Lesson Plan 12 | Minority Groups Struggle for Civil Rights (1923-1949)


In 1915, nearly all blacks lived in the South, but over the next ten years they would move to the North in search of plentiful factory jobs, more than a million southern blacks would eventually relocate to northern cities. These southern blacks were less educated due to Democratic rule since Reconstruction. The new arrivals of blacks soon found themselves with the most menial labor positions. Unions tended to exclude blacks, and government regulations kept them out of many of the trades. In the North, southern-born blacks could vote and voted overwhelmingly Republican. Most of the older blacks knew what oppression was like in the South, but younger blacks viewed the Democratic Party differently. They seemed unaware that the urban Democratic party machines were looking for a voting block that they could integrate into the party.

World War One seemed to resolve nothing, and when President Wilson returned from the Versailles Peace Conference in July 1919 with his League of Nations idea, he found the country in no mood for any future foreign involvement. Blacks returned from the war and thought they had earned full citizenship after fighting to defend U.S. freedom abroad, but soon they would discover that no advances had been made and found that the KKK spread to the North and West. Blacks found that the two pressing domestic issues of the day were prohibition and women’s suffrage, not civil rights.

The expansion of the federal government over the economy became a problem; it might be necessary for a war-winning strategy, but not for long-term domestic results. The Dust Bowl of the 1930s was the direct result of over-planting that was mandated by the federal government. Republican President Warren Harding wanted to return Americans to their freedom, and when he died in 1923, Vice President Calvin Coolidge succeeded as President. Coolidge gave the public cautious, pro-free market policies. Coolidge chose not to seek a second term, and Hoover became the Republican presidential candidate. Hoover’s presidency (1929 – 1933) was marred by the stock market crash in 1929, which occurred only seven months after his election. Banks collapsed, unemployment soared, and a world-wide depression ensued. Democratic Franklin D. Roosevelt wins the presidency in 1933 and believes that government will solve the problems of the depression – thus socialism became the core ideology of the Democratic Party ever since.


To understand the Struggle of Minority Groups in the early 20th Century
Study Blacks in Unions
Study the Lynching Timeline 1923 – 1947
Understand President Hoover’s Role in the Great Depression
Causes of The Great Depression, 1929 – 1939
Republican President Hoover’s racial record
Understanding how blacks moved from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party
FDR's New Deal and its effects on blacks (1933 -1938) Half of blacks are out of work (1932)
Rendezvous with Destiny,” 1936 (analyze speech, break into two groups, condense it)
World War II, (the United States, 1941 – 1945) (how did this affect the depression?)
To Discuss FDR’s Executive Order 9066
Japanese Internment, 1942
Tuskegee Air Squadron soon to be known as the Tuskegee Airmen, 1941
Eleanor Roosevelt’s Record on Civil Rights
FDR dies - Harry Truman’s Ten-Point Civil Rights

Time: Three to Four Lesson Plans


Lynching Timeline 1923 – 1947
Lou Hoover invites Mrs. De Priest to the White House for tea, photo
Political Handbill, "Who’s a Democrat?" 1932
Cartoon New Deal Remedies, (1933)
Cartoon New Deal Tyranny, (1933)
Photos of black sharecroppers
Photo, Agriculture Adjustment Act (AAA) and effects on blacks – (photo)
Cartoon “Democratic Recovery Broth
Cartoon “Farm Relief Bill
FDR’s speech “Rendezvous with Destiny,” 1936.   www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/pid=15314pdf
Executive Order 9066 and the Japanese-Americans (photos)
Elenore Roosevelt rides with Tuskegee Airmen, (photos)
Eleanor's v. FDR in Civil rights – Marian Anderson's performance at Lincoln Memorial (photo,          1939)

Blacks and the American Labor Movement:

The formations of trade unions increased during the Reconstruction period, but white trade unions excluded blacks, so blacks organized unions like the Colored National Labor Union. In 1894, Eugene Debs, leader of the American Railway Union was unable to persuade the membership to include blacks, so blacks became the strikebreakers for the Pullman Company and the Chicago meatpacking companies who struck in sympathy with the Pullman Company employees. Other unions, like the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen, wanted to replace lower-paid blacks with higher-paid whites in the union force. A Federal Board of Arbitration ruled that blacks' pay should equal whites' pay.  Federal agencies monitored the black labor situation and kept tabs on leaders like A. Philip Randolph, the leader of The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Randolph invested in a twelve-year fight to gain recognition by the Pullman Car Company, the American Federation of Labor (AFL), and the U.S. Government to fight racism in the workplace and the nation to secure fair compensation and job security.

The United Mine Workers of American Union included blacks but often the white miners and employers shared fundamental ideas of black inferiority, but a considerable amount of solidarity was created between black and white miners. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal policies did not protect black union workers, the Wagner Act of 1935, did not contain prohibitions against union race discrimination.  The American Federation of Labor (AFL) remained a conservative organization and did not permit blacks to join their ranks or showed any interest in organizing black and white laborers in mass-production industries.

Agricultural black workers were 31.8 percent of the population and American agricultural union was difficult due to extreme mobility, seasonality, and low wages of their industry. “One piece of New Deal legislation, the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA), adversely affected agricultural workers, it contributed to the rise of a remarkable agricultural labor union: The Southern Tenant Farmers Union. The STFU was founded in 1934, in eastern Arkansas, an area of large cotton plantations worked by sharecroppers and owned in many cases by absentee owner-investors. Immediately after World War I, the collapse of cotton prices led to strained landlord-tenant relations as planters sought to shift some losses to tenants by manipulating accounts and, in some cases, outright fraud. A group of blacks organized the Progressive Farmers and Householders Union to protect themselves against exploitation and ‘advance the intellectual, material, moral, spiritual, and financial interests of the Negro race.’ The union was destroyed in the Elaine Massacre of 1919 in Philips County, Arkansas, when white law enforcement officials and vigilantes from neighboring counties and states attacked union officials and members, killing up to one hundred African Americans.”

1925:  Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters organize.  A. Philip Randolph was elected president
1925:  Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters organize.  A. Philip Randolph was elected president

Guiding Questions:

Why did blacks become strikebreakers for the Pullman Company?
What reasons were given to keep blacks out of unions?
Did the New Deal help end union race discrimination? Why or Why not?
Why was it difficult to unionize agricultural workers?

Lynching Timeline from 1923 – 1947: (National Memorial for Peace & Justice): https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/25/us/lynching-memorial-alabama.html

Tuskegee Institute recorded the number of Americans lynched by mobs from 1882 until 1964. Many historians believe that the total number is more than 4,743 men and women which included 3,446 blacks and 1,297 whites. This practice of murder was to maintain "white supremacy" in the South, and these mobs saw themselves as the protector of white women - saving them from rape by the evil black man. Republicans, black and white, were targeted by these mobs to intimidate and suppress any advances that blacks made.

Lynchings were advertised in newspapers and drew large crowds of white families who watched much like the executions by guillotine in medieval times. It was reprehensible and ugly as it represents man’s inhumanity to man.

This timeline includes the number of lynchings by year, as well as essential efforts, party platforms, and legislative attempts to end the practice of lynching and promote civil rights for blacks.
1920: Lynchings, fifty-three blacks, and eight whites lynched
1921: Lynchings, fifty-nine blacks, and five whites lynched
1922: Lynchings, fifty-one blacks, and six whites lynched

1922: January 26, House passes a bill authored by U.S. Rep. Leonidas Dyer (R-MO) making lynching a federal crime; Senate Democrats block it with a filibuster. (119 Members voted against the Bill. Of the 119, 103 were members of the Democratic Party.)

1923: Lynchings, twenty-nine blacks, and four whites lynched
1924: Lynchings, sixteen blacks, and no whites lynched

1924: The Democratic Platform, No mention of racial equality or civil rights. (John W. Davis, nominee) http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=29593

1924: The Republican Platform, We urge the Congress to enact at the earliest possible date a federal anti-lynching law so that the full influence of the federal government may be wielded to exterminate this hideous crime (Calvin Coolidge, nominee) http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=29636

1924: October 3, Republicans denounce three-time Democrat presidential nominee William Jennings Bryan for defending the Ku Klux Klan at 1925 Democratic National Convention

1924: December 8, Democratic presidential candidate John w. Davis argues in favor of “separate but equal.”
1925: Lynchings, seventeen blacks, and no whites lynched
1926: Lynchings, twenty-three blacks, and seven whites lynched
1927: Lynchings, sixteen blacks, and no whites lynched
1928: Lynchings, ten blacks, and one white lynched

1928: Democratic Platform, No mention of racial equality or civil rights. (Alfred E. Smith, nominee) http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=29594

1928: Republican Platform, we renew our recommendation that the Congress enact at the earliest possible date a federal anti-lynching law so that the full influence of the federal government may be wielded to exterminate this hideous crime. (Herbert Hoover, nominee) http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=29637

1929: Lynchings, seven blacks, and three whites lynched
1930: Lynchings, twenty blacks, and one white lynched
1931: Lynchings, twelve blacks, and one white lynched
1932: Lynchings, six blacks, and two whites lynched

1932: The Democratic Platform, No mention of racial equality or civil rights. (Franklin D. Roosevelt, nominee) http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=29595

1932: The Republican Platform, for seventy years the Republican Party has been the friend of the American Negro. Vindication of the rights of the Negro citizen to enjoy the full benefits of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is traditional in the Republican party, and our Party stands pledged to maintain equal opportunity and rights for Negro citizens. (Herbert Hoover, nominee) http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=29638

1933: Latino unions in California lead the El Monte Strike, possibly the most extensive agricultural strike at that point in history, to protest the declining wage rate for strawberry pickers. By May 1933, wages dropped to nine cents an hour. In July, growers agreed to a settlement including a wage increase to 20 cents an hour, or $1.50 for a nine-hour day of work.

1933: Lynchings, twenty-four blacks, and four whites lynched
1933 – 1938: Lynchings continue through the New Deal because FDR felt the federal government had no jurisdiction

1933: President Franklin D. Roosevelt ignores black concerns. Federal government agencies commit discriminatory practices as well. Black sharecroppers and tenants had difficulty in obtaining relief benefits from the Agricultural Administration, Federal Housing Authority provided only a limited number of loans to Negroes, and lynchings and other practices during the New Deal continued because the federal government said it had no jurisdiction over such matters. (Julies Witcover’s book, The Party of the People: A History of the Democrats, says, “Roosevelt demonstrated that while he may have been generally sympathetic to the cause of civil rights for Black American, he was not going out of his way for them when to do so would jeopardize his other objectives…FDR never clearly defined civil rights goals…”) While Eleanor Roosevelt came out in support of an anti-lynching bill, Roosevelt continued to “express encouragement to the black leadership to maintain efforts - without his help.” (Whites, Blacks and Racist Democrats by Rev. Wayne Perryman, p. 56)

1934: Lynchings, fifteen blacks, and no whites lynched
1935: Lynchings: eighteen blacks and two whites lynched

1935: Reuben Stacy, a 37-year-old black man, hangs from a tree on Old Davie Road in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, blood trickling down his body and dripping off his toes. Behind him, a white girl, about seven years old, looks on, smiling angelically as she takes in the sight of the "strange fruit" this “family affair” had created that hot day on July 19, 1935. (Billi Holiday sang “Strange Fruit” in 1939 – protested lynching and racism)

1935: Reuben Stacy, a 37-year-old black man, hangs from a tree on Old Davie Road in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, blood trickling down his body and dripping off his toes. Behind him, a white girl, about seven years old, looks on, smiling angelically as she takes in the sight of the "strange fruit" this “family affair” had created that hot day on July 19, 1935

1936: Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell, the book was a racist, pro-secessionist slant that felt that defeating the rebellion & freeing the slaves ruined everything for Scarlett O'Hara.

1936: The Democratic Platform, No mention of racial equality or civil rights. (Franklin D. Roosevelt, nominee) http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=29596

1936: The Republican Platform, we favor equal opportunity for our colored citizens. We pledge our protection of their economic status and personal safety. We will do our best to further their employment in the gainfully occupied life of America, particularly in the private industry, agriculture, emergency agencies, and the Civil Service. We condemn the present New Deal policies which would regiment and ultimately eliminate the colored citizen from the country’s productive life and make him solely a ward of the federal government. (Alfred M. Landon, nominee) http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=29639

1936: Lynchings: eight blacks, no whites lynched
1937: Lynchings: eight blacks and no whites lynched

1937: August 17, Republicans organize opposition to former Ku Klux Klansman and Democrat U.S. Senator Hugo Black, appointed to U.S. Supreme Court by FDR; his Klan background hidden until after confirmation.

1939: “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holliday. Song performed first by Holiday, it protested the lynching of blacks. The lyrics are a metaphor linking a tree’s fruit with lynching victims. Written by Teacher Abel Meeropol as a poem and published in 1937, it protested American racist, particularly the lynching of blacks in America. Such lynchings had reached a peak in the South at the turn of the century but continued there and in other regions of the United States. The lyrics are an extended metaphor linking a tree’s fruit with lynching victims.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Web007rzSOI & https://www.npr.org/2012/09/05/158933012/the-strange-story-of-the-man-behind-strange- fruit Teacher, Abel Meeropol

Billie Holiday

1939: Novelist John Steinbeck publishes The Grapes of Wrath, calling attention to the plight of migrant workers in the California grape-growing industry.
1938: Lynchings, six blacks, and no whites lynched
1939: Lynchings, two blacks, and one white lynched

1940: The Democratic Platform, Our Negro citizens have participated actively in the economic and social advances launched by this Administration, including fair labor standards, social security benefits, health protection, work relief projects, decent housing, aid to education, and the rehabilitation of low-income farm families. We have aided more than half a million Negro youths in vocational training, education, and employment. We shall continue to strive for complete legislative safeguards against discrimination in government service and benefits and in the national defense forces. We pledge to uphold due process and the equal protection of the laws for every citizen, regardless of race, creed or color. (Franklin D.Roosevelt, nominee) http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=29597

1940: Under FDR, for the first-time Democrats placed language n their platform to end racial discrimination: yet despite the new language, Democrats in Congress still killed every civil rights bill introduced in the era of 1940.

1940: The Republican Platform, we pledge that our American citizens of Negro descent shall be given a square deal in the economic and political life of this nation. Discrimination in the civil service, the army, navy, and all other branches of the government must cease, to enjoy the full benefits of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, universal suffrage must be made effective for the Negro citizen, Mob violence shocks the conscience of the nation, and legislation to curb this evil should be enacted. (Wendell Willkie, nominee)http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=29640
(Republican Party Platform called for the integration of the armed forces, but for the balance of FDR’s term in office, he refuses to order it.)

1940: Lynchings, four blacks, and one white lynched
1941: Lynchings, four blacks, and no whites lynched
1942: Lynchings, six blacks, and no whites lynched
1942: October 20, sixty prominent African-Americans issue Durham Manifesto, calling on Southern Democrats to abolish their all-white primaries.
1943: Lynchings, three blacks, and no whites lynched

1944: The Democratic Platform, we believe that racial and religious minorities have the right to live, develop, and vote equally with all citizens, and share the rights that are guaranteed by our Constitution. Congress should exert its full constitutional powers to protect these rights. (Franklin D. Roosevelt, nominee) http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=29598

1944: The Republican Platform, we pledge an immediate congressional inquiry to ascertain the extent to which mistreatment, segregation, and discrimination against Negroes who are in our armed forces are impairing morale and efficiency and the adoption of corrective legislation. The payment of any poll tax should not be a condition of voting in federal elections and we favor immediate submission of a constitutional amendment for its abolition. We favor our sincere efforts on behalf of its early enactment. (Thomas E. Dewey, nominee) http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=25835

1944: April 3, U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Texas Democratic Party “whites only” primary election system.

1944: Lynching, two blacks, and no whites lynched.

1945: President Roosevelt dies, and Vice President Harry S. Truman becomes President. Under pressure and threats by A. Phillip Randolph, Truman signed an Executive Order to integrate the military. No civil rights legislation was passed during his administration to stop the ongoing lynchings in the South.

1945: Lynching, one black, and no whites lynched
1946: Lynching, six blacks, and no whites lynched
1946: The Last War Relocation Authority Facility at Tule Lake “Segregation Center” closes on March 20.

1946: Democratic President Harry Truman became the first modern President to institute a comprehensive review of race relations but faced strenuous opposition from his party. He introduced the aggressive 10-point civil rights legislative package that included an anti-lynching law, a ban on the poll tax, and the desegregation of the military. Democrats killed all his proposals. (Whites, Blacks and Racist Democrats by Rev. Wayne Perryman, p. 123)  (In fact, Democratic U.S. Senator Theodore Bilbo of Mississippi called on every “red-blooded Anglo-Saxon man in Mississippi to resort to any means” to keep blacks from voting.)

(Southern Democratic Governors, fearing that Truman might succeed in his civil rights goals, denounced his civil right agenda and proposed a meeting in Florida of what they called a “southern conference to true Democrats” to plan their strategy to halt civil rights progress, that summer at the Democratic National Convention when Truman placed into the national Democratic platform the strong civil-rights language that appears above, it resulted in a walkout of southern delegates. Southern Democrats then formed the Dixiecrat Party and ran Southern Carolina Democratic Governor Strom Thurmond as their candidate. Thurmond’s bid was unsuccessful.)

1947: Lynching, one black, and no whites lynched
1948: Lynching, one black, and one white lynched
1949: Lynching, three blacks, and no whites lynched

Guiding Questions:
  • What differences can you find between the Democratic and Republican Party Platforms as it relates to civil rights that appear on this timeline?
  • Why didn’t Democrats take the lead in civil rights during the first half of the 20th Century?
  • How could lynchings become a “family affair?” What kind of people participated in this?  How would you describe the expression on the girl’s face in the photograph?
  • The lyrics of Strange Fruit are a metaphor for linking a tree’s fruit with lynching. What was the mission of the song? Did the song accomplish its purpose?
  • What can you deduce about the number of blacks and whites who were lynched in this time frame? Why were whites lynched?

President Herbert Hoover’s Role in The Great Depression:

“President Herbert Hoover is remembered as the heartless depression president despite his philanthropic and government work during the First World War as head of the Commission for the Relief of Belgium, the director general of the postwar American Relief Administration, and finally, as President Woodrow Wilson’s U.S. Food administrator and director of relief for Europe. These activities made him so popular that both parties courted him as a presidential nominee.” (The Reader’s Companion to American History, by Eric Foner and John A. Garraty)

When President Calvin Coolidge chose not to run again, Hoover decided to run against Democratic Governor Al Smith and won in a landslide.  Seven months after entering the White House, the stock market crash in 1929 marked the beginning of the Great Depression. President Hoover seemed to lose his business capabilities and public relations skills in the wake of the worst economic downturn in the industrialized world that lasted from 1929 – 1939.  The Great Depression would limit Hoover to one term of office from 1929 – 1933.  President Hoover tried several programs such as the 1932 Reconstruction Finance Corporation, authorized the lending of $2 billion to banks, railroads, aid to agriculture, and long-term public works, but he was unable to mitigate the effects of the Great Depression and unable to improve the economy. Many felt that this was too little too late. Hoover’s massive public works program was responsible for the construction of the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River.

The Smoot-Hawley Tariff passed on June 7, 1930, would be blamed for the increased cost of living, additional farm sector costs, hindered export trade and investments abroad.  The Smoot-Hawley Tariff also initiated a trade war between the United States and Europe which created a global economic downturn. By 1930, four million Americans looking for work could not find it; that number would rise to 6 million in 1931. Shantytowns, labeled “Hoovervilles,” appeared across the country as Americans lost their homes and their jobs; trouser pockets turned inside out were called “Hoover flags;” and newspapers used for warmth by homeless were called “Hoover blankets;” “Hoover Hogs” were jackrabbits used for food; and “Hoover Wagons” were broken cars that were pulled by mules.

However, Hoover’s program ideas were later used by Franklin D. Roosevelt in his New Deal.  Rexford Tugwell, an aid to FDR, admitted: “practically the whole New Deal was extrapolated from the programs that Hoover started."

Causes of The Great Depression:

The Great Depression followed an economy that expanded rapidly in the 1920s, a period known as the “Roaring Twenties.” This decade of the 1920s was one of prosperity and provided more disposable income for middle-class Americans who could now afford to buy radios, vacuums, furniture, clothing, and cars on credit, if necessary. During this decade, the nation’s wealth more than doubled. The stock market, on Wall Street in New York City, was the scene of reckless speculation, where millionaires and janitors poured their savings into stocks. Millions of people ended up with shares that were worthless because they bought stocks “on margin” (with borrowed money) were wiped out completely. The Harlem Renaissance was booming with black artists, musicians, writers, and influential jazz artists like Duke Ellington and enhanced the importance of black culture.  Authors Claude McKay (Harlem Shadows, 1925), Jean Toomer (Cane, 1923), Alaine Locke (The New Negro, 1925), and Countee Cullen, (Color 1925) were Just a few of the iconic literary figures of the Harlem Renaissance.  The Harlem Renaissance ended in the 1930s after the effects of the Great Depression set in.

The stock market crash of October 29, 1929, black Tuesday, sent a panic on Wall Street and millions of investors were wiped out. However, the stock market crash was only one factor of the Great Depression; it was also a weak banking system, a further collapse in already-low farm prices, and industrial overproduction all contributed to the economic downturn. Consumer spending dropped, investment dropped, industrial output declined, and companies laid off workers. By 1933, more than fifteen million workers were unemployed, and 40 percent of the country’s banks failed, real national income fell by 36 percent, unemployment increased from 3 percent to 25 percent and international investment and trade declined dramatically. Stock prices were higher than their actual value, wages were low, consumer debt was high, the agriculture sector was struggling due to drought and falling food prices, and bank loans that could not be liquidated.

By 1933, more than half of blacks were out of work.

“The Harlem Renaissance is the name that was attached to the African-American literary, artistic, and intellectual movement that centered in Harlem, a neighborhood in Upper Manhattan, New York.
Harlem Renaissance, the 1920s

“The Harlem Renaissance is the name that was attached to the African-American literary, artistic, and intellectual movement that centered in Harlem, a neighborhood in Upper Manhattan, New York. 

Many African Americans had migrated from the South to northern cities in the years after 1916 in what is known as the Great Migration, and Harlem, which was developed as a residential area for whites, became the cultural capital of the African-American in the United States during the 1920s.” http://crisissome.blogspot.com/2016/05/harlem-renaissance.html

Republican President Herbert Hoover’s Racial Record: 

Multiple lynchings continued to be documented throughout the decades of the 1920s and 1940s. Under the leadership of Herbert Hoover, the Republican Platform of 1928 renewed their recommendation that the Congress enact, at the earliest possible date, a federal anti-lynching law so that the full influence of the federal government may be welded to exterminate this hideous crime.  http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=29637

President Hoover would soon discover the hatred that was demonstrated when Theodore Roosevelt invited Booker T. Washington to the White House for dinner in 1901, would also affect his wife and himself. In 1929, sparking protests by Democrats across the country, the legislatures of several states in the South passed resolutions censuring the President for including Mrs. De Priest in a White House tea for the wives of Republican members of Congress. Oscar De Priest, a Republican, was elected to Congress as the first to represent a northern urban area. Newspapers accused Lou of “defiling” the White House. Lou would not allow racism in the White House and ignored the protests.

1928: Republican President Herbert Hoover is elected and served one term form 1929 – 1933

Oscar De Priest Elected to Congress 1928

Oscar De Priest, a Republican, was elected to Congress as the first to represent a northern urban area. Newspapers accused Lou of “defiling” the White House. Lou would not allow racism in the White House and ignored the protests.
1929: First Lady Lou Hoover invites wife of Rep, Oscar De Priest (R-IL)

Guiding Questions:
  • Was Hoover prepared to be president?
  • What were Hoover’s most significant accomplishments as president? What were his most substantial shortcomings?
  • Name at least three reasons for the Great Depression.
  • What were some program ideas that Hoover had to end the depression? Did FDR later use them?
  • What 1930 piece of legislature resulted in shrinking international trade and other global economies?
  • What do you think Lou and Herbert Hoover felt about civil rights? Explain.

Understanding how blacks moved from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party

In 1932, “Franklin Delano Roosevelt – in an unusual move – invited black Americans to vote Democrat. Roosevelt understood his party and made only subtle overtures to black Americans while avoiding any overt civil rights promises. Blacks responded to Roosevelt’s invitation to join Democrats with this handbill -'Who's a Democrat!' It was a declaration rather than a question. That headline referred to two recent lynchings in Florida, those of Richard and Charles Smoke on August 28, 1931. For black Americans on that day, reminding them of lynchings was enough said about Democrats.”

For seventy years the Republican Party had been the friend of blacks and pursued the rights for blacks to enjoy the full benefits of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Blacks were historically loyal to the Republican party. Franklin Delano Roosevelt won the election in 1932, but incumbent Republican President Herbert Hoover received more than three-fourths of the black vote over his challenger FDR. Why had Republicans received so much black support? In 1875, Black Republican U.S. Rep, Joseph H. Rainey explained, "I can only say that we love freedom, vastly more than slavery. Consequently, we hope to keep clear of the Democrats! I say to the entire membership of the Democratic Party, that upon your hands rests the blood of the loyal men of the south. Disclaim it as you will; the stain is there to prove your criminality before God and the world in the day of retribution."

FDR found economic conditions had deteriorated in the four months between his election in 1932 and his inauguration – unemployment was now at 25 percent. Roosevelt’s New Deal offered a new approach to the Great Depression. The national unemployment rate was one in four, but for blacks, it was one in two; blacks were hit especially hard. By the end of President Roosevelt’s first term in 1936, 75% of blacks now supported Democrats. Blacks felt that FDR’s spending programs gave them some relief from the Great Depression, even though, as we will see, many New Deal programs discriminated against blacks.

                                                     Who’s a Democrat!

Guiding Questions:

How sincere was FDR’s invitation to blacks to vote for him in 1932?
Explain the “Who’s a Democrat” advertisement bill. What is the meaning of it?
How did the Party of Lincoln lose the black vote? 
What methods did the Democrats use to entice blacks to their party?

Background Information:

President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, a name for an updated and expanded version of Progressivism, moved the country closer to socialism. The New Deal was a set of domestic policies that expanded the government’s role in the economy. There were three types of New Deal policies that Roosevelt enacted: The first, were the “alphabet soup” of relief, recovery, and reform agencies that it created; The second, was structural economic reforms, like, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; and the third type, like the Social Security Act, had nothing to do with easing the Great Depression or steadying the economy, but was to strengthen the Democratic Party. These reform agencies in the third New Deal created the groundwork for today’s modern social welfare system.

Blacks suffered significantly higher levels of unemployment than whites, so they responded enthusiastically to the combination of federal assistance and traditional urban Democrat paternalism. FDR’s New Deal policies were not conceived with racist intent, but they had racist consequences.

President Roosevelt tripled federal taxes between 1933 - 1940. After four years of the New Deal, the Great Depression had not ended. In 1937, the stock market tanked again, and unemployment nearly reached 1932 levels. FDR’s good intentions may have been overrated; mounting evidence by economists have now indicated that the New Deal might have prolonged the Great Depression. It would take the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the U.S. entrance into WWII for the depression to end. 

FDR’s First Term and the New Deal’s Effect on Blacks: 1933 - 1936

Roosevelt was sworn into office in 1933 at the very bottom of the Great Depression, a quarter of the workforce was out of work, the economy collapsed, the nation was in despair, and one out of two blacks were unemployed.

Roosevelt was sworn into office in 1933 at the very bottom of the Great Depression, a quarter of the workforce was out of work, the economy collapsed, the nation was in despair, and one out of two blacks were unemployed.  Americans were fighting to survive. Soup kitchens were common as unemployed men lined up for free meals. No one seemed to know what to do. Americans blamed Herbert Hoover for the severe economic depression and thought that the government should have taken a more active role.  

President Roosevelt saw the national government as the answer to assume responsibility for public relief from the depression. In his 1933 inaugural speech, he declares that the people have registered a mandate that they want direct, vigorous action managed with discipline and direction with Roosevelt as the instrument of their wishes. FDR’s direct speaking and bold approach encouraged the American people to face their common difficulties. He declared, “… let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  Under Roosevelt’s administration, the New Deal would increase government power and authority would be greatly expanded in these public programs that would soon be called the “Alphabet Agencies,” such as the TVA, NRA, CCC, AAA, and WPA.  President Roosevelt had no master plan other than to provide restoration of national morale with inspirational leadership. Roosevelt used “bold, persistent experimentation” in which he was willing to “take a method and try it: if it fails, admit it frankly and try another.”

First Inaugural Address of FDR in 1933

Most New Deal programs discriminated against blacks. Roosevelt feared Southern Democrats who had seniority in Congress as they could block his New Deal programs from passage if he tried to fight them on the race question. The Roosevelt Administration constantly bowed to discrimination because he needed the Southern Democrats. The Wagner Act or the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) was supposed to allow anyone to join a union of his choice, but the NLRA did not include unskilled or semi-skilled workers, such as agricultural or domestic workers, which many blacks represented.

The Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) of 1933, did not protect sharecroppers or tenant farmers who represented 40 percent of the black population. The AAA thought that if supplies were reduced, the prices for cotton, cattle, and hogs would go up but at the expense of the urban poor. White landlords could make more money from the government by leaving land untilled than they could by renting the property to sharecroppers.  This program forced more than 100,000 blacks off the land from 1933 to 1934. By late spring of 1933, “emergency livestock reductions” were ordered. In Nebraska, thousands of hogs and cattle were shot and buried. In the South, one million farmers were paid to plow under 10.4 million acres of cotton. By cutting farm production, the AAA forced American citizens to pay more for their food and with many Americans hungry and ill-clothed, critics labeled such policies as “Utterly dioic.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e09Hry-fbtQ        

Black Sharecropper

Black Sharecropper's Family

The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) was established to help to ensure mortgages for low-income people and build public housing complexes for lower-income families. Foreclosure rates for blacks were higher than the national average.  The FHA refused to guarantee mortgages for blacks who tried to buy in white neighborhoods and established underwriting standards that discriminated against minorities. Home values in inner-city minority neighborhoods plummeted. Then FHA created guidelines to steer private mortgage investors away from minority communities. This FHA practice was known as redlining. Minorities are still at a disadvantage today when it comes to property ownership due to this New Deal-Fair Housing Act.

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was FDRs power-generating-monopoly funded by 98 percent of the country who didn’t live in the Tennessee Valley.  It was supposed to develop the water resources of Tennessee and adjoining six other states. The TVA flooded 730,000 acres forcing 15,654 people from their homes. Farm owners were paid for their property, but black tenant farmers received no compensation. TVA’s social experiment was a failure.

The Works Progress Administration (WPA) employed millions of people, mostly unskilled workers and blacks benefited from the work projects in high numbers. WPA employed musicians, artists, actors, literacy projects as well as building projects across the nation.

Guiding Questions:

  • How did the unemployment numbers compare between blacks and whites during the Great Depression? What were the reasons for these differences?
  • Why did FDR not do more for blacks with the New Deal? Who was he afraid might block the New Deal?
  • Do you think the government should have assumed responsibility for public relief during the Great Depression? Why?  Why not?
  • How would you describe FDR’s leadership?
  • How did the New Deal discriminate against blacks? Give at least three examples.
  • Do you feel that the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) made wise decisions? Why or Why not?
  • Was the New Deal successful in mitigating The Great Depression? Why or Why not?
  • What major economic shift happened under the New Deal?

Comparing Political Cartoons:
Document A:
New Deal Remedies / Uncle. I’m Surely Expecting Something, 1933

Document B:
Democratic Recovery Broth

Document C:

A political cartoon satirizing the alphabet agencies of the New Deal on how difficult it was to remember all the acronyms.

Document D:

Guiding Questions:
  • What clues do you find about the cartoonist’s uncertainty of finding solutions with the New Deal in document A? How is FDR portrayed?
  • Does it look like FDR is a man of confidence in making the Democratic Recovery Broth in Document B? What do you think the political cartoonist feels about the New Deal?
  • Describe the people illustrated in Document D. Whom is affected by the Farm Relief Bill? Who does it help?
  • Explain the “alphabet agencies” challenges depicted in the cartoon of Document C. 
  • What aspects of the New Deal do you see in American society today? Are these aspects positive or negative? Why? Why not?

FDR’s Second Term and the New Deal’s Effect on Blacks: 1936 – 1940

In his acceptance speech (“Rendezvous with Destiny”) for the re-nomination for the Presidency June 27, 1936, FDR doesn’t acknowledge the sins of the New Deal but the insistence of good intentions rather than outcomes. He said, “Governments can err, presidents do make mistakes, but the immortal Dante tells us that Divine justice weighs the sins of the cold-blooded and the sins of the warm-hearted on different scales. Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.” www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=15314 

Although the business community disliked the man in the White House, President Roosevelt was returned to office in a landslide in 1936. He made an ill-fated move in 1937 to overcome the judicial vetoes of New Deal legislation. FDR requested Congress for legislation empowering him to appoint six additional justices to the Supreme Court and make other changes in the federal court system. He wanted Justices who would be more favorable to the New Deal by enlarging the Supreme Court. This “court packing” plan was to add another justice for each justice over the age of 70. This effort to expand the Supreme Court was met with political discourse and broke FDR’s political stride.

President Roosevelt failed to support an anti-lynching bill or a bill to abolish the poll tax because he was concerned about losing Southern Democratic support for his New Deal policies. The New Deal did record a few gains in civil rights. FDR assembled a group of blacks known as the Black Cabinet who served as public policy advisers and the President, because of Eleanor’s recommendation, appointed Mary McLeod Bethune, a black educator, to the advisory board of the National Youth Administration (NYA) in 1936. Thanks to her efforts, blacks received a fair share of NYA funds. Most blacks appointed to New Deal posts, however, served in token positions as advisers on black affairs. At best, they achieved new visibility in government.

The forward thrust of the New Deal came to an end in 1939. The New Deal converted the Democratic Party into one giant political machine, leading millions of people on government payrolls or dependent on government. Roosevelt would turn to Keynesian deficit spending policies to revive the economy, but not until the United States entered World War II could the economy be revived.

“Rendezvous with Destiny” Speech, June 27, 1936

Guiding Questions:
  • What does President Roosevelt reveal about his New Deal in his speech “Rendezvous with Destiny?” What part stands out to you?
  • What is the “New Deal Tyranny” cartoon concerned about with FDR? What is the constitutional challenge?
  • Why did FDR fail to support an anti-lynching bill and a poll tax bill? What political group was responsible for his failure to support these bills?
  • How did the New Deal make Americans more dependent on the government? Explain.

FDR’s Third Term, WWII: 1941 – 1944

Two influencers that shaped Franklin Roosevelt’s public career were his distant kinsman Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, whom he served as assistant secretary of the Navy during the First World War. FDR combined the balance-of-power realism of Teddy Roosevelt with Wilson’s idealistic vision of an organized universal peace. FDR recognized the dangers of German and Japanese aggression and knew that Americans were in no mood for another foreign war. Between 1935 and 1939, Congress passed five different Neutrality Acts that forbade American involvement in international conflicts.  So, “he began a long campaign to awaken Americans from their isolationist slumber.”

He carefully laid the groundwork to use verbiage like “arsenal of democracy” to slowly sway American public opinion. He helped Great Britain by providing ships and supplies to combat the Germans. President Roosevelt would prove to be a very effective commander in chief after the attack on Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1941, which turned U.S. public opinion in favor of entering the war. FDR told the American people that, “Yesterday, December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”

In February 1942, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 to relocate all persons of Japanese descent to ten relocation centers or internment camps. The civil rights of Japanese-Americans were denied in the U.S. when more than 110,000 Japanese-Americans, regardless of loyalty or citizenship, were forced to evacuate the West Coast. Japanese were relocated because the government claimed that racial ties inclined Japanese to disloyalty.  All personal property is sold at a fraction of its value and assets were taken from these Japanese-Americans before they entered these “prison camps” with communal facilities and mediocre food. In Korematsu v. the United States (1944) the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of internment.

Declaration of War: President Roosevelt Signs Declaration of War on Japan, December 8, 1941

1942 Japanese Internment Camps Executive Order 9066, Photo: National Archives 

Document A:
Shibuya family lost everything when sent to relocation centers in 1942. Photo: National Archives
Shibuya family lost everything when sent to relocation centers in 1942. Photo: National Archives

Document B:
117,000 Japanese-Americans sent to relocation centers in 1942.  Japanese-American were given a few days notice to report for internment. Photo: National Archives
117,000 Japanese-Americans sent to relocation centers in 1942.  Japanese-American were given a few days notice to report for internment. Photo: National Archives

Document C:
Internment camps or relocation centers were in California, Idaho, Utah, Arkansas, Wyoming, and Colorado. Photo: National Archives

Guiding Questions:

  • How did FDR carefully lay the groundwork to slowly change public opinion on the war?
  • Do you think that the United States would have entered the war if the Japanese had not bombed Pearl Harbor? Why or Why not?
  • What clues can you see in Document A that tells a story about the Shibuya family?
  • Do these Japanese-Americans look orderly in Document B? What can you tell about what they are bringing with them? What would you do if told you had to leave your home in a few days?
  • How do these “camps” compare to other concentration camps in Western Europe? 
  • Do you think this is one of the darkest chapters in our history? Why or why not? 
  • What would you have done if President in 1941 with the Japanese citizens?

Eleanor Roosevelt’s Record on Civil Rights:

Franklin Roosevelt’s record on civil rights was modest at best. His administration constantly bowed to discrimination to pass New Deal programs; he needed the southern Democrats and didn’t wish to antagonize them with any efforts for civil rights reform. As a result, the President failed to support an anti-lynching bill or a bill to abolish the poll tax.

Eleanor Roosevelt was not afraid to take on civil rights and become an activist. The Summer after becoming the first lady, she visited poverty-stricken areas that would shape her views on civil rights. She quickly identified that quality education was imperative to a standard of living, she remarked, “Wherever the standard of education is low, the standard of living is low.” She urged states to address the injustices in public school funding. Her public stance on her views would elicit an active response from the black community. Thousands of letters poured into her about racial violence, poverty, homelessness and many of these letters she would pass along to the White House.

Eleanor did not receive any help from the White House, on the contrary, aides became infuriated with her support of Walter White and his support of the Costigan-Wagner anti-lynching bill in 1934. She could not get FDR to support the bill because of senior southern senators. She would attend the NAACP art exhibit, “A Commentary on Lynching” which would lead southern critic Senator Eugene Tallmadge to attack FDR.

Among her other activist roles: she became friends with Mary McLeod Bethune and encouraged FDR to appoint Mary to the National Youth Administration in 1935. She helped Richard Wright publicize his book, Uncle Tom’s Children; sent money to Howard University students who picketed lunch counters for service denied; and promoted National Sharecroppers Week with Pauli Murray. Eleanor also organized the National Committee to Abolish the Poll tax. When the  Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) refused to allow contralto Marian Anderson to perform in Constitution Hall, Eleanor wrote about it in “My Day” which sparked the move of venue to the Lincoln Monument. She supported the service of the Tuskegee Airmen, visited wounded black soldiers, visited Gila River internment camp and campaigned to assist confined Japanese-Americans.
She joined the NAACP as a member of the board of directors; and worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks.

By 1939, Eleanor continued to fight for civil rights through the rest of her life and was particularly freed from the constraints of the White House after FDR died. https://aaregistry.org/story/eleanor-roosevelt-born/

Contralto, Marian Anderson’s performance at Lincoln Monument, April 9, 1939   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XF9Quk0QhSE

Tankers of the 761st Medium Tank Battalion prepare for action in the European Theater in August 1944. In 1940, the Republican Party National Convention approved a plank in its platform calling for the racial integration of the armed services, but not until President Truman's Executive Order to integrate the military in 1948, did it become law. 
(Republican Platform 1940) http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=29640)

Eleanor Roosevelt Supports Tuskegee Airmen:  In March 1941, Eleanor Roosevelt flew with a Tuskegee instructor, C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson which gave Tuskegee a publicity boost.
Eleanor Roosevelt Supports Tuskegee Airmen:  In March 1941, Eleanor Roosevelt flew with a Tuskegee instructor, C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson which gave Tuskegee a publicity boost.

Tuskegee Airmen

The belief that blacks were fundamentally inferior to whites continued to subjugate blacks in the military forces. In 1941, Yancey Williams, a student at Howard University, filed a lawsuit with the help of the NAACP to pressure the Army Air Force to accept him for training. The result of that lawsuit was the creation of an all-black military aviator group that would train at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. The aviator group was known as the “Tuskegee Experiment” because people thought it would be a failure. 

The 99th Pursuit Squadron became activated on July 19, 1941 (six months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor). Their job was to escort bombers on their missions; this term “pursuit squadron” would later be replaced with “fighter squadron.” The tails of their planes were painted red for identification purposes, and they were known as the “Red Tails.”  The Tuskegee Airmen had an impressive record and allowed only 27 bombers shot down; other white escort groups had double the loss rate of bombers that were protected by the Red Tails.

The group of 996 Tuskegee pilots only lost 66 pilots in combat while having an enemy aircraft kill of 103 planes during their service from 1941 – 1949.

Tuskegee Air Squadron

First Cadets graduate from the Army Flight School at Tuskegee Institute, Alabama
First Cadets graduate from the Army Flight School at Tuskegee Institute, Alabama

How the G.I. Bill Affected Blacks

President Roosevelt signed the Serviceman’s Readjustment Act (G.I. Bill) on June 22, 1944, which was one of the last New Deal reforms. Roosevelt laid out plans for the reintegration of returning troops to avoid another depression with these displaced troops. The G.I. Bill included unemployment compensation, education funding or funding for trade schools, and no down payment with low-interest rates on home and business loans. The bill gave black soldiers a sense of hope that their service to their country would now provide them with economic opportunities. However, segregation would limit educational opportunities for blacks especially at southern universities and cause overcrowding at black colleges. By 1946, only one-fifth of the 100,000 blacks enumerated for educational benefits registered for college. 

The management of the G.I. Bill had predictable flaws that led to a middle class that was prodigiously white. No matter the sacrifices of black members of the armed forces, Jim Crow remained the law of the land at home and in the service.  The G.I. Bill was deliberately designed to accommodate Jim Crow by strictly limiting federal oversight and giving administrative responsibility to the states – the states had unchecked power. Democratic Senator John Rankin of Mississippi was the senator that insisted on decentralized management of the program in turn for his support of the G.I. Bill.  Rankin supported racial segregation and white supremacy, and as chairman of the House Committee on World War Veterans' Legislation, he knew this bill would not pass without Southern support.

The single most crucial driver of post-war economic security was home ownership. Local banks routinely denied loans to blacks. In thirteen Mississippi cities, the Veteran’s Administration in 1947, only gave 2 out of 3,229 home, business, and farm loans to blacks. In New York and New Jersey with the 67,000 mortgages that were insured, only 100 went to non-whites. These government guaranteed housing loans prompted the growth of suburban white America while banks excluded blacks from the suburbs with deed covenants and open racism. Most blacks stayed in the cities and were unable to take advantage of the G.I. Bill’s opportunity to build wealth and achieve intergenerational mobility because of racial discrimination.

The G.I. Bill initiative was the most sweeping set of benefits offered by the federal government. It created the middle class in America but left blacks behind.

The G.I. Bill initiative was the most sweeping set of benefits offered by the federal government. It created the middle class in America but left blacks behind.
Staff Sergeant explains G.I. Bill to a group of military truck drivers (Library of Congress)

1945, FDR Dies and Truman’s Ten-Point Civil Rights:

Three months into Franklin Roosevelt’s fourth term, he suffered an intracerebral hemorrhage and died at 1 pm on April 12, 1945. Harry Truman was sworn in on the same day. On May 11, 1945, the Allies defeated Germany.

Photo credit (Stars and Stripes)

In order to end the war with Japan, President Truman felt that to save hundreds of thousands of American lives in a Japanese invasion, he would need to use the atomic bomb developed through the Manhattan Project. On August 6, 1945, an American B-29 bomber, the Enola Gay, carried the five-ton bomb over the Japanese city of Hiroshima and dropped the first atomic bomb. The city was entirely gone, killing more than 140,000 people. On August 9, another bomb was dropped on Nagasaki killing 80,000 people. Six days later the Japanese surrendered - the war was over.

A former movie theater in  Hiroshima, Japan (Stanley Troutman /AP)

End of the War September 2, 1945 (The Honolulu Advertiser)

On domestic civil rights, President Truman was the first president to institute a wide-ranging review of race relations to change his Democratic Party who did not support his 10-Point Civil Rights legislation. The 1946 legislation included an anti-lynching law, a ban on the poll tax, proposed a Civil Rights Commission, and under pressure and threats by A. Phillip Randolph, signed an Executive Order to integrate the military in 1948.

Here is part of A. Phillip Randolph’s testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee on the need to abolish segregation in the military; “This time Negroes will not take Jim Crow draft lying down. The conscience of the world will be shaken as by nothing else when thousands and thousands of us second-class Americans choose imprisonment in preference to permanent military slavery…I personally will advise Negroes to refuse to fight as slaves for a democracy they cannot possess and cannot enjoy.”

                                                   Photo Credit (Chicago Defender)

Truman continued to push his Democratic Party to embrace reform so that it would no longer be “The White Man’s Party.” He was the first President to address the NAACP national convention. The Democratic Platform of 1948, included the support of the constitutional rights of blacks. But this was too much for many Southern Democrats, the “Dixiecrats,”  they held their own convention and nominated South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond for President. Truman was elected President.

The struggle for civil rights would continue well into the rest of 20th Century with opposition from leaders like Senator Theodore G. Bilbo (D-MS), who called on, “every red-blooded Anglo-Saxon man in Mississippi to resort to any means to keep hundreds of Negroes from the polls in the July 2 primary. Moreover, if you don’t know what that means, you are not up to your persuasive measures.” In the next lesson, we will study the Civil Rights Movement and its effects on blacks.

On January 5, 1949, at the State of the Union address, President Truman announced his “Fair Deal,” which was a continuation of the New Deal and in some ways more socialist. Truman was able to get a Democrat-controlled Congress to expand Social Security, raise the minimum wage, increase payments to farmers, and generally more federal government spending. Part of Truman’s “Fair Deal” was the Housing Act of 1949 that provided millions of dollars to raise old buildings to be replaced by affordable housing in American cities. The Housing Act of 1949, would be the beginning of the growing role of the federal government in providing public housing for the poor. https://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/tap/1549.htm

Growing role of the federal government in public housing

Guiding Questions:

  • In what ways was Eleanor Roosevelt better at addressing civil rights than President Roosevelt? What did she do?
  • How did Mrs. Roosevelt use her position as the first lady to get her message to the American people?
  • Do you feel that President Truman was justified to use two atomic bombs over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945? Why or why not?
  • Was President Truman triumphant in changing his party to embrace civil rights? Why? Why not?
  • How influential was A. Phillip Randolph is getting Truman to sign Executive Order 9981 to desegregate the military?
  • How was Truman’s “Fair Deal” even more socialist than Roosevelt’s New Deal? What government programs did he expand?
  • Do you think that the Democratic Party became more socialist during Roosevelt and Truman’s terms of office? Why or Why not?
  • Why do you think the Tuskegee Experiment was a success? Site your reasons.
  • How did the G.I. Bill disenfranchise blacks? What tactics were used?
  • Do you think that public housing has been successful after WWII? Why or Why not?
  • What did public housing do for blacks and underprivileged people?