Video encyclopedia

Pigtail Ordinance


Anti-Chinese legislation in the United States


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The Pigtail Ordinance was an 1873 law intended to force prisoners in San Francisco, California to have their hair cut within an inch of the scalp. It affected Qing Chinese prisoners in particular, as it meant they would have their queue, a waist-long, braided pigtail, cut off. The proposal passed by a narrow margin through the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1873 but was vetoed by the mayor. An identical version of the law, enacted in 1876, was struck down as unconstitutional in 1879.
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    • Origins 

    • Veto and passage 

    • Lawsuit