By Todd Purdum
A most sensible Washington journalist recounts the dramatic political conflict to go the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the legislations that created glossy the USA, at the 50th anniversary of its passage
It was once a turbulent time in America—a time of sit-ins, freedom rides, a March on Washington and a governor status within the schoolhouse door—when John F. Kennedy despatched Congress a invoice to bar racial discrimination in employment, schooling, and public lodgings. numerous civil rights measures had died on Capitol Hill some time past. yet this one was once assorted simply because, as one influential senator placed it, it used to be “an notion whose time has come.”
In a strong narrative layered with revealing element, Todd S. Purdum tells the tale of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, recreating the legislative maneuvering and the larger-than-life characters who made its passage attainable. From the Kennedy brothers to Lyndon Johnson, from Martin Luther King Jr. to Hubert Humphrey and Everett Dirksen, Purdum exhibits how those all-too-human figures controlled, in precisely over a 12 months, to create a invoice that brought on the longest filibuster within the historical past of the U.S. Senate but was once eventually followed with overwhelming bipartisan aid. He inspires the excessive goal and coffee dealings that marked the production of this enormous legislations, drawing on large archival learn and dozens of recent interviews that convey to existence this sign fulfillment in American history.
Often hailed because the most vital legislation of the previous century, the Civil Rights Act stands as a lesson for our personal bothered instances approximately what's attainable whilst endurance, bipartisanship, and decency rule the day.
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Additional info for An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Two Presidents, Two Parties, and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964
26 Organizing the presence of military women was no small feat. Owing in part to an admonition delivered by one senator to the navy congressional liaison, the navy was largely supportive of its pilots who chose to participate in the discussions on the Hill. 27 In conversations between General Merrill McPeak, chief of staff, and other Defense De- INTEREST-GROUP ACTIVISM 53 partment personnel, the leadership entertained a variety of positions, from seeking to prohibit women from appearing on the Hill at all, to considering barring them from appearing in uniform, to finally acknowledging their democratic right as citizens to be present during the legislative process—as individuals on their own time.
In 1967, however, the committee assumed a public role going to bat to galvanize Congress to lift the ceiling on women officers and to lift the quota on women's enlistee numbers. Nevertheless, for much of the early 1970s, DACOWITS was regarded as a committee that exercised little clout. " 49 The reporter noted that there was poor turnout for the biannual meeting (only thirty-one of the fifty-member committee attended the fall 1970 meetings); that the DACOWITS office made little attempt to track committee members' activities (lobbying or recruitment visits) and thus had little way of evaluating committee-effectiveness; and that a committee composed of women who we're parttimers serving on DACOWITS as a philanthropic undertaking could not be very effective.
This 'cameo of interest-group politics on the Hill portrays all the key features of military women's activism. First, it is a statement about hprh _ ihe_rjofiiicjLcj3n^ the, riplfoical radicalism of military femiready participants in America's military mission; secondTit revealed how critical'the supporFof theTaw is to^miUtaLvJemimst^o^s^^tJeast some or trie service chiefs would have endeavored to block this reform effort on their own. group Res require compromise. The absence of space for doctrinallypure politics was, here, clearly revealed by the necessary concession made concerning the presidential commission whose prospect feminists loathed.