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"MY HOMEWORK SHEET" (CIVIL RIGHTS--NAACP.) [MITCHELL, CLARENCE.] HR7152, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, representative emanuel celler's working copy with his ink notations, presented to NAACP Washington Bureau Director Clarence Mitchell. All of the pages of the printed act, separated, with Celler's ink notes, affixed to a large wooden plaque (24-3/4x19 inches) and laminated; dark marks here and there from the glue attaching the pages. Washington, D.C., 1964
a unique copy of the june 20, 1963 preliminary printing (h.r.7152) of what would become the civil rights act of 1964; with representative emanuel celler's ink corrections and emendations; the first page bearing a warm presentation to clarence mitchell. "To Clarence-An indefatigable worker for Civil Rights, here is my home work sheet, Emanuel Celler." Celler was chairman of the judiciary comittee and as such would have been in charge of seeing the bill through Congress. It is hard to imagine a finer association. Celler (1888-1981) long-time Democrat from New York served in the House of Representatives from 1923 to 1973, and was involved in the actual drafting and passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1968. Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. (1911 -1984) was the regional director and chief lobbyist for the NAACP for nearly 30 years. Mitchell, nicknamed "the 101st U.S. Senator", waged a tireless campaign on Capitol Hill to secure the passage of a comprehensive series of civil rights laws. The original bill for this act was called for by President John F. Kennedy in his civil rights speech of June 11, 1963. Kennedy asked for legislation "giving all Americans the right to be served in facilities which are open to the public-hotels, restaurants, theaters, retail stores, and similar establishments," as well as "greater protection for the right to vote." Kennedy delivered this speech following a series of protests from the African-American community, the most concurrent being the Birmingham campaign, which concluded in May 1963. Following Kennedy's assassination in November of 1963, President Lyndon Baines Johnson, a Texas Democrat bravely took up the fight to pass this historic legislation knowing full well he would lose all support from his Southern base. The Civil Rights Act--which is best known for barring discrimination in public accommodations--passed the House on Feb. 10, 1964 by a margin of 290-130. When broken down by party, 61 percent of Democratic lawmakers voted for the bill (152 yeas and 96 nays), and a full 80 percent of the Republican caucus supported it (138 yeas and 34 nays). When the Senate passed the measure on June 19, 1964,--nine days after supporters mustered enough votes to end the longest filibuster in Senate history--the margin was 73-27. Better than two-thirds of Senate Democrats supported the measure on final passage (46 yeas, 21 nays), but an even stronger 82 percent of Republicans supported it (27 yeas, 6 nays).
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