Civil Rights Act of 1866 Timelines: The Catto Years
Congress passes the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the first federal law protecting the rights of African Americans. It is vetoed by President Andrew Johnson. Johnson’s veto
is overridden by Congress. The law solidified an alliance based on “principles” among moderate and radical Republicans, which in the coming years would lead to Constitutional changes defining citizenship and the rights of citizens for blacks. Republicans gain veto proof majorities in the Senate and House to override President Johnson’s vetoes.