“I feel as though the moon and all the stars and all the planets have fallen on me.”
“This experience brought home to me not only that I had to know exactly where I was going but also that I had to know that my basic polices were being carried out. If I had read that order, as I should have, the incident would not have occurred. But the best time to learn that lesson was right at the beginning of my duties as President.”
President’s Committee on Civil Rights 1) Permanent Civil Rights Commission. 2) Federal Employment Protection Commission. 3) Anti-Lynching and Anti-Poll Tax Laws. 4) Strengthened Civil Rights Statutes.
“If the segregation program of the president is enforced, the results of civil strife may be horrible beyond imagination. Lawlessness will be rampant. Chaos will prevail. Our streets will be unsafe. And there will be the greatest breakdown of law enforcement in the history of the nation.”
“I want to tell you that there’s not enough troops in the army to force the southern people to break down segregation and admit the Negro race into our theaters, into our swimming pools, into out homes, and into our churches.” http://upload.wikimedia.org/wi kipedia/en/5/54/Strom_Thur mond_1948_Speech_Clip.og g
“Our niggers is better off than most anybody's niggers, why, they got washing machines and some of ‘um even got televisions. I can't understand why they complaining.”
The Fair Deal “We have rejected the discredited theory that the fortunes of the nation should belong in the hands of a privileged few. Instead, we believe that our economic system should rest on a democratic foundation and that wealth should be created for the benefit of all. The recent election shows that the American people are in favor of this kind of society.”
“Every segment of our population and every individual has a right to expect from his government a fair deal.”
Dynamic Conservatism “Conservative when it comes to money and liberal when it comes to human beings.”
Results of Dynamic Conservatism Abolished the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. Abandoned New Deal commitment to public electric power. Instituted tax reductions resembling Republican program of the 1920s.
“Should any political party attempt to abolish Social Security and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of the party again in our political history.” - Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1954
Eisenhower Legitimatising the Legacy of the New Deal Included more workers in Social Security. Raised minimum wage from ¢75 to $1. Increased expenditures for public health.
Interstate Act of 1956 Cost $26 billion. Produced 42,500 miles of interstate highway
Desegregation in Eisenhower’s First Three Years Public services in Washington D. C. Many naval yards Veterans’ hospitals
Limits to Eisenhower’s Efforts at Desegregation Preferred state or local action to federal involvement. Doubted laws could change racial attitudes-- “I don't believe you can change the hearts of men with laws or decisions.”
Chief Justice Earl Warren “The biggest damn fool mistake I ever made.” - Dwight D. Eisenhower
Brown v. Board Of Education “In the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”
In 1955 the Supreme Court directed “a prompt and reasonable start toward full compliance,” ordering that the process should move “with all deliberate speed.”
Eisenhower on Brown v. Board of Education “The Supreme Court decision set back progress in the South at least fifteen years. The fellow who tries to tell me you can do these things by force is just plain nuts.”
White Southern Response In 1956, 101 Southern Congressmen signed a “Southern Manifesto” denouncing the decision as “a clear abuse of judicial power.” At the end of 1956 not a single black child attended school with a white child in six southern states. Desegregation in most others was minimal.
Arkansas National Guard Troops and a Large Crowd outside of Little Rock’s Central High School, September 5, 1957.
Police restrain white mob as black students enter Little Rock Central High School
U.S. Soldiers from the 101 st Airborne Division Disperse a Crowd Before Little Rock Central High School