President Rutherford B. Hayes vetoed a Congressional bill restricting Chinese immigration on the basis that it violated the 1868 Burlingame Treaty, which provided for unrestricted Chinese immigration into the United States.
The Chinese Exclusion Act was the nation’s first law to ban immigration by race or nationality. The act, which was renewed and enforced until 1943, banned Chinese immigration for ten years and prohibited Chinese from becoming citizens.
In Philadelphia, the Indian Rights Association was formed “to secure the Indians of the United States the political and civil rights already guaranteed to them by treaty and statute of the United States, and such as their civilization and circumstances justify.”
The first public performance of Buffalo Bill’s “Wild West” show took place in Omaha, Nebraska. The show featured dramatic exhibitions of elements of the old West, including roping, horseback riding, shootouts, and stagecoach robberies. It went on to great success, touring the United States and the world.
The Dawes Act, also known as the General Allotment Act, allowed Indian reservation land to be broken up into small allotments for sale to individual American Indians. The purpose of the act was to encourage Indians to become farmers, but the plots were too small to support families or to raise livestock.
The Forest Reserve Act authorized the president to set aside “forest reserves” from public domain lands to be managed by the Department of the Interior. “Forest reserves” later became National Forests.