Today's Articles

People, Locations, Episodes

Fri, 05.06.1960

The Civil Rights Act of 1960 is Signed

Front Page, AZ Republic

On this date in 1960, President Dwight Eisenhower signed the Civil Rights Act of 1960.

This was the first American Civil Rights bill to be approved by Congress since Reconstruction. Though Eisenhower is not routinely linked to civil rights issues, his contribution, including the 1957 Act, was important as it pushed civil rights into the White House.  At the time, politicians from the South were angry over what they saw as federal interference in state affairs. This bill became an act where as both parties were fighting for the "Black Vote."

The 1960 Civil Rights Act introduced penalties to be charged against anybody who obstructed someone’s attempt to register to vote or someone’s attempt to actually vote. A Civil Rights Commission was created. Yet the act barely touched on anything new and Eisenhower, at the end of his presidency, was accused of passing the thorny problem of voter suppression and constitutional rights over to his successor. Though the act did little to impress civil rights leaders, they were ready to acknowledge that it was again federal government recognition that a constitutional problem existed.

The Eisenhower civil rights acts added only an extra 3% Black voters to the electoral roll for the 1960 election.


Teaching American History

Library of Congress
101 Independence Avenue S.E.
Washington D.C. 20540

New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

She stood hanging wash before the sun and occasionally watched the kids gather acorns from the trees, and when her husband came, complaining about the tobacco spit on him they... MIGRATION by Carole Gregory Clemmons.
Read More