March 1st, 1921

Idaho Bans Marriage Between Blacks and Whites

On March 1, 1921, Idaho amended its anti-miscegenation law to include additional restrictions on interracial marriage. Idaho passed its first anti-miscegenation law in 1864, which banned marriage between a white person and "any person of African descent, Indian or Chinese." The punishment for marrying in violation of the statute was imprisonment for up to two years. Idaho also passed a law banning interracial cohabitation in 1864, violation of which could result in a $100-$500 fine, six to twelve months in jail, or both. The anti-miscegenation law was amended in 1867 to increase the range of fines and the maximum possible prison time to ten years. In 1921, the law was amended again to ban marriage between whites and "mongolians, negroes, or mulattoes," although the state's population at the time was less than .02% African American. The Idaho state legislature repealed the anti-miscegenation law in 1959.

Idaho was not unique in its attempts to obstruct marriage between the races. In the 1920's, Social Darwinism had captured the attention of the country's elite, who became concerned with maintaining and promoting the eugenic racial purity of the white race by controlling procreation. Concerned that states were not adequately enforcing their anti-miscegenation laws, eugenicists pushed for stronger measures against racial mixing and stricter classifications to determine who qualified as white when seeking a marriage license. Like Idaho, many states added the racial category "mongolian" during this time in response to an influx of Japanese immigrants to the United States.


March 1st, 1713

Massacre of Tuscarora Indians at Fort Nooherooka, North Carolina

From March 1-23, 1713, a battle raged between European colonists and Tuscarora Indians in modern-day Greene County, North Carolina. It became the decisive battle in the Tuscarora War, culminating in the destruction of the final Tuscarora stronghold at Fort Nooherooka on March 20-23. More than 950 Tuscarora men, women, and children were killed or captured and sold into slavery.

Before European settlers arrived, the Tuscarora were a powerful tribe in what is now eastern North Carolina. They hunted, fished, and farmed throughout the Neuse River Basin. By 1650, the Tuscarora had established a thriving fur trade with their new white neighbors. In the early 1700s, however, encroachment on their fertile lands and mistreatment by settlers provoked a violent response. The Tuscarora raided white settlements, stirring fear and chaos among the new arrivals.

From 1711-1713, successive expeditions of whites and non-Tuscarora Indians fought the Tuscarora along the Neuse River. In 1712, a militia defeated the Tuscarora at Fort Narhantes near New Bern, killing or taking hostage nearly 400 people. At Fort Nooherooka, the Tuscarora built an elaborate structure to protect against the impending onslaught. After days of fighting, a militia lit the fort on fire. Hundreds burned inside; others were scalped or captured while attempting to flee.

Many surviving Tuscarora fled to New York, where they joined the Iroquois-led Five Nations. Some migrated to different parts of North Carolina. Though less well-known than Little Big Horn or Wounded Knee, the Tuscarora Massacre was one of the worst assaults against Native Americans in United States history.