Humanities › History & Culture Timeline of the Reconstruction Era Key Events of the Reconstruction Period Share Flipboard Email Print Library of Congress / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain History & Culture American History Key Events Basics Important Historical Figures U.S. Presidents Native American History American Revolution America Moves Westward The Gilded Age Crimes & Disasters The Most Important Inventions of the Industrial Revolution African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Genealogy Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Martin Kelly History Expert M.A., History, University of Florida B.A., History, University of Florida Martin Kelly, M.A., is a history teacher and curriculum developer. He is the author of "The Everything American Presidents Book" and "Colonial Life: Government." our editorial process Martin Kelly Updated October 06, 2019 Reconstruction was a time of rebuilding the the United States after the tumultuous years of the Civil War. It lasted from the end of Civil War in 1865 to the Compromise of 1877 when Rutherford B. Hayes was given the presidency in exchange for removing federal troops from Southern states. Following are key events that occurred during this era including events that were occurring in other parts of the United States. 1865 Congress passed the Thirteenth Amendment which abolished slavery in the United States. Robert E. Lee surrendered his Confederate forces at Appomattox Courthouse. Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth while attending a play at Ford's Theater. Andrew Johnson succeeded Lincoln to the presidency. Johnson began implementing a restoration plan based loosely on Lincoln's ideas to help reintegrate the South. He issues pardons to most Confederates who are willing to take an oath of loyalty. The last enslaved people in the United States are emancipated on June 19th, also called Juneteenth. Mississippi creates "Black Codes" that limit the rights of freed Black people. They soon become common across the South. The Freedman's Bureau is established. 1866 Congress passed the Fourteenth Amendment which ensured equal protection of the laws to all persons. Most Southern states reject it. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 was passed which granted full citizenship and civil rights to Black Americans. The Ku Klux Klan was founded in Tennessee. It would extend throughout the South by 1868. The First Transatlantic Cable was completed. 1867 The Military Reconstruction Act divided the former Confederacy into five military districts. Union generals policed these districts. The Tenure of Office Act was passed requiring congressional approval before the president could remove appointees. This was to try and force Johnson to keep radical Republican Edwin Stanton as Secretary of War. He went against the act when he removed Stanton from office in August. The Grange was established by farmers in the Midwest. It would quickly grow to over 800,000 members. The U.S. purchased Alaska from Russia in what was called Seward's Folly. 1868 President Andrew Johnson was impeached by the House but was acquitted by the Senate. The Fourteenth Amendment was finally ratified by the states.Ulysses S. Grant became president. The eight-hour workday became law for federal employees. 1869 The first transcontinental railroad was completed at Promontory Point, Utah. The Knights of Labor was formed. James Fisk and Jay Gould tried to corner the gold market leading to Black Friday. Wyoming became the first state to grant women's suffrage. 1870 The Fifteenth Amendment was ratified giving Black males the right to vote. The last four Southern states that fought for the confederacy were readmitted to Congress. These were Virginia, Mississippi, Texas, and Georgia. The first Black Senator, Hiram R. Revels, assumed the seat of Jefferson Davis. The Enforcement Act was passed. This was allowed for federal intervention against the Ku Klux Klan. A California case, White v. Flood, set the precedent for schools to be segregated by race. 1871 The Indian Appropriations Act was passed. This made all Native Americans as wards of the state."Boss" Tweed political machine was exposed by the New York Times.The greenback becomes legal tender. U.S. reached the Alabama settlement with England over the aid it gave to the Confederacy in building warships. England paid $15.5 million in damages. The Great Chicago Fire occurred. 1872 Ulysses S. Grant was reelected as president.Democrats gradually reclaim control of Southern state governments in a process known as Redemption. Yellowstone National Park was established. 1873 The Panic of 1873 occurred, caused by rampant railroad speculation.The Gilded Age was written by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner. 1874 The Woman's Christian Temperance Union was founded. 1875 The Whiskey Ring scandal occurred during President Grant's administration. A number of his associates were indicted. The Civil Rights Act of 1875 was passed by Congress. It established penalties for those who denied citizens equal employment and the use of inns, theaters, and other places. 1876 The Lakota Sioux are ordered to reservations. In their resistance, the Sioux led by Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse defeat General Custer and his men at the Battle of Little Big Horn. Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone.Samuel J. Tilden defeated Rutherford B. Hayes in the popular vote. However, the electoral vote is thrown into the House of Representatives. 1877 The Compromise of 1877 occurred giving Hayes the presidency. Federal troops were removed from the Southern states.