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On June 19, 1963, President John F. Kennedy sent regulation to Congress that would certainly ultimately become the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Although the act was mainly motivated by events in the Jim Crow South, racism occurred throughout the country, consisting of Ohio.
Although Ohio was never a servant state, it has actually a lengthy history of discrimicountry against non-white citizens. Delegates to the 1802 Ohio Constitutional Convention honored the Northwest Ordinance pledge to prohibit slaextremely northwest of the Ohio River: “Tbelow shall be neither slaextremely nor involuntary servitude in the said territory but any servant escaping right into the area might be lawcompletely reclaimed.” However, in 1804 the legislature started enacting a series of “Black Laws” designed to discourage immigration and restrict the civil liberties and also freedoms of Black inhabitants. Black citizens entering the state had to post $500 bond, file proof of cost-free condition, and keep documentation of complimentary standing via them in order to occupational. Additionally, Babsence residents might not vote, serve on a jury, hold public office, marry white residents, own a gun, or attend public colleges. Ohio’s Black Laws were partially repealed in 1849; Black residents could testify in court and were no much longer required to short article a bond or register freedom documents, however they still couldn’t exercise their best to vote until the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870 and, for woguys, the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920.
The Ohio General Assembly began to address inequality in the 1880s, making Ohio among the first states to enact civil civil liberties law. The Ohio Public Accommodations Law of 1884 prohibited discrimination in public framework such as inns and also theaters; however, the regulation permitted only minor penalties and was poorly imposed. Ten years later on, Harry Clay Smith, an Babsence journalist and legislator from Cleveland, presented an amendment that instituted minimum penalties of $50 or thirty days in jail for violations of the law. Smith additionally presented the Smith Act of 1896, which ended up being the strongest anti-lynching regulation in the country at the moment and also offered as a design for various other says.
However, progression on civil rights legislation was slow. From the 1940s to 1959, even more than thirty bills sustaining fair employment practices passed away in the Ohio legislature. Finally, the Fair Employment Practices Commission Legislation of 1959 prohibited employment discrimination and establimelted the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, which was responsible for investigating and remediating charges of discrimination. The commission also educated employers and the public around the brand-new law and also stupassed away discrimicountry in various other elements of life. In 1961, at the commission’s reference, the General Assembly passed a new public accommodations regulation prohibiting discrimination and also was applied by the Civil Rights Commission.
The civil legal rights regulation proposed by John F. Kennedy in the summer of 1963 additionally faced challenges as it made its method with Congress. The bill went initially to the Housage of Representatives, wbelow it was strengthened in the Judiciary Committee however deliberately stalled in the Rules Committee. After Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963, Lyndon Johnboy and crucial members of Congress offered their political skills to development the bill. When it was signed right into law on July 2, 1964, the Civil Rights Act outlawed discrimination in public locations such as restaurants, theaters, and hotels; imposed the desegregation of public schools; prevented discrimination in programs receiving federal funds; and also prohibited discrimicountry by many type of employers on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national beginning.
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For more indevelopment about civil rights history in Ohio, you have the right to read this retrospective by the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.
Thank you to Stephanie Michaels, Research and also Catalog Services Librarian at theState Library of Ohio, for this week’s post!