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Marcus Garvey: Look For Me in the Whirlwind

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Marcus Garvey Timeline

1887 - 1919 | 1920 - 1964


January 23: The Negro Factories Corporation is incorporated.

January 16: Prohibition goes into effect in the United States.

January 17: The "S. S. Yarmouth" leaves New York harbor for Havana, carrying a cargo of whiskey.

January 19: The "S. S. Yarmouth" is found sinking 101 miles outside New York harbor, and is assisted by the Coast Guard.

January 22: Rumors of dissension among Black Star Line and Universal Negro Improvement Association officers are reported in the New York news.

February 3: The U.S. government seizes the cargo from the "S. S. Yarmouth."

March 6: Garvey separates from Amy Ashwood Garvey; his personal secretary, Amy Jacques, has become his constant traveling companion.

March 28: Garvey addresses a Liberty Hall meeting, decrying the enemies of his organization, and announces a purge of Universal Negro Improvement Association officers.

April 9: Marcus Garvey Sr. dies in Jamaica.

Elected leaders of the UNIA First International Convention of the Negro Peoples of the WorldAugust 1-31: The Universal Negro Improvement Association holds its first International Convention of the Negro Peoples of the World at Madison Square Garden and schedules a massive parade in Harlem. During this convention, the UNIA adopts and signs a Declaration of Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World, adopts a "nation" flag with the colors of the Red, Black, and Green, and elects officials for its provisional government. Garvey himself is elected Provisional President of Africa. James W. H. Eason, a Philadelphia minister, is named Leader of the American Negroes.

August-September: Garvey is indicted on charges of criminal libel, and the government investigates ways to deport him.

ca. October 17: Garvey announces a $2 million Liberian Construction Loan, meant to repatriate black people to Africa.


UNIA members gathered outside Liberty HallJanuary 2: Garvey delivers an address at Liberty Hall on "Du Bois and his Escapades."

January 4: Garvey begins another trip across the country on a speaking tour.

February: A 16-man Universal Negro Improvement Association delegation leaves for Liberia. Garvey applies for American citizenship.

February -July: Garvey obtains a British passport for travel to the West Indies. While he is on tour there, the State Department instructs the U.S. consul general in Jamaica to refuse Garvey a visa, in view of his activities in political and race agitation. After being temporarily detained by U.S. immigration authorities, Garvey finally is able to return to New York on July 17.

J. Edgar HooverMay 11: J. Edgar Hoover submits a brief to the Department of State about Garvey's activities in the U.S.

May 31: Racial riots break out in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

August 1: The Universal Negro Improvement Association opens its second annual convention.

August 5: The Universal Negro Improvement Association secretary general is charged with misappropriation of funds.

August 25: Formal charges are raised against various Universal Negro Improvement Association executive officers and debated on the floor of the convention.

September 30: The Pan African Congress meets in Paris.

December 12: The Bureau of Investigation requests that the Internal Revenue Service investigate Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association.


The Negro World newspaper is confiscated and banned throughout Africa.

January 12: Garvey is arrested for fraudulent use of mails; he is held on a $2,500 bond pending presentation of his case to a federal grand jury.

April: The Black Star Line is dissolved due to financial failure.

June 15: Garvey obtains a divorce form Amy Ashwood.

June 25: Garvey meets with the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, Edward Young Clarke, in Atlanta, resulting in a vehement "Garvey Must Go" campaign headed by black leaders.

ca. July 8: Garvey announces at a Liberty Hall meeting that he plans to ask all Universal Negro Improvement Association and Black Star Line officers to resign at their next convention.

July 9: Garvey explains his meeting with the Klan.

July 27: Garvey marries Amy Jacques in Baltimore.

August 23: The Universal Negro Improvement Association trial against James Eason, the Leader of the American Negroes, begins. Garvey accuses Eason of doublecrossing him. Eason will eventually be expelled from the UNIA for 99 years.

September 11: A Universal Negro Improvement Association delegation to the League of Nations arrives in Geneva.

ca. September 11: Eason forms a rival organization, The Universal Negro Alliance.


Marcus Garvey's arrest by FBI agentsJanuary 1: Eason is shot in New Orleans; he dies January 4. William Shakespeare and Fred Dryer, two Garveyites, are later arrested for his murder.

January 15: Chandler Owen and seven other black leaders send letter of complaint against Garvey to Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty. The "Garvey Must Go" campaign continues.

January 31: Because of a failure to pay rent, the Universal Negro Improvement Association enterprise is closed.

January: Garvey publishes an answer to his critics in The Negro World, referring to them as "race defamers," "traitors," "turncoats," and "sinners" who will stop at nothing to defile his name and hinder the work of the UNIA.

April 2: William Shakespeare and Fred Dryer are sentenced to 18 to 20 years in prison for Eason's murder.

May 18: Garvey's trial for mail fraud begins.

June 21: Garvey is sentenced to 5 years in prison for mail fraud. His appeal is soon denied, and he is taken to Tombs Prison in New York.

ca. July 5: The Marcus Garvey Committee on Justice forms, and mounts a petition drive to free Garvey. Garvey is finally allowed bail on September 10, after a 3-month imprisonment.

September 25: Immigration authorities begin preparing a deportation case against Garvey.


February 2: The Negro World adds two sections, one in French and one, edited by Amy Jacques, devoted to women's issues.

May: Du Bois writes an editorial in The Crisis calling Garvey a "lunatic or traitor." This is one of several editorials published in The Crisis during the 1920s critiquing Garvey and his movement.

July 10: Liberia refuses to grant visas to Universal Negro Improvement Association members.

August 1: The Fourth International Convention of the Negro Peoples of the World opens.


February 8: After being arrested at the 125th Street train station in New York, Garvey is taken to Atlanta Federal Penitentiary and incarcerated.

March 12: Amy Jacques publishes a pamphlet, "Was Justice Defeated?," a critique of Garvey's trial and conviction.

April 28: Members of Garvey's Pardon Delegation submit a petition for Garvey's release to President Calvin Coolidge.

June 13: Garvey submits his first official application for executive clemency.

June 26: The Immigration and Naturalization Service issues a warrant for Garvey's deportation after a hearing in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary.

July: The U. S. Attorney's Office in New York and the U. S. Post Office Inspector recommend that Garvey's application for clemency be denied.

December: Amy Jacques lobbies for the release of her husband. She will eventually publish a second volume of Philosophy and Opinions, a collection of writings by Garvey.


January: The Universal Negro Improvement Association office building at 52 West 135th Street in New York is sold for nonpayment of taxes.

May 11: Garvey is cited by a prison guard for insolence; he receives a warning and reprimand.

September 8: A parole board denies Garvey's application.

December: Nine members of the jury that convicted Garvey sign an affidavit recommending the commutation of Garvey's sentence.


President CoolidgeJune 8: Malcolm X's father, Earl Little, a follower of Garvey, appeals to President Coolidge for Garvey's release.

Nov. 18: President Coolidge commutes Garvey's sentence.

Garvey is released from the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary and taken to New Orleans for deportation.

Dec. 2: Garvey delivers a farewell address from the deck of the "S. S. Saramacca" and is deported from the U. S., never to return.


January 1: Laura Kofey establishes a splinter group in Miami called the African Universal Church and Commercial League.

March 8: Kofey is assassinated at the pulpit during a meeting in Miami.

April 29: Garvey goes to London and establishes temporary Universal Negro Improvement Association headquarters.


March 30: Garvey begins publishing a daily newspaper, The Blackman, in Jamaica.


September 17: A son, also named Marcus, is born in Jamaica to Garvey and Amy Jacques Garvey.


June 11: The last issue of The Negro World with Garvey listed as the managing editor is published.


The Negro World newspaper headlineAugust 16: A second son, Julius Winston Garvey, is born in Jamaica to Garvey and Amy Jacques Garvey.

October 17: The Negro World ceases publication.


March 26: Garvey relocates to London. His wife and children remain in Jamaica.


ca. January 20: Garvey suffers a cerebral hemorrhage; he is paralyzed on his right side and his speech is affected.

May 18: The Chicago Defender carries a story by a London correspondent erroneously announcing the death of Garvey.

June 10: After suffering a second cerebral hemorrhage or cardiac arrest while reading the inaccurate news reports of his death, Garvey dies in London.


November 10: Garvey's body is returned to Jamaica. The following day he is declared the country's first national hero. He is buried in the Marcus Garvey Memorial, National Heroes' Park, Kingston, Jamaica.

1887 - 1919 | 1920 - 1964

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