maryp26
 
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      (There’s obviously more history in this but I’ll keep it to the pertinent parts of your comment.) September 24, 1957
      Sparking criticism from Democrats such as Senators John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, President Dwight Eisenhower deploys the 82nd Airborne Division to Little Rock, AR to force Democrat Governor Orval Faubus to integrate public schools May 6, 1960
      President Dwight Eisenhower signs Republicans’ Civil Rights Act of 1960, overcoming 125-hour, around-the-clock filibuster by 18 Senate Democrats September 29, 1963
      Gov. George Wallace (D-AL) defies order by U.S. District Judge Frank Johnson, appointed by President Dwight Eisenhower, to integrate Tuskegee High School (You’ll see why Wallace’s involvement is important later) June 9, 1964
      Republicans condemn 14-hour filibuster against 1964 Civil Rights Act by U.S. Senator and former Ku Klux Klansman Robert Byrd (D-WV), who still serves in the Senate June 10, 1964
      Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen (R-IL) criticizes Democrat filibuster against 1964 Civil Rights Act, calls on Democrats to stop opposing racial equality. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was introduced and approved byastaggering majority of Republicans in the Senate. The Act was opposed by most southern Democrat senators, several of whom were proud segregationists—one of them being Al Gore Sr. Democrat President Lyndon B. Johnson relied on Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen, the Republican leader from Illinois, to get the Act passed. August 4, 1965
      Senate Republican Leader Everett Dirksen (R-IL) overcomes Democrat attempts to block 1965 Voting Rights Act; ******94% of Senate Republicans vote for landmark civil right legislation*******, while 27% of Democrats oppose. Voting Rights Act of 1965, abolishing literacy tests and other measures devised by Democrats to prevent African-Americans from voting, signed into law; higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats vote in favor And further in history:
      September 15, 1981
      President Ronald Reagan establishes the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, to increase African-American participation in federal education programs June 29, 1982
      President Ronald Reagan signs 25-year extension of 1965 Voting Rights Act November 21, 1991
      President George H. W. Bush signs Civil Rights Act of 1991 to strengthen federal civil rights legislation August 20, 1996
      Bill authored by U.S. Rep. Susan Molinari (R-NY) to prohibit racial discrimination in adoptions, part of Republicans’ Contract With America, becomes law From Black and Right:
      Defensive liberals claim the Dixiecrats, asawhole, defected from the Democrat Party when President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (no thanks to Democrats), and became Republicans which they claimed were more accepting of segregationist policies. Well,Idecided to get some opinions on the matter from some historians.
      Icontacted Professor Larry Schweikart of the University of Dayton for advice. Larry andIworked onadocumentary based onachapter on Ronald Reagan from his best-selling book,APatriot’s History of the United States.  “The idea that “the Dixiecrats joined the Republicans” is not quite true, as you note. But because of Strom Thurmond it is accepted asafact. What happened is that the **next** generation (post 1965) of white southern politicians — Newt, Trent Lott, Ashcroft, Cochran, Alexander, etc — joined the GOP.  So it was reallyapassing of the torch as the old segregationists retired and were replaced by new young GOP guys. One particularly galling aspect to generalizations about “segregationists became GOP” is that the new GOP South was INTEGRATED for crying out loud, they accepted the Civil Rights revolution. Meanwhile, Jimmy Carter ledagroup of what would become “New” Democrats like Clinton and Al Gore.” Larry also suggestedIcontact Mike Allen, Professor of History at the University of Washington, Tacoma (who also appeared in the Reagan documentary) for input.  “There weren’t many Republicans in the South prior to 1964, but that doesn’t mean the birth of the souther GOP was tied to “white racism.” That said,Iam sure there were and are white racist southern GOP. No one would deny that. But it was the southern Democrats who were the party of slavery and, later, segregation. It was George Wallace, not John Tower, who stood in the southern schoolhouse door to block desegregation! The vast majority of Congressional GOP voted FOR the Civil Rights of 1964-65. The vast majority of those opposed to those acts were southern Democrats. Southern Democrats led to infamous filibuster of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  The confusion arises from GOP Barry Goldwater’s vote against the ’64 act. He had voted in favor or all earlier bills and had led the integration of the Arizona Air National Guard, but he didn’t like the “private property” aspects of the ’64 law. In other words, Goldwater believed people’s private businesses and private clubs were subject only to market forces, not government mandates (“We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.”) His vote against the Civil Rights Act was because of that one provision was, to my mind,aprincipled mistake.  This stance is what won Goldwater the South in 1964, and no doubt many racists voted for Goldwater in the mistaken belief that he opposed Negro Civil Rights. But Goldwater was notaracist; he wasalibertarian who favored both civil rights and property rights.  Switch to 1968.  Richard Nixon was alsoaproponent of Civil Rights; it wasaCA colleague who urged Ike to appoint Warren to the Supreme Court; he wasasupporter of Brown v. Board, and favored sending troops to integrate Little Rock High). Nixon saw he could developa“Southern strategy” based on Goldwater’s inroads. He did, but Independent Democrat George Wallace carried most of the deep south in 68. By 1972, however, Wallace was shot and paralyzed, and Nixon began to tilt the south to the GOP. The old guard Democrats began to fade away whileanew generation of Southern politicians became Republicans. True, Strom Thurmond switched to GOP, but most of the old timers (Fulbright, Gore, Wallace, Byrd etc etc) retired as Dems.  Why didanew generation white Southerners join the GOP? Not because they thought Republicans were racists who would return the South to segregation, but because the GOP wasa“local government, small government” party in the old Jeffersonian tradition. Southerners wanted less government and the GOP was their natural home.  Jimmy Carter,aCivil Rights Democrat, briefly returned some states to the Democrat fold, but in 1980, Goldwater’s heir, Ronald Reagan, sealed this deal for the GOP. The new ”Solid South” was solid GOP.  BUT, and we must stress this: the new southern Republicans were *integrationist* Republicans who accepted the Civil Rights revolution and full integration while retaining their love of Jeffersonian limited government principles.”