Willie Lewis Brown, Jr. is selected by the California Assembly to become the Speaker of the state legislature. Brown is the first African-American to hold this position. For 15 years, he serves in this capacity until he is elected as mayor of San Francisco.
A riot erupts in Liberty City, Fla. When police officers are acquitted in the murder of an African-American man who was unarmed. Lasting 24 hours, an estimated 15 people were killed. The riot is considered the worst in U.S. history since the Detroit Riots of 1967.