Race

Race: 1924

California Supreme Court rules in Piper v. Big Pine School District that the education of Indian children is a state, not federal, responsibility.  Therefore, Indian children must attend state schools, but they can be segregated.

Race: 1930

Anti-FilipinoAnti-FilipinoWhite mobs attack Filipino laborers in the Watsonville area, resulting in the murder of Fermin Tobera, whose death is mourned throughout the Philippines.

Race: 1931

Mexican American parents in the San Diego county community of Lemon Grove successfully sue to permit the integration of their children into the white school.

Race: 1933

After an appellate court rules that marriages between Filipino men and white women are legal because Filipinos are not “Mongolians” but “Malays,” the Legislature passes a law invalidating marriages between Caucasians and Malays.

Race: 1935

Legislature amends the General School Law to ban the segregation of American Indian students. 

Race, World War II Incarceration: March 1942

Boys WaitingBoys WaitingGeneral John L. DeWitt announces “Military Area 1” covering the western parts of California, Oregon and Washington, and the southern part of Arizona.  He orders all Japanese Americans to leave the area.

Mess HallMess HallThe Wartime Civil Control Administration constructs 16 “assembly centers,” 12 of which were in California. These hastily constructed camps in race tracks, livestock pavilions, and fair grounds temporarily house Japanese Americans until more permanent camps are built.

ManzanarManzanarRoosevelt administration creates the War Relocation Authority (WRA) to administer 10 long-term camps in California, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, and Arkansas. The two California camps are Manzanar, in the Owens Valley, and Tule Lake, in Modoc County.

General DeWitt orders an 8pm to 6am curfew on all people of Japanese ancestry and all German and Italian aliens in Military Area 1.

Portland, Oregon attorney Minoru Yasui walks into a police station during curfew hours so that he can be arrested and bring a test case challenging the curfew.

Race: 1944

In the deadliest disaster on U.S. soil during World War II, two military cargo ships explode at the Port Chicago Naval Base.  Over 300 are killed, the majority of them African Americans who worked round-the-clock.  Fifty black sailors who refused to return to the dangerous work of loading munitions were found guilty of mutiny.  National publicity about the trial contributes to the Navy desegregating training, shore facilities, and ships.

Race: 1946

A federal judge rules in Mendez v. Westminster that segregation of Mexican American students in Orange County schools violates their constitutional rights. An appellate court upholds the decision.

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Race: 1948

California Supreme Court rules in Perez v. Sharp that the state’s anti-miscegenation law is arbitrary and unreasonable discrimination against people of color.

Race: 1959

State legislature passes the Civil Rights Act (also known as the Unruh Act for its author Assembly Member Jesse Unruh) outlawing discrimination in business establishments on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, or national origin.  The legislature also passes the Hawkins Act (named for African American legislator Augustus Hawkins) banning racial discrimination in publicly-assisted housing.

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