Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Civil Rights Movement

Civil Rights Movement 

March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, August 28, 1963, Washington, DC

Civil Rights Movement was a 20th Century extension of 19th Century abolitionism that sought for racial equality in the United States primarily through nonviolent protest.  Following the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954), civil rights activists attempted to end entrenched segregationist practices. The movement gathered strong northern support when Martin Luther King, Jr., and Ralph Abernathy led a boycott of the Montgomery, Alabama bus system after Rosa Parks was arrested in 1955.  In the early 1960's College Student activists joined in the  nonviolent coordinating committee  boycotts and sit-ins to desegregate many public facilities. These  nonviolent methods of Mohandas K. Gandhi forced the desegregation of department stores, supermarkets, libraries, and movie theaters  The former Confederate States of America remained adamant in its opposition to desegregation measures with southern citizens violently opposing protesters that were attacked and occasionally killed. 

Students and Teachers of US History this is a video of Stanley and Christopher Klos presenting America's Four United Republics Curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. The December 2015 video was an impromptu capture by a member of the audience of Penn students, professors and guests that numbered about 200.
In the spring of 1963, the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth and Martin Luther King, Jr., launched a civil rights mass protest in Birmingham, Alabama, which King called the most segregated city in America. Initially, the demonstrations had little impact. Then, on Good Friday, King was arrested and spent a week behind bars.  While in was jail eight clergyman wrote him a letter criticizing his work as unwise and wrong. Dr. King responded to the clergymen in an open letter, written on April 16, 1963.  This "Letter From A Birmingham Jail" is now one of the most celebrated documents in United States history. The letter not only defends the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism, but also argues that people have a moral responsibility to break unjust laws, where he wrote one of his most famous meditations on racial injustice and civil disobedience, "Letter from Birmingham Jail." 

Meanwhile, James Bevel, one of King's young lieutenants, summoned black youths to march in the streets at the beginning of May. The Birmingham City Commissioner Eugene "Bull" Connor used police dogs and high-pressure fire hoses to put down the demonstrations. Nearly a thousand young people were arrested. The violence was broadcast on television to the nation and the world and the "Letter from Birmingham Jail." received national media attention.  Invoking federal authority, President Kennedy sent several thousand troops to an Alabama air base, and his administration responded by speeding up the drafting of a comprehensive civil rights bill.

The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA), the only alumni association comprised of former NBA, ABA, Harlem Globetrotter and WNBA players, is commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 150th Anniversary of the 13th Amendment  – in conjunction with the University Honors Program at Loyola University New Orleans and ELEVATE, an academic, athletic and mentoring program for inner-city teens – by issuing a one-of-a-kind limited edition print of Martin Luther King's “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” signed by Dr. King and more than 50 former NBA players. This unique, historic, limited edition print is the perfect collectible for any history and/or sports fanatic.   The 1000 special edition “Path to Freedom” prints are only available as a gift, limit one per patron, for tax-deductible donations of $100.00 or more --- NO LONGER AVAILABLE - thank you for your donations
King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail." ignited the protest efforts of his fellow activists all across the nation, which culminated in a March on Washington For Jobs And Freedom, in Washington D.C., on August 28th, 1963, to support civil rights legislation. The march was organized by a coalition of several civil rights organizations that had different approaches and different agendas. The "Big Six" organizers were James Farmer, of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE); Martin Luther King, Jr., of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC); John Lewis, of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC); A. Philip Randolph, of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters; Roy Wilkins, of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); and Whitney Young, Jr., of the National Urban League.  The stated demands of the march were the passage of meaningful civil rights legislation; the elimination of racial segregation in public schools; protection for demonstrators against police brutality; a major public-works program to provide jobs; the passage of a law prohibiting racial discrimination in public and private hiring; a $2 an hour minimum wage; and self-government for the District of Columbia, which had a black majority.

More than 200,000 Americans of all races celebrated the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation by joining the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Key civil rights figures led the march, including A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins, Bayard Rustin, and Whitney Young. But the most memorable moment came when Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

In the fall, the comprehensive civil rights bill cleared several hurdles in Congress and won the endorsement of House and Senate Republican leaders. It was not passed, however, before the November 22, 1963 assassination of President Kennedy. The Civil Rights Act was left in the hands of the new President, Lyndon B. Johnson. 

President Johnson's 20 years of experience as a Texas Congressman and a US Senator enabled him to capitalize on his connections with his fellow southern white congressional leaders.  This legislative expertise, coupled with nearly 90% Republican Congressional support and the outpouring of public emotion, enabled Johnson to coral a super majority of US Senators to break the Democratic Party's filibuster against the Civil Rights Act.  

The provisions of the Civil Rights Act passed on July 2nd, 1964, included
  1. protecting African Americans against discrimination in voter qualification tests; 
  2. outlawing discrimination in hotels, motels, restaurants, theaters, and all other public accommodations engaged in interstate commerce; 
  3. authorizing the U.S. Attorney General's Office to file legal suits to enforce desegregation in public schools; 
  4. authorizing the withdrawal of federal funds from programs practicing discrimination; 
  5. outlawing discrimination in employment in any business exceeding 25 people and creating an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to review complaints.
The passage of the Civil Rights Act was an historic step in achieving the civil rights movement's initial goal: full legal equality for minorities.

Civil Rights Act  

July 2, 1964

Senators Everett Dirksen and Hubert Humphrey and Speaker of the House John McCormack watch as President Lyndon Johnson signs the 1964 Civil Rights Act, July 2, 1964, The White House, Washington, DC

National Archives and Records Administration, Lyndon B. Johnson Library

This act, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on July 2, 1964, prohibited discrimination in public places, provided for the integration of schools and other public facilities, and made employment discrimination illegal. This document was the most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction.

In a nationally televised address on June 6, 1963, President John F. Kennedy urged the nation to take action toward guaranteeing equal treatment of every American regardless of race. Soon after, Kennedy proposed that Congress consider civil rights legislation that would address voting rights, public accommodations, school desegregation, nondiscrimination in federally assisted programs, and more.

Despite Kennedy’s assassination in November of 1963, his proposal culminated in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson just a few hours after House approval on July 2, 1964. The act outlawed segregation in businesses such as theaters, restaurants, and hotels. It banned discriminatory practices in employment and ended segregation in public places such as swimming pools, libraries, and public schools.

Passage of the act was not easy. House opposition bottled up the bill in the House Rules Committee. In the Senate, opponents attempted to talk the bill to death in a filibuster. In early 1964, House supporters overcame the Rules Committee obstacle by threatening to send the bill to the floor without committee approval. The Senate filibuster was overcome through the floor leadership of Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, the considerable support of President Lyndon Johnson, and the efforts of Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen of Illinois, who convinced Republicans to support the bill.

For additional information about the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission with related documents, visit the National Archives’ Digital Classroom Teaching With Documents Lesson Plan.

A Republican Account


By: Human Events --- 4/17/2012 03:01 PM

Thanks to Republicans beginning to appreciate the heritage of our Grand Old Party, it has become better known that Republicans in Congress supported the 1964 Civil Rights Act much more than did the Democrats. Indeed, the legislator most responsible for breaking the Democrat filibuster was a Republican senator, Everett Dirksen. 

And now, the question that should be before us: How did that landmark legislation come to be? The answer to that is a source of pride for all Republicans today.

The origin of the 1964 Civil Rights Act can be traced back to the Reconstruction era. That was when the Republican Party enacted the first civil rights act ever, the 1866 Civil Rights Act. Never heard of it? Democrat history professors would rather you didn’t. With that law, Republicans took a big step toward making Abraham Lincoln’s vision for “a new birth of freedom” a reality.

Ominously, the assassination of the Great Emancipator had left the presidency to his Democrat vice president, Andrew Johnson. Senator Lyman Trumbull (R-IL), co-author of the 13th Amendment banning slavery, also wrote the 1866 Civil Rights Act. Republican support was nearly unanimous, while Democrats were unanimously opposed. This would be the first time Congress overrode a presidential veto of a significant bill.

The law conferred U.S. citizenship on all African-Americans, according them “full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of person and property as is enjoyed by white citizens.” Despite Democrat objections, Republicans made sure African-Americans had the right to own property, engage in business, sign contracts and file lawsuits.

Andrew Johnson refused to enforce this law in the southern states, so it had little effect there. However, many racially discriminatory laws in the North were repealed or struck down as a result.

Sixty-four of eighty Democrats in the House of Representatives had voted against the 13th Amendment. And so, Republicans feared that once the southern states were back in the Union, a Democrat majority along with a racist Democrat in the White House might undo all they had accomplished for African-Americans. What if they repealed the new Civil Rights Act?

To keep that law safe from a future Democrat Congress, Republicans enshrined its precepts in Section 1 of the 14th Amendment. Another point of pride for the GOP is that Republicans voted unanimously for the 14th Amendment, while Democrats voted unanimously against it.

Republicans followed this success with several more civil rights acts during the Ulysses Grant administration, including one that effectively outlawed the Ku Klux Klan. The next step was the brainchild of one of our party’s greatest heroes, Senator Charles Sumner. He wrote the 1875 Civil Rights Act, which anticipated the 1964 Civil Rights Act with its ban on racial discrimination in public accommodations. He had been pushing for the bill for years. On his deathbed, he told a former Attorney General: “You must take care of the civil rights bill – my bill, the civil rights bill – don’t let it fail.”

Though the law came a decade too late to have much of an impact in the Democrat-controlled South, many discriminatory practices in northern states were eliminated. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional in 1883. The majority opinion declaring that 14th Amendment guarantees did not extend to acts by private citizens and businesses was the reason the 1964 Civil Rights Act would have to be based more tenuously on the federal government’s authority to regulate interstate commerce.

Nine decades would pass before the Republican Party was able to enact further civil rights legislation. President Dwight Eisenhower signed into law the 1957 Civil Rights Act, whose author was a former chairman of the Republican National Committee. Enforcement was improved by the GOP’s 1960 Civil Rights Act.

Three years later, Republican congressmen introduced a bill guaranteeing equal access to public accommodations. The Kennedy administration countered with a weaker version of this bill, which then became the basis for the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Sadly, it was Democrat defiance of the civil rights movement that postponed so much progress, from 1866 until 1964. To quote my own book, “The more we Republicans know about the history of our party, the more the Democrats will worry about the future of theirs.”

This article is adapted from Back to Basics for the Republican Party, Michael Zak’s history of the GOP from the Republican point of view. See www.grandoldpartisan.com for more information.

A Democratic Account

The Conservative Fantasy History of Civil Rights
By Jonathan Chait

Ronald Reagan, Strom Thurmond, and other civil rights heroes. Not pictured: black people.

The civil rights movement, once a controversial left-wing fringe, has grown deeply embedded into the fabric of our national story. This is a salutary development, but a problematic one for conservatives, who are the direct political descendants of (and, in the case of some of the older members of the movement, the exact same people as) the strident opponents of the civil rights movement. It has thus become necessary for conservatives to craft an alternative story, one that absolves their own ideology of any guilt. The right has dutifully set itself to its task, circulating its convoluted version of history, honing it to the point where it can be repeated by any defensive College Republican in his dorm room. Kevin Williamson’s cover story in National Review is the latest version of what is rapidly congealing into conservatism’s revisionist dogma.

The mainstream, and correct, history of the politics of civil rights is as follows. Southern white supremacy operated out of the Democratic Party beginning in the nineteenth century, but the party began attracting northern liberals, including African-Americans, into an ideologically cumbersome coalition. Over time the liberals prevailed, forcing the Democratic Party to support civil rights, and driving conservative (and especially southern) whites out, where they realigned with the Republican Party.

Williamson crafts a tale in which the Republican Party is and always has been the greatest friend the civil rights cause ever had. The Republican takeover of the white South had absolutely nothing to do with civil rights, the revisionist case proclaims, except insofar as white Southerners supported Republicans because they were more pro-civil rights.

One factoid undergirding this bizarre interpretation is that the partisan realignment obviously took a long time to complete — Southerners still frequently voted Democratic into the seventies and eighties. This proves, according to Williamson, that a backlash against civil rights could not have driven southern whites out of the Democratic Party. “They say things move slower in the South — but not that slow,” he insists.

His story completely ignores the explicit revolt by conservative Southerners against the northern liberal civil rights wing, beginning with Strom Thurmond, who formed a third-party campaign in 1948 in protest against Harry Truman’s support for civil rights. Thurmond received 49 percent of the vote in Louisiana, 72 percent in South Carolina, 80 percent in Alabama, and 87 percent in Mississippi. He later, of course, switched to the Republican Party.

Thurmond’s candidacy is instructive. Democratic voting was deeply acculturated among southern whites as a result of the Civil War. When southern whites began to shake loose of it, they began at the presidential level, in protest against the civil rights leanings of the national wing. It took decades for the transformation to filter down, first to Congressional-level representation (Thurmond, who Williamson mentions only in his capacity as a loyal Democrat, finally switched to the GOP in 1964), and ultimately to local-level government. The most fervently white supremacist portions of the South were also the slowest to shed their Confederate-rooted one-party traditions. None of this slowness actually proves Williamson’s contention that the decline of the Democratic Party in the South was unrelated to race.

Williamson concedes, with inadvertently hilarious understatement, that the party “went through a long dry spell on civil-rights progress” — that would be the century that passed between Reconstruction and President Eisenhower’s minimalist response to massive resistance in 1957. But after this wee dry spell, the party resumed and maintained its natural place as civil rights champion. To the extent that Republicans replaced Democrats in the South, Williamson sees their support for civil rights as the cause. (“Republicans did begin to win some southern House seats, and in many cases segregationist Democrats were thrown out by southern voters in favor of civil-rights Republicans.”) As his one data point, Williamson cites the victory of George Bush in Texas over a Democrat who opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act. He correctly cites Bush’s previous record of moderation on civil rights but neglects to mention that Bush also opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Williamson does feel obliged to mention Barry Goldwater’s opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, but defends it as a “principled” opposition to the “extension of federal power.” At the same time, he savages southern Democrats for their opposition to the 14th and 15th Amendments, Reconstruction, anti-lynching laws, and so on. It does not seem to occur to him that many of these opponents also presented their case in exactly the same pro-states' rights, anti-federal power terms that Goldwater employed. Williamson is willing to concede that opponents of civil rights laws have philosophical principles behind them, but only if they are Republican. (Perhaps is the process by which figures like Thurmond and Jesse Helms were cleansed of their racism and became mere ideological opponents of federal intrusion.)

To the extent that the spirit of the all-white, pro-states' rights, rigidly “Constitutionalist” southern Democrats exists at all today, Williamson locates it not in the nearly all-white, pro-states' rights, rigidly “Constitutionalist” southern Republicans, but rather in the current Democratic Party. This is possibly the most mind-boggling claim in Williamson’s essay:

Democrats who argue that the best policies for black Americans are those that are soft on crime and generous with welfare are engaged in much the same sort of cynical racial calculation President Johnson was practicing when he informed skeptical southern governors that his plan for the Great Society was “to have them niggers voting Democratic for the next two hundred years.” Johnson’s crude racism is, happily, largely a relic of the past, but his strategy endures. 

The strategy of crude Democratic racism endures! That this strategy has sucked in more than 90 percent of the black electorate, and is currently being executed at the highest level by Barack Obama (who — at this point, it may be necessary to inform Williamson — is black) suggests a mind-blowing level of false consciousness at work among the African-American community.

Williamson does stumble on to one interesting vein of history, but completely misses its import. In the course of dismissing Goldwater’s 1964 opposition to the Civil Rights Act, he notes that the Republican Party declined to fully follow his lead. The party platform, he notes, called for “full implementation and faithful execution of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” He does not mention that this language came after party conservatives rejected amendments with stronger language endorsing “enforcement” of the civil rights law and describing the protection of the right to vote as a “constitutional responsibility.” (A bit of this story can be found in Ben Wallace-Wells’s fantastic piece on George Romney in the current print issue, and more in Geoffrey Kabaservice’s “Rule and Ruin.”)

It is true that most Republicans in 1964 held vastly more liberal positions on civil rights than Goldwater. This strikes Williamson as proof of the idiosyncratic and isolated quality of Goldwater’s civil rights stance. What it actually shows is that conservatives had not yet gained control of the Republican Party.

But conservative Republicans — those represented politically by Goldwater, and intellectually by William F. Buckley and National Review — did oppose the civil rights movement. Buckley wrote frankly about his endorsement of white supremacy: “the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not predominate numerically.” More often conservatives argued on grounds of states’ rights, or freedom of property, or that civil rights leaders were annoying hypocrites, or that they had undermined respect for the law.

Rick Perlstein surveyed the consistent hostility of contemporary conservatives to the civil rights movement. Ronald Reagan, like many conservatives, attributed urban riots to the breakdown in respect for authority instigated by the civil rights movement’s embrace of civil disobedience (a “great tragedy that began when we began compromising with law and order, and people started choosing which laws they'd break, thundered Reagan”). Buckley sneered at the double standard of liberal Democrats — in 1965, he complained, Vice-President Hubert Humphrey attended the funeral of a white woman shot by the Klan for riding in a car with a black man, but did not attend the funeral of a white cop shot by a black man. The right seethed with indignation at white northern liberals, decrying the fate of their black allies while ignoring the assaults mounted by blacks against whites.

And of course this sentiment — exactly this sentiment — right now constitutes the major way in which conservatives talk about race. McKay Coppins has a fine story about how conservative media has been reporting since 2009 on an imagined race war, a state of affairs in which blacks routinely assault whites, which is allegedly being covered up by authorities in the government and media. “In Obama's America, the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering,” said Rush Limbaugh in 2009.

We should not equate this particular line of hysteria with Buckley-esque defenses of white supremacy, or even with Goldwater-esque concern for states’ rights. The situation is obviously far more different than it is similar. Conservatives are not attacking measures to stop lynching or defending formal legal segregation. The racial paranoia of a Rush Limbaugh or an Andrew Breitbart – Williamson defends both – is far less violent or dangerous than the white racial paranoia of previous generations. That undeniable progress seems to be more tenable ground for Williamson to mount his defense of conservatism and race. Conservatives ought to just try arguing that, while conservatives were wrong to perceive themselves as victims of overweening government and racial double-standards before the civil rights movement triumphed, they are right to do so now.
They need to try something different, anyway. The pseudo-historical attempt to attach conservatism to the civil rights movement is just silly. Here's another idea: Why not get behind the next civil rights idea (gay marriage) now? It would save future generations of conservative apparatchiks from writing tendentious essays insisting the Republican Party was always for it.

National Collegiate Honor’s Council Partners in the Park Class of 2017 at the Benjamin Franklin Museum. Sophia  Semensky is holding an American Museum Magazine or Repository of Ancient and Modern Fugitive Pieces, &c., No. 5 May, 1787, Published by Mathew Carey, Philadelphia. The issue is open to the full printing of The Constitution of the Pennsylvania Society, for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, and the Relief of Free Negroes, Unlawfully Held in Bondage: begun in the year 1774, and enlarged on the twenty-third of April, 1787. The Constitution is signed in type Benjamin Franklin, President.  This Pamphlet was gifted to Independence Hall National Historic Park by Stanley and Naomi Yavneh Klos in memory fo Eilleen Klos and Kuni Yavneh. – For more information visit our National Park and NCHC Partners in the Park Class of 2017 website

Teaching With Documents

Court Documents Related to Martin Luther King, Jr., and Memphis Sanitation Workers  - Courtesy of the National Archives


The name of Martin Luther King, Jr., is intertwined with the history of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s in the United States. The Montgomery bus boycott, the freedom rides, the Birmingham campaign, the March on Washington, the Selma march, the Chicago campaign, and the Memphis boycott are some of the more noteworthy battlefields where King and his followers--numerous in numbers, humble and great in name-- fought for the equal rights and equal justice that the United States Constitution ensures for all its citizens. King, building on the tradition of civil disobedience and passive resistance earlier expressed by Thoreau, Tolstoy, and Gandhi, waged a war of nonviolent direct action against opposing forces of racism and prejudice that were embodied in the persons of local police, mayors, governors, angry citizens, and night riders of the Ku Klux Klan. The great legal milestones achieved by this movement were the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

In the later 1960s, the targets of King's activism were less often the legal and political obstacles to the exercise of civil rights by blacks, and more often the underlying poverty, unemployment, lack of education, and blocked avenues of economic opportunity confronting black Americans. Despite increasing militancy in the movement for black power, King steadfastly adhered to the principles of nonviolence that had been the foundation of his career. Those principles were put to a severe test in his support of a strike by sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee. This was King's final campaign before his death.

During a heavy rainstorm in Memphis on February 1, 1968, two black sanitation workers had been crushed to death when the compactor mechanism of the trash truck was accidentally triggered. On the same day in a separate incident also related to the inclement weather, 22 black sewer workers had been sent home without pay while their white supervisors were retained for the day with pay. About two weeks later, on February 12, more than 1,100 of a possible 1,300 black sanitation workers began a strike for job safety, better wages and benefits, and union recognition. Mayor Henry Loeb, unsympathetic to most of the workers' demands, was especially opposed to the union. Black and white civic groups in Memphis tried to resolve the conflict, but the mayor held fast to his position.

As the strike lengthened, support for the strikers within the black community of Memphis grew. Organizations such as COME (Community on the Move for Equality) established food and clothing banks in churches, took up collections for strikers to meet rent and mortgages, and recruited marchers for frequent demonstrations. King's participation in forming a city-wide boycott to support the striking workers was invited by the Reverend James Lawson, pastor of the Centenary Methodist Church in Memphis and an adviser to the strikers. Lawson was a seasoned veteran of the civil rights movement and an experienced trainer of activists in the philosophy and methods of nonviolent resistance.

At that time King was involved in planning with other civil rights workers the Poor People's Campaign for economic opportunity and equality. He was also zigzagging by airplane through the eastern United States meeting speaking engagements and attending important social events as head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

Nevertheless, King agreed to lend his support to the sanitation workers, spoke at a rally in Memphis March 18, and promised to lead the large march and work stoppage planned for later in the month.

Unfortunately the demonstration on March 28 turned sour when a group of rowdy students at the tail end of the long parade of demonstrators used the signs they carried to break windows of businesses. Looting ensued. The march was halted, the demonstrators dispersed, and King was safely escorted from the scene. About 60 people had been injured, and one young man, a looter, was killed. This episode prompted the city of Memphis to bring a formal complaint in the District Court against King, Hosea Williams, James Bevel, James Orange, Ralph Abernathy, and Bernard Lee, King's associates in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

The outbreak of violence deeply distressed King. In the next few days he and fellow SCLC leaders negotiated with the disagreeing factions in Memphis. When assured of their unity and commitment to nonviolence, King came back for another march, at first scheduled for April 5. In the meantime, U.S. District Court Judge Bailey Brown granted the city of Memphis a temporary restraining order against King and his associates. But the SCLC's planning and training for a peaceful demonstration had intensified. Lawson and Andrew Young, representing the SCLC, met with the judge April 4 and worked out a broad agreement for the march to proceed April 8. The details of the agreement would be put into place the next day, April 5.

This was the message that Young conveyed to King as they were getting ready to go out to dinner. Moments later, on that evening of April 4, 1968, as King stepped out of his motel room to join his colleagues for dinner, he was assassinated.

Other Resources


Branch, Taylor. Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-1963. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1988.
Branch, Taylor. Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963-1965. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1998.
Carson, Clayborne, et al., eds. The Eyes on the Prize Civil Rights Reader: Documents, Speeches, and Firsthand Accounts from the Black Freedom Struggle, 1954-1990. New York: Penguin Books, 1991.
Fairclough, Adam. Martin Luther King, Jr. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1995.
Garrow, David. Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. New York: William Morrow, 1986.
Halberstam, David. The Children. New York: Random House, 1998.
Hampton, Henry, and Steve Fayer. Voices of Freedom: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement from the 1950s through the 1980s. New York: Bantam Books, 1990.
King, Martin Luther, Jr. The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. Edited by Clayborne Carson. New York: Warner Books, 1998.
King, Martin Luther, Jr. The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. Edited by James Washington. New York: HarperCollins, 1986.
Williams, Juan. Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965. New York: Penguin Books, 1987.

Videos and Software

Eyes on the Prize: A History of the Civil Rights Movement (12 one-hour videotapes). ABC Laserdisc.
Encarta Africana. Microsoft CD-ROM.

Web Sites

The Web site of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers Project at Stanford University (http://www.stanford.edu/group/King/) includes links to biography, articles, chronology, and reference sources about King. This site also has links to key King documents.
Celebrating Black History Month on the Web has a site, organized by the University of Colorado, with a broad range of information at http://www-libraries.colorado.edu/ps/gov/us/blackhistory.htm.
Civil Rights Museum has an Interactive Tour link at http://www.civilrightsmuseum.org/gallery/movement.aspthat gives a survey of civil rights for African Americans from the colonial period to the present.

The Congressional Evolution of the United States of America 

Continental Congress of the United Colonies Presidents 
Sept. 5, 1774 to July 1, 1776

September 5, 1774
October 22, 1774
October 22, 1774
October 26, 1774
May 20, 1775
May 24, 1775
May 25, 1775
July 1, 1776

Commander-in-Chief United Colonies & States of America

George Washington: June 15, 1775 - December 23, 1783

Continental Congress of the United States Presidents 
July 2, 1776 to February 28, 1781

July 2, 1776
October 29, 1777
November 1, 1777
December 9, 1778
December 10, 1778
September 28, 1779
September 29, 1779
February 28, 1781

Presidents of the United States in Congress Assembled
March 1, 1781 to March 3, 1789

March 1, 1781
July 6, 1781
July 10, 1781
Declined Office
July 10, 1781
November 4, 1781
November 5, 1781
November 3, 1782
November 4, 1782
November 2, 1783
November 3, 1783
June 3, 1784
November 30, 1784
November 22, 1785
November 23, 1785
June 5, 1786
June 6, 1786
February 1, 1787
February 2, 1787
January 21, 1788
January 22, 1788
January 21, 1789

Presidents of the United States of America

D-Democratic Party, F-Federalist Party, I-Independent, R-Republican Party, R* Republican Party of Jefferson & W-Whig Party 

 (1881 - 1881)
*Confederate States  of America

Chart Comparing Presidential Powers Click Here

United Colonies and States First Ladies

United Colonies Continental Congress
18th Century Term
09/05/74 – 10/22/74
Mary Williams Middleton (1741- 1761) Deceased
Henry Middleton
05/20/ 75 - 05/24/75
05/25/75 – 07/01/76
United States Continental Congress
07/02/76 – 10/29/77
Eleanor Ball Laurens (1731- 1770) Deceased
Henry Laurens
11/01/77 – 12/09/78
Sarah Livingston Jay (1756-1802)
12/ 10/78 – 09/28/78
Martha Huntington (1738/39–1794)
09/29/79 – 02/28/81
United States in Congress Assembled
Martha Huntington (1738/39–1794)
03/01/81 – 07/06/81
07/10/81 – 11/04/81
Jane Contee Hanson (1726-1812)
11/05/81 - 11/03/82
11/03/82 - 11/02/83
Sarah Morris Mifflin (1747-1790)
11/03/83 - 11/02/84
11/20/84 - 11/19/85
11/23/85 – 06/06/86
Rebecca Call Gorham (1744-1812)
06/06/86 - 02/01/87
02/02/87 - 01/21/88
01/22/88 - 01/29/89

Constitution of 1787
First Ladies
April 30, 1789 – March 4, 1797
March 4, 1797 – March 4, 1801
Martha Wayles Jefferson Deceased
September 6, 1782  (Aged 33)
March 4, 1809 – March 4, 1817
March 4, 1817 – March 4, 1825
March 4, 1825 – March 4, 1829
December 22, 1828 (aged 61)
February 5, 1819 (aged 35)
March 4, 1841 – April 4, 1841
April 4, 1841 – September 10, 1842
June 26, 1844 – March 4, 1845
March 4, 1845 – March 4, 1849
March 4, 1849 – July 9, 1850
July 9, 1850 – March 4, 1853
March 4, 1853 – March 4, 1857
March 4, 1861 – April 15, 1865
February 22, 1862 – May 10, 1865
April 15, 1865 – March 4, 1869
March 4, 1869 – March 4, 1877
March 4, 1877 – March 4, 1881
March 4, 1881 – September 19, 1881
January 12, 1880 (Aged 43)
June 2, 1886 – March 4, 1889
March 4, 1889 – October 25, 1892
June 2, 1886 – March 4, 1889
March 4, 1897 – September 14, 1901
September 14, 1901 – March 4, 1909
March 4, 1909 – March 4, 1913
March 4, 1913 – August 6, 1914
December 18, 1915 – March 4, 1921
March 4, 1921 – August 2, 1923
August 2, 1923 – March 4, 1929
March 4, 1929 – March 4, 1933
March 4, 1933 – April 12, 1945
April 12, 1945 – January 20, 1953
January 20, 1953 – January 20, 1961
January 20, 1961 – November 22, 1963
November 22, 1963 – January 20, 1969
January 20, 1969 – August 9, 1974
August 9, 1974 – January 20, 1977
January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981
January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989
January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993
January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001
January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009
January 20, 2009 to date

Capitals of the United Colonies and States of America

Sept. 5, 1774 to Oct. 24, 1774
May 10, 1775 to Dec. 12, 1776
Dec. 20, 1776 to Feb. 27, 1777
March 4, 1777 to Sept. 18, 1777
September 27, 1777
Sept. 30, 1777 to June 27, 1778
July 2, 1778 to June 21, 1783
June 30, 1783 to Nov. 4, 1783
Nov. 26, 1783 to Aug. 19, 1784
Nov. 1, 1784 to Dec. 24, 1784
New York City
Jan. 11, 1785 to Nov. 13, 1788
New York City
October 6, 1788 to March 3,1789
New York City
March 3,1789 to August 12, 1790
Dec. 6,1790 to May 14, 1800       
Washington DC
November 17,1800 to Present

Book a primary source exhibit and a professional speaker for your next event by contacting Historic.us today. Our Clients include many Fortune 500 companies, associations, non-profits, colleges, universities, national conventions, PR and advertising agencies. As a leading national exhibitor of primary sources, many of our clients have benefited from our historic displays that are designed to entertain and educate your target audience. Contact us to learn how you can join our "roster" of satisfied clientele today!

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A Non-profit Corporation

Primary Source Exhibits

727-771-1776 | Exhibit Inquiries

202-239-1774 | Office

202-239-0037 FAX 

Dr. Naomi and Stanley Yavneh Klos, Principals


Primary Source exhibits are available for display in your community. The costs range from $1,000 to $35,000 depending on length of time on loan and the rarity of artifacts chosen. 

Website: www.Historic.us

U.S. Dollar Presidential Coin Mr. Klos vs Secretary Paulson - Click Here

The United Colonies of North America Continental Congress Presidents (1774-1776)
The United States of America Continental Congress Presidents (1776-1781)
The United States of America in Congress Assembled Presidents (1781-1789)
The United States of America Presidents and Commanders-in-Chiefs (1789-Present)

Dad, why are you a Republican?

Historic Pillars of the Republican Party - GOP Foundational Legislation that Encourages & Safeguards U.S. Public Education, Social Justice, Conservation and Fiscal Responsibility. "Imitation is the sincerest form of change and it reaches its political pinnacle when others, especially the opposition, assert your ideas and laws as their own." - Stan Klos - Please Visit Republicanism.us