Navajo Timeline

Year Navajo History World History
1878
  • Navajo Reservation is expanded into Arizona.
 
   
1880
  • Navajo Reservation was again expanded in Arizona.
  • Railway travel into the southwest creates new market for Navajo weaving.
  • Beginning of the "green revolution" and worldwide application of chemical fertilizers to increase agricultural production. Sodium nitrate beds in Chile exploited; use of potash as an inorganic fertlizer.
   
1882
  • On December 16, by executive order, President Chester Arthur removed some 4,000 square miles of land in northern Arizona from the pubilc domain and made it a reservation for "the Moquii (Hopi) Indians and other Indians that the President should decide to settle thereon ..." The intent of the order was to prevent Mormon settlers from claiming the lands under the Homestead laws. The Mormons had built settlements next to the Hopi mesas. The land was believed to hold valuable mineral deposits as well as a large coal reserves. The order formed the legal basis of the present day Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute. The Navajos would legally lose the dispute in 1974 causing the relocation of about 12,000 Navajos.
  • The 1st hydroelectric plant in America went into operation on the Fox River in Wisconsin.
  • In New York, Thomas Edison, backed by J.P. Morgan, opened the 1st central electric power plant, the Pearl Street station, which illumnated 85 buildings.
   
1884
  • Henry Chee Dodge, the son of a Navajo/Jemez mom, and a Mexican silversmith and translator, became the first leader of a pre Navajo Tribal Council.
  • U.S. President Chester Arthur extended the Navajo Reservation north into Utah.
 
   
1890s
  • The Traders in southwest influence weaving.
  • 1890 - U.S. Sherman Antitrust law passed in response to formation of the Standard Oil Trust and other industrai monopolies.
  • 1890-1898 - The great European powers, England, France, Germany, divided China into "spheres of influence" for purposes of trade and economic exploitation. China's weakened rules were unable to resist. By 1898, the scramble for concessions involved Britain, Germany, Russia, France, and Japan.
   
1900
  • The Navajo Reservation was again expanded in to Arizona. The document was ratified in 1902.
  • Hawaii was declared a U.S. Territory.
  • The Boxer Rebellion in China. Resentment against foreign influence in China led to the formation of secret military societies called Boxers. When a rebellion broke out in Peking, the Boxers began burning foreign embassies and churches, and killing missionaries. A combined force of 18,000 British, French, and German soldiers put down a rebellion and force the Chinese to pay 739 million dollars in gold, and to open more Chinese cities to foreign trade.
   
1901
  • The Navajo Reservation was expanded in Arizona.
  • Theodore Roosevelt assumed the U.S. Presidency. Roosevelt was dedicated to western development, water reclamation, and land conservation.
   
1904  
  • The 1904 Girls' Basketball Team from Fort Shaw Indian Boarding School - A team of 10 American Indian girls from the Fort Shaw Indian Boarding School in Montana headed to St. Louis, Missouri for the World's Fair of 1904 and for the next 5½ months became ambassadors of their school and their tribes by playing exhibition games twice a week and beating all challenger teams they played and returned with a trophy declaring them champions of the World's Fair of 1904, in effect champions of the world.
        The girls were Nettie Wirth, and Sarah Mitchell, who were Assiniboine Sioux; Belle Johnson (Captain), Blackfoot; Genevieve (Gennie) Butch, Yangton Sioux; Minnie Burton, Shoshone; Genevieve Healy and Katie Snell, Gros Ventre; Emma Sansaver and Flora Lucero, Chippewa; and Rose LaRose.
        Yet the U.S. government had used these "aboriginal maidens" as living exhibits and exotic specimens at the fair. The girls lived among 150 Indian children who were part of the fair's model Indian school exhibit, to show the world how "civilized" American Indians were becoming under the tutelage of non-Indian teachers, how readily the younger generation had taken up their new language, and how accomplished they had become at "non-Indian" pursuits. But to others, they were considered a curiosity like the Eskimos who lived at the fairgrounds in paper mache igloos and wore seal skin coats, or the 1,200 Filipinos who came from the Philippines by ship, traveled to Missouri in unheated box cars and lived in what was called the Philippines Reservation.
        Over the next 5½ months, these girls overcame barriers of gender, race, and class to emerge as champions, thereby shattering stereotypes concerning the athletic, academic, and artistic capabilities of American Indian girls and women. The world's fair were also known as "International Expositions" that helped Victorian-era white Americans rationalize policies against American Indians and Filipinos that bordered on exterminative. The St. Louis Fair was designed to commemorate the Louisiana Purchase.
   
1905
  • President Theodore Roosevelt added nearly 7,000 acres to the Navajo Reservation near Aneth, Utah.
 
   
1907
  • The Navajo Reservation was expanded in New Mexico and Arizona. The New Mexico part of this reservation was later restored to the public domain in 1908.
  • Oklahoma admitted as 46th state.
  • Theodore Roosevelt appointed his friend Francis Leupp as Indian Affairs Commissioners. Leupp accelerated the pace of allotments and the distribution of Indian lands. Congress gave him the power to sell allotments belonging to "noncompetents". He wrote: "Not until the surplus spaces in their country are settled by a thrifty, energetic, law respecting white population, can the red possesors of the soil hope to make any genuine advancement".
   
1907
to
1922
  • The Navajo Reservation was expanded in Utah onto the Paiute Indians' homeland.
 
   
1908
  • The San Juan (Shiprock) Boarding School opened in the Fall.
 
   
1909
  • Shiprock (Trading) Fair began in October.
 
   
1912
  • New Mexico and Arizona became the 47th and 48th U.S. states.
  • The British Empire comprises 25 percent of the earth's surface.
   
1918
  • The Navajo Reservation was again expanded in Arizona.
  • World War I ended with Germany's surrender.
  • Russia's Czar Nicholas and his wife and 5 childen were executed by a firing squad. Communism takes over Russia.
   
1920  
  • American Oil Wealth - The United States was responsible for over 60% of the world's petroleum production. Since 1859, oil production had steadily increased in the U.S. with many prolific new oil fields opened during World War I.
   
1922
  • Oil discovered on Navajo Reservation. The BIA appointed a Navajo "business council" to sign leases. Standard Oil of California wanted access to the oil, but the U.S. government, as trustee, could not lease Navajo lands without tribal consent and there was no tribal entity that could legally sign. The Navajo tribe had no governing body, and leadership was decentralized among many different local headmen. A meeting of influential headmen was called at the San Juan Agency in May 1922. The headmen rejected all leasing applictions. The Secretary of the Interior, Albert Fall of New Mexico (later implicated in the Teapot Dome oil scandal), invented a series of legal fictions to facilitate leasing. He created a Navajo "business council" to sign and approve the oil leases. He placed all "executive order" reservation lands, and nontreaty Indian lands designated after 1871, under the provisions of the General Leasing Act. He appointed a New Mexico crony, Herbert Hagerman, to take charge of leasing arrangements on Indian lands.
  • Rise of Fascist Party in Italy. Supported by business and clerical elements who feared communism, fascism spread throughout Italy. After the "March on Rome", the king called on Mussolini to organize a government, and granted him dictatorial powers.
   
1923
  • Navajo Tribal Council reformed. The U.S,. Government made an effort to organize a more representative Navajo Tribal Council for purposes of mineral leasing. BIA superintendents supervised the election of delegates from a larger geographical area to sit in what would be called the Navajo Tribal Council. The new council authorized the interior official (Hagerman) to negotiate all future oil and gas leases. The question of Indian rights to revenues from oil and gas leases raised issues of Indian title to the land itself, and formed the basis of a new round of land struggles.
 
   
1924
  • Congress declares that all Native Americans born in the U.S. to be American citizens with the passage of the Indian Citizenship Act. It marked the first time American Indians could vote in national elections. In many states, like Arizona and New Mexico, American Indians were not allowed to vote in state or local elections based on their federal trust relationship and special status under federal law. It wouldn't be until 1948 that Arizona would allow Navajos the right to vote, and it won't be until 1953 that New Mexico, and 1957 that Utah, grant Navajos the right to vote. Because American Indians were not citizens until 1924, 19th- and early 20th-century census takers did not count American Indians for congressional representation. Instead, the government took special censuses in connection with Indian treaties. But always from time immemorial, American Indians and their ancestors were citizens of their respective Nations. States still don't have jurisdiction over tribal lands.
 

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Updated: 05/02/2010
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