Historical Photos of Native Americans at the White House for Citizenship in the 1920s and 30s

President Calvin Coolidge poses for a picture with a group of Native Americans outside the White House
1927 – President Calvin Coolidge poses for a picture with a group of Native Americans outside the White House, three years after the 1924 Indian Citizenship Act.

These amazing photographs colorized by British colorization specialist Royston Leonard show Native American tribal delegations visiting the White House during the 1920s and 30s, with some of the leaders meeting with then American president, Calvin Coolidge.

In 1924, the Indian Citizenship Act was proposed by Representative Homer P. Snyder and signed by President Calvin Coolidge, meaning the indigenous peoples including the Native American tribe, also known as Native Indians, were granted full U.S. citizenship. However, not all Native Americans were granted the right to vote until 1957 due to discriminatory state laws which used a variety of excuses to prevent members of tribes from fully exercising their rights.

While the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution defined as citizens any person born in the U.S., the amendment had been interpreted to restrict the citizenship rights of most Native people. The act was signed into law by President Calvin Coolidge on June 2, 1924. It was enacted partially in recognition of the thousands of Native Americans who served in the armed forces during World War I.

Native americans in the white house 1924
Native Americans, pictured here at the White House in traditional dress, were only granted full US citizenship in 1924 by the then President Calvin Coolidge, who was later granted honorary tribal membership by Sioux Chief Henry Standing Bear.
A group of Native American men wearing their traditional attire while raising the Stars and Stripes at the Lincoln Memorial in 1936
A group of Native American men wearing their traditional attire while raising the Stars and Stripes at the Lincoln Memorial in 1936, 12 years after President Calvin Coolidge granted them US citizenship.
April, 1936 – Native Americans mix with the public in Washington.
President Calvin Coolidge with a group of Native Americans on the White House lawn, 1924.
President Calvin Coolidge with a group of Native Americans on the White House lawn, 1924.
Native Americans at the White House, circa 1929
Native Americans at the White House, circa 1929.

(Photos: Royston Leonard / Media Drum World, via Daily Mail)

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