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
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
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 Roosevelts 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. Japans casualties were immense and they had no choice but to surrender.
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 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
Elvis Aron Presley was born to Vernon and Gladys Presley in 1935 in Tupelo Mississippi. Their were supposed to be two boys born that day, but Elvis’ twin brother Jesse Garon Presley was born still, Elvis would remain a single child for the rest of his life.Growing up in Tupelo, Mississippi was not easy for the Presley’s, they made a commitment to bring Elvis up right, and to make him a good member of the church, but as for money, they couldn’t provide. For his 12 birthday, he wanted a bicycle, but the Presley’s could only afford a $12 guitar. The family moved to Memhpis, Tennessee when Elvis was in junior high, but they were greeted with much of the same. They could barely provide food and clothing for Elvis. However Elvis persevered and came to be known as the King of Rocking roll.
A leading American playwright, Arthur Miller, b. New York City, Oct. 17, 1915, has enriched the Broadway stage for several decades. Although Miller’s dramas take place in familial settings, he has made a reputation for dealing with contemporary political and moral issues. Miller began writing plays while a student at the University of Michigan, where several of his dramatic efforts were rewarded with prizes. In 1937, during his senior year, one of his early plays was presented in Detroit by the Federal Theatre Project. In 1944 his, The Man Who Had All the Luck won a prize offered by New York City’s Theatre Guild.
J. D. Salinger
Jerome David Salinger was born in New York City in 1919. He attended and graduated from a military acedemy, then shortly attended two colleges. He has written some of the most influencial American literature in the twentieth century. Some of his short stories originally appeared in the New Yorker magazine and were later published as in the book, Nine Stories. However, Salinger has not published anything since 1963.
Scientists of the Time
Jonas Salk was born in New York City. His parents were Russian-Jewish immigrants who, although they themselves lacked formal education, were determined to see their children succeed, and encouraged them to study hard. Jonas Salk was the first member of his family to go to college. He entered the City College of New York intending to study law, but soon became intrigued by medical science. In America in the 1950s, summertime was a time of fear and anxiety for many parents; this was the season when children by the thousands became infected with the crippling disease poliomyelitis, or polio. This burden of fear was lifted forever when it was announced that Dr. Jonas Salk had developed a vaccine against the disease. Salk became world-famous overnight, but his discovery was the result of many years of what seemed to be endless research.
Watson “grew up” in the famous “phage group,” of which his advisor was a founder. Phage group guru Max Delbruck was a mentor to Watson. Watson spent much time at Cold Spring Harbor in the late ’40s and ’50s. In 1950, Watson spent a year in Copenhagen, working with Herman Kalckar Caspersson. In 1951 he went to Cambridge
University’s famed Cavendish laboratory, headed by Sir Lawrence Bragg, to learn crystallography. There, he teamed up with 35-year-old grad student Francis Crick to work out a model for the structure of DNA, the double helix. They published this model in Nature in 1953. Watson shared the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins. At the time he was a professor at Harvard, where he ran a joint lab with Walter Gilbert, who later was to receive the Nobel Prize in 1980.
Albert B. Sabin, was born in 1906 Bialystok, Russia. He arrived in the United States 14 years later and entered the New Jersey public school system after being tutored in English and math.Although an uncle offered to pay his way if he would study dentistry, Sabin preferred to work his way through medical school. He began his career in biomedical research at New York University, where he received his M. D. degree. While an Associate Professor of Pediatrics, and Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and the Children’s Hospital Research Foundation, Sabin spent the next two decades waging and ultimately winning the war against polio.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was born January 15th, 1929, to Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King. Martin Luther King, Sr. was a prominent member of the black community in Atlanta. He was a Baptist Minister and he served as pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church. Martin Luther King, Sr. stressed the importance of education to King, Jr. King, Jr. attended local, segregated public school and he stood out in his class with his dedication to learn. With this dedication, King went on to succeed at Morehouse College at the age of 15. He graduated from Morehouse in 1948 and continued his pursuit of knowledge at Croezer Theological Seminary. King graduated with honors only to further his education by getting a doctoral degree in systematic theology in 1955.
During Kings education, he learned the importance of public speaking. King was ordained a Baptist minister at the age of 18 and it was a necessity for King to be able to express himself eloquently and to be able to persuade his audience. It was this ability to move large audiences that caught the eye of Edgar D. Nixon, a local leader of the NAACP. Rosa Parks had just been arrested for her refusal to give up her seat on a bus to white person. Nixon decided to seize this opportunity and stage a boycott of public transportation. King was named the president of the Montgomery Improvement Association and was instrumental in organizing the Montgomery bus boycott. The boycott drew national attention and King was a central figure. The M.I.A. filed a suit that was brought before Federal Court in order to rectify segregation. The Federal Court ruled in the favor of the M.I.A. Segregation of buses was no longer legal and in this process King united many southern blacks.
King had earned enough national recognition that he could go on to stage many more events to protest racial discrimination. King helped to found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and it was within this organization that King made a major impact on modern America.King organized many more marches and peaceful demonstrations in order to end the injustice of racism. He endured many violent attacks by police officers and members of the Ku Klux Klan. He always remained faithful to the teachings of Mohandas Gandhi and practiced them through peaceful protests. King made great strides towards equality in this practice and died in doing so. He was assassinated by James Earl Ray on April 4, 1968.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was a significant Christian because he identified suffering and tried to eliminate the suffering. King showed his solidarity with those being oppressed by not only organizing rallies, but also partaking in the rallies. He suffered in order to give a voice to those who had no voices. King ultimately gave up his life to better the lives of those around him. It is these aforementioned facts that make Martin Luther King, Jr. a significant Christian and national hero.
By brett berry.