"In the Know" Timeline for Kids: African-American History

Get "in the know" about the history of an amazing people, African-Americans.

1492-01-01 05:05:54

Pedro Alonso Nino Travels to the New World

A black navigator, Pedro Alonso Nino, travels with Christopher Columbus on his first trip to the New World.

1619-01-01 21:48:53

The First African slaves arrive in Virginia

1746-01-01 21:48:53

Lucy Terry Prince, the first known black american poet

Lucy Terry Prince is the earliest known black American poet. Her poem “Bars Fight” (1746), is the earliest existing poem by an African-American; The poem didn't get published until 1855

1773-01-01 21:48:53

Phillis Wheatley becomes the first published African-American

Her book, "Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral is published.

1777-07-08 18:41:44

Vermont is the first American state to abolish slavery.

After declaring its independence, Vermont existed as a free republic known as the Commonwealth of Vermont.

1821-04-01 15:41:53

First African American to hold a patent

Thomas L. Jennings was issued a patent for a dry-cleaning process..

1821-07-01 08:20:17

first African-American drama group

The African Company became the first African-American drama group and produced plays at the African Grove in New York City.

1831-01-01 21:48:53

Nat Turner leads slave rebellion

Nat Turner, a preacher, leads the most significant slave uprising in American history in Virginia.

1836-01-30 21:48:53

First African-American State Official is Elected

Alexander Lucius Twilight is elected to the Vermont State Government.

1837-07-01 08:20:17

James McCune Smith becomes a Doctor

Dr. James McCune Smith from the University of Glasgow, Scotland becomes the first African-American doctor:

1839-04-10 13:38:30

Amistad Slave Ship Revolt

The Slaves on the Amistad ship fight back and took control of the ship. Even though the ship was recaptured, the act led to the Africans being returned and freed

1846-01-01 21:48:53

Frederick Douglass starts his newspaper.

Frederick Douglass was courageous. He was not afraid to speak what he believed. He started a newspaper to speak out against slavery. Click here to read some of the things he said.

1849-01-01 21:48:53

Harriet Tubman escapes from Slavery and leads others

She was born into slavery, but escaped. Afterwards, she made more than thirteen missions to rescue more than 70 slaves. Click here to see her most famous quotes

1851-01-01 20:42:54

Sojourner Truth gives her famous speech

Sojourner Truth was a passionate and compelling speaker. Her most famous speech is "Ain't I a Woman"

1853-06-01 00:42:27

George Crum invents the first potato chips

George Crum, a cook and restaurateur, came up with the idea for the tasty crisp

1857-01-01 21:48:53

Dred Scott fights for his freedom in Court

Dred Scott was a slave who went to court to fight for his freedom, his wife and their two daughters' freedom as well. Unfortunately, he lost his case, but his famous court case went all the way to the Supreme court.

1859-11-15 13:24:16

The first known baseball game for blacks

The first known baseball game between two black teams was held on November 15, 1859, in New York City.

1861-01-01 21:48:53

The U.S. Civil War Begins

The United States was divided about whether slavery should continue or not. The people who lived in the northern states believed that slavery should end, and those who lived in the southern states wanted to keep slavery. As a result, a war started. The war lasted for 4 years and ended in 1865

1862-01-01 21:48:53

Black Soldiers allowed to fight for their freedom

Civil War black soldiers were allowed to join the army that was fighting to end slavery. They wanted to fight against slavery and they believed that military service would allow them to prove their right to equality.

1863-01-01 21:48:53

President Lincoln says "all slaves shall be free"

The people who wanted slavery to end won the war. The President, Abraham Lincoln, wrote the "Emancipation Proclamation" that said all slaves will be free.

1863-06-04 05:05:54

Wilberforce University is established.

Wilberforce is the first college owned and operated by African Americans: Wilberforce University, Ohio.

1865-01-01 21:48:53

The Government creates the Freedmen's Bureau

The government created a group called the "Freedmen's Bureau" to protect the rights of the black people who were no longer slaves.

1866-01-01 21:48:53

First African American to earn a Ph.D

Father Patrick Francis Healy, S.J. from University of Leuven, Belgium is the first African American to earn a Ph.D.

1867-01-01 21:48:53

Howard University is established

The university was created for the education of African-American youth. The university was named after General Oliver O. Howard, a Civil War hero and commissioner of the Freedman’s Bureau.

1868-01-01 16:49:53

The Constitution is changed to say that blacks are citizens

The 14th Amendment (or change) to the Constitution states that blacks are citizens,

1868-01-01 16:49:53

The First College for black Women is Started.

Spelman College becomes the first college for black women in the U.S.

1869-01-01 21:48:53

The First Black Law School

Howard University's Law School becomes the country's first black law school.

1870-01-01 10:48:42

The Constitution gives Blacks the right to vote

The 15th Amendment (or change) to the Constitution gives blacks the right to vote.

1870-09-01 05:05:54

Hiram Revels becomes first African-American Senator

Hiram Revels was a minister in Mississippi and became the first person of color to serve in the U.S. Senate.

1878-04-01 13:24:16

John "Bud" Fowler plays baseball

He is the earliest, known African-American player in organized professional baseball.

1880-07-01 15:40:01

Henry Flipper graduates from West Point

Henry O. Flipper is the first African American to graduate from West Point. In 1889, he will write a book about his experiences, The Colored Cadet at West Point.

1884-05-01 13:24:16

Moses Walker plays in a major League baseball game

Moses "Fleet" Walker is one of the first black players to appear in a major league baseball game.

1885-05-01 13:24:16

Sarah E. Goode receives a patent.

Sarah Goode became the first African-American woman to receive a patent.

1887-04-01 13:24:16

The Negro Baseball League is formed

The National Colored Base Ball League. It was organized strictly as a minor league and founded with six teams:

1896-06-01 21:48:53

First Black man to play golf in the U.S. OPEN

John Shippen plays in the second U.S. Open at the age of 17.

1898-07-01 08:20:17

The first black musical.comedy is performed

Bob Cole composes and produces the first full-length black musical.

1899-09-01 08:20:17

Marshall Taylor wins the world cycling championship

Taylor was the first African-American athlete to achieve the level of world champion.

1899-12-12 08:20:17

George Gant invents the golf tee

Dentist George Franklin Gant was first person to patent the modern wooden golf tee.

1904-05-15 00:42:27

First Fraternity started by African-Americans

Sigma Pi Phi is the first African-American Greek-lettered organization It was started by two doctors, a dentist and a physician.

1906-12-04 00:42:27

Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity is founded

Alpha Phi Alpha (ΑΦΑ) is the first Black, Inter-Collegiate Greek-Lettered fraternity. It was founded at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

1908-02-01 05:05:54

Jack Johnson wins heavyweight boxing Championship

Jack Johnson is the first African-American heavyweight boxing champion.

1908-07-01 00:33:11

John Baxter Taylor, Jr wins Gold Medal at olympics

John Baxter Taylor Jr. was one of the first African-Americans Olympians an African-American veterinarian and Olympic track star.

1908-09-01 00:42:27

First Sorority established by African-Americans

Alpha Kappa Alpha (ΑKΑ) become the first African American Greek-letter sorority.

1909-01-01 10:48:42

The NAACP is started

The N.A.A.C.P. (which stands for Hational Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is started by W.E.B. DuBois. The group helped

1910-09-01 00:33:11

The First Black Film Company

The Foster Photoplay Company is the first film production company established by an African-American featuring all African-American actors. The Railroad Porter, a comedy directed by Bill Foster, became the first black film.

1911-01-05 00:42:27

Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity is founded.

On the campus of Indiana University at Bloomington, Indiana, the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity began.

1913-01-13 00:42:27

Delta Sigma Theta sorority is founded.

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority was started by twenty-two women at Howard University.

1914-02-01 08:20:17

Sam Lucas stars in Uncle Tom's Cabin

Sam Lucas was the first African American actor to star in a full-length film playing the title role in Uncle Tom's Cabin.

1916-03-01 08:20:17

Lincoln Motion Picture Company is started.

Brothers George Perry Johnson and Noble Johnson start the Lincoln Motion Picture Company.

1918-04-04 01:34:21

Madame CJ. Walker is the first black millionaire

Madam C.J. Walker, born Sarah Breedlove, is known as the first female self made millionaire in America.

"In the Know" Timeline for Kids: African-American History

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