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1886: Exploration and settlement; wars; government; civil rights; statistics.

The nation was stirred by an incident on May 4 in Chicago's Haymarket Square. A labor rally there, which included speeches by anarchists, was breaking up when a large force of police arrived. A bomb exploded among them, killing seven officers and wounding about 60. The anarchists were blamed and the police arrested eight leaders of what came to be known as the Haymarket Riot. Their trial began on June 19. Although no evidence was ever presented to identify any of the accused as the bomb thrower, all eight were convicted on Aug. 20. Seven were sentenced to death, one to jail. Of the condemned, four were hanged on Nov. 11, one committed suicide in jail, and two had their sentences changed to life imprisonment. Seven years later, on June 26, 1893, Gov. John Peter Altgeld of Illinois pardoned the three still in jail. For this act he was denounced by some as little better than an anarchist himself.

Jan. 19

A Presidential Succession Act was passed by Congress. It provided that in the event of removal, death, resignation, or inability of the president and vice president, the heads of the executive departments, in the order of the creation of their offices, would succeed to the presidency. A new order of succession was adopted in 1947, and it was superseded by the Twenty-fifth Amendment to the Constitution in 1967.

May 10

An alien, the Supreme Court declared, is a person in the eyes of the law. The Court ruled thus in the case of Yick Wo v. Hopkins, declaring that municipal ordinances discriminating against Chinese laundries violated the Fourteenth Amendment.

June 30

Congress approved legislation recognizing the Division of Forestry, which had been established in 1881 in the Dept. of Agriculture. Dr. Bernhard E. Fernow, a professional forester, was put in charge. The division was the outgrowth of an agency established in 1876 to study American forests and their future supply of timber.

Sept. 4

Geronimo, the inveterate Apache raider along the Mexican border, surrendered to Gen. Nelson A. Miles in Arizona. All the Chiricahua Apaches were then resettled in Florida as war prisoners. They were relocated to Fort Sill, Okla., in 1894.

Sept. 16

The national convention of the Anti-Saloon Republicans was held in Chicago, Ill.

Oct. 12

A flood along the Texas Gulf Coast took 250 lives. The gulf waters were whipped onto the mainland by gale winds.

Oct. 28

The Statue of Liberty was unveiled and dedicated by Pres. Grover Cleveland in a ceremony on Bedloe's Island. The 225-ton, 152-ft. tall copper statue was presented to the U.S. by France in commemoration of 100 years of American independence.

Nov. 2

In congressional elections the Republicans lost four seats in the Senate but held a 39-37 majority over the Democrats. In the House the Democrats lost 14 seats but held a 169-152 majority, with four seats going to minor parties.

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Author:Carruth, Gorton
Publication:Encyclopedia of American Facts & Dates, 9th ed.
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1993
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