The Civil Rights Act of 1866 became law on April 9, 1866. President Andrew Jackson, a Democrat, attempted to veto the bill, but it was overruled by the Republican controlled Congress. The act granted citizenship and the same rights enjoyed by white citizens to all male persons in the United States “without distinction of race or color, or previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude.” Its transformational legacy would surface over the course of 150 years, a period marked by entrenched resistance as well as heroic support. However, the activities of organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan undermined the workings of this act and it failed to guarantee the civil rights of African-Americans.
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April 9, 2021 all-day