Civil Rights Act of 1964• Medgar Evers, the head of the NAACP inMississippi, was shot dead in his front yard.• Ku Klux Klan member Byron De La Beckwith was tried forthe crime but all-white juries failed to convict.PresidentKennedy• The events in Birmingham, Alabama convinced PresidentKennedy to act on civil rights issues.• Kennedy announced that he would ask for legislation tofinally end segregation in public accommodations.• Assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald 11/22/63 for reasonsunclear. Oswald shot and killed next day by a local barowner and known mob associate Jack RubyMedgarEvers• On August 28, 1963, the largest civil rightsdemonstration ever held in the United States took placein Washington.• More than 200,000 people marched and listened toMartin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.MarchonWashington
Passing the Civil Rights Act President Johnson supportedpassage of a strong civil rightsbill. Played sympathy card Used Kennedy’s death togain support Some southerners in Congressfought hard to kill his bill. Johnson signed the Civil RightsAct of 1964 into law on July2, 1964. The law banned discriminationin employment and in publicaccommodations.
Gaining Voting Rights for African Americans in the South President Kennedy wasworried about the violentreactions to the nonviolentmethods of the civil rightsmovement. Attorney General RobertKennedy urged SNCC leaders tofocus on voter registration ratherthan on protests. He promised that the federalgovernment would protect civilrights workers if they focused onvoter registration. Hundreds of peoplevolunteered to spend theirsummers registering AfricanAmericans to vote.
Freedom Summer (1964)– Less than 7% registeredprior• Lowest in country• Campaign to register Blacksin Mississippi to voteknown as Freedom Summer– Opened Freedom Schools andCommunity Centers– Taught core reading and mathclasses along with civics– Provided free medical and legalassistance• Arrival of hundreds ofvolunteers was met withmassive violence.– CORE, NAACP, and SNCC efforts
Tragedy in Mississippi• James Chaney, and his whitecoworkers, AndrewGoodman and MichaelSchwerner disappear– Search is on– Presumed dead• Robert Moses, Mississippidirector of SNCC offersworkers a chance to gohome– Over 90% stay to work onproject• President Johnsonurges full FBIinvestigation– Slain bodies found 6weeks later
Results• Judge Cox imposed sentence onDecember 29, 1967.• Price and Posey received six years.• Roberts and Bowers received tenyears.• All others received four years.• In regards to his sentences, "They killedone nigger, one Jew, and a whiteman -- I gave them all what Ithought they deserved." –Judge CoxSignificance of Freedom Summer:• First time jury finds whites guilty of civilrights violation• Almost 500,000 new Black voters in South• Helps get Johnson re-elected
Voting Rights GrowVoting Rights Act of 1965 24th Amendment•Passed by President Johnson•Federal officials could register voters instates where discrimination continued•More than one million blacks areregistered to vote in the South by 1968.•Outlawed poll taxes in nationalelections
Most vote DemocratLoyalty to the party that has supported civil rights the mostPresident Kennedy, Attorney General Robert Kennedy and President Johnson