Hugo Lafayette Black was an American politician and jurist who served in the United States Senate from 1927 to 1937, as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1937 to 1971. A member of the Democratic Party and a devoted New Dealer, Black endorsed Franklin D. Roosevelt in both the 1932 and 1936 presidential elections. Having gained a reputation in the Senate as a reformer, Black was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Roosevelt and confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 63 to 16, he was the first of nine Roosevelt nominees to the Court, he outlasted all except for William O. Douglas; the fifth longest-serving justice in Supreme Court history, Black was one of the most influential Supreme Court justices in the 20th century. He is noted for his advocacy of a textualist reading of the United States Constitution and of the position that the liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights were imposed on the states by the Fourteenth Amendment. During his political career, Black was regarded as a staunch supporter of liberal policies and civil liberties.
However, Black wrote the majority opinion in Korematsu v. United States, during World War II, which upheld the Japanese-American internment that had taken place. Black consistently opposed the doctrine of substantive due process and believed that there was no basis in the words of the Constitution for a right to privacy, voting against finding one in Griswold v. Connecticut. Before he became a senator, Black espoused anti-Catholic views and was a member of the Ku Klux Klan in Alabama, but he resigned in 1925. Years he said: "Before becoming a Senator I dropped the Klan. I have had nothing to do with it since that time. I abandoned it. I discontinued any association with the organization." Hugo LaFayette Black was the youngest of the eight children of William Lafayette Black and Martha Black. He was born on February 27, 1886, in a small wooden farmhouse in Ashland, Alabama, a poor, isolated rural Clay County town in the Appalachian foothills; because his brother Orlando had become a medical doctor, Hugo decided at first to follow in his footsteps.
At age seventeen, he enrolled at Birmingham Medical School. But Orlando suggested. After graduating in June 1906, he established a legal practice, his practice was not successful there, so Black moved to the growing city of Birmingham in 1907, where he specialized in labor law and personal injury cases. Consequent to his defense of an African American, forced into a form of commercial slavery after incarceration, Black was befriended by A. O. Lane, a judge connected with the case; when Lane was elected to the Birmingham City Commission in 1911, he asked Black to serve as a police court judge – his only judicial experience prior to the Supreme Court. In 1912, Black resigned that seat, he was not done with public service. Three years during World War I, Black resigned in order to join the United States Army reaching the rank of captain, he was not assigned to Europe. He joined the Birmingham Civitan Club during this time serving as president of the group, he remained an active member throughout his life contributing articles to Civitan publications.
On February 23, 1921, he married Josephine Foster, with whom he had three children: Hugo L. Black, II, an attorney. Josephine died in 1951. In 1926, Black sought election to the United States Senate from Alabama, following the retirement of Senator Oscar Underwood. Since the Democratic Party had dominated Alabama politics since disenfranchising most blacks at the turn of the century, Black defeated his Republican opponent, E. H. Dryer, winning 80.9% of the white vote. He was reelected in 1932. Senator Black gained a reputation as a tenacious investigator. In 1934, he chaired the committee that looked into the contracts awarded to air mail carriers under Postmaster General Walter Folger Brown, an inquiry which led to the Air Mail scandal. In order to correct what he termed abuses of "fraud and collusion" resulting from the Air Mail Act of 1930, he introduced the Black-McKellar Bill the Air Mail Act of 1934; the following year he participated in a Senate committee's investigation of lobbying practices.
He publicly denounced the "highpowered, telegram-fixing, Washington-visiting" lobbyists, advocated legislation requiring them to publicly register their names and salaries. In 1935, during the Great Depression, Black became chairman of the Senate Committee on Education and Labor, a position he would hold for the remainder of his Senate career. In 1937 he sponsored the Black-Connery Bill, which sought to establish a national minimum wage and a maximum workweek of thirty hours. Although the bill was rejected in the House of Representatives, an amended version of it, which extended Black's original maximum workweek proposal to forty-four hours, was passed in 1938, becoming known as the Fair Labor Standards Act. Black was an ardent supporter of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and
First Amendment to the United States Constitution
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prevents the government from making laws which respect an establishment of religion, prohibit the free exercise of religion, or abridge the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the right to peaceably assemble, or the right to petition the government for redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights; the Bill of Rights was proposed to assuage Anti-Federalist opposition to Constitutional ratification. The First Amendment applied only to laws enacted by the Congress, many of its provisions were interpreted more narrowly than they are today. Beginning with Gitlow v. New York, the Supreme Court applied the First Amendment to states—a process known as incorporation—through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In Everson v. Board of Education, the Court drew on Thomas Jefferson's correspondence to call for "a wall of separation between church and State", though the precise boundary of this separation remains in dispute.
Speech rights were expanded in a series of 20th and 21st-century court decisions which protected various forms of political speech, anonymous speech, campaign financing and school speech. The Supreme Court overturned English common law precedent to increase the burden of proof for defamation and libel suits, most notably in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan. Commercial speech, however, is less protected by the First Amendment than political speech, is therefore subject to greater regulation; the Free Press Clause protects publication of information and opinions, applies to a wide variety of media. In Near v. Minnesota and New York Times v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment protected against prior restraint—pre-publication censorship—in all cases; the Petition Clause protects the right to petition all branches and agencies of government for action. In addition to the right of assembly guaranteed by this clause, the Court has ruled that the amendment implicitly protects freedom of association.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. In 1776, the second year of the American Revolutionary War, the Virginia colonial legislature passed a Declaration of Rights that included the sentence "The freedom of the press is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty, can never be restrained but by despotic Governments." Eight of the other twelve states made similar pledges. However, these declarations were considered "mere admonitions to state legislatures", rather than enforceable provisions. After several years of comparatively weak government under the Articles of Confederation, a Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia proposed a new constitution on September 17, 1787, featuring among other changes a stronger chief executive. George Mason, a Constitutional Convention delegate and the drafter of Virginia's Declaration of Rights, proposed that the Constitution include a bill of rights listing and guaranteeing civil liberties.
Other delegates—including future Bill of Rights drafter James Madison—disagreed, arguing that existing state guarantees of civil liberties were sufficient and that any attempt to enumerate individual rights risked the implication that other, unnamed rights were unprotected. After a brief debate, Mason's proposal was defeated by a unanimous vote of the state delegations. For the constitution to be ratified, nine of the thirteen states were required to approve it in state conventions. Opposition to ratification was based on the Constitution's lack of adequate guarantees for civil liberties. Supporters of the Constitution in states where popular sentiment was against ratification proposed that their state conventions both ratify the Constitution and call for the addition of a bill of rights; the U. S. Constitution was ratified by all thirteen states. In the 1st United States Congress, following the state legislatures' request, James Madison proposed twenty constitutional amendments, his proposed draft of the First Amendment read as follows: The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext, infringed.
The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, to write, or to publish their sentiments. The people shall not be restrained from peaceably consulting for their common good; this language was condensed by Congress, passed the House and Senate with no recorded debate, complicating future discussion of the Amendment's intent. The First Amendment, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights, was submitted to the states for ratification on September 25, 1789, adopted on December 15, 1791. Thomas Jefferson wrote with respect to the First Amendment and its restriction on the legislative branch of the federal government in an 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists: Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies between Ma
Earl Warren was an American jurist and politician who served as the 14th Chief Justice of the United States and earlier as the 30th Governor of California. The Warren Court presided over a major shift in constitutional jurisprudence, with Warren writing the majority opinions in landmark cases such as Brown v. Board of Education, Reynolds v. Sims, Miranda v. Arizona. Warren led the Warren Commission, a presidential commission that investigated the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, he is as of 2019 the last Chief Justice to have served in an elected office. Warren was raised in Bakersfield, California. After graduating from the law program at the University of California, Berkeley, he began a legal career in Oakland, he was hired as a deputy district attorney for Alameda County in 1920 and was appointed district attorney in 1925. He emerged as a leader of the state Republican Party and won election as the Attorney General of California in 1938. In that position, he played a role in the forced removal and internment of over 100,000 Japanese Americans during World War II.
In the 1942 California gubernatorial election, Warren defeated incumbent Democratic governor Culbert Olson. He would serve as Governor of California until 1953, presiding over a period of major growth for the state. Warren served as Thomas E. Dewey's running mate in the 1948 presidential election, but Dewey lost the election to incumbent President Harry S. Truman. Warren sought the Republican nomination in the 1952 presidential election, but the party nominated General Dwight D. Eisenhower. After Eisenhower won election as president, he appointed Warren as Chief Justice. Warren helped arrange a unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which ruled that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. After Brown, the Warren Court would continue to issue rulings that helped bring an end to the segregationist Jim Crow laws that were prevalent throughout the South. In Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. United States, the Court upheld the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a federal law that prohibits racial segregation in public institutions and public accommodations.
In the 1960s, the Warren Court handed down several landmark rulings that transformed criminal procedure and other areas of the law. Many of the Court's decisions incorporated the Bill of Rights, making the protections of the Bill of Rights apply to state and local governments. Gideon v. Wainwright established a criminal defendant's right to an attorney in felony cases, while Miranda v. Arizona required police officers to give a warning to criminal suspects in police custody. Reynolds v. Sims established that all state legislative districts must be of equal population, while the Court's holding in Wesberry v. Sanders required equal populations for congressional districts. Griswold v. Connecticut struck down a state law that restricted access to contraceptives and established a constitutional right to privacy. Warren announced his retirement in 1968, was succeeded by conservative appellate judge Warren Burger. Though the Warren Court's rulings have received criticism from many conservatives, as well as from some other quarters, few of the Court's decisions have been overturned.
Earl Warren was born in Los Angeles, California, on March 19, 1891, to Matt Warren and his wife, Crystal. Matt, whose original family name was Varren, was born in Stavanger, Norway in 1864, he and his family migrated to the United States in 1866. Crystal, whose maiden name was Hernlund, was born in Sweden. After marrying in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Crystal settled in Southern California in 1889, where Matthias found work with the Southern Pacific Railroad. Earl Warren was the second of two children, after his older sister, Ethel. Earl did not receive a middle name. In 1896, the family resettled in Bakersfield, where Warren would grow up. Though not an exceptional student, Warren graduated from Kern County High School in 1908. Hoping to become a trial lawyer, Warren enrolled in the University of California, Berkeley after graduating from high school, he majored in political science and became a member of the La Junta Club, which became part of the national Sigma Phi fraternity while Warren was attending college.
Like many other students at Berkeley, Warren was influenced by the Progressive movement, he was affected by Governor Hiram Johnson of California and Senator Robert M. La Follette of Wisconsin. After his third year at Berkeley, Warren entered the school's Department of Jurisprudence, renamed the UC Berkeley School of Law. Though the dean of the law school at one point urged Warren to drop out, Warren received a Juris Doctor degree in 1914. Like his classmates, upon graduation Warren was admitted to the California bar without examination. After graduation, he took a position with the Associated Oil Company in San Francisco. Warren disliked working at the Associated Oil Company and was disgusted by the corruption he saw in San Francisco, so he took a position with the Oakland law firm of Robinson and Robinson. After the United States entered World War I in April 1917, Warren volunteered for an officer training camp, but was rejected due to hemorrhoids. Still hoping to become an officer, Warren underwent a procedure to remove the hemorrhoids, but by the time he recovered from the operation the officer training camp had closed.
Warren enlisted in the United States Army as a private in August 1917, was assigned to Company I of the 91st Division's 363rd Infantry Regiment at Camp Lewis, Washington. He
Tom C. Clark
Thomas Campbell Clark was an American lawyer who served as the 59th United States Attorney General from 1945 to 1949. He was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1949 to 1967. Born in Dallas, Clark graduated from the University of Texas School of Law after serving in World War I, he practiced law in Dallas until 1937, when he accepted a position in the United States Department of Justice. After Harry S. Truman became President of the United States in 1945, he chose Clark as his Attorney General. In 1949, Truman nominated Clark to fill the Supreme Court vacancy caused by the death of Associate Justice Frank Murphy. Clark remained on the court until his retirement in 1967, was succeeded by Thurgood Marshall. Clark retired so that Ramsey Clark, could assume the position of Attorney General. Clark served on the Warren Court, he voted with the Court's majority in the several cases concerning racial segregation, including the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education.
He wrote the majority opinion in landmark Mapp v. Ohio, which ruled that the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures applies to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment, he wrote the majority opinion in Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States, which upheld the public accommodations provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the majority opinions in Garner v. Board of Public Works, Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson, Abington School District v. Schempp. Clark was born in Dallas, Texas, on September 23, 1899, the son of Virginia Maxey, William Henry Clark, his parents had moved from Mississippi to Texas. Young Tom attended the local public schools including Dallas High School and received honors for debate and oratory, as well as became an Eagle Scout, he attended the Virginia Military Institute for a year, but returned home for financial reasons. In 1918, Clark volunteered to serve in World War I with the U. S. Army, but his weight was too low. However, the Texas National Guard accepted him, he served as an infantryman and advanced to Sergeant.
After the war ended, Clark enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin, receiving a BA degree in 1921. He began legal studies and received a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law, he was a brother of Delta Tau Delta fraternity, served as their international president. Upon admission to the Texas bar, Clark set up a law practice in his home town from 1922 to 1937, he left private practice to serve Dallas as civil district attorney from 1927 to 1932. He resumed his private practice for four years. Clark, a Democrat, joined the Justice Department in 1937 as a special assistant to the U. S. attorney general, working in the war risk litigation section. He moved to the antitrust division run by legendary trust-buster Thurman Arnold, in 1940 was sent to head up the department's west coast antitrust office; when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor the following year, Clark was named by Attorney General Francis Biddle as the Civilian Coordinator of the Alien Enemy Control Program. In this capacity he worked with General John DeWitt, the head of West Coast military forces, as well as his future Supreme Court colleague Earl Warren, attorney general of California, other top federal and state officials in the lead up to the internment of Japanese Americans.
The initial actions involved enforcement of policies to exclude Japanese Americans from areas designated by the military as prohibited, followed by evacuation from "critical zones and areas," and by forcible relocation to inland camps. Clark was not directly involved with the relocation of Japanese Americans to internment camps, having been reassigned to Washington in May 1942, although he acknowledged that the government's relocation program was a mistake In 1943, Clark was promoted to Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust, subsequently became the head of the Justice Department's Criminal Division. Clark was appointed to head up a new War Frauds unit created to investigate and prosecute corruption by government contractors. During this period he worked with, befriended Harry Truman, whose Truman Committee was investigating war frauds. One prominent case Clark was involved with during this period included the successful prosecution of two German spies who came ashore from a German submarine in 1944 to the East Coast of the United States as part of Operation Magpie.
One, William Colepaugh, was an American citizen, while Erich Gimpel, was a native German. The prosecution took place before a military tribunal on Governor's Island in New York, only the third such military trial in the nation's history. One of President Truman's first changes in the cabinet that he inherited from Franklin Roosevelt was his appointment of Tom Clark as attorney general in 1945, a switch made in part because of the close personal and professional relationship shared by the two men. Media coverage of Clark's nomination was favorable, reflected the strength of Clark's legal and political skills; as a short article in Life Magazine stated, "He is a good prosecutor and good lawyer, but most of all he is a thorough politician.". As attorney general, Clark continued to focus a good deal of the department's energy on prosecuting war fraud crimes, as well as aggressively taking on potential antitrust violations. Clark and the White House challenged John Lewis, the head of the United Mine Workers union, threatening a national strike.
Acting on Truman's orders to enforce a law prohibiting strikes against government-run facilit
United States Reports
The United States Reports are the official record of the rulings, case tables, in alphabetical order both by the name of the petitioner and by the name of the respondent, other proceedings of the Supreme Court of the United States. United States Reports, once printed and bound, are the final version of court opinions and cannot be changed. Opinions of the court in each case are prepended with a headnote prepared by the Reporter of Decisions, any concurring or dissenting opinions are published sequentially; the Court's Publication Office oversees the binding and publication of the volumes of United States Reports, although the actual printing and publication are performed by private firms under contract with the United States Government Publishing Office. For lawyers, citations to United States Reports are the standard reference for Supreme Court decisions. Following The Bluebook, a accepted citation protocol, the case Brown, et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka, for example, would be cited as: Brown v. Bd. of Educ.
347 U. S. 483. This citation indicates that the decision of the Court in the case entitled Brown v. Board of Education, as abbreviated in Bluebook style, was decided in 1954 and can be found in volume 347 of the United States Reports starting on page 483; the early volumes of the United States Reports were published by the individual Supreme Court Reporters. As was the practice in England, the reports were designated by the names of the reporters who compiled them: Dallas's Reports, Cranch's Reports, etc; the decisions appearing in the entire first volume and most of the second volume of United States Reports are not decisions of the United States Supreme Court. Instead, they are decisions from various Pennsylvania courts, dating from the colonial period and the first decade after Independence. Alexander Dallas, a lawyer and journalist, of Philadelphia, had been in the business of reporting these cases for newspapers and periodicals, he subsequently began compiling his case reports in a bound volume, which he called Reports of cases ruled and adjudged in the courts of Pennsylvania and since the Revolution.
This would come to be known as the first volume of Dallas Reports. When the United States Supreme Court, along with the rest of the new Federal Government moved, in 1791, from New York City to the nation's temporary capital in Philadelphia, Dallas was appointed the Supreme Court's first unofficial, unpaid, Supreme Court Reporter. Dallas continued to publish Pennsylvania decisions in a second volume of his Reports; when the Supreme Court began hearing cases, he added those cases to his reports, starting towards the end of the second volume, 2 Dallas Reports, with West v. Barnes. Dallas went on to publish a total of four volumes of decisions during his tenure as Reporter; when the Supreme Court moved to Washington, D. C. in 1800, Dallas remained in Philadelphia, William Cranch took over as unofficial reporter of decisions. In 1817, Congress made the Reporter of Decisions an official, salaried position, although the publication of the Reports remained a private enterprise for the reporter's personal gain.
The reports themselves were the subject of an early copyright case, Wheaton v. Peters, in which former reporter Henry Wheaton sued current reporter Richard Peters for reprinting cases from Wheaton's Reports in abridged form. In 1874, the U. S. government began creating the United States Reports. The earlier, private reports were retroactively numbered volumes 1–90 of the United States Reports, starting from the first volume of Dallas Reports. Therefore, decisions appearing in these early reports have dual citation forms: one for the volume number of the United States Reports. For example, the complete citation to McCulloch v. Maryland is 17 U. S. 316. Reporter of Decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States Lists of United States Supreme Court cases by volume National Reporter System United States Supreme Court: Information About Opinions United States Supreme Court: Bound Volumes – Lists of PDFs Torrents of United States Reports 502–550
Byron Raymond "Whizzer" White was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from April 12, 1962 to June 28, 1993. Born and raised in Colorado, he played college football and baseball for the University of Colorado, finishing as the runner up for the Heisman Trophy in 1937, he was selected in the first round of the 1938 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates and led the National Football League in rushing yards in his rookie season. White was admitted to Yale Law School in 1939 and played for the Detroit Lions in the 1940 and 1941 seasons. During World War II, he served as an intelligence officer with the United States Navy in the Pacific. After the war, he clerked for Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson. White entered private practice in Denver, working as a transactional attorney, he served as the Colorado state chair of John F. Kennedy's 1960 presidential campaign and accepted appointment as the United States Deputy Attorney General in 1961. In 1962, President Kennedy nominated White to the Supreme Court, making White the first Supreme Court Justice from Colorado.
He was succeeded by Ruth Bader Ginsburg. White is the twelfth longest-serving justice in Supreme Court history. White viewed his own court decisions as based on the facts of each case rather than as representative of a specific legal philosophy, he wrote the majority opinion in cases including Coker v. Georgia, Washington v. Davis and Bowers v. Hardwick, he wrote dissenting opinions in notable cases such as Miranda v. Arizona and Naturalization Service v. Chadha, Roe v. Wade. Born in Fort Collins, White was the younger son of Maude Elizabeth and Alpha Albert White, neither of whom attended high school, he was raised in the nearby town of Wellington, where he obtained his high school diploma in 1934. After graduating at the top of his tiny high school class of six, White attended the University of Colorado in Boulder on a scholarship, offered to all Colorado high school valedictorians, as his older brother Sam had done, he served as student body president his senior year. Graduating Phi Beta Kappa and valedictorian in 1938, he won a Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford in England.
During this time in England, he became acquainted with Joe and John Kennedy, as their father Joseph Kennedy was the U. S. ambassador to London. White was an All-American halfback for the Colorado Buffaloes, where a newspaper columnist gave him the nickname "Whizzer", which to his chagrin followed him throughout his legal and Supreme Court careers; as a senior, White led Colorado to an undefeated 8–0 regular season in 1937, but they lost to favored Rice Institute of Houston 28–14 in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on New Year's Day. He was the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy, played basketball and baseball at CU; the basketball team advanced to the finals of the inaugural National Invitation Tournament at Madison Square Garden in March 1938. White planned to attend Oxford in 1938 and not play pro football, he was selected fourth overall in the 1938 NFL draft, held in December 1937, by the NFL's Pittsburgh Pirates, became a Rhodes Scholar days later. Oxford allowed White to delay his start to early 1939, so he accepted the Pittsburgh offer in August and played the 1938 season in the NFL.
He was its highest-paid player. He sailed to England with the intent of staying for three years. With the outbreak of World War II in late summer, White returned to the United States, he enrolled at Yale Law School in 1939. In a 2000 interview, White said that he was supposed to enroll at Harvard Law School, but got sick on the train ride there, so he got off the train in New Haven and went to Yale. White earned the highest grades in the first-year class, but he turned down an editorship of the Yale Law Journal and took a leave of absence to play football with the Detroit Lions, again leading the league in rushing in 1940 and 1941. In three NFL seasons, he played in 33 games, he led the league in rushing yards in 1938 and 1940, he was one of the first "big money" NFL players, making $15,000 per year. White used the money, his NFL career was cut short when he entered the U. S. Navy in 1942, he was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954. During World War II, White served as an intelligence officer in the Navy and was stationed in the Pacific Theatre.
He wanted to join the Marines, but was kept out due to being colorblind. He wrote the intelligence report on the sinking of future President John F. Kennedy's PT-109. For his service, White was awarded two Bronze Star medals, was honorably discharged as a lieutenant commander. White first met his wife Marion, the daughter of the president of the University of Colorado, when she was in high school and he was a college football star. During World War II, Marion served in the WAVES while her future husband was a Navy intelligence officer, they married in 1946 and had two children: a son named Charles Byron and a daughter named Nancy. His older brother Clayton Samuel "Sam" White was a high school valedictorian and Rhodes Scholar, he became a physician and medical researcher on the effects of atomic bomb blasts. After his military service, White returned to Yale Law School, graduating magna cum laude and first in his
Civil rights movement
The civil rights movement in the United States was a decades-long struggle with the goal of enforcing constitutional and legal rights for African Americans that other Americans enjoyed. With roots that dated back to the Reconstruction era during the late 19th century, the movement achieved its largest legislative gains in the mid-1960s, after years of direct actions and grassroots protests that were organized from the mid-1950s until 1968. Encompassing strategies, various groups, organized social movements to accomplish the goals of ending legalized racial segregation, disenfranchisement, discrimination in the United States, the movement, using major nonviolent campaigns secured new recognition in federal law and federal protection for all Americans. After the American Civil War and the abolition of slavery in the 1860s, the Reconstruction Amendments to the United States Constitution granted emancipation and constitutional rights of citizenship to all African Americans, most of whom had been enslaved.
For a period, African Americans voted and held political office, but they were deprived of civil rights under Jim Crow laws, subjected to discrimination and sustained violence by whites in the South. Over the following century, various efforts were made by African Americans to secure their legal rights. Between 1955 and 1968, acts of nonviolent protest and civil disobedience produced crisis situations and productive dialogues between activists and government authorities. Federal and local governments and communities had to respond to these situations, which highlighted the inequities faced by African Americans across the country; the lynching of Chicago teenager Emmett Till in Mississippi, the outrage generated by seeing how he had been abused, when his mother decided to have an open-casket funeral, mobilized the African-American community nationwide. Forms of protest and/or civil disobedience included boycotts, such as the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott in Alabama. Moderates in the movement worked with Congress to achieve the passage of several significant pieces of federal legislation that overturned discriminatory practices and authorized oversight and enforcement by the federal government.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 expressly banned discrimination based on race, religion, sex, or national origin in employment practices. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 restored and protected voting rights for minorities by authorizing federal oversight of registration and elections in areas with historic under-representation of minorities as voters; the Fair Housing Act of 1968 banned discrimination in the rental of housing. African Americans re-entered politics in the South, across the country young people were inspired to take action. From 1964 through 1970, a wave of inner-city riots in black communities undercut support from the white middle class, but increased support from private foundations; the emergence of the Black Power movement, which lasted from about 1965 to 1975, challenged the established black leadership for its cooperative attitude and its practice of nonviolence. Instead, its leaders demanded that, in addition to the new laws gained through the nonviolent movement and economic self-sufficiency had to be developed in the black community.
Many popular representations of the movement are centered on the charismatic leadership and philosophy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. who won the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in non-violent, moral leadership. However, some scholars note that the movement was too diverse to be credited to any one person, organization, or strategy. Before the American Civil War four million blacks were enslaved in the South, only white men of property could vote, the Naturalization Act of 1790 limited U. S. citizenship to whites only. But some free states of the North extended the franchise and other rights of citizenship to African Americans. Following the Civil War, three constitutional amendments were passed, including the 13th Amendment that ended slavery. From 1865 to 1877, the United States underwent a turbulent Reconstruction Era trying to establish free labor and civil rights of freedmen in the South after the end of slavery. Many whites resisted the social changes, leading to insurgent movements such as the Ku Klux Klan, whose members attacked black and white Republicans to maintain white supremacy.
In 1871, President Ulysses S. Grant, the U. S. Army, U. S. Attorney General Amos T. Akerman, initiated a campaign to repress the KKK under the Enforcement Acts; some states were reluctant to enforce the federal measures of the act. In addition, by the early 1870s, other white supremacist and insurgent paramilitary groups arose that violently opposed African-American legal equality and suffrage and suppressing black voters, assassinating Republican officeholders. However, if the states failed to implement the acts, the laws allowed the Federal Government to ge