The Civil Rights Act of 1957 Creates the Commission on Civil Rights (Great Events from History II: Human Rights Series)
Article abstract: Congress, with bipartisan support, voted to create a Commission on Civil Rights with power to investigate and issue reports on violations of voting and other constitutional rights.
Summary of Event
For its first three years, the administration of Dwight D. Eisenhower was silent on the civil rights issue. The president believed in limiting the powers of government and did not support integration. Even after the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) that legal segregation violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the law, Eisenhower argued that he should not force change upon the South. He believed that white attitudes in the South could not be changed by Supreme Court decisions and that he, as president, should not enforce laws that did not reflect majority opinion. Few members of the White House staff appeared aware of conditions in the southern states. Eisenhower, for example, expressed surprise when he was told only seven thousand out of nine hundred thousand African Americans in Mississippi were qualified to vote under that state’s registration requirements. The 1956 presidential election changed Eisenhower’s mind. He received almost half of the votes of African Americans, a higher share than any Republican presidential candidate since 1932, and saw a chance to increase his party’s electoral support from that community in succeeding...
(The entire section is 2259 words.)
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