August 29, 1957 Civil Rights Act
After the Civil War Blacks were no longer slaves but citizens and had rights and including the right to vote. There were states particularly in the south that hindered our voting right with poll tax and other pervasive ways. Unfortunately for us, Jim Crow laws as well as violence kept us disenfranchised .
With the above conditions we were shackled as we were slavery. Congress didn’t consider civil rights act legislation until 1957. From 1875 until 1957 there was decades of no civil rights legislation. The Civil Rights Act of 1957 was signed by President Eisenhower.
1957 – The Civil Rights Act of 1957 is passed by Congress. It is
the first civil rights legislation since 1875. The bill
establishes a civil rights commission and a civil rights
division in the Justice Department. It also gave the
Justice Department authority to seek injunctions against
voting rights infractions.
President Kennedy in June 1963 proposed legislation saying the United States “will not be fully free until all of its citizens are free.”
After the death of President Kennedy, President Johnson took up the cause of the Civil Rights legislation. “Let this session of Congress be known as the session which did more for civil rights than the last hundred sessions combined,” Johnson said. The passing of this legislation was not an easy feat. There were ‘good ol boys’ in Congress who did not want this legislation passed.
A Virginian segregationist introduced bill to ban employment discrimination against women. Eventually, the bill passed the House by vote of 290 – 130. The bill moved to the U.S. Senate. Where there was great opposition by southern and Border States. They filibustered for 75 days. This was one of longest filibuster in history. Robert Byrd from West Virginia former Ku Klux Klan member spoke for over 14 consecutive hours.
The Senate voted 73-27 in favor of the bill, and Johnson signed it into law on July 2, 1964. “It is an important gain, but I think we just delivered the South to the Republican Party for a long time to come,” Johnson, a Democrat, purportedly told an aide later that day in a prediction that would largely come true. –expert from History Channel.