I. General Attitude - Creation of White House Sub Cabinet Group and formal designation by agencies of top staff people to keep in touch with interracial problems. Speeches, statements, responses to press conference inquiries by President and top Administration officials. Two messages on Civil Rights sent to the Congress. Meetings held by President with Governors, Mayors, business, labor and other leaders on Civil Rights issues.
II. Government Employment -
a. High level Negro appointments including Housing Administrator Robert Weaver (the highest Federal post ever held by a Negro), Assistant Secretary of Labor George Weaver, Ambassador Carl Rowan, Associate Press Secretary Hatcher, Deputy Assistant PMG Scott, Federal Judges. Important firsts include D.C. Commissioner Duncan, FTC Commissioner Higginbotham (first on any regulatory agency), Postmaster of a major city (Los Angeles), U.S. Attorneys (2), and Commander of a Navy combat ship.
b. Special effort to secure greater Negro participation in middle and upper management levels. The number of Negroes in jobs paying $4,500 to $10,000 annually increased 20 percent in the year from June 30, 1961 to June 30, 1962. This was over three times the rate of increase for all employees in those grades. In jobs paying $9,500 to $20,000 there was a growth of some 50 Negroes in the same period – increasing the Negroes in these classifications to almost 1,400.
c. Intensive recruiting in high schools and universities with Negro enrollments. Positive effort made to promote qualified Negro employees.
d. In formulating a Federal policy to recognize employee unions, adopted policy that only those unions that do not discriminate may be recognized.
III. Education –
a. A steady series of actions and interventions by Justice Department in Prince Edward County, Virginia; Louisiana; Alabama to end segregation.
b. Beginning September 1963 segregated schools would not be “suitable” for Federal installation children under impacted area program.
c. Summer and Academic Year institutions under NDEA and National Science Foundation and no longer held in colleges which refuse to accept students without regard to race.
d. Desegregation in numerous school districts achieved through persuasion and informal assistance from Federal officials.
IV. Interstate Travel –
a. Action to protect Freedom Riders including U.S. Marshals and court intervention.
b. Actions brought by the Administration in courts and before the ICC have resulted in elimination of segregation in bus, land and air terminals throughout the country.
V. Hospital Desegregation – Intervened in North Carolina Law suit challenging constitutionality of “separate but equal” Hill-Burton Act.
VI. Desegregation in Armed Forces –
a. Civil defense training for military and civilian personnel required on non-segregated bases – similar policy on off base training.
b. There are now Negroes in the Faculty and Cadet Corps at the Coast Guard Academy.
c. Formal statement of policy barring segregation in Armed Forces Reserves requiring review, quarterly reports and action to integrate by all commanders.
d. A Committee on Equal Opportunity in the Armed Forces appointed by the President will shortly submit its recommendations regarding the treatment of minority groups with special emphasis on off-base problems.
VII. Equal Employment Opportunity –
a. Established a new effective committee to end discrimination in Federal service and contracts with sanctions.
b. Because of the new emphasis, 1700 complaints of discrimination by government contractors were received in the first two years of this Administration (favorable action on about 72%), compared to the 1,000 complaints received in the preceding 7.5 years (with a favorable resolution of 20%).
c. Over 100 major industrial employers and 117 labor unions have signed voluntary agreements calling for an affirmative attack on discrimination in employment.
d. Vigorous efforts on part of Labor Department to eliminate discrimination in apprenticeship and other training programs, in referrals for employment, and in operations by labor organizations.
VIII. Housing – An executive order has been issued prohibiting discrimination in the sale, lease or use of housing owned by the Federal Government or financed by loans or guarantees by the Federal Government.
IX. Enforcement of Court Orders – When the authority of our Judicial System was challenged in the case of Negroes seeking admission to the Universities of Mississippi and Alabama, all steps necessary to insure compliance with court orders were taken.
X. State Merit Systems - Now under Federal grant-in-aid programs administered by States, the States must agree that employment of State personnel will be on a non-discriminatory basis.
XI. Post Office Branch Stations - Now post office branches will be operated only in stores or other establishments which do not discriminate not only in rendering postal services, but in all others aspects of their business.
XII. Additional Executive Actions -
a. When various counties (Fayette and Haywood in Tennessee in 1961 and LeFlore in Mississippi in 1963) refused to distribute surplus agricultural commodities, the Federal Government took action to insure that food would be made available to the needy.
b. The Federal Government no longer leases property or building space unless all facilities, including eating facilities, are available on a nondiscriminatory basis.
c. Through Executive action access to all Federally owned parks, forests, and other recreational areas is on a completely non-discriminatory basis.
XIII. Voting Rights -
a. Over 30 voting cases initiated by Justice Department (compared with a total of 10 between 1957 and January 1961).
b. Including cases filed, requests for records and independent investigations, action is now moving in approximately 115 southern counties.
c. Cases have been brought in counties in which no Negro has been registered. For example, we have sought relief for a Negro farmer who attempted to register and who has been cut off from the business and economic life of the community.
d. The key case thus far is an injunction sought against the Louisiana Board of Elections challenging the constitutionality of the State statute authorizing registrars to determine voter eligibility on the basis of ability to read, understand and interpret the State Constitution - the case is still pending.
e. Results of our efforts shown in last Alabama elections where startling statistics are available from two counties: In Macon, 2100 or 2500 registered Negroes voted constituting 40% of electorate; in Bullock, a rural sparsely populated county, 650 of 950 registered Negroes voted (200 of the 950 were registered too late) constituting between 20% and 30% of the total electorate voted. Significantly enough, in neither of these counties did racist candidates win.
XIV. Legislation -
a. In February 1963, the President proposed voting rights legislation to permit Federal referees while suits are pending, to give priority to voting suits, to require uniform tests and standards for all applicants, and to regard completion of 6th grade as a presumption of literacy; extension and expansion of the Civil Rights Commission; public facilities legislation to guarantee equal access to hotels, restaurants, places of amusement and retail establishments, and school legislation authorizing the Attorney General to initiate court cases, and providing technical and financial assistance to aid in de-segregation.
b. Supported the anti-poll tax amendment to the Constitution including direct contact with Governors to encourage and urge action by State Legislatures.
c. Supported other legislation in the Congress including that dealing with employment, education, extension of Civil Rights Commission (in 1961) and authority of Attorney General to initiate legal actions.
d. Administration witnesses testified before the Montgomery County (Maryland) Council urging adoption of a County Public Accommodations Ordinance, and have also appeared in opposition to efforts to repeal it.