100 Years Timeline
In the life of Hon. Marcus Mosiah Garvey
August 17, 1887 | Marcus Mosiah Garvey is born in St Ann’s Bay in Jamaica, West Indies.
1889 | The French construction of Panama Canal (1/1/1881 to 5/15/1889) ends.
1896 | Ernest Hogan, a misguided self-hating Black, composes the song Every Coon Looks Alike as a play on words so as to copy the white song Every Pimp Looks Alike, which starts the coon genre of songs.
1900 | Will Heelan and Fred Helf continue the coon genre with the song, Every Race Has A Flag But The Coon, which becomes very popular.
1901 | Young Marcus Garvey enters in apprenticeship with his uncle – Alfred Burrowes – who had an extensive library of which Garvey made good use.
1903, August 9-15 | A hurricane hits Jamaica wiping out all the crops in Garvey’s area; afterwards Garvey moves to Kingston to try his luck there, promising his mother that as soon as things improve he would send for the family. With the assistance of a maternal uncle, Garvey secures a job at Benjamin’s Printery.
November 1903 | Panama gains independence from Colombia (via US role) and is immediately recognized by the United States.
1904 | The United States acquires from France the equipment used in the unsuccessful French construction of the Panama Canal (the Big Ditch).
1905, Autumn | Garvey becomes the youngest foreman printer in the history of the trade in Kingston; becomes acquainted with the abysmal living conditions of the laboring class. He quickly involves himself in social reform.
1906 | Garvey sends for his mother to live with him in Kingston.
1907, January 14 | The 1907 Kingston earthquake measuring 6.5 on the scale damages every building in Kingston with 85% of all buildings destroyed; shortly thereafter a tsunami hits the north coast of Jamaica.
1907 | The Jamaican economy goes into a tailspin. England refuses to offer assistance to the colony; as a result, wages and morale are depressed. The first trade union to be formed on the island, the Printer’s Union, struck demanding higher wages. By that time, Garvey was Vice President of the union. Despite assurances to the contrary, Garvey’s support for the strike cost him his job. In addition, Garvey is mentored by Dr. J. Robert Love.
1908, March 18 | Sarah Garvey dies of cerebral apoplexy at Public Hospital in Kingston.
1909, March 3 | The National Club is founded in Kingston by Sandy Cox (with Garvey as the secretary) so as to expose and redress the abuses of the British colonial government in Jamaica.
1910 | Garvey realizes that organizing for social uplift is hard, demanding, full-time work. So he decides that he has to quit his government printing job and commits full time to the upliftment of the race. Subsequently, he starts the newspaper The Watchman.
1910 | As The Watchman drains his resources, he sets out to improve his finances; Garvey leaves Jamaica and travels throughout Central America.
1910, September | Moves to Costa Rica and stays with maternal aunt; works as a timekeeper at the United Fruit Company (UFC); publishes daily newspaper La Nación so as to unite his fellow Blacks that they might press for better working conditions and higher pay; Garvey is arrested for agitation.
1911 | Avoiding the authorities, Garvey flees to Panama (Bocas del Toro); founds bi-weekly newspaper La Prensa to publicize the plight of the Black workers at the Panama Canal.
1911, July 26-29| The First Universal Races Congress is held at the University of London. In attendance is an Egyptian born Sudanese named Dusé Mohammed Ali.
1911 | Wallis Budge writes Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection; Prior to that, in 1904, Budge had translated The Book of The Dead. Earlier in 1888, Budge had stolen the Papyrus of Ani from the Egyptian Museum and brought to the British Museum where it remains today. The Papyrus of Ani is cut into thirty-seven pieces from the original seventy-eight feet long and smuggled out of Cairo to London.
1911-1912 | Garvey visits Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Columbia and Venezuela.
1912 | While still in Central America, Garvey learns from Black veterans that Jamaican and Barbadian troops in the British West India Regiments had been used to crush and decimate indigenous Africans for imperial England such as the last of the Asante Wars (1887-1900).
1912, January Garvey returns back home to Jamaica.
1912 | Dusé Mohammed Ali founds the African Times and Orient Review (ATOR) in London. The journal advocates Pan
African nationalism. It becomes a forum for African and other intellectuals and activists from around the world. The journal covers issues in the United States, the Caribbean,
West Africa, South Africa, and Egypt.
1912, April 15 | Sinking of RMS Titanic, flagship of the White Star Line, 375 miles south of Newfoundland on its way to New York City from Southampton, England.
1912 | Autumn Garvey moves to London, England.
1912 (Autumn) to 1914 | Garvey attends college and studies law, philosophy; speaks at Hyde’s Park’s Speakers; Corner; visits Scotland, Ireland, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Hungary and Germany.
1913 | Garvey works for and is mentored by Dusé Mohammed Ali of the ATOR; Garvey contributes an article to the journals October 1913 issue.
1914, June 17 | Garvey departs from England on SS Trent to return back home to Jamaica.
1914, June 28 | The archduke of Austria-Hungary is assassinated in Sarajevo (then part of the Austria-Hungary empire, but is
now the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina).
1914, July 2 | As the ship stopped in Port-of-Spain on its way to Jamaica from England, Garvey has a chance to do some sightseeing. This was his first visit to Trinidad and he had no close friends there. As he strolled through the streets of Port-of-Spain, just another face in the crowd, he could not have guessed that in a mere five years’ time, his would be one of the most revered names on the island.
1914, July 15 | Garvey finally returns to Jamaica.
1914, July 20 | Garvey creates the UNIA in Jamaica.
1914, July 28 | Austria-Hungary delivers ultimatum to the Kingdom of Serbia, thus starting World War I.
1914, August 15 | The United States finishes construction of the Panama Canal.
1915, July 28 | Woodrow Wilson orders United States marines to invade and occupy Haiti, which will last until 1934 (August 15).
1915, November 15 | Booker T. Washington dies.
1916, March 24 | Garvey arrives in the United States on the ship SS Tallac to
start a tour to raise funds for a vocational school in Jamaica similar to Tuskegee Institute.
1916, March 25 | After moving to New York, he found work as a printer by day. At night, he would speak on street corners, much as he did in London’s Hyde Park. On the Ninth of May 1916, he held his first public lecture in New York City at St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery and undertook a 38-state speaking tour.
1916, May | Starts the 38-state speaking tour.
1917, May | Forms the first UNIA division outside of Jamaica.
1917, July 2 | East St Louis riots
1917, July 8 | Garvey delivers the East St Louis Conspiracy speech at Lafayette Hall
1917, July 28 | Silent March along Fifth Avenue in New York City is held to protest lynching and race riots; Half of 10,000 attendees are to be UNIA members
1918, August 17 | Garvey worked to develop a program to improve the conditions of ethnic Africans at home and abroad under UNIA auspices. On 17 August 1918, he began publishing the Negro World newspaper in New York, which was widely distributed. Garvey worked as an editor without pay until November 1920. He uses the Negro World as a platform for his views to encourage growth of the UNIA.
1919 | Trinidad Workingman’s Association teams up with UNIA for labor strike
1919, June | UNIA purchases the first Liberty Hall at 114-120 W 138 Street (6,000 seating capacity)
1919 | UNIA sends representative Jean Joseph Adam to Paris Peace Conference
1919, June | UNIA membership is at least 2MM
1919, June 27 | Black Star Line of Delaware is incorporated (capitalized at $10MM)
1919, September | Purchases first ship; S.S. Yarmouth is rechristened the S.S. Frederick Douglass
1919, September 14 | SS Shadyside is the second vessel; SS Kanawha is the third vessel
1919, October 11 | J. Edgar Hoover writes letter to Special Agent Ridgely concerning Garvey indicating that Garvey has not violated any federal law as of yet.
1919, October 14 | At his office at 56 west 135th Street, George Tyler fires 4 shots into Garvey who is not injured, Tyler indicates that Edwin Kilroe, Assistant District Attorney, sent him to kill Garvey.
1919, October 15 | The next day George Tyler jumps to his death while completely handcuffed.
1919, November | BOI (Bureau of Investigations) hires their first 5 Black agents so they can spy on Garvey and the UNIA: James Wormley Jones (Agent 800); James Edward Amos; Arthur Lowell Brent; Thomas Leon Jefferson; and Earl E Titus. One of Garvey’s close confidante, Herbert Boulin (Agent P-138), was a spy. James E. Amos was an ex bodyguard of Theodore Roosevelt.
1920 | UNIA had 1,100 chapters in 40 countries around the world
1920 | He plans to develop the businesses to manufacture every marketable commodity in every big U.S. industrial center, as well as in Central America, the West Indies, and Africa. Related endeavors included a grocery chain, restaurant, publishing house, and other businesses.
1920, January 17 | National Prohibition starts in the United States of America.
1920, August UNIA membership is at least 4MM
1920, August 1 | The Parade to start the UNIA Convention attracts 150,000 Africans in Harlem.
1920, August 2 | Over 25,000 members attend UNIA meeting at MSG, 10 abreast for 2,500 rows
1920, August | First International Convention of UNIA held in NYC
1920, August 13 | The convention adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Negro Peoples of the World, which was one of the earliest and most complete document advocating human rights and detailing the abuses against Black people.
1921, June 1 | Tulsa white mob destroys Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
1922 (Early) | While in Atlanta, KKK imperial leader, Edward Young Clarke, requests meeting with Garvey. Afterwards other black leaders ask US Attorney General, Harry M Daugherty, to have Garvey incarcerated. Afterwards Assistant District Attorney Leo Healy testifies that Garvey is a member of the KKK.
1923, January 15 | On January 15, 1923, a group of eight prominent African Americans petitioned Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty asking the U.S. government to continue its prosecution of Garvey.
1923, June 23 | The trial ends with Garvey being found guilty of mail fraud.
1923 December | Late 1923, Robert Lincoln Poston and others travel to Liberia
1925, February 8 | Garvey begins incarceration in Atlanta Federal Penitentiary
1926 UNIA | membership is at least 6MM
1926, September | UNIA opens Liberty University in Claremont, Virginia
1927, November | Garvey’s sentence is commuted by Calvin Coolidge
1927, November | Garvey is deported to Jamaica via New Orleans where a large crowd met him at Orrett’s Wharf in Kingston.
1928 | Garvey travels to Geneva to present the Petition of the Negro Race.
1929, September 9 | Garvey founds the People's Political Party, the first modern political party in Jamaica; focused on workers rights, education, and aid to the poor
1929-1931 | Garvey founds The Blackman newspaper.
1930 | Garvey is re-elected to the council in Kingston.
1931, April | Garvey launches the Edelweiss Amusement Company.
1932-1933 | Garvey founds the New Jamaican newspaper.
1935 | Garvey leaves Jamaica and heads to London.
1937 | Garvey writes his poem: Ras Nasibu Of Ogaden.
1937, September | Garvey sets up the School of African Philosophy in Toronto to train UNIA leaders.
1938 | Garvey gives evidence before the West Indian Royal Commission on conditions in Ethiopia.
1940, January | Garvey reads his premature obituary while in London.
1940, June 10 | Garvey dies in London.
1940, June 20 | James R. Stewart is named successor to Hon. Marcus Garvey, where upon the Parent Body is moved to Cleveland from New York.
1949 | James R. Stewart moves to Liberia and establishes the Parent Body in Liberia
1951 | International Headquarters are established in Philadelphia
1953, August | William L. Sherrill is elected President General at Philadelphia Convention
1953, December | William L. Sherrill resigns and Thomas W. Harvey becomes President General
Late 1950s | The UNIA publishes the (3rd) monthly newspaper entitled Garvey’s Voice.
1964 | Garveys body is exhumed and returned back to Jamaica where the government proclaims Garvey as Jamaica’s first national hero and re-interred him at a shrine in the National Heroes Park.
1978, July 1 | Charles L. James is elected President General
1987 August | The findings of the US Congress Judiciary Committee are that Garvey was innocent of the charges against him. Although the Committee determined he had been found guilty earlier due to the social climate of America at the time, they had no legal basis upon which to exonerate a person who was deceased.
1990, August 16 | Charles L. James dies
1990, August 26 | Reginald Wesley Maddox is elected President General
1992, August | Marcus Garvey, Jr is elected President General, the sixth successor to Hon. Marcus Garvey
2004, August | Redmond Battle is elected President General
2007, December 30 | Redmond Battle dies and Mwalimu Edward Gee is named President General
2008, August | At Convention, Alvin Ricks is elected President General
2015, October 5 | UNIA in New York broadcasts two-night weekly radio show on commercial FM radio
2016, March 26 | UNIA celebrates 100th Anniversary of the US arrival of Hon. Marcus Garvey at the Schomburg Center of Black Culture in Harlem where the FACA♦ROC is introduced
2016, August 19 | Michael R. Duncan soundly defeats the incumbent to
become the 10th successor to Hon. Marcus Garvey
2017, May 27 | FACA♦ROC is opened for business following the black print of The Black Star Line Steamship Corporation
2017, August 12-19 | UNIA visits Land of Garvey Birth – Jamaica
2018, January 22 | Hon. Michael R. Duncan attends the inauguration of Liberian President George Manneh Weah
2018, March 15-30 | UNIA visits Ghana and Liberia
2018, August 11-19 | UNIA Convention in Jamaica
2019, January20 | UNIA visits Ghana and Liberia under the Black Star Line Shipping and Travel
2019, August 15-22 | FIRST UNIA Convention ever held in Africa, in Liberia
2019, December | The holder of President General prior to Michael R. Duncan is expelled from the UNIA as well as several others who refuse to relinquish UNIA Inc.
2020, February 14-26 | UNIA visits Ghana and Liberia