|Long title||An Act to provide means of further securing and protecting the civil rights of persons within the jurisdiction of the United States.|
|Enacted by||the 85th United States Congress|
|Effective||September 9, 1957|
|Statutes at Large||71 Stat. 634|
| Civil Rights Act of 1960 |
Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Civil Rights Act of 1957 was the first federal civil rights legislation passed by the United States Congress since the Civil Rights Act of 1875. The bill was passed by the 85th United States Congress and signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on September 9, 1957.
The Supreme Court's 1954 ruling in the case of Brown v. Board of Education brought the issue of school desegregation to the fore of public attention, as Southern Democratic leaders began a campaign of "massive resistance" against desegregation. In the midst of this campaign, President Eisenhower proposed a civil rights bill designed to provide federal protection for African American voting rights; most African Americans in the Southern United States had been disenfranchised by state and local laws. Though the civil rights bill passed Congress, opponents of the act were able to remove or weaken several provisions via the Anderson–Aiken amendment and the O'Mahoney jury trial amendment, significantly watering down its immediate impact. During the debate over the law, Senator Strom Thurmond conducted the longest one-person filibuster in Senate history. Under the direction of Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas, the Senate passed a watered-down, yet also passable, version of the House bill which removed stringent voting protection clauses. 
Despite having a limited impact on African-American voter participation, the Civil Rights Act of 1957 did establish the United States Commission on Civil Rights and the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. Congress would later pass far more effective civil rights laws in the form of the Civil Rights Act of 1960, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Civil Rights Act of 1968.
Following the Supreme Court ruling in Brown, which eventually led to the integration (also called desegregation) of public schools,  Southern whites began a campaign of "Massive Resistance". Violence against black people rose; in Little Rock, Arkansas where President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered U.S. paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division to protect nine black teenagers integrating into a public school, the first time federal troops were deployed in the South to settle civil rights issues since the Reconstruction Era.  There had been continued physical assaults against suspected activists and bombings of schools and churches in the South. Partly in an effort to defuse calls for more far-reaching reforms, President Eisenhower proposed a civil rights bill that would increase the protection of African American voting rights. 
By 1957, only about 20% of black people were registered to vote. Despite being the majority in numerous counties and congressional districts in the South, most black people had been effectively disfranchised by discriminatory voter registration rules and laws in those states since the late 19th and early 20th centuries that were heavily instituted and propagated by Southern Democrats. Civil rights organizations had collected evidence of discriminatory practices, such as the administration of literacy and comprehension tests and poll taxes. While the states had the right to establish rules for voter registration and elections, the federal government found an oversight role in ensuring that citizens could exercise the constitutional right to vote for federal officers: electors for president and vice president and members of the US Congress.
The Democratic Senate majority leader, Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas, who would play a vital role in the bill's passage in the Senate,  realized that the bill and its journey through Congress could tear apart his party, as southern Democrats vehemently opposed civil rights, and its northern members were strongly in favor of them. Southern Democratic senators occupied chairs of numerous important committees because of their long seniority. As, in the near-century between the end of Reconstruction and the 1960s, white Southerners voted solidly as a bloc for the Democrats, Southern Democrats in Congress rarely lost their seats in elections, ensuring that they had more seniority than Democratic members of Congress from other parts of the country. Johnson sent the bill to the Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Democratic Senator James Eastland of Mississippi, who drastically altered the bill.  Democratic Senator Richard Russell Jr., of Georgia had denounced the bill as an example of the federal government seeking to impose its laws on states. Johnson sought recognition from civil rights advocates for passing the bill as well as recognition from the anti-civil rights Democrats for weakening the bill so much as to make it toothless. 
A bipartisan group of Senators realized that Southerners would not allow passage of the act with Title III, which authorized the US Attorney General to seek preventive relief in civil rights cases. Majority Leader Johnson convinced Senator Clinton Anderson (D-NM) to introduce an amendment to strip out the enforcement provisions of Title III.  Anderson's initial hesitancy to be associated with the anti-civil rights bloc was met with Johnson's urging to introduce the amendment along with a Republican colleague. Anderson approached George Aiken (R-VT), who agreed to co-sponsor the amendment. 
President Eisenhower did not express enthusiasm for the provisions in Title III. In a press conference, he referred to it as going "too far too fast in laws", and instead placed an emphasis on the voting rights provisions in Title IV.  This diminished the already-waning support for the title among Republicans, many of whom opposed its expansion of federal power on conservative grounds in spite of their sympathy towards civil rights causes. Senator Bourke Hickenlooper (R-IA) referred to Title III as a "violation of the civil rights of the white race." 
The Anderson–Aiken amendment passed by a 52–38 vote.  The vote on the amendment did not split purely along partisan or ideological lines; it was opposed by conservative William F. Knowland (R-CA) and supported by liberal Frank Church (D-ID). 
Majority Leader Johnson, who was intent on passing a fully weakened act in contrast to overseeing a legislative graveyard at the hands of a Southern filibuster, moved to effectively weaken the voting rights-related provisions in Title IV.  Alleged violators of civil rights injunctions are normally entitled to jury trials, with the exception of civil contempt actions. A jury trial amendment that included the guarantee of jury trials in civil contempt actions would, in the South, result in perpetrators of voter suppression being acquitted by an all-white jury, thus ensuring no resulted accomplishment to enfranchise blacks. 
The jury trial amendment was not introduced by a Southern Democrat, instead being spearheaded by Wyoming senator Joseph C. O'Mahoney.  The motivation for Western liberal Democrats to spearhead the cause of weakening the Civil Rights Act of 1957 was attributed to their traditional populist disdain for the perceived disproportionate power wielded by judges to quell labor causes in the Western United States, thus contributing to a resonance with the expansion of jury trial rights. 
On August 2, 1957, the Senate passed the jury trial amendment with majority support from Democratic members, both Northern and Southern.  Following the vote, many Republicans were visible in their bitterness, having failed in an opportunity to spearhead the cause of civil rights against a deceitful, partisan Democratic effort. According to Johnson biographer Robert A. Caro: 
In the wake of the vote, emotions spilled over. Richard Nixon could not contain his frustration and rage. When, as he was leaving the Chamber, reporters asked his reaction, the Vice President said, "This is one of the saddest days in the history of the Senate. It was a vote against the right to vote." Clarence Mitchell went to [William Knowland]'s office to discuss what to do now, and could hardly believe what he saw there. "That big, strong, brusque Knowland actually broke down and cried," Mitchell was to recall.
Several conservative Republican senators who voted for the Anderson–Aiken amendment on small-government grounds opposed the jury trial amendment for its intent of weakening civil rights efforts. Idaho senator Henry Dworshak decried that it "practically scuttled any hope of getting an effective civil rights bill." 
The bill passed 285–126 in the House of Representatives with a majority of both parties' support (Republicans 167–19, Democrats 118–107).  It then passed 72–18 in the Senate, again with a majority of both parties (Republicans 43–0, Democrats 29–18).  Despite large opposition from Southern Democrats, the Democratic U.S. Senators from Tennessee and Texas would support the law.  President Eisenhower signed the bill on September 9, 1957.
Then-Democratic Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, an ardent segregationist, sustained the longest one-person filibuster in history in an attempt to keep the bill from becoming law.  His one-man filibuster lasted 24 hours and 18 minutes; he began with readings of every US state's election laws in alphabetical order. He later read from the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and George Washington's Farewell Address.
To prevent a quorum call that could have relieved the filibuster by allowing the Senate to adjourn, cots were brought in from a nearby hotel for the legislators to sleep on while Thurmond discussed increasingly irrelevant and obscure topics. Other Southern senators, who had agreed as part of a compromise not to filibuster this bill, were upset with Thurmond. They believed his defiance made them look incompetent to their constituents. Other constituents were upset with their senators because they were seen as not helping Thurmond. 
Thurmond pointed out that there was already a federal statute that prosecuted citizens who denied or intimidated voters at voting booths under a fine and/or imprisonment but that the bill then under consideration could legally deny trial by jury to those that continued to do so. 
Democratic Representative Charles A. Boyle of Illinois, a member of the powerful Appropriations Subcommittee of Defense, pushed the bill through the House of Representatives.
Section 101 set up a six-member Civil Rights Commission in the executive branch to gather information on citizens' deprivation of voting rights based on color, race, religion, or national origin as well as the legal background, the laws, and the policies of the federal government. The commission was to take testimony or written complaints from individuals on the difficulties in registering and voting. It would submit a final report to the President and the Congress within two years and then cease to exist.
This section is missing information about the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.(September 2020)
This article is missing information about this section.(September 2020)
Part IV, Section 131, banned intimidating, coercing or otherwise interfering with the rights of persons to vote for electors for president and members of Congress. The United States attorney general was allowed to institute actions, including injunctions and charges of contempt of court, with fines not to exceed $1,000 and six months imprisonment. Extensive safeguards for the rights of accused were provided by the statute. United States federal judges were allowed to hear cases related to the Act with or without juries.
Not being able to vote in most of the South, blacks were then excluded from state juries there. Federal jury selection had been tied to state jury selection rules, thus in some instances excluding both blacks and women as federal jurors. Section 161 freed federal courts from state jury rules and specified qualifications for jurors in federal courts. "Any citizen" 21 years or older, literate in English, who had resided in the judicial district for a year, excluding convicts and persons with mental or physical infirmities severe enough to make them unable to serve, was eligible. Since neither race nor sex was listed among the qualifications, the provision allowed both blacks and women to serve on juries in trials in federal courts.
The final version of the act established both the Commission on Civil Rights and the office of Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. Subsequently, on December 9, 1957, the Civil Rights Division was established within the Justice Department by order of US Attorney General William P. Rogers, giving the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights a distinct division to command. Previously, civil rights lawyers had enforced Reconstruction-era civil rights laws from within the Department's Criminal Division. 
The Civil Rights Act of 1960 addressed some of the shortcomings of the 1957 Act by expanding the authority of federal judges to protect voting rights and by requiring local authorities to maintain comprehensive voting records for review so that the government could determine if there were patterns of discrimination against certain populations. 
The Civil Rights Movement continued to expand, with protesters leading nonviolent demonstrations to mark their cause. As president, John F. Kennedy called for a new bill in his televised Civil Rights Address of June 11, 1963,  in which he asked for legislation "giving all Americans the right to be served in facilities which are open to the public—hotels, restaurants, theaters, retail stores, and similar establishments" as well as "greater protection for the right to vote". Kennedy delivered the speech after a series of civil rights protests, most notably the Birmingham campaign, which concluded in May 1963.
In the summer of 1963, various parts of the civil rights movement collaborated to run voter education and voter registration drives in Mississippi. During the 1964 Freedom Summer, hundreds of students from the North and West came to participate in voter drives and community organizing. Media coverage, especially of the violent backlash exemplified by the murders of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner near Philadelphia, Mississippi, contributed to national support for civil rights legislation.
After the Kennedy assassination, President Lyndon Johnson helped secure passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made racial discrimination and segregation illegal,  as well as the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and 24th amendment, which abolished the poll tax and other means of keeping blacks and the poor from registering to vote and from voting, established record-keeping and oversight, and provided for federal enforcement in areas with documented patterns of discrimination or low voter turnout.
Although the Act's passage seemed to indicate a growing federal commitment to the cause of civil rights, the legislation was limited. Alterations to the bill made the Act difficult to enforce; by 1960, black voting had increased by only 3%.  Its passage showed varying degrees of willingness to support civil rights. The Act restricted itself to protecting participation in federal elections.
Martin Luther King Jr., then 28, was a developing leader in the Civil Rights Movement and spoke out against white supremacists. Segregationists had burned black churches, which were centers of education and organizing for voter registration, and physically attacked black activists, including women. King sent a telegram to Eisenhower to make a speech to the South and asked him to use "the weight of your great office to point out to the people of the South the moral nature of the problem". Eisenhower responded, "I don't know what another speech would do about the thing right now."
Disappointed, King sent another telegram to Eisenhower stating that the latter's comments were "a profound disappointment to the millions of Americans of goodwill, north and south, who earnestly are looking to you for leadership and guidance in this period of inevitable social change". He tried to set up a meeting with the President but was given a two-hour meeting with Vice President Richard Nixon. It is reported that Nixon was impressed with King and told Eisenhower that he might enjoy meeting King later. 
James Strom Thurmond Sr. was an American politician who represented South Carolina in the United States Senate from 1954 to 2003. Prior to his 48 years as a senator, he served as the 103rd governor of South Carolina from 1947 to 1951. Thurmond was a member of the Democratic Party until 1964, when he joined the Republican Party for the remainder of his legislative career. He also ran for president in 1948 as the Dixiecrat candidate, receiving over a million votes and winning four states.
The Twenty-fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits both Congress and the states from conditioning the right to vote in federal elections on payment of a poll tax or other types of tax. The amendment was proposed by Congress to the states on August 27, 1962, and was ratified by the states on January 23, 1964.
Everett McKinley Dirksen was an American politician. A Republican, he represented Illinois in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate. As Senate Minority Leader from 1959 until his death in 1969, he played a highly visible and key role in the politics of the 1960s. He helped write and pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Civil Rights Act of 1968, both landmark pieces of legislation during the civil rights movement. He was also one of the Senate's strongest supporters of the Vietnam War. A talented orator with a florid style and a notably rich baritone voice, he delivered flamboyant speeches that caused his detractors to refer to him as "The Wizard of Ooze".
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a landmark civil rights and labor law in the United States that outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. It prohibits unequal application of voter registration requirements, racial segregation in schools and public accommodations, and employment discrimination. The act "remains one of the most significant legislative achievements in American history".
Ralph Webster Yarborough was an American politician and lawyer. He was a Texas Democratic politician who served in the United States Senate from 1957 to 1971 and was a leader of the progressive wing of his party. Along with Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson and Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn, but unlike most Southern congressmen, Yarborough refused to support the 1956 Southern Manifesto, which called for resistance to the racial integration of schools and other public places. Yarborough voted in favor of the Civil Rights Acts of 1957, 1960, 1964, and 1968, as well as the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the confirmation of Thurgood Marshall to the U.S. Supreme Court. Yarborough was the only senator from a state that was part of the Confederacy to vote for all five bills.
Albert Arnold Gore, Sr. was an American politician who served as a United States Senator from Tennessee from 1953 to 1971. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as a U.S. Representative from the state's 4th congressional district from 1939 to 1953. He was the father of Al Gore, who served as the 45th vice president of the United States from 1993 until 2001, and held Tennessee's other U.S. Senate seat from 1985 to 1993. A native of Granville, Tennessee, Gore graduated from Middle Tennessee State Teachers College and taught school. From 1932 to 1936 he was superintendent of schools for Smith County. He attended the Nashville Y.M.C.A. Night Law School, now the Nashville School of Law, from which he graduated in 1936.
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Southern Democrats, historically sometimes known colloquially as Dixiecrats, are members of the U.S. Democratic Party who reside in the Southern United States. Southern Democrats were generally much more conservative than Northern Democrats with most of them voting against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by holding the longest filibuster in American Senate history while Democrats in non-Southern states supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964. After 1994 the Republicans typically won most elections in the South.
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Theodore Francis Green was an American politician from Rhode Island. A Democrat, Green served as the 57th Governor of Rhode Island (1933–1937) and in the United States Senate (1937–1961). He was a wealthy aristocratic Yankee from an old family who was a strong supporter of Wilsonian internationalism during the Democratic administrations of Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman (1933–53). He served as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 1957 to 1959. At the time of his retirement in 1961, he set the record at age 93 of the oldest person to serve in the Senate; the record was subsequently broken by Strom Thurmond.
The Civil Rights Act of 1960 is a United States federal law that established federal inspection of local voter registration polls and introduced penalties for anyone who obstructed someone's attempt to register to vote. It dealt primarily with discriminatory laws and practices in the segregated South, by which African Americans and Mexican-American Texans had been effectively disenfranchised since the late 19th and start of the 20th century. This was the fifth Civil Rights Act to be enacted in United States history. Over an 85-year period, it was preceded only by the Civil Rights Act of 1957, whose shortcomings largely influenced its creation. This law served to more effectively enforce what was set forth in the 1957 act through eliminating certain loopholes in it, and to establish additional provisions. Aside from addressing voting rights, the Civil Rights Act of 1960 also imposed criminal penalties for obstruction of court orders to limit resistance to the Supreme Court's school desegregation decisions, arranged for free education for military members' children, and banned the act of fleeing to avoid prosecution for property damage. The Civil Rights Act of 1960 was signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The Lodge Bill of 1890, also referred to as the Federal Elections Bill or by critics as the Lodge Force Bill, was a proposed bill to ensure the security of elections for U.S. Representatives.
The conservative coalition, founded in 1937, was an unofficial alliance of members of the United States Congress which brought together the conservative wings of the Republican and Democratic parties to oppose President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal. In addition to Roosevelt, the conservative coalition dominated Congress for four presidencies, blocking legislation proposed by Roosevelt and his successors. By 1937, the conservatives were the largest faction in the Republican Party which had opposed the New Deal in some form since 1933. Despite Roosevelt being a Democrat himself, his party did not universally support the New Deal agenda in Congress. Democrats who opposed Roosevelt's policies tended to hold conservative views, and allied with conservative Republicans. These Democrats were mostly located in the South. According to James T. Patterson: "By and large the congressional conservatives agreed in opposing the spread of federal power and bureaucracy, in denouncing deficit spending, in criticizing industrial labor unions, and in excoriating most welfare programs. They sought to 'conserve' an America which they believed to have existed before 1933."
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A filibuster is a tactic used in the U.S. Senate to delay or block a vote on a measure by preventing debate on it from ending. The Senate's rules place few restrictions on debate; in general, if no other senator is speaking, a senator who seeks recognition is entitled to speak for as long as they wish. Only when debate concludes can the measure be put to a vote. Rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate allows the Senate to vote to limit debate by invoking cloture on the pending question. In most cases, however, this requires a majority of three-fifths of senators duly chosen and sworn, so a minority of senators can block a measure, even if it has the support of a simple majority.
The For the People Act, introduced as H.R. 1, is a bill in the United States Congress intended to expand voting rights, change campaign finance laws to reduce the influence of money in politics, ban partisan gerrymandering, and create new ethics rules for federal officeholders.
On August 28, 1957, Strom Thurmond, a Democratic United States senator from South Carolina, began a filibuster intended to prevent the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957. The filibuster, an extended speech designed to stall legislation, began at 8:54 p.m. and lasted until 9:12 p.m. the following day, a duration of 24 hours and 18 minutes. This made the filibuster the longest single-person filibuster in United States Senate history, a record that still stands as of 2022. The filibuster focused primarily on asserting that the bill in question, which provided for expanded federal protection of African American voting rights, was both unnecessary and unconstitutional, and Thurmond recited from documents including the election laws of each U.S. state, Supreme Court decisions, and George Washington's Farewell Address. Thurmond focused on a particular provision in the bill that dealt with certain court cases, but opposed the entirety of the bill.
Strom Thurmond served in the United States Senate from 1956 to 2003. He was a supporter of the presidencies of Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush.