Ohio Public Accommodations Law of 1884

The Ohio Public Accommodations Law of 1884 was an early effort by the Ohio government to eliminate racial discrimination in Ohio.

In 1884, the State of Ohio enacted the Ohio Public Accommodations Law. This law prohibited discrimination on the basis of race in all public buildings, which included theaters, restaurants, stores, and other for-profit public buildings. Although Ohio had ratified the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments, discrimination still existed within the state. At this time, African Americans commonly faced employment discrimination and segregation. Whites also sometimes used violence to drive African Americans from Ohio communities. The Ohio Public Accommodations Law was an attempt to improve the situation, especially for African Americans. Law enforcement officials usually did not enforce the statute and some Ohioans continued to discriminate on the basis of race. The Ohio Public Accommodations Law remained in effect through the 1950s. In 1959, Ohio enacted a new civil rights law and created the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.

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