Civil Rights Through Richard Nixon

History M25 – Krister SwansonMoorpark College


Jackie Robinson

·        Baseball = national pastime

·        ML vs. Negro Leagues

·        1947: Branch Rickey brings Robinson in to play for Brooklyn Dodgers (NL)

·        Faces discrimination from teammates, fans, opposition

·        Success disproves myths

Brown vs. the Board

·        Plessy had made segregation legal

·        1954: Brown & NAACP (Thurgood Marshall)  sue Board of Ed. In Topeka, KN

·        SC overturns Plessy, segregation now illegal

Montgomery Bus Boycott

·        Blacks forced to sit in back of bus or stand so whites could sit

·        Rosa Parks arrested for refusing to leave her seat

·        MLK chosen to lead boycott (SCLC)

·        Carpool, walk, etc. for 11 mos.

·        Face police harassment, KKK violence, King’s house is shot at

·        Ends with city backing down

Central High, Little Rock (1957)

·        Following Brown court order

·        9 students enter Central High School for their senior year

·        face beatings, harassment, national guard sent in to protect them – 7 of 9 graduate

Sit Ins (SNCC - 1960)

·        goal is to integrate private facilities in the south – dept. store lunch counters

·        extensive training to deal with harassment, arrest, etc.

·        many are beaten and jailed, persistence brings success

Freedom Riders

·        Ride through South to integrate bus terminals

·        mob violence in Alabama (bombs, beatings, harassment)

·        Bull Connor “outsiders are stirring up trouble”

·        JFK’s afraid violence will hurt U.S. internationally, tries to get SNCC to stop, RFK gets them protection in exchange for arrest

James Meredith & Ole Miss

·        Southern Universities home of elite

·        1962:  NAACP wins court order to get Meredith admitted

·        Gov. stops him from entering, riot breaks out, JFK sends in troops

·        Meredith graduates in 1963

Mississippi Summer Project

·        SNCC sends hundreds of volunteer college students (B & W) south in the summer of 1964

·        Freedom schools, demonstrations, voter registration, etc.

·        heavy resistance “prepare for an invasion”

Kennedy’s New Frontier

·        Narrow election means no mandate

·        Must deal with pressing Cold War issues and Civil Rights tension

·        New Frontier is JFK’s vision for what America can be – a challenge to complacent nation

·        Problems: inadequate education, urban slums, rural poverty, health care

JFK’s Programs

·        Commitment to NASA & Space Race (moon by 1970)

·        Increased defense spending

·        Area Redevelopment Agency

·        Alliance for progress with Latin America

·        Peace Corps sends volunteers around world to improve relations

Johnson’s Great Society

·        LBJ’s continuation of New Deal legacy – expansive role of federal government)

·        war on poverty, civil rights legislation, revitalization of the inner city

·        1964 Civil Rights Act, 1965 Voting Rights Act

·        AFDC, Office of Economic Opportunity

·        Expansion of welfare programs

Causes for Change

·        Baby Boom

·        Assassinations

·        Suburban homogeneity

·        Strict social expectations

·        Civil Rights Movement

·        Vietnam War

Signs of Change

·        Music

·        Experimentation with drugs

·        New attitudes about sex

·        Changes in clothing & hair styles

·        ”can’t trust anyone over 30”

·        Eastern philosophy

·        Communal living

It Ain’t Easy Being Me…

·        Political Comeback

·        Economy’s tightening up

·        Vietnam

·        Soviets (Brezhnev)

·        Tension between “Two Americas” (cultural revolution)

Richard Nixon

·        Grassroots conservatism

·        Plays on fears of silent majority

·        strengthen support & don’t worry about who you’re pissing off

·        Law & Order (Hard Hat backlash)

·        New Federalism (Family Assistance, Revenue Sharing, back to states)

·        OSHA & the EPA

·        Moderate SC (Swann, Roe v. Wade, Milliken)

·        Fear of Liberals (plumbers)

Ricardo the Great!?!

·        “Peace with Honor” in Vietnam

·        With Kissinger pursues “realpolitik” - keep China & USSR opposed

·        Visit to China (1972)- breaks barrier, helps keep China opposed to USSR

·        Visits USSR 3 mos. later - Détente- reduced tension & sends wheat to USSR è

·        SALT I & II- arms reduction (ICBMs)

Watergate Timeline

·        6/17/72- break-in

·        8/72- Nixon: “investigation uncovered no wrongdoing in White House”

·        burglars indicted (9/72) & convicted (1/73)

·        connections established between burglars & CIA & CREP

·        2/73- Ervin Committee formed (Senate)

The Timeline Continues

·        5/73- Archibald Cox appointed special prosecutor

·        Nixon’s Aides begin dropping out

·        6/73- Butterfield reveals tapes

·        Cox & Ervin start battle for tapes

·        10/20/73- Richardson fired for refusing to fire Cox

·        3/1/74- 7 men indicted for cover-up

The Timeline Continues

·        4/30/74- Nixon releases edited transcripts of tapes

·        Sirica asks for additional tapes, Nixon refuses, SC says they must be turned over

·        7/15/74- Judiciary Committee tenders three articles of impeachment

·        8/9/74- Nixon Resigns