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Moments in History

March 20

1854


First Republican Party meeting in Ripon, Wisconsin.

January 1

1863


President Abraham Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation.

January 31

1865


Republican-controlled 38th Congress passes the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery.

January 13

1866


With unanimous Republican support and against intense Democrat opposition, Congress passes the 14th Amendment.

March 1

1872


Republican-controlled 42nd Congress establishes Yellowstone as first national park.

December 9

1872


First African-American governor, Pinckney Pinchback (R-LA), inaugurated.

April 2

1917


First woman in Congress, Rep. Jeannette Rankin (R-MT), sworn in.

May 21

1919


Republican-controlled 66th Congress passes the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote.

June 2

1924


Republican-controlled 68th Congress and President Calvin Coolidge grant citizenship to Native Americans.

December 7

1928


First Hispanic U.S. Senator, Senator Octaviano Larrazolo (R-NM), sworn in.

January 3

1949


Margaret Chase Smith (R-ME) becomes the first woman to serve in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

May 17

1954


Brown v Board of Education strikes down racial segregation in public schools; majority decision written by Chief Justice Earl Warren, former governor (R-CA) and vice presidential nominee.

September 9

1957


President Dwight Eisenhower signs the 1957 Civil Rights Act.

August 21

1959


First Asian-American U.S. Senator, Hiram Fong (R-HI), is seated.

June 10

1964


Senate passes the 1964 Civil Rights Act when the Republican leader, Everett Dirksen (R-IL), defeats Democrat filibuster.

September 25

1981


Sandra Day O’Connor, appointed by President Reagan, becomes first woman on the Supreme Court.

June 12

1987


President Ronald Reagan calls for liberation of East Europeans from Communism with “Tear Down This Wall” speech.

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