United States and American History: 1881

About the history of the United States in 1881, first Jim Crow laws passed, Clara Barton founds the National Red Cross, James Garfield shot and killed, Chester A. Arthur becomes president.


--Tennessee enacted 1st Jim Crow law segregating railroad coaches--this provided for "separate but equal" 1st-class coaches for blacks instead of no 1st class for blacks at all.

Whoever controls the volume of money in any country is master of all its legislation and commerce.

--President Garfield

--Clara Barton, 8 years after her return to U.S. from Europe, founded the American National Red Cross in Washington, D.C., and was its president for the next 23 years.

--Helen Hunt Jackson, later renowned for her novel Ramona, foreshadowed Dr. Spock with publication of a handbook entitled, The Training of Children.

July 2 President Garfield was shot by Charles Guiteau, a disgruntled office-seeker, in a Washington, D.C., railroad station.

July 19 After the Canadian Government refused to provide them with a reservation, Sitting Bull and the Sioux Indians returned to the U.S. The U.S. Army had promised to pardon Sitting Bull if he returned, but instead they held him in a military prison for 2 years.

Aug. 31 Richard D. Sears won the 1st men's singles tennis championship under auspices of the newly created U.S. Lawn Tennis Association.

Sept. 5

The interests, commercial and political, of the U.S., on this continent, transcend in extent and importance those of any other power.

--Secretary of State James Blaine

Sept. 19 After clinging to life for 2 1/2 months, President Garfield died. He was succeeded by Vice-President Chester A. Arthur the following day.

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