Black Excellence

34th Dwight D Eisenhower 1953-1961 Republican

  • Desegregated the nation’s capital and enforced the desegregated of the military as signed by President Truman
  • In 1956, he signed the Federal Highway Act – This was a plan to build freeways through the United States. Only problem is they build them through black neighborhoods and business, dismantling many neighborhoods
  • In 1957, Eisenhower dispatched federal troops and explained that he had an obligation to enforce the law. This was the first time since reconstruction that a president sent armed forces to enforce the law.
  • Also in 1957 Eisenhower signed the first civil rights legislation since reconstruction. This law provided new federal protection for voting rights

Eisenhower never wanted to be a crusader for civil rights. He did keep the ball rolling in some aspects but it was obvious the issue made him uncomfortable. In private it is said that he thought Blacks wanted things to change too quickly. He upheld courts decision on desecrating schools and implemented the Federal Highway Act without regards for Black neighborhoods and businesses. 

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