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The Civil Rights Bill

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Essay title: The Civil Rights Bill

The Civil Rights Bill

Years of sacrifice culminated in the passage of legislation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. When the bill was introduced, there was a lengthy debate of its contents. Southern congressmen fought against the bill with every breath. However, the public mode was behind change, and change is what was received with the passage of this bill. The bill was the most significant piece of legislation to date, and it has had a lasting effect in the elimination of discrimination and segregation.

The act included 11 titles that covered a variety of issues. Included below is a sampling of the most significant titles:

I. Outlaws arbitrary discrimination in voter registration and

expedites voting rights suits;

II. Bars discrimination in public accommodations such as hotels

and restaurants;

III. & IV. Authorized the national government to bring suits to

desegregate public facilities and schools;

V. Extends the life and expands the power of the Civil Rights


VI. Provides for federal financial assistance to be terminated

or withheld from educational institutions and programs that

practice racial discrimination;

VII. Prohibits private employers from refusing to hire or from

firing or from discriminating against any person because of race,

color, sex, religion, or nation origin.

Title VII was the most significant of all the sections However, when initially introduced by Kennedy prior to his death, it was only to apply to government employ-ment. After much debate and revision before Congress, it was changed to private sector employment only. Federal, state, and local government employment were excluded

from the law.

Southern congressmen tried to sabotage the bill by adding "sex - gender" to the original bill. They thought that this would surely kill the bill. To their dismay, the bill was passed with the gender specification intact.

Political Leaders of the Time

Harry Truman

On April 12, 1945, Truman was sworn in as president after being vice-president for only eighty-two days. The first few months of his presidency was filled with briefings by Roosevelt's aides, attempting to educate him about current issues. Truman tried his best to stay informed about World War II. On his sixty-first birthday, V-E Day, Germany surrendered. Next, he issued the Potsdam Declaration to Japan, looking for their surrender in exchange. When Japan refused, Truman authorized the drop of the bomb on Hiroshima, then Nagasaki. Japan's casualties were immense and they had no choice but to surrender.

Rosa Parks

Most historians date the beginning of the United States civil right movement to December 1, 1955. That day Rosa Parks took the bus because she was feeling tired after a long day in the department store where she worked as a seamstress. She was sitting in the middle section, very glad to be off her feet at last, when a white man boarded the bus and demanded that her row be emptied because the white section was full. The others in the row moved to the back of the bus, but Parks didn't feel like standing for the rest of the ride, and she quietly refused to move. When word of Park's arrest broke out, it spread quickly. A boycott of the Montgomery bus company was formed by Martin Luther King Jr. About 90% of the blacks that usually rode the buses joined the boycott and found other means of transportation. The bus company lost a vast amount of money because 70% of the people on the buses were blacks.

Richard Nixon

Richard Milhouse Nixon, 37th president of the United States, was born January 9, 1913 in Yorba Linda, California. Nixon was one of the most controversial politicians. He used the communist scare of the late forties and early fifties to catapult his career, but as president he eased tension with the Soviet Union and opened relations with Red China. He was president during the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War.

Entertainer fo the Time


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