The laws mandated racial segregation in all public facilities in the Southern States. The laws started in 1890 with a “separate but equal” status for African-Americans, and the conditions for them were substandard, to say the least, compared to those for the whites. Rest rooms, restaurants, and even drinking fountains were all covered under the segregation laws; as were public schools, transportation and other public places. Even the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Administration also enacted segregation laws in the U.S. military and all federal workplaces. The administration required all people applying for federal jobs to submit photo id’s and they were used for racial discrimination.
The idiom, Jim Crow law, goes back to 1892. It appeared as the name of an article in the New York Times newspaper. The article addressed the voting laws in the South. The genesis of the term, Jim Crow has been accredited to a song-and-dance show called Jump Jim Crow. In this musical show, a white actor named Thomas D. Rice would wear blackface and kind of made of African-Americans; however, he also derided Andrew Jackson’s populous policies. The name Jim Crow later became synonymous with the word “negro”.
In 1954, the Supreme Court of the United States declared that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. The Supreme court made this decision in the Brown vs. Board of Education trial.
Then finally, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 finally ended all segregation but there would still be years of battling red tape and court cases before everything was settled.
At the end of the 19th century, southern legislatures had passed racial segregation laws directed at African-Americans and these laws became to be known as Jim Crow laws.