Civil Rights

Signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964/tiles/non-collection/o/oh_evnt_cr_cra1964_lbjlib.xml Photograph by Cecil Stoughton, courtesy of the LBJ Library On July 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law.
Sparked by a growing grassroots movement during the mid-20th century, Congress passed landmark legislation to protect American civil rights and to prevent discrimination. Narratives from the era include accounts of racial and gender barriers, as well as historic firsts in the House of Representatives. Members and staff share stories of the movement both within the institution and beyond. To learn about the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery marches, and the response of the House of Representatives, please visit our online exhibit, The House and Selma: Bridging History and Memory.

Video

Discrimination in the Capitol

Representative Kanjorski discusses racial relations at the Capitol during his Page service.

The Honorable Paul Kanjorski, U.S. Representative of Pennsylvania
Interview recorded October 26, 2011 Deed of Gift

Surrogate Representation

Discussion of the role Representative Lindy Boggs and other women in Congress played as surrogate representatives.

Cokie Roberts, Congressional Correspondent and Daughter of Representatives Hale and Lindy Boggs of Louisiana
Interview recorded June 23, 2009 Deed of Gift

First Woman Elected to Congress from Alabama

George Andrews discusses his mother's role as the first female Member of Congress elected from Alabama.

George Andrews III, Page, U.S. House of Representatives, and Son of Representatives George and Elizabeth Andrews of Alabama
Interview recorded May 21, 2010 Deed of Gift

First African-American Member on the House Armed Services Committee

Representative Dellums describes an important meeting with Speaker of the House Carl Albert of Oklahoma, and his historic appointment to the House Armed Services Committee.

The Honorable Ronald V. Dellums, U.S. Representative of California
Interview recorded April 19, 2012 Deed of Gift

Sharing a Chair on the First Day

Representative Dellums recalls the unusual circumstances he and Congresswoman Pat Schroeder of Colorado faced on their first day on the House Armed Services Committee.

The Honorable Ronald V. Dellums, U.S. Representative of California
Interview recorded April 19, 2012 Deed of Gift

Consequences of Historic Appointment

Representative Dellums reflects on how his appointment to the House Armed Services Committee affected the Congressional Black Caucus.

The Honorable Ronald V. Dellums, U.S. Representative of California
Interview recorded April 19, 2012 Deed of Gift

Bringing the Human Family Together

Representative Dellums recounts his experience of becoming the first African American to represent a majority white district.

The Honorable Ronald V. Dellums, U.S. Representative of California
Interview recorded June 19, 2012 Deed of Gift

The Voting Rights Act of 1965

Detailed account of Louisiana Representative Hale Boggs' decision to speak on behalf of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Cokie Roberts, Congressional Correspondent and Daughter of Representatives Hale and Lindy Boggs of Louisiana
Interview recorded June 23, 2009 Deed of Gift

Significance of Being the First Female Page for the House of Representatives

Reflections on the lifetime impact of the Page experience.

Felda Looper, Page, U.S. House of Representatives
Interview recorded January 25, 2010 Deed of Gift

Campaign to Become First Female Page

Felda Looper reflects on her first meeting with then Majority Whip Carl Albert of Oklahoma.

Felda Looper, Page, U.S. House of Representatives
Interview recorded January 25, 2010 Deed of Gift

Congresswoman Helen Meyner of New Jersey

Recollections of Congresswoman Helen Meyner of New Jersey and gender barriers in the Democratic Cloakroom.

Donnald K. Anderson, Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives
Interview recorded October 23, 2006 Deed of Gift

Memories of Historic Legislation

Civil Rights legislation and reflections on breaking racial barriers in the House of Representatives.

Frank Mitchell, Page, U.S. House of Representatives
Interview recorded June 2, 2010 Deed of Gift

Audio

Change Is Coming

Reflections on the changing southern attitudes towards civil rights legislation.

George Andrews III, Page, U.S. House of Representatives, and Son of Representatives George and Elizabeth Andrews of Alabama
Interview recorded September 24, 2009 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Cognizant of Making History

Reflections on the historical significance of being the first female House Page.

Felda Looper, Page, U.S. House of Representatives
Interview recorded May 21, 2007 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Historical Milestones

Reflection of the significance of being the first African-American House Page to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 20th century.

Frank Mitchell, Page, U.S. House of Representatives
Interview recorded August 6, 2008 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

On Being the First African-American Woman on the Force

Reflection on what it meant to be the first African-American woman on the Capitol Police Force.

Arva Marie Johnson, Officer, U.S. Capitol Police Department
Interview recorded March 1, 2007 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Reflections on Being the Only Woman on the Day Shift

Description of the reactions of and resistance by male officers.

Arva Marie Johnson, Officer, U.S. Capitol Police Department
Interview recorded March 1, 2007 Deed of Gift
Transcript (PDF)

Images & Artifacts

Civil Rights Act of 1964
<em>Civil Rights Act of 1964</em>/tiles/non-collection/o/oh_evnt_cr_cra1964_lbjlib.xml
On July 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law. Those gathered behind President Johnson at the bill signing included civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., and future District of Columbia Delegate Walter Fauntroy.
Photograph by Cecil Stoughton, courtesy of the LBJ Library
Voting Rights Act of 1965
<em>Voting Rights Act of 1965</em>/tiles/non-collection/o/oh_evnt_cr_vra1965_lbjlib.xml
On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. The legislation suspended the use of literacy tests and voter disqualification devices for five years, authorized the use of federal examiners to supervise voter registration in states that used tests or in which less than half the voting-eligible residents registered or voted, directed the U.S. Attorney General to institute proceedings against use of poll taxes, and provided criminal penalties for violations of the act.
Photograph by Frank Wolfe, courtesy of the LBJ Library
Civil Rights Act of 1968
<em>Civil Rights Act of 1968</em>/tiles/non-collection/o/oh_evnt_cr_cra1968_lbjlib.xml
President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968 on April 11, 1968. The act prohibited discrimination in the sale or rental of approximately 80 percent of the housing in the U.S. Newly elected Senator Edward Brooke of Massachusetts (fourth from left) attended the signing.
Photograph by Yoichi R. Okamoto, courtesy of the LBJ Library
Congressional Delegation to Visit Alabama
<em>Congressional Delegation to Visit Alabama</em>/tiles/non-collection/o/oh_evnt_cr_selmahearing_hc.xml
In February of 1965, following the arrest of Martin Luther King, Jr., a multiracial, bipartisan Congressional delegation traveled to Selma, Alabama. Shown from left to right, Representatives Adam Clayton Powell, Gus Hawkins, William Ryan, Charles Diggs, John Conyers, and Joseph Resnick.
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
Alabama Members Visit Selma
<em>Alabama Members Visit Selma</em>/tiles/non-collection/o/oh_evnt_cr_selma_congressmen_hc.xml
In February of 1965, following the arrest of Martin Luther King, Jr., a 14-Member congressional delegation traveled to Selma, Alabama, to get a firsthand look at demonstrations against voting discrimination and to observe voter registration efforts. The group included (left to right): Representatives James Martin; William Dickinson; John Buchanan; and Glenn Andrews.
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object