On January 8, overriding President Johnson's veto, Congress granted the black citizens of the District of Columbia the right to vote.

Reconstruction Acts were passed by Congress on March 2. These acts called for the enfranchisement of former slaves in the South.

On July 21, the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, granting citizenship to any person born or naturalized in the United States.

The Opelousas Massacre occurred in Louisiana on September 28, in which an estimated 200 to 300 black Americans were killed.

Fifteenth Amendment approved. On February 26, Congress sent the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution to the states for approval. The amendment would guarantee black Americans the right to vote.

On April 6, Ebenezer Don Carlos Bassett was appointed minister to Haiti -- the first black American diplomat and the first black American presidential appointment. For many years thereafter, both Democratic and Republican administrations appointed black Americans as ministers to Haiti and Liberia.