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Civil Rights and the 1960 Campaign

Civil Rights and the 1960 Campaign

Chapter:
(p.30) Chapter 3 Civil Rights and the 1960 Campaign
Source:
Count Them One by One
Author(s):
Gordon A. Martin
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781604737899.003.0004

This chapter describes John F. Kennedy’s election and its impact on civil rights. For Kennedy to defeat Richard Nixon in November 1960, he needed a large turnout of black voters in the key industrial states, and he needed to receive the overwhelming majority of those black votes. Kennedy narrowly won the total popular vote by 49.7 percent to Nixon’s 49.6 percent. With Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961, black voters had a right to expect quickening federal action to secure civil rights. But all the activity in the world would fail if the federal judges in the south did not enforce the law. Kennedy and his brother, the new attorney general, had a major opportunity with the new judgeships that they would fill.

Keywords:   John F. Kennedy, civil rights, black voters, federal judges

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