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Truman (1945 - 1952) Democrat

  • Reputation for fairness
  • 1946, September - established a liberal Civil Rights Committee to investigate increasing violence against blacks
  • Appointed Blacks to senior posts
  • 1948 - ended racial discrimination in federal employment. This created a fair employment board
  • Made many speeches supporting equality in employment and education
  • Supported the NAACP in the Shelley vs Kraemer case
  • 1951, December - issued an executive order to establish the Committee for Government Contract Compliance (CGCC)
  • Desegregated the airport in Washington
  • Appointed a Black judge in the federal courts
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Eisenhower (1953 - 1960) Republican

  • Didn't want to upset the conservative coalition that brought him to power
  • Appointed Earl Warren as Chief Justice in the Supreme Court (biggest mistake he ever made)
  • Silent over BROWN 1954
  • Forced into sending federal troops to enforce desegregation in Little Rock
  • Supports desegregation in the military
  • Employed an AA in his office, E. Frederic Morrow
  • He worked against discrimination in federal offices in Washington and federal hiring
  • 1957 and 1960 Civil Rights Acts attempted to aid black voter registration
  • Silent over the murder of Emmett Till
  • Believed equality would happen naturally and shouldn't be forced by the federal Government
  • Met CR leaders only once
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Kennedy (1961 - 1963) Democrat

  • No coherent strategy on Civil Rights because he won by the narrowest of victories and had a hostile Congress to deal with. Congress were Southern Democrats and Republicans who blocked his legislative programmes
  • Forced to act by the actions of blacks eg, Sit-ins, Freedom Rides and James Meredith
  • His brother Robert Kennedy (RFK), was the most active member
  • RFK desegregated lunch counters and enforced Supreme Courts ruling on interstate buses
  • Justice Department helped desegregate Universities of Mississippi and Alabama
  • 1962 - JFK proposed literacy bill which would allow blacks with a 6th Grade education to vote - Failed because of a Southern Filibuster
  • Made lots of symbolic gestures: invited lots of blacks to the White House, appointed 40 blacks to top posts, appointed 5 black federal judges (Thurgood Marshall)
  • Established Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
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Johnson (1963 - 1968) Democrat

  • Passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act developed by Kennedy, as a tribute to him. This Act gave the Government the tools to end de jure desegregation in the South
  • Prohibited discrimination in public places and furthered school desegregation and established EEC
  • Voting Rights Ac of 1965 ended literacy tests and established federal registrars
  • Ended Grandfather clause and interpretation of constitution test
  • Number of blacks in Southern office increased 6 times between 1965 - 1969
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Great summary of each of the Presidents in this period :)

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