The Wounded Knee Occupation began on February 27, 1973, when approximately 200 Oglala Lakota (sometimes referred to as Oglala Sioux) and followers of the American Indian Movement (AIM) seized and occupied the town of Wounded Knee, South Dakota, United States, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Friar
Lawrence by pro-slavery forces (May 21), and possibly also to the caning of the Free Kansas supporter, Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner (May 22). Brown then commanded anti-slavery forces at the Battle of Black Jack (June 2) and the Battle of Osawatomie (August 30, 1856).
May 7, 1992 – Michigan ratifies a 203-year-old proposed amendment to the United States Constitution making the 27th Amendment law. This amendment bars the U.S. Congress from giving itself a mid-term pay raise.
The Twenty-seventh Amendment (Amendment XXVII) to the United States Constitution prohibits any law that increases or decreases the salary of members of Congress from taking effect until the start of representatives' next set of terms of office. It is the most recently adopted amendment but was one of the first proposed.
The proposed congressional pay amendment was largely forgotten until 1982, when Gregory Watson, a 19-year-old sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin, wrote a paper for a government class in which he claimed that the amendment could still be ratified. An unconvinced teaching assistant graded the paper poorly, motivating Watson to launch a nationwide campaign to complete its ratification.
The Chinese Exclusion Act was a United States federal law signed by President Chester A. Arthur on May 6, 1882, prohibiting all immigration of Chinese laborers. Building on the earlier Page Act of 1875 which banned Chinese women from immigrating to the United States, the Chinese Exclusion Act was the first, and remains the only law to have been implemented, to prevent all members of a specific ethnic or national group from immigrating to the United States.
The act followed the Angell Treaty of 1880, a set of revisions to the U.S.–China Burlingame Treaty of 1868 that allowed the U.S. to suspend Chinese immigration. The act was initially intended to last for 10 years, but was renewed and strengthened in 1892 with the Geary Act and made permanent in 1902. These laws attempted to stop all Chinese immigration into the United States for ten years, with exceptions for diplomats, teachers, students, merchants, and travelers. The laws were widely evaded.
Exclusion was repealed by the Magnuson Act on December 17, 1943, which allowed 105 Chinese to enter per year. Chinese immigration later increased with the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, which abolished direct racial barriers, and later by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which abolished the National Origins Formula.
Image: A political cartoon from 1882, showing a Chinese man being barred entry to the "Golden Gate of Liberty". The caption reads, "We must draw the line somewhere, you know."
Estelle Sylvia Pankhurst was an English campaigner for the suffrage and suffragette movement, a socialist and later a prominent left communist and activist in the cause of anti-fascism and the international auxiliary language movement. Her parents were Richard Pankhurst and Emmeline Pankhurst, who both later became founding members of the Independent Labour Party and were much concerned with women's rights.
Although other attempts at breaking the color barrier on public transportation and in public accommodations had been attempted before, May 4, 1961 is generally regarded as the official start of the Freedom Riders campaign to protest segregation and other "Jim Crow" policies in the American South. Despite US Supreme Court rulings outlawing discrimination of this type, the laws were still enforced throughout the South and other regions of the country.
May 3, 1948 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Shelley v. Kraemer that covenants prohibiting the sale of real estate to blacks and other minorities are legally unenforceable.
The case arose after an African-American family purchased a house in St. Louis that was subject to a restrictive covenant preventing "people of the Negro or Mongolian Race" from occupying the property. The purchase was challenged in court by a neighboring resident, and was blocked by the Supreme Court of Missouri before going to the U.S. Supreme Court on appeal. The Supreme Court of Missouri held that the covenant was enforceable against the purchasers because the covenant was a purely private agreement between its original parties. A materially similar scenario occurred in the companion case McGhee v. Sipes from Detroit, Michigan, where the McGhees purchased land that was subject to a similar restrictive covenant. In that case, the Supreme Court of Michigan also held the covenants enforceable.
Three justices—Robert H. Jackson, Stanley Reed and Wiley B. Rutledge—recused themselves from the case because they owned property subject to restrictive covenants. In a majority opinion that was joined by the other five participating justices, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Fred Vinson struck down the covenant, holding that the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause prohibits racially restrictive housing covenants from being enforced. Vinson held that private parties could abide by the terms of a racially restrictive covenant, but that judicial enforcement of the covenant qualified as a state action and was thus prohibited by the Equal Protection Clause.
Isabel González was a citizen of Puerto Rico who traveled to New York in 1902. Her fiancé had traveled there before her to find work, and was planning to send for her. When no word arrived of his fate, Isabel, who was carrying his child, decided to go to New York to look for him. Her brother and an aunt and uncle were already living in New York, she had all the proper documentation, and expected no problems with entry upon arrival because Puerto Rico was a US territory.
Upon arriving in Ellis Island, however, she was detained and, despite efforts by her family, denied entry on the grounds that as a pregnant and unmarried woman she was likely to become a public charge and, thus, was an "undesirable alien."
González thus became the focus of a civil lawsuit which eventually reached the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court concluded that person's living within American territories were not "aliens" and could not be denied entry to the US on that ground. The Court further ruled, however, that the question of whether citizenship would be extended to the people of those territories was a matter for Congress. Thirteen years after González v. Williams, the United States Congress addressed the issue of citizenship as it related to Puerto Ricans. The Jones-Shafroth Act was passed in 1917 giving the island residents citizenship.
May 1, 1087 -- The Slave Trade Act 1807 takes effect, abolishing the slave trade within the British Empire.