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Civil Rights in Texas Unit. Early Civil Rights Movements in Texas. During the world wars, many African Americans and Mexican Americans realized the unfairness of fighting and dying for democracy when many of their civil rights were denied at home.

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early civil rights movements in texas
Early Civil Rights Movements in Texas
  • During the world wars, many African Americans and Mexican Americans realized the unfairness of fighting and dying for democracy when many of their civil rights were denied at home.
  • The progressive movement spawned groups that promoted racial equality and assisted minority Americans—American GI Forum and LULAC (Mexican Americans) and the NAACP (African Americans).
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Early Civil Rights Movements in Texas
  • Early Civil Rights activists included African American Lulu B. Whiteand Mexican American Dr. Hector P. Garcia.
political parties divide
Political Parties Divide
  • In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the Republican and Democrat parties both became divided over world issues, New Deal programs, and segregation. Southern Democrats who favored segregation supported the new Dixiecrat party—this split in the Democratic Party caused a power shifttowards the Republican Party in Texas (as evidenced by Republican candidate Eisenhower being elected as President in 1952).
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Political Parties Divide
  • People continued to develop differences over a variety of issues and started identifying themselves as liberal (loose views on tradition), conservative (strong views on tradition), or moderate (neither liberal nor conservative). Most political offices in Texas were held by conservative or moderate Democrats.
  • In his first term, President Eisenhower appointed Earl Warrenas Chief Justiceof the U.S. Supreme Court. The Warren Court in the 1950s and 1960s consistently decided in favor of those seeking to end discrimination.
  • In 1896 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that racial segregationwas legal as long as the facilities of both races were equal. In the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, case, the Supreme Court ruled racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional and ordered schools to desegregate.
  • The Mansfield Independent School District quietly desegregated in 1965. The District was the last public schoolsystem to integrate in the United States of America. Overall, it took 20 years after Brown, until the mid-1970s, for desegregation to occur.

Minorities were also denied access to public facilities, parks, libraries, and swimming pools even though their taxes helped support these facilities. They sued to gain access. Some private clubsand facilities maintained segregation.

the red scare
The Red Scare
  • The fear about the rise of communism in the 1950s led to many people, including labor unions and civil rights workers, to be accused of Communist ties. This era was called the “Red Scare”.
  • In 1953, the Texas legislature passed a law requiring all state employees, including teachers, to sign a “loyalty oath” to the USA before they were paid.
the red scare1
The Red Scare
  • Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin accused U.S. Army leadersof being Communists. The word “McCarthyism” was used to describe the activities.
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The Red Scare
  • John Henry Faulk, an Austin native and radio star for CBS in New York City, was fired when a group claimed he was a Communist. He sued for libel and won, thus protecting freedom of speech.
lbj s presidency
LBJ’s Presidency
  • After John F. Kennedywas assassinated in Dallas in 1963, Lyndon B. Johnsonbecame President. He was elected to serve a full term as President from 1964 to 1968.
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LBJ’s Presidency
  • During Johnson’s administration, Congress passed many laws comparable to Roosevelt’s New Deal. His programs were called the “Great Society”.
  • Johnson declared a “war on poverty” because so many people were poor, despite the country’s general prosperity. He stressed education as the cornerstone of his program.
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LBJ’s Presidency
  • He supported laws that created Head Start, Job Corps, and federal aid for college students. He also helped pushed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which is an act of Congress that prohibited discrimination in public places, education, or employment on the basis of race, color, sex, nationality, or religion.
  • Johnson also supported the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which is an act of Congress that eliminated literacy tests (used to determine the literacy of black voters); and provided for federal rather than state examiners to register qualified voters.
african americans and politics
African Americans and Politics
  • In 1966 Barbara Jordanbecame the first African American elected to the state Senate since Reconstruction ended. In 1972, Houston voters elected her to the U.S. House of Representatives. Her abilities were noted during the congressional hearings over the Watergate scandal involving President Nixon.
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African Americans and Politics
  • James Farmerof Marshall, Texas founded the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). He organized boycotts, sit-ins, and freedom rides, all nonviolent methods to oppose segregation.
mexican americans and politics
Mexican Americans and Politics
  • In 1948, Raymond Tellesbecame the first Mexican-American mayor of a major U.S. city—El Paso, TX.
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Mexican Americans and Politics
  • In 1961 Henry B. Gonzálezof San Antonio was the first Hispanic from Texas elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. By the mid-1960s, Mexican American candidates were winning seats on several school boards and city councils.
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Mexican Americans and Politics
  • In 1978 Raul A. Gonzálezbecame the first Hispanic appointed or elected to statewide office in 1978. He later served as Texas State Judge for the Court of Appeals and Texas Supreme Court.
texans and politics
Texans and Politics
  • In the modern era, Texan politicians George H.W. Bush (“Bush 41”) and his son, a former Texas Governor, George W. Bush(“Bush 43”), have served as U.S. Presidents.
texans and politics1
Texans and Politics
  • Other Texan politicians have also distinguished themselves in Congress—Phil Grammin the U.S. House of Representatives and Kay Bailey Hutchison in the U.S. Senate.
texans and politics2
Texans and Politics
  • Former Secretary of State James Baker, IIIis also well-known for serving in the Reagan and Bush Administrations in the 1980s and 1990s.
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Texans and Politics
  • Democrat Ann Richards served as governor of Texas in the early 1990s.