Newstalgia Reference Room - Pres. Eisenhower Addresses Civil Rights Conference - 1959

(Pres. Eisenhower in 1959 - to some, The Old Hippy)

Listening to Eisenhower lately makes me wonder if anyone remotely like him would be in the Republican party today. I'm afraid not.

We all think of the Civil Rights movement as something of the 60's, but it was during the 1950's, during Eisenhower's watch, that the ball got rolling. School Desegregation and the formation of the Civil Rights Commission along with the 1957 and 1960 Civil Rights Bills are part of that legacy, although some would argue it wasn't nearly enough. The fact of the matter was, the 1957 Civil Rights Bill, which guaranteed voting rights, was the first law of its kind passed since Reconstruction.

Here is an address Pres. Eisenhower gave at a luncheon sponsored by The Civil Rights Commission as part of its National Conference on Civil Rights from June 9, 1959.

Pres. Eisenhower: “The only motivating, energizing force is public opinion. If that public opinion is well informed, then the United States will act wisely and strongly and fairly at home and abroad. And so, you are not solving, in my opinion or helping to solve just one problem, you are working for America. And I say to you, in my opinion, there can be no better thing to do.”


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