Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sept. 9, 1957: Republicans Pass First Civil Rights Act

Most Americans are not aware that the first Civil Rights Act since just after the Civil War was passed in 1957, on Sept. 9, not 1964. Both acts were passed despite opposition from most Democrats in Congress. It was exactly 53 years ago today that President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a Republican, signed the Civil Rights Act of 1957 into law. The Civil Rights Digital Library has this: On September 9, 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1957. Originally proposed by Attorney General Herbert Brownell, the Act marked the first occasion since Reconstruction that the federal government undertook significant legislative action to protect civil rights. Although influential southern congressman whittled down the bill?s initial scope, it still included a number of important provisions for the protection of voting rights. It established the Civil Rights Division in the Justice Department, and empowered federal officials to prosecute individuals that conspired to deny or abridge another citizen?s right to vote. Moreover, it also created a six-member U.S. Civil Rights Commission charged with investigating allegations of voter infringement. But, perhaps most importantly, the Civil Rights Act of 1957 signaled a growing federal commitment to the cause of civil rights." Was the Civil Rights Act of 1957 perfect? No, but it was a good start in the right direction. Robert Mann wrote this interesting column in 2007 for the The Boston Globe (emphasis added): The 1957 bill is a discounted and forgotten stepchild of the civil rights movement, accorded lowly status when compared with its more impressive younger siblings, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Yet at its half-century mark, the much-disparaged 1957 law is worthy of celebration. It paved the way for subsequent, stronger rights legislation by giving lawmakers confidence that voting for once-radical ideas wouldn't make the sky fall. The law's passage cleared the way for solid progress on the most important social issue of the 20th century. Full article... Given these facts, why is it that the 1964 Civil Rights Act is so well known but the 1957 Civil Rights Act is virtually unheard of to most Americans? Let's see: Eisenhower was a Republican. The Congressional support that carried both Acts came from Republicans. President Lyndon Johnson, who signed the 1964 act into law, was a Democrat. The Left-leaning teachers unions, school boards and so on would rather that you didn't know that it was really Republicans, not Democrats, who were responsible for these enormous gains in civil rights. Ditto for the Liberal Mainstream Media, who make a lot of favorable noise about the 1964 act but rarely even mention the 1957 version. It's that simple. Democrats and liberals are embarassed by their history of institutionalized racism. Not necessarily ashamed, mind you, just embarassed. The truth about federal civil rights legislation makes them look bad to their most loyal - and most brainwashed - voters. One incredible example of this leftist rewriting of history can be found at They have page there which is called "Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1968" with the subtitle "An Educator's Reference Desk Lesson Plan." Note the date spread in the title. They give a link to the 1964 legislation, but make only two passing mentions of it with no related links. They have a link, however, to the 1964 legislation. Read More: Republicans and Civil Rights NewsMax The 1957 Civil Rights Act History Learning Site (UK) Republicans Passed the 1957 Civil Rights Act Grand Old Partisan Civil Rights Act of 1957 - Digital Documents and Photographs Project Martin Luther King was a Republican National Black Republican Association 1957 Civil Rights Act Big Government