Republicans Established the Transcontinental Railroad
The 1860 Republican National Convention, in its platform, called for building a railroad to the Pacific.
In 1862, the Republican-controlled 37th Congress passed the Pacific Railway Act, establishing the transcontinental railroad. The bill, written by U.S. Representative Samuel Curtis (R-IA), was signed into law later that day by Republican President Abraham Lincoln.
The man honored with driving the golden spike to complete the railroad was former Republican governor of California, Leland Stanford. In 1856, Stanford had co-founded the California Republican Party. He would later serve in the U.S. Senate and found Stanford University.
Republicans Passed the Land-Grant College Act
In 1862, the Republican-controlled 37th Congress passed the Land-Grant College Act. The law, written by Representative Justin Morrill (R-VT), distributed federal land to states to fund the establishment of colleges and universities throughout the country. The dozens of land-grant colleges include the Cornell University, Iowa State University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Arizona, and the University of Illinois, among many others.
The Highest Point in Washington, DC
and The District of Columbia Emancipation Act
In 1863, the statue atop the U.S. Capitol was hoisted into place. Among the onlookers was the African-American who made it, Philip Reid. Mr. Reid had been a slave until freed by the Republican Party's DC Emancipation Act the year before. This law to free the 3,100 slaves in the nation's capital was written by Senator Henry Wilson (R-MA) and signed by Republican President Abraham Lincoln. Every Democrat in Congress voted against it.
Thanks to the GOP, Philip Reid, a skilled metal worker, supervised the bronze casting process as a free man. The name of the statue: Freedom.
The First Hispanic Governor was a Republican
In 1863, Romualdo Pacheco was elected state treasurer of California, and then to the state legislature. In 1871, he was elected Lt. Governor. Four years later, the incumbent governor was elected to the U.S. Senate, making Pacheco the 12th Governor of California. Following his ten months in office, he won three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and then served as ambassador to Honduras and to Guatemala during Republican President Benjamin Harrison’s administration.
Republicans Freed the Slaves
The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:
Abolition of Slavery
At the suggestion of President Abraham Lincoln. RNC Chairman Edwin Morgan opened the 1864 Republican National Convention with a brief statement:
“The party of which you, gentlemen, are the delegated and honored representatives, will fall far short of accomplishing its great mission, unless among its other resolves it shall declare for such an amendment of the Constitution as will positively prohibit African slavery in the United States.”Abolishing slavery became part of the platform. Congressional Republicans passed the 13th Amendment unanimously – against nearly unanimous Democrat opposition – and it was ratified within the year.
Republicans Passed the 14th Amendment
The 14th Amendment guarantees due process and equal protection of the laws to all citizens. It enshrines in the Constitution provisions of the GOP’s 1866 Civil Rights Act. The original purpose of the 14th Amendment was to defend African-Americans from their Democrat oppressors in the post-Civil War South. (Its Citizenship Clause provides a broad definition of citizenship that overruled the Supreme Court's ruling in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) that had held that black people could not be citizens of the United States.)
The principal author of the 14th Amendment was U.S. Rep. John Bingham (R-OH). In Congress, all votes in favor of the 14th Amendment were from Republicans, and all votes against it were from Democrats.
In 1868, the Republican Governor of New Jersey vetoed an attempt by the Democrat-controlled legislature to rescind the state's ratification of the 14th Amendment.
Republicans Established the Buffalo Soldiers
In 1866, the Republican-controlled 39th Congress established the Buffalo Soldiers. A law introduced by Rep. Isaac Hawkins (R-TN) provided for six regiments of African-American troops. These soldiers, whom American Indians compared to the buffalos they revered, were posted to the frontier.
Buffalo Soldiers also fought honorably in the Spanish-American War and in the Philippines. The last of the Buffalo Soldiers died in 2005 at the age of one hundred eleven.
Republicans Established Howard University
In 1867, with the purpose of establishing an institution of higher learning for emancipated slaves and other African-Americans, Senator Samuel Pomeroy (R-KS) and Representative Burton Cook (R-IL) wrote the charter for Howard University, in Washington, D.C. Senator Henry Wilson (R-MA) introduced a bill to grant the charter, and the Republican-controlled 39th Congress soon passed it.
The trustees named their university for General Oliver Howard, who had championed it in Congress and served as its first president. He had served as commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau, the federal agency tasked with assisting emancipated slaves in the post-war South. General Howard would be president of Howard University from 1869 to 1874.
John Logan (R-IL) was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1866 and then in 1871 to the first of three terms in the U.S. Senate. He was the GOP’s vice presidential nominee in 1884.
In 1868, as head of a Civil War veterans organization, Logan proclaimed that Americans should honor fallen servicemen by decorating their graves with flowers. That year, five thousand people attended the first ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery. The principal speaker was future president James Garfield (R-OH). Memorial Day soon became an annual event, and President Richard Nixon signed it into law as a national holiday in 1971.
Republicans Passed the 15th Amendment
In 1869, the Republican-controlled 40th Congress passed the 15th Amendment, extending to African-Americans the right to vote. Nearly all Republicans in Congress voted in favor, though a few abstained, saying it did not go far enough. Nearly all Democrats in Congress voted against the 15th Amendment.
The 15th Amendment was ratified the following year, but using intimidation, poll taxes, registration fraud, and literacy tests Democrats prevented most African-Americans from voting for nearly a century.
Republican Opposition to Plessy v. Ferguson
Dissenting from the infamous Plessy v. Ferguson decision in 1896 – which declared “separate but equal” to be constitutional – Justice John Marshall Harlan wrote:
“Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.”
A former Attorney General of Kentucky, Harlan was a two-time Republican nominee for governor before Republican President Rutherford Hayes appointed him to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The First African-American Senator was a Republican
Born a free man in North Carolina, Hiram Revels moved to Baltimore, where he became a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. He served as a military chaplain during the Civil War. The end of the war found him in Mississippi, where he settled.
Hiram Revels began his political career, as a Republican, on the Natchez City Council. He then won a seat in the state senate. When the state was re-admitted to the Union in 1870, the legislature elected Revels to the U.S. Senate.
Republicans Outlawed the Ku Klux Klan
In 1871, the Republican-controlled 42nd Congress passed a Civil Rights Act aimed at the Ku Klux Klan. Guilty of murdering hundreds of African-Americans, this terrorist organization had also eradicated the Republican Party throughout most of the South.
The law empowered the Republican administration of Ulysses Grant to protect the civil rights of the former slaves in federal court, bypassing the Democrat-controlled state courts.
The 1871 Civil Rights Act, along with the GOP’s 1870 Civil Rights Act, effectively banned the Klan and enabled Republican officials to arrest hundreds of Klansmen. Though the U.S. Supreme Court would eventually strike down most of the 1871 Civil Rights Act, the Ku Klux Klan was crushed. The KKK did not rise again until the Democratic administration of President Woodrow Wilson.
Yellowstone National Park
On March 1, 1872, Republican President Ulysses Grant signed into law a bill establishing Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone was the first national park in the world. The bill had been written by U.S. Senator Samuel Pomeroy (R-KS) and was passed by the Republican-controlled 42nd Congress. Republican congressmen also passed the bills establishing Yosemite National Park and Rock Creek National Park.
Republicans Passed the 1875 Civil Rights Act
On his deathbed in 1874, Senator Charles Sumner (R-MA) told a Republican colleague: “You must take care of the civil rights bill – my bill, the civil rights bill. Don’t let it fail.” In March 1875, the Republican-controlled 43rd Congress passed the most comprehensive civil rights legislation ever. President Ulysses Grant signed the bill into law that same day.
Among its provisions, the 1875 Civil Rights Act banned racial discrimination in public accommodations. Sound familiar? Though struck down by the Supreme Court eight years later, the 1875 Civil Rights Act would be reborn as the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
A Republican Wrote the 19th Amendment
In 1878, U.S. Senator Aaron Sargent (R-CA) introduced in Congress the proposed 19th Amendment, according women the right to vote. Over the next four decades, it was primarily the Democrats who would oppose the measure. Not until 1919, after the Republican Party won majorities in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, did Congress approve what would become the 19th Amendment
A Former Slave Chaired the 1884 Republican National Convention
An African-American former congressman, John Lynch, chaired the 1884 Republican National Convention. A speech seconding his nomination for the post marked the entrance onto the national stage of a 25-year old delegate named Theodore Roosevelt.
Lynch was born into slavery in 1847. After emancipation, he joined the Republican Party. At the age of 22, Lynch was elected to the Mississippi legislature. Within three years, Lynch became speaker of the state House of Representatives. In 1872, at the age of 25, Lynch was elected to the first of three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, making him one of the youngest persons ever to serve in Congress.
John Lynch was a delegate to five Republican National Conventions. He chaired the Mississippi Republican Party from 1881 to 1889 and was the Republican National Committeeman for Mississippi from 1884 to 1889. He later served in the Benjamin Harrison and William McKinley administrations.
First Women Mayors in the United States
In 1887, Susanna Salter (R-KS), daughter-in-law of a former Lt. Governor, was elected mayor of Argonia, a Kansas town of some 500 people. Support from the local Republican Party was key to her victory. The first woman to serve as mayor, Salter became a national celebrity. On March 2, 1960, President Dwight Eisenhower honored her with a proclamation celebrating her 100th birthday.
Bertha Landes, a Republican, was the first woman to serve as mayor of a large American city. Elected in 1926, Landes campaigned that Seattle needed some "municipal housekeeping." Among her accomplishments were curbing corruption and reducing crime.
A Republican President Appointed the First Jewish Cabinet Secretary
In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt (R-NY) nominated Oscar Straus for Secretary of Commerce and Labor. The German-born Straus would be the first Jewish person to serve as a Cabinet Secretary. While in office, he strongly denounced Democrats' attempts to incite class hatred.
Straus also served as ambassador to Turkey during the administrations of Republican Presidents William McKinley and William Howard Taft.
Republicans Passed the Indian Citizenship Act
In 1924, Republican President Calvin Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act, granting citizenship to all Native Americans. The law had been written by Rep. Homer Snyder (R-NY), who had been a delegate to the 1916 and 1920 Republican National Conventions. It was passed by the Republican-controlled 68th Congress.
Then Senate Majority Whip Charles Curtis (R-KS), whose mother was a Native American, would be elected Vice President in 1928.
The First Hispanic U.S. Senator was a Republican
Octaviano Larrazolo had three times run unsuccessfully, as a Democrat, for congressional delegate before joining the Republicans in 1911. Seven years later, he was elected Governor of New Mexico.
In 1928, while he was serving in the legislature, a vacancy occurred in the U.S. Senate. Larrazolo won the special election to fill the seat. He served for the last three months of the term, but did not run for re-election due to ill health.
The First Asian-American U.S. Senator was a Republican
Born in Honolulu to Chinese immigrants, Hiram Fong entered politics as an influential advocate for statehood. Running as a Republican, he won a seat in the territorial legislature in 1938, rising to House Speaker a decade later. When Hawaii became a state in 1959, Fong was elected one of the state’s first two U.S. Senators. He served three terms in the U.S. Senate, where he strongly supported civil rights legislation. Hiram Fong received votes for the presidential nomination at the 1964 and 1968 Republican National Conventions.
The Republican Party First Called for Ending Racial Segregation in the Military
In 1940, the Republican National Convention approved a plank in its platform calling for racial integration of the armed forces: “Discrimination in the civil service, the army, navy, and all other branches of the Government must cease.”
For the next eight years, Democratic presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry Truman refused to integrate. Not until 1948 did President Truman finally comply with the Republicans' demands for racial justice in the U.S. military.
A Republican Integrated the University of Mississippi
Elbert Tuttle became a leader of the Georgia Republican Party in the 1940s. In 1952, Tuttle was instrumental in securing the Republican presidential nomination for Dwight Eisenhower.
After first appointing him general counsel of the U.S. Treasury Department, President Eisenhower appointed Tuttle to U.S. Court of Appeals in 1954. Recognizing that Brown v. Board of Educationwas a “broad mandate for racial justice,” Tuttle ruled in favor of civil rights activists in a number of important cases. It was Judge Tuttle who, in 1962, ordered the University of Mississippi to admit its first African-American student, James Meredith.
A Republican Wrote the Brown v. Board of Education decision
In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation in public schools is unconstitutional. The author of Brown v. Board of Education was a Republican, Chief Justice Earl Warren.
Warren entered Republican politics in 1938 with his election as Attorney General of California. Four years later, he was elected Governor. Earl Warren delivered the keynote address at the 1944 Republican National Convention and was the GOP’s 1948 vice presidential nominee. President Eisenhower appointed him Chief Justice in September 1953. Instrumental in the appointment was Warren's friend, Attorney General Herbert Brownell, a former chairman of the RNC.
Republicans Established the Federal Highway System
In his 1954 State of the Union address, Republican President Dwight Eisenhower proposed “to protect the vital interest of every citizen in a safe and adequate highway system.” He soon followed this with an appeal to the nation’s governors. The administration then submitted a plan to Congress. President Eisenhower renewed his call for a federal highway system in his 1956 State of the Union address. President Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act later that year. The law provided $25 billion to establish 41,000 miles of highways.
Dwight Eisenhower had learned the value of good transportation while participating in the U.S. Army’s transcontinental maneuvers in 1919.
Republicans Passed the 1957 Civil Rights Act
During the five terms of the FDR and Truman presidencies, the Democrats did not propose any civil rights legislation. President Eisenhower, in contrast, asked his Attorney General to write the first federal civil rights legislation since the Republican Party’s 1875 Civil Rights Act.
Many Democrats in the Senate filibustered the bill, but strong Republican support ensured passage. The new law established a Civil Rights Division within the Justice Department and authorized the Attorney General to request injunctions against any attempt to deny someone’s right to vote. The GOP improved upon this landmark legislation with the 1960 Civil Rights Act.
Republicans Ended Racial Segregation in Little Rock
Just a few days after passage of the GOP’s 1957 Civil Rights Act, the Democrat governor of Arkansas ordered the National Guard to prevent the court-ordered racial integration of a public high school in Little Rock. Republican President Dwight Eisenhower refused to tolerate defiance of the federal judiciary. Under a plan suggested by his attorney general, the President placed the governor’s soldiers under federal control and ordered federal troops to the state, where they escorted African-American children to school.
Republicans were unfazed by the many Democrats, including John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, who criticized President Eisenhower for the action he took to uphold civil rights.
Nixon Goes to China
Republican President Richard Nixon had the foresight to end more than two decades of hostility with the most populous nation on earth, dating back to the Korean War. He astonished the world by travelling to Beijing in February 1972 for meetings with the leadership of communist China.
The normalization of bilateral relations proved beneficial for both the United States and the People's Republic of China. President Nixon's diplomacy helped distance China from the United States' principal adversary at the time, the Soviet Union. For China, meeting with an America president was the first step toward opening its economy to the free market.
Reagan Tax Cuts
In his first message to Congress, Republican President Ronald Reagan called for a sharp reduction in federal income tax rates. Within months, he convinced enough congressional Democrats to join with the Republicans to pass the 1981 Economic Recovery Act. Overall, marginal rates were lowered by a quarter, with the top rate down from 70 percent to 50 percent.
President Reagan knew that nations prosper when the government allows people to keep more of their own money. His wise approach to fiscal policy caused an economic boom, ending the stagnation and “malaise” of the Carter era.
Tear Down This Wall
On June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan demanded that the Soviet Union end its oppression of East Europe:
“Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the victor...At the time, many Democrats and their media allies ridiculed President Reagan for suggesting that communist domination of the area would not be eternal. In fact, the Berlin Wall came down just two years later.
General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
Contract with America
Six weeks before the 1994 midterm elections, 367 Republican congressional candidates pledged to hold votes in the U.S. House of Representatives for a series of reforms. Called the Contract with America, this initiative was in effect a national campaign platform for congressional races around the nation. It propelled the GOP to win control of the House for the first time since the 1950s.
Among these measures were tax cuts, welfare reform and a requirement that laws which apply to the American public also apply to Congress. House Republicans delivered on their promise to bring each element of the contract up for a vote within the first 100 days of the 104th Congress.
In August 1996, the Republican-controlled 104th Congress passed the GOP's Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act. President Bill Clinton, reluctantly, signed it after vetoing it twice.
This reform measure allowed state governments to craft their own welfare programs provided they followed certain guidelines. Welfare would no longer be an entitlement, and those recipients able to work would be required to seek employment. No longer would states have financial incentives to add as many people to the welfare rolls as possible.
The law has made significant progress in rolling back Democrat policies that for generations had trapped poor people in a cycle of dependency on government bureaucrats.
Operation Enduring Freedom
A week after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Congress authorized the Commander-in-Chief to use military force against those who "planned, authorized, committed, or aided" the attacks. The Taliban regime made Afghanistan a base of operations for al Qaeda and Republican President George W. Bush ordered attacks against terrorist havens in that country. Airstrikes began on October 7, 2001, followed later by ground troops.
The U.S. military, together with forces from Britain and other allies, destroyed terrorist camps and ousted the Taliban, liberating 27 million people from Taliban oppression, including giving girls the opportunity to attend school and giving women the right to vote. It is critically important that the current administration maintain America’s bipartisan commitment to the Afghan people.
Republican Tax Cuts
In 2001, the Republican-controlled 107th Congress passed and Republican President George W. Bush signed the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act. It lowered individual income tax rates across the board. The law also reduced taxes on capital gains and retirement saving while increasing the personal federal income tax exemption for the Alternate Minimum Tax. The GOP strengthened this tax reform legislation with the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003.
Cutting taxes proved spectacularly successful, boosting employment and economic growth for years. Sadly, the Democrats who took control of Congress in 2007 vowed to allow these Republican tax cuts to expire in 2011. This will have the effect of a huge tax increase on the American people.
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Since seizing power in 1979, Saddam Hussein commanded a nightmarish regime that murdered hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. His army attacked Kuwait in 1990, but military action by the United States and allies forced him to retreat.
After Hussein violated and ignored many United Nations resolutions regarding Iraq's failure to comply with disarmament and cease-fire terms from the first Gulf War, Congress authorized Republican President George W. Bush to use force to hold Hussein accountable. Five months later, in March 2003 President Bush ordered 250,000 U.S. troops into Iraq. Five nations contributed additional troops to the campaign, followed by troops from more than two dozen allies for stabilization efforts. Operation Iraqi Freedom ousted the dictator from power and liberated more than 23 million people.
Vouchers for DC Schoolchildren
In 2004, the Republican-controlled 108th Congress and Republican President George W. Bush signed an omnibus spending bill including a voucher program for schoolchildren in the District of Columbia. Instead of being shackled to the failed public school system, several thousand children could, using the first federal government vouchers, escape to private school.
This program was established to last five years. Though popular with parents and students, parental choice was strongly opposed by the education establishment. Democrats in control of the 111th Congress, along with President Barack Obama, refused to renew the program in 2009. h/t: GOP.com
The People’s Party
It all started with people who opposed slavery. They were common, everyday people who bristled at the notion that men had any right to oppress their fellow man. In the early 1850’s, these anti-slavery activists found commonality with rugged individuals looking to settle in western lands, free of government charges. “Free soil, free labor, free speech, free men,” went the slogan. And it was thus in joint opposition to human enslavement and government tyranny that an enterprising people gave birth to the Republican Party.
In 1856, the Republicans became a national party by nominating John C. Fremont for President. Four years later, with the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, the Republicans firmly established themselves as a major political party. The name “Republican” was chosen because it alluded to equality and reminded individuals of Thomas Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican Party.
All of Us Equal
In 1861, the Civil War erupted, lasting four grueling years. During the war, against the advice of his cabinet, President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation that freed the slaves. The Republicans of the day worked to pass the Thirteenth Amendment, which outlawed slavery; the Fourteenth Amendment, which guaranteed equal protection under the laws; and the Fifteenth, which helped secure voting rights for African-Americans. All of these accomplishments extended and cemented the fundamental freedoms our nation continues to enjoy today.
The Republican Party also played a leading role in securing women the right to vote. In 1896, the Republican Party was the first major political party to support women’s suffrage. When the 19th Amendment finally was added to the Constitution, 26 of 36 state legislatures that had voted to ratify it were under Republican control. The first woman elected to Congress was a Republican, Jeanette Rankin from Montana in 1917. So it was by hardworking Republican hands that color and gender barriers were first demolished in America.
Free from Oppression
Republicans believe individuals, not government, can make the best decisions; all people are entitled to equal rights; and decisions are best made close to home. These basic principles are as true today as they were when the Party was founded. For all of the extraordinary leaders the Party has produced throughout its rich history, Republicans understand that everyday people in all 50 states and territories remain the heart and soul of our Party.
Presidents during most of the late nineteenth century and the early part of the twentieth century were Republicans. The White House was in Republican hands under Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. Under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, the United States won the Cold War, releasing millions from Communist oppression, in true anti-big government Republican spirit.
Elephants, Not Donkeys
The symbol of the Republican Party is the elephant. During the mid term elections in 1874, Democrats tried to scare voters into thinking President Ulysses S. Grant would seek to run for an unprecedented third term. Thomas Nast, a cartoonist for Harper’s Weekly, depicted a Democratic donkey trying to scare a Republican elephant – and both symbols stuck. For a long time, Republicans have been known as the “G.O.P.” with party faithful believing it meant the “Grand Old Party.” But apparently the original meaning (in 1875) was “gallant old party.” When automobiles were invented it also came to mean, “get out and push.” That’s still a pretty good slogan for Republicans who depend every campaign year on the hard work of hundreds of thousands of everyday volunteers to get out and vote and push people to support the causes of the Republican Party.
Abolition. Free speech. Women’s suffrage. These were all causes the Republican Party adopted early on. So, too, were reducing the size of government, streamlining bureaucracy, and returning power to individual states. With a core belief in the primacy of individuals, the Republican Party, since its inception, has been at the forefront of the fight for individuals’ rights in opposition to a large, intrusive government.
Did you know? Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican?
Did you know...
◼ The Republican Party - the party of Abraham Lincoln - was borne in 1854 out of opposition to slavery.
◼ The party of Jim Crow and the Ku Klux Klan was, as Jeffrey Lord points out in an article at the WSJ, the Democratic Party.
◼ The 13th (abolishing slavery), 14th (due process for all citizens) and 15th (voting rights cannot be restricted on the basis of race) Amendments to the Constitution were enacted by Republicans over Democratic opposition.
◼ The NAACP was founded in 1909 by three white Republicans* who opposed the racist practices of the Democratic Party and the lynching of blacks by Democrats.
◼ In fairness, it was the Democrat Harry Truman who, by Executive Order 9981 issued in 1948, desegregated the military. That was a truly major development. Yet - the military has been the single greatest driving force of integration in this land for over half a century.
◼ It was Chief Justice Earl Warren, a former Republican Governor of California appointed to the Supreme Court by President Eisenhower, also a Republican, who managed to convince the other eight justices to agree to a unanimous decision in the seminal case of Brown v. Board of Education. That case was brought by the NAACP. The Court held segregation in schools unconstitutional. The fact that it was a unanimous decision that overturned precedent made it clear that no aspect of segregation would henceforth be considered constitutional.
◼ Republican President Ike Eisenhower played additional important roles in furthering equality in America. He "proposed to Congress the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960 and signed those acts into law. . . . They constituted the first significant civil rights acts since the 1870s." Moreover, when the Democratic Governor of Arkansas refused to integrate schools in what became known as the "Little Rock Nine" incident, "Eisenhower placed the Arkansas National Guard under Federal control and sent Army troops to escort nine black students into an all-white public school."
◼ The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was championed by JFK - but it was passed with massive Republican support over 80%) in Congress and over fierce opposition from Democrats who made repeated attempts at filibuster. Indeed, 80% of the vote opposing the Civil Rights Act came from Democrats.( Women were added to the Act as a protected class by a Democrat who thought it would be a poison pill, killing the legislation. To the contrary, the Congress passed the Act without any attempt to remove the provision....
◼ Martin Luther King Jr. was the most well known and pivotal Civil Rights activist ever produced in America. His most famous speech, "I Had A Dream," was an eloquent and stirring call for equality. You can find it here. Rev. King was, by the way, a Republican.
◼ h/t, and credit to: Wolfhowling, who compiled this wonderful collection of links: Standing At The Crossroads - Identity Politics, Multiculturalism & The Melting Pot (Updated & Bumped)
◼ article in WSJ