obama, becomes the first African American to be elected president of the United States, defeating Republican candidate, Sen. John McCain.

2009-_____ __________ Democrat from Chicago, becomes the first African-American president and the country's 44th president.

On February 2, the U.S. Senate confirms, with a vote of 75 to 21, Eric H. Holder, Jr., as Attorney General of the United States. Holder is the first African American to serve as Attorney General.

QUOTES and Notes Know names and circumstances

  1. "No taxation without representation"

  2. "…so that King George can see it without his spectacles"

  3. "one if by land, two if by sea"

  4. "I knew I had grown gray in the service of my country but until this moment I didn't realize I had grown blind"

  5. "…until just now I wasn't sure if it was a rising sun …"

  6. "… that they should with sincerity and good faith adopt and pursue a conduct friendly and impartial toward the belligerent nations"

  7. "it is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances…"

  8. "… you could light my way by the fires that burned my effigies in American towns and cities"

  9. "millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute"

  10. "O say can you see by the dawn's early light"

  11. " like a fire bell ringing in the night"

  12. "Our union it must be preserved"

  13. "Union, next to Liberty, most dear"

  14. " Liberty and Union now and forever, one and insupportable"

  15. "Marshall made the ruling, let him enforce it"

  16. " My only regrets are that I didn't shoot one and hang the other"

17. "A house divided against itself cannot stand"

18. " I will be the sword of Jehovah"

19. "So this is the little lady that started the big war"

20. "War is all hell"

21."Four score and seven years ago…"

22 "He fights"

23."With liberty for all and malice toward none"

24. "Go west young man"

25."The only good Indian is a dead Indian"

26 " Raise less corn and more hell"

27."I will fight no more forever"

28." we will not be crucified upon a cross of gold"

29." Send me a picture and I'll send you a war"

30." It was a splendid little war"

31."We must christianize and civilize the pagan, brown, savages"

32. “Cast your bucket where it lay”

32."We must make the world safe for democracy"

33."We will make our views known like the roar of a Bull Moose"

34."I took it and let Congress debate me"

35."Return to Normalcy"

36."The business of government is business"

37."There will come a day when we have a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage"

38."We have nothing to fear but fear itself"

39." I think its time we had a drink"

40."Who of you who saw his neighbors house burning would not loan him your hose"

41."I made the decision just like that"

42."The Buck stops here"

43 "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party"

44. "Ask not what your country can do for you…"

45 "Ich bin ein Berliner""

46. If we've lost Walter we've lost America"

47 "It killed the lady I loved"

48 "Your president is not a crook"

49 " I am a Ford not a Lincoln"

50 " I will never lie to you"

51 " They never asked me "…evil empire…"

52." It’s the economy …" "Read my lips, No new taxes"

53. " Don't ask, don't tell" "I feel your pain"

54. “I am the decider”

55. “Mission Accomplished”

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