More Notes:
As President Eisenhower said, "You can not legislate the hearts of men." He meant that just making something legal or illegal would not give the desired effect until people were willing to take those steps. Our government is an instrument of the people- we control it, not the other way around. When public opinion changes, the government and the laws will change.

Video Clip:

The Bus Boycott; Challenging Jim Crow

 

Vocabulary:
table: that's what happens when Congress refuses to act on a proposed law- no discussion and no vote

Video Clip:

The March on Washington

More Notes:
Let's check out where Kennedy was coming from. He was a Northern Democrat who won the presidency with the support of Southern Democrats- who had dominated the "Solid South" since the end of Reconstruction. While Kennedy personally supported Civil Rights, he had to be careful not to offend the Southern Democrats or else his other programs would be in jeopardy. So, Kennedy proposes the Civil Rights Act, but does not fight for it after the Southern Democrats "table" it.

That was not good enough for Dr. King. He wanted to bring attention to the fact that Congress and the President were doing very little to extend Civil Rights laws. His March on Washington became the largest crowd gathered for peaceful purposes to that date- with such a swelling of public opinion, something would have to be done!
Extra Links:
Click here to learn more about the March on Washington in 1963.

 More Notes:
The area around the Lincoln Memorial was filled with people- black and white, young and old, rich and poor- to hear Dr. King's address. Millions watched as it was broadcast on television. King delivered the most famous civil rights speech in our history, "I Have a Dream". The tone was positive and peaceful. Even areas of the country where discrimination did not reach and civil rights seemed a "southern thing", were moved to support their cause!

Video Clip:

"I Have a Dream"

Extra Links:
Click here to read the complete text of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech.

 More Notes:
John Kennedy seemed to say the right things when it came to Civil Rights. He publicly supported the efforts, took photos with the leaders, and was believed to be the "hope". When he was killed in Dallas, 1963, many feared that the Civil Rights champion's death would be the end of the movement. Little did the nation realize, Kennedy's successor would prove to be even MORE of a champion for equality!

In 1968, Johnson announced he would not seek another term as President. Bobby Kennedy, younger brother of John, announced he would run. He was wildly popular- but fell victim to an assassin's bullet in June, 1968. The Democratic Party had a really tough year!


What made 1968 so bad for the Democratic Party?
January - Tet Offensive (see VUS.12b)
February - President Johnson refuses to run again
April - Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated
June - Bobby Kennedy assassinated
July-August - Strikes by sanitation workers and teachers
August - Riots outside Democratic National Convention
November - Richard Nixon elected president

Video Clip:

The Use of Non-Violent Protest

Extra Links:
Here is a link to read and listen to Johnson's refusal to run for re-election in 1968. It shocked the nation!

Here's what Johnson said about the assassination of Dr. King...

Vocabulary:
Great Society: Johnson's domestic programs designed to help urban and rural areas find equality in America

Video Clip:

Johnson Becomes President

Johnson embraces the Civil Rights Movement

More Notes:
Remember the Civil Rights Bill that Kennedy sent to Congress? They just sat on it and Kennedy claimed he would not fight for it because it was a battle that could not be won. Well, Johnson not only fought for it, he convinced Congress to pass it!

Johnson pushed several other laws through Congress which benefited Civil Rights, including a food stamp program and Head Start (pre-school education in cities). He also appointed the first African-American to sit on a Presidential Cabinet (Robert Weaver- Secretary of Housing and Urban Development), and he also appointed the first African-American to sit on the Supreme Court (Thurgood Marshall)!

Extra Links:

Click here to learn more about President Johnson and his accomplishments at President.

 More Notes:
This was the most comprehensive Civil Rights Act. It seemed to include everyone! We seemed to be on the way to equality!

What does the interstate commerce clause have to do with it, though? Well, you should recall from the Constitution that Congress has the power to regulate interstate commerce (that is any trade carried on between states). Since almost every business and public accommodation uses trade from outside the state, then Congress can regulate it.

Video Clip:

The Civil Rights Act is Signed (Newsreel)

 

Extra Links:
Click here to read and listen to Johnson's speech as he signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964!

 

More Notes:
In certain areas of the South, African-Americans made up nearly 80% of the population, yet less than 10% were registered to vote. As it turns out, literacy tests and other programs were being used to deny blacks the freedom to register to vote. The majority of Americans were being left out of the electoral process! There were too many loopholes in the 15th Amendment- so they needed to be closed.

Dr. King organized a march on March 7, 1965 from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, to help bring public attention to the problem. When the marchers organized, they were attacked by police, fire hoses and police dogs. Television carried the footage to homes across the country, and America was shocked at the brutality. Even more sympathy went behind the Civil Rights Movement!

Video Clip:

The Selma March for Voting Rights

Johnson presses for a Voting Rights Act

 

Extra Links:
This site has a timeline and pictures to help explain what happened during the Selma March!

 More Notes:
In the months following the passage of this law, there was a slow but steady increase in African-Americans registering to vote. Confused by the slow progress, volunteers traveled south to help the process. Going from door to door, facing incredible pressure from "vigilante groups", registered black voters increased more rapidly.

Video Clip:

Challenges of Voter Registration

The Voting Rights Act!

 

Extra Links:
Here is a great resource to learn more about the Voting Rights Act of 1965, including a link to the actual document.

More Notes:
Martin Luther King, Jr. was influenced by several sets of ideas; the beliefs of Christianity, civil disobedience and non-violence. Civil disobedience was advocated by Henry David Thoreau (American author) from the mid-1800's who refused to pay taxes which would be used to fight the war against Mexico. Thoreau opposed the war, and chose to sit in jail rather than pay the taxes. King also believed that a person should refuse to obey an unjust law, then peacefully accept - but protest - the consequences. Non-violent protest was successfully used by Gandhi in India in the 1940's, when India gained its independence from Britain without using violence! King knew that these tactics could help win equality in the United States.

Not all African-Americans had the patience for non-violent protest. The Black Power movement rose from the discontent with Dr. King, believing the time had come to "push back". Advocated by the Nation of Islam's Malcom X, and the Militant Black Panther Party, this philosophy became more and more popular.

Video Clip:

The Struggle for Equality, 1965-1969

Malcolm X speaks on the Nation of Islam

 

Extra Links:
Read more about civil disobedience here.
Here is a link to a speech given by Malcom X which advocated greater unity in black communities (1964).

 More Notes:
The NAACP works as an interest group- applying pressure in all branches of government and at all levels. Utilizing vast resources, the NAACP has assisted individuals with court cases as well as bringing attention to the cause.

Video Clip:

Coming Soon!

Extra Links:
Check out the NAACP official web site to see what they are up to today!

 More Notes:
So, why was non-violence more effective? Violent protest brings a "retaliation". It is difficult for many Americans to sympathize with a bunch of people rioting and fighting. But, when we see peaceful people attacked, they become the victims and get our support. Non-violence takes time and patience, but does not get the "backlash" that riots do.

Video Clip:

A lasting legacy

 

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