Tough Presidential Decisions Taken In The Sixties

1964 words - 8 pages

The frustrations of Vietnam and the hopes for further freedoms there (in the U.S.) sparked the Freedom Movement and the Civil Rights Act. African Americans began seeking their civil liberties non-violently out loud. Between the sit-ins, the protests, the Freedom Rides and various speeches, African Americans were preaching to end discrimination. This led to the Interstate Commerce Commission issuing a policy that stated public seating is without regard to race, color, creed, or national origin.
Project “C” forged the way for parks and public areas to be desegregated and allowed for African Americans to apply for and obtain city jobs. Next came the March on Washington, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech at the Washington Monument. Freedom Schools were set up to assist with registering African Americans to vote due to them wanting to be afforded the freedom to vote like the white people.
President Kennedy would have, more than likely, addressed this issue as well had he not been assassinated on the twenty second day of November, 1963. It was his third year in the Presidential office, and the President was dead. The hopes and aspirations of all Americans fell that dreadful day and only some of that hope has returned. Kennedy’s predecessor, Mr. Lyndon B. Johnson, was then sworn into office, as President of the United States. He then had to pick up and take over where Kennedy left off. President Johnson had a vision in his head. This vision entailed ramping up the War on Poverty and providing aide to the indigent. President Johnson labeled this as his idea of a Great Society.
According to Jennifer B. Peterson, “On the domestic front, Johnson made strides to improve living conditions for many of America’s elderly and poor. He created many social programs under the umbrella of the Great Society. He saw these programs as a continuation of the work of Roosevelt’s New Deal, which he had so strongly supported years earlier” (para.11) she also stated that “Other Great Society programs included the establishing of the Job Corps, the Head Start program for preschool aged children, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which outlawed literacy test aimed at disqualifying African Americans from voting” (para.13).
President Johnson continued his support of the slain President Kennedy by working with civil rights administrators to institute the ratification of the Twenty-fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which outlawed the use of poll taxes in federal elections. This in turn led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which, basically, outlawed all discrimination in public places and established the Equal Opportunity Commission. The ECO’s primary focus would be to investigate incidents of law breaking in employment establishments. The ECO is still, very, in effect today in 2014.
Regretfully, even with these new developments the freedoms were not fully extended to those who sought these civil liberties and the violence escalated. So,...

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