Civil Rights Bill

Published: 1963
Play Audio Archive Story - UPI
With his wife holding the Bible, Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-SC, takes his Senate oath of office from Vice President Spiro Agnew on Janauiry 3, 1973. (UPI Photo/Files) (NOTE: this was a simulated ceremony, as the real cermeony was held on the Senate Floor)

Don Fulsome: "In the Senate, the Tax Bill never got out of the Finance Committee; but Chairman Harry Byrd, hastened by a gentle nudge from President Johnson, forecast final action early in 1964.

"Neither House voted on the most controversial New Frontier proposal of the year: a comprehensive set of laws designed to deliver the Constitution to the American Negro. The package, which emerged from the House Judiciary Committee, was not as strong as one approved by its Civil Rights Subcommittee; but the Administration believed it had a better chance of passing.

"As expected, the most angry opposition to the bill came from Dixie lawmakers, like Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina."

Senator Strom Thurmond: "This so-called Civil Rights Proposals, which the President has sent to Capitol Hill for enactment into law, are unconstitutional, unnecessary unwise and extend beyond the realm of reason. This is the worst civil-rights package ever presented to the Congress and is reminiscent of the Reconstruction proposals and actions of the radical Republican Congress."

Don Fulsome: "At year's end, the rights measure was bottled up in the House Rules Committee. But Chairman Howard Smith of Virginia promised hearings in early 1964.

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