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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Kennedy, Robert Francis (1925-1968) [Report to President John F. Kennedy regarding civil rights]

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05630 Author/Creator: Kennedy, Robert Francis (1925-1968) Place Written: s.l. Type: Typed letter signed Date: 24 January 1963 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: A signed carbon copy. Robert Kennedy, Attorney General, describes 1962 as "a year of great progress in civil rights, in large measure because of the responsibility and respect for law displayed by the great majority of the citizens of the South." Summarizes civil rights from the standpoint of the Department of Justice. Cites voting as the most significant civil rights issue, due to a lack of local compliance during federal investigation of voting procedures in specific areas. States that lawsuits were filed in Louisiana and Mississippi "challenging the constitutionality of the state voter qualification laws themselves ... Negroes' fear of attempting to register is, perhaps, as great a problem as their being prevented from registering." Reports on voter intimidation and the destruction of voting locations. Relates that segregation in transportation has ceased to exist, and that the number of segregated schools decreased due to governmental efforts toward eradication during the year 1962. States that the Department of Justice has "continued its policy of seeking out qualified personnel on the basis of ability and irrespective of race." Discusses sit-ins, protests in Albany, Georgia, civil rights as pertaining to hospitals, and police brutality, among other topics. Declares 1962 as a year for progress in the field of civil rights while admitting that some difficulties remain.

People: Kennedy, John Fitzgerald, 1917-1963.
Kennedy, Robert F., 1925-1968.

Historical Era: 1945 to the Present

Keywords/Subjects: Government and Civics, African American History, Civil Rights, Law, Suffrage, US Constitution, Segregation, Transportation, Education, Hospital, Reform Movement, President

Sub Era: The Sixties The Civil Rights Movement