Religion: 1938

California Supreme Court upholds the compulsory flag salute, leading to widespread disciplinary action against Jehovah’s Witness students.

Religion: 1940

U.S. Supreme Court rules that school boards can compel all students – including Jehovah’s Witnesses – to say the Pledge of Allegiance.

Religion: 1942

A large gathering of Jehovah’s Witnesses is violently attacked in Klamath Falls, Oregon;  meetings of the religious group are met with assaults throughout California.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are denied conscientious objector status and are persecuted in the military.

Religion: 1943

In a rare move, on Flag Day, the U.S. Supreme Court reverses itself on the flag salute, asserting the right of religious liberty and ruling that Jehovah’s Witnesses cannot be compelled to salute the flag or recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Religion: 1961

California Supreme Court rules against a Black Muslim prisoner who was denied access to the Q’uran and meetings with other Muslims, unlike prisoners of other faiths.

Malcolm X, a Black Muslim, is denied permission to speak on the U.C. Berkeley campus because administrators deem him a religious speaker; two years later, after protests by faculty and students, he is finally allowed to speak. 

See a 1963 interview with Malcolm X conducted at UC Berkeley.

Religion: 1962

Black MuslimsBlack MuslimsLos Angeles police open fire on worshippers at Mosque Number 27, killing Ronald Stokes and injuring dozens of others; the officers are never tried or disciplined.

Religion: 1964

Navajos arrested for ceremonial use of peyoteNavajos arrested for ceremonial use of peyoteThe sentences of three Navajos who had been convicted in 1962 for participating in a religious ceremony that used peyote are overturned by the California Supreme Court on the basis of religious freedom.

Religion: 1982

G-O Road opponentsG-O Road opponentsNative Californians sue to prevent the U.S. Forest Service from building the G-O road through sacred Indian land; the district court rules in their favor in 1983, but in 1988 the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the lower court ruling.

Religion: 1983

Students in Livermore sue to prevent a Christian prayer in their public school graduation ceremony. On the eve of graduation, the California Supreme Court bars the prayer.

Religion: 1990

Federal legislation bars the completion of the G-O road, primarily based on environmental factors, but preserving the sacred native land.

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