Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-55597f9d44-rn2sj Total loading time: 0.262 Render date: 2022-08-15T15:19:25.260Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

Foreshadowing the Civil Rights Counter-Revolution

Congress and the Fair Housing Act of 1968

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 November 2021

Jeffery A. Jenkins*
Affiliation:
Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Justin Peck
Affiliation:
Department of Government, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, USA
*
*Corresponding author. Email: jajenkins@usc.edu

Abstract

After overseeing the adoption of two landmark civil rights proposals in 1964 and 1965, the Johnson administration and its allies in Congress sought to implement the third item of its broader agenda: a legal prohibition on racial discrimination in the sale and rental of housing. Enacting fair housing legislation, however, proved to be a vexing process. Advocates had to win support from northern White Democrats skeptical of the policy, as well as Republicans who were often (and increasingly) unreliable allies. Fair housing legislation failed in 1966 (89th Congress) but passed two years later, during the 90th Congress. We provide a legislative policy history detailing how, after three tumultuous years, Congress came to enact the fair housing provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1968. Overall, the battle to enact fair housing legislation presaged a dynamic that would take hold as the Great Society gave way to the Nixon years: once federal civil rights policies started to bear directly on the lives of White northerners, they became much harder to pass and implement. It also showcased the moment at which the Republican Party in Congress first moved to the right on civil rights and explicitly adopted a position of racial conservatism.

Type
Article
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Hutchins Center for African and African American Research

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Adler, E. Scott. (2002). Congressional District Data File, [89th Congress]. University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.Google Scholar
Albright, Robert C. (1966). Senate Sets Stage for 3rd Rights Fight in 3 Yrs. The Washington Post, May 4. https://www.proquest.com/docview/142973479/412EDCEA39F2491CPQ/12?accountid=14749 (accessed September 21, 2021).Google Scholar
Bernstein, Irving (1996). Guns or Butter: The Presidency of Lyndon Johnson. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954). 347 U.S., 483Google Scholar
Brown, DeNeen L. (2018). The Fair Housing Act Was Languishing in Congress. Then Martin Luther King Was Killed. The Washington Post, April 11. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2018/04/11/the-fair-housing-act-was-languishing-in-congress-then-martin-luther-king-jr-was-killed/ (accessed September 21, 2021).Google Scholar
Burnett, Donald L. Jr. (1972). An Historical Analysis of the 1968 ‘Indian Civil Rights’ Act. Harvard Journal on Legislation, 9(4): 557626.Google Scholar
Carter, David C. (2009). The Music Has Gone Out of the Movement: Civil Rights and the Johnson Administration, 1965–1968. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.Google Scholar
Chicago Tribune Press Service (1966). House Starts Voting Today on Rights Bill,” Chicago Tribune, July 29. https://www.proquest.com/docview/179024399/9B32B108E15D4CB5PQ/4?accountid=14749 (accessed September 21, 2021).Google Scholar
Collins, William J. (2006). The Political Economy of State Fair Housing Laws Before 1968. Social Science History, 30(1): 1549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Congress and the Nation, Volume II: 1965–1968: A Review of Government and Politics During the Johnson Years (1969). Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc.Google Scholar
CQ Almanac 1967 (1968a). Message to Congress: Johnson’s Civil Rights Message. 23rd ed., 20-62-A-20-66-A. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc. http://library.cqpress.com/cqalmanac/document.php?id=cqal67-1312014 (accessed September 19, 2021).Google Scholar
CQ Almanac 1967 (1968b). Senate Hearings Held on 1967 Civil Rights Act. 23rd ed., 08-775-08-777. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc. http://library.cqpress.com/cqalmanac/cqal67-1312858 (accessed September 19, 2021).Google Scholar
CQ Almanac 1967 (1968c). Civil Rights Bill Split up, Few Proposals Passed. 23rd ed., 08-772-08-775. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc. http://library.cqpress.com/cqalmanac/cqal67-1312853 (accessed September 19, 2021).Google Scholar
CQ Almanac 1967 (1968d). Senate Passes Bill on Federal Jury Selection. 23rd ed., 08-787-08-788. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc. http://library.cqpress.com/cqalmanac/cqal67-1312876 (accessed September 19, 2021).Google Scholar
CQ Almanac 1967 (1968e). Chronology of Violence in American History. 23rd ed., 08-793-08-795. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc. http://library.cqpress.com/cqalmanac/cqal67-1312888 (accessed September 19, 2021).Google Scholar
CQ Almanac 1968 (1969a). Federal Jury Reform. 24th ed., 09-169-9-169. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc. http://library.cqpress.com/cqalmanac/cqal68-1283475 (accessed September 19, 2021).Google Scholar
CQ Almanac 1968 (1969b). Congress Enacts Open Housing Legislation. 24th ed., 14-152-14-165. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc. http://library.cqpress.com/cqalmanac/cqal68-1283454 (accessed September 19, 2021).Google Scholar
CQ Almanac 1968 (1969c). Message to Congress: Johnson on Civil Rights. 24th ed., 20-36-A-20-39-A. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc. http://library.cqpress.com/cqalmanac/cqal68-1284443 (accessed September 19, 2021).Google Scholar
CQ Almanac 1968 (1969d). Effective Lobbying Put Open Housing Bill Across. 24th ed., 14-166-14-168. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, Inc. http://library.cqpress.com/cqalmanac/cqal68-1283472 (accessed September 19, 2021).Google Scholar
Delmont, Matthew F. (2016). Why Busing Failed: Race, Media, and the National Resistance to School Desegregation. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
Dubofsky, Jean E. (1969). Fair Housing: A Legislative History and a Perspective. Washburn Law Journal, 8(2): 149166.Google Scholar
Everson, Phil, Valelly, Rick, Vishwanath, Arjun, and Wiseman, Jim (2016). NOMINATE and American Political Development: A Primer. Studies in American Political Development, 30(2): 97115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Franklin, Ben A. (1966a). Realtors Lobby Calls for Fight on Open Housing. The New York Times, July 29. https://www.proquest.com/docview/116973958/19F4CEBB3BEB46E6PQ/1?accountid=14749 (accessed September 21, 2021).Google Scholar
Franklin, Ben A. (1966b). Wilkins Presses for Open Housing. The New York Times, July 27. https://www.proquest.com/docview/117236737/63E036765D504FDDPQ/1?accountid=14749 (accessed September 21, 2021).Google Scholar
Franklin, Ben A. (1966c). House Taking Up Rights Bill Today. The New York Times, July 25. https://www.proquest.com/docview/117532115/5E822B0B841247E7PQ/1?accountid=14749 (accessed September 21, 2021).Google Scholar
Freeburg, Russell (1966). Dirksen Hits Bid for Fair Housing Law. Chicago Tribune, May 3. https://www.proquest.com/docview/178996210/937B1603410D4259PQ/1?accountid=14749 (accessed September 21, 2021).Google Scholar
Garrow, David J. (1999). Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. New York: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
Gillette, William (1982). Retreat from Reconstruction, 1869–1879. Baton Rouge, LA0: Louisiana State University Press.Google Scholar
Graham, Hugh Davis (1990). The Civil Rights Era: Origins and Development of National Policy, 1960–1972. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Herbers, John (1966a). Johnson to Yield on Open Housing to Aid Rights Bill. The New York Times, June 27. https://www.nytimes.com/1966/06/28/archives/johnson-to-yield-on-open-housing-to-aid-rights-bill-will-accept.html (accessed September 20, 2021).Google Scholar
Herbers, John (1966b). Open Housing Kept in Rights Bill by 17-to-15 Vote of House Panel. The New York Times, June 29. https://www.proquest.com/docview/117516097/A914E3EFFE8347D2PQ/1?accountid=14749 (accessed September 21, 2021).Google Scholar
Herbers, John (1966c). House Backs Curb on Housing Bias. The New York Times, August 6. https://www.proquest.com/docview/117276029/520783462F5C48B4PQ/2?accountid=14749 (accessed September 21, 2021).Google Scholar
Herbers, John (1966d). Rights Bill Foes in Senate Force Delay in Debate. The New York Times, August 12. https://www.proquest.com/docview/117193037/A95A4E52E5654A08PQ/2?accountid=14749 (accessed September 21, 2021).Google Scholar
Herbers, John (1966e). Rights Bill Foes in Senate Force Delay in Debate. The New York Times, August 12. https://www.proquest.com/docview/117193037/64C1EBE3B8D240E1PQ/1?accountid=14749 (accessed September 21, 2021).Google Scholar
Hinton, Elizabeth (2021). America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s. New York: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar
Hirsch, Arnold R. (1995). Massive Resistance in the Urban North: Trumbull Park, Chicago, 1953–1966. The Journal of American History, 82(2): 522550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hulsey, Byron C. (2000). Everett Dirksen and His Presidents: How a Senate Giant Shaped American Politics. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas.Google Scholar
Hunter, Marjorie (1966). Democrats Split on Open Housing. The New York Times, August 1. https://www.proquest.com/docview/117535686/FCB15D88ED634920PQ/1?accountid=14749 (accessed September 21, 2021).Google Scholar
Hunter, Marjorie (1968). Rules Panel Clears Rights Bill for Vote In the House Today. The New York Times, April 10. https://www.proquest.com/docview/118172622/DB3390438CF945BCPQ/2?accountid=14749 (accessed September 21, 2021).Google Scholar
Jackson, Kenneth T. (1985). Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Jenkins, Jeffery A., and Peck, Justin (2021). Congress and the First Civil Rights Era, 1861–1918. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Johnson, Lyndon B. (1967). Text of Message by President Johnson to Congress on the State of the Union. The New York Times, January 11. https://www.proquest.com/docview/117952840/834681CA0F4044FEPQ/6?accountid=14749 (accessed September 21, 2021).Google Scholar
Levy, Peter B. (2018). The Great Uprising: Race Riots in Urban America. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lyons, Richard (1966a). House May Limit Open Housing Law. Boston Globe, July 27. https://www.proquest.com/docview/366175098/941C4082AAD14404PQ/16?accountid=14749 (accessed September 21, 2021).Google Scholar
Lyons, Richard (1966b). House Softens Rights Housing by 1 Vote. The Washington Post, August 4. https://www.proquest.com/docview/142753349/8A4E03623B94B7BPQ/1?accountid=14749 (accessed September 21, 2021).Google Scholar
Massey, Douglas S., and Denton, Nancy A. (1993). American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Mathias, Charles McC Jr, and Morris, Marion (1999). Fair Housing Legislation: Not an Easy Row to Hoe. Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research, 4(3): 2133.Google Scholar
Mayhew, David R. (1974). Congress: The Electoral Connection. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Metcalf, George R. (1988). Fair Housing Comes of Age. New York: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
O’Reilly, Kenneth (1988). The FBI and the Politics of Riots, 1964–1968. The Journal of American History, 75(1): 91114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Oliveri, Rigel C. (2018). The Legislative Battle for the Fair Housing Act (1966–1968). In Squires, Gregory D. (Ed.), The Fight for Fair Housing: Causes, Consequences, and Future Implications of the 1968 Federal Fair Housing Act, pp. 2839. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
Orfield, Gary (1975). Congress, the President, and Anti-Busing Legislation, 1966–1974. Journal of Law and Education, 4(1): 81139.Google Scholar
Poole, Keith T., and Rosenthal, Howard (2007). Ideology and Congress. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
Ralph, James R. Jr. (1993). Northern Protest: Martin Luther King, Jr., Chicago, and the Civil Rights Movement. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Rothstein, Richard (2017). The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. New York: Liveright.Google Scholar
Sander, Richard H., Kucheva, Yana A., and Zasloff, Jonathan M. (2018). Moving Toward Integration: The Past and Future of Fair Housing. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Semple, Robert B. Jr. (1966). Dirksen Refuses Rights Bill Shift. The New York Times, September 14. https://www.proquest.com/docview/116977014/86A4C4642C334AE0PQ/1?accountid=14749 (accessed September 21, 2021).Google Scholar
Sloyan, Patrick J. (1966). Ghetto Life Caused Riots: Katzenbach. Chicago Daily Defender, August 18. https://www.proquest.com/docview/494224969/51881C057B384A42PQ/1?accountid=14749 (accessed September 21, 2021).Google Scholar
Stewart, Richard (1966a). No GOP Decision Yet on Open Housing. Boston Globe, July 29. https://www.proquest.com/docview/366166940/F259D0AF52F3419FPQ/56?accountid=14749 (accessed September 21, 2021).Google Scholar
Stewart, Richard (1966b). Civil Rights Bill in Trouble. Boston Globe, July 31. https://www.proquest.com/docview/814685974/A536EBE61681488DPQ/16?accountid=14749 (accessed September 21, 2021).Google Scholar
Sugrue, Thomas J. (2008). Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
Taylor, Keeanga-Yamahtta (2019). Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tooze, Adam (2014). Deluge: The Great War, America, and the Remaking of the Global Order, 1916–1931. New York: Penguin.Google Scholar
United Press International (1966a). Open Occupancy Debate Sparks Action in House. Baltimore Afro-American, August 6. https://www.proquest.com/docview/532183255/2BC2734476374003PQ/1?accountid=14749 (accessed September 21, 2021).Google Scholar
United Press International (1966b). LBJ says Rights Bill Depends on Dirksen, Chicago Daily Defender, September 14. https://www.proquest.com/docview/494267904/1F997CA20E1C43F2PQ/1?accountid=14749 (accessed September 21, 2021).Google Scholar
United States Congress (1966). Civil Rights: 1966: Hearings Before Subcommittee No. 5. 89th Congress, 2nd Session. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
U.S. News Staff (1967). Race Troubles. U.S. News and World Report. August 14. https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2017-07-12/race-troubles-109-us-cities-faced-violence-in-1967 (accessed September 21, 2021).Google Scholar
Wyatt-Brown, Bertram (1965). The Civil Rights Act of 1875. Western Political Quarterly, 18(4): 763775.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zeitz, Joshua (2018). Building the Great Society: Inside Lyndon Johnson’s White House. New York: Viking.Google Scholar

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Foreshadowing the Civil Rights Counter-Revolution
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Foreshadowing the Civil Rights Counter-Revolution
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Foreshadowing the Civil Rights Counter-Revolution
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *