Box 16, Folder 36, Complete Folder

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Box 16, Folder 36, Complete Folder

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WESTERN
UNION
SENDING BLANK
CALL
LETTERS
F JT
2 / 16 / 67
CHARGE
TO
t
City of Atlanta. Mayor's Office
The President
The White House
Wa shington, . D o C o
C ongratulations on your new civil rights message sent to the
Congress on yesterdayo I pledge you my full support of the
program and the legislative proposals, and I am glad to
furnish whatever h e lp I may be in seeing that it is passed.
Thes e matter s c a nnot be settle d at a local level by e ach
individual government concernedo It must be determined
by national standards that guar.a ntee the same rights to all
American c · tizenso
Ivan Allen, Jro, Mayor of Atlanta
Send /he above message, subiecl lo lhe lerms on bock hereoF, which ore hereby agreed lo
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�ATLANTA,GEORGIA
~'Wm
FORM 25•6
-
Mrs . Ann M. Moses
�1 2 70
( 1·5 1)
�STATEMENT
by
IVAN ALLEN, JR.
MAYOR OF ATLANTA, GA.
BEFORE
COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE
REGARDING
S. 1 732
BILL TO ELIMINATE DISCRIMINATION IN PUBLIC
ACCOMMODATIONS AFFECTING
INTERSTATE COMMERCE
July 2 6, 19 6 3
�STATEMENT BY IVA N A LLEN, JR.
MAYOR OF ATLANTA
July 2 6, 19 63
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Senate Commerce Committee:
I am honored to appear before your Committee.
At the beginning I would like to make it clear that I feel qualified to speak on the subject under discussion which is the elimination
of racial discrimination, on what I have learned from personal
experience and observation in my home city of Atlanta, Georgia.
As perceptive m e n of wide experience I feel confident that you will
agree with m e that this is as serious a basic problem in the North,
East and West as it is in the South.
It must be d e fined as an all-American problem, which requires
an all-American solution based on local thought, local action and
local cooperation.
The 500, 000 pe ople w ho live within our city limits consist of
300, 000 white cit i zens a nd slightly more than 200, 000 Negro citizens.
That makes the popula tion of Atlanta 60 percent white, 40 percent
N e g ro.
That 60 - 4 0 p e rcentage emphasizes how essential it is for the
p e ople of Atlanta, on the i r lo c al leve l, to solve the problem of racial
d iscriminat ion in order to make Atlanta a b e tter place in which to
live .
Elimination of r acial des crimination is no far off philosophical
the ory to the more tha n one million people who live in and around
A tlant a. T h e p roble m is part a nd parce l of our daily live s. Its
solutio n must b e studied and w o rke d out on our home f r ont.
As the mayor of the Southeast' s l arge st city , I ca n s a y to y ou
out of fi rst hand experi e n ce a nd first hand knowledge that nowhere
does t he problem of eliminat i ng dis c r imination between the races
strike s o closely home as it does to the loca l ele cte d public o fficial.
He is t he man who cannot pass the buck.
From this viewpoint, I speak of the probl e m as having b een
brought into sharp focus by de c is i ons of the Supr e me Court of t he
�United States and then generally ignored by the Presidents and
Congresses of the United States. Like a foundling baby, this awesome problem has been left on the doorsteps of local governments
throughout the n~tion.
Now to take up specifics. You gentlemen invited me to tell
you how Atlanta has achieved a considerable measure of comparative
success in dealing with racial discrimination.
It is true that Atlanta has achieved success in eliminating
discrimination in areas where some other cities have failed, but
we do not boast of our success. Instead of boasting, we say with
the humility of those who believe in reality that we have achieved
our measure of success only because we looked facts in the face
and accepted the Supreme Court's decisions as inevitable and as
the law of our land. Having embraced realism in general, we then
set out to solve specific problems by local cooperation between
people of good will and good sense representing both races.
In attacking the specific problems, we accepted the basic
truth that the solutions which we sought to achieve in every instance
granted to our Negro citizens rights which white American citizens
and businesses previously had reserved to themselves as special
privileges.
These special privileges long had been propped up by a
multitude of local ordinances and statewide laws which had upheld
racial segregation in almost every conceivable form.
In Atlanta we had plenty of the props of prejudice to contend
with when we set out to solve our specific problems of discrimination.
In attacking these problems, I want to emphasize that in not one single
instance have we retained or enhanced the privileges of segregation.
It has been a long, exhausting and often discouraging process
and the end is far from being in sight.
In the 1950's Atlanta made a significant start with a series
of reasonable eliminations of discrimination such as on golf courses
and public transportation. We began to become somewhat conditioned for more extensive and definitive action, which has been
taking place in the 19 60 1 s.
During the past two and a half years, Atlanta has taken the
following major steps to eliminate racial discrimination:
- 2-
�I
1. In September, 1961, we began re moving discrimination
in public schools in response to a court order.
2. In October, 1961, lunch counters in department and variety
stores abolished discrimination by volunta r y action.
3. On January 1, 1962 Atlanta city facilities were freed from
discrimination by voluntary action of municipal officials.
4. In M a rch, 19 62 downtown and arts theatres, of their own
volition, abolished disc r imina tion in seating.
5 . On January 1, 1963, the city voluntarily abolished separate
employ ment listing s fo r whites and Negroes.
6. In M arch, 19 63 the cit y employed Negro firemen.
ago employed Negr o police men .
It long
7 . In May of 1963 the Atlanta Re al E state Board (white) and
t he Empire Real Estate Board (Negro) issued a Statement of
Pur poses, calling fo r e t hi c al handling of real estate transactions
in controve rs ial are as .
8. In J u ne , 19 63, the c ity gove rnment opened all municipal
swimming p ools on a desegregate d b a sis . This was v oluntary action
t o comply with a c ou r t order .
9 . Also in J une, 1963, 18 h ote l s and motels, rep r esenting the
leading places of pub lic acc ommoda tions in the city , volunta rily
removed a ll s egre ga tion for conventi ons.
10 . Again, in J une, 1963 m o re tha n 30 of the city's l e ading
resta urants, of the i r own volition, ab olishe d s eg r egation in their
facilities .
You can readily see that Atlanta ' s s t e ps have been taken i n
some instance s in compliance with court decis ions , and in other
inst a n ce s the steps have been v oluntary prior to any court action.
In e ach instance the actio n has resu lted in white citi zens relin ~
quishing spe c ial privileges which they had enjoyed unde r the
pra cti ce s of r acia l disc r imination. Each action also has resulted
in the Negr o citizen being given r ights which all others previously
had enjoyed and whi ch he has been den ie d.
A s I mentioned a t the beginning, Atlanta has ac h iev e d on ly
-3-
�a measure of succe ss . I think it would assist you in understanding
this if I explained h ow limite d so fa r has been this transition from
the old segregated society of generations past, and also how limited
so far has been th,e participation of the Negro citizens.
Significant as is the voluntary elimination of discrimination in
our leading restaurants, it affects so far only a small percentage of
the hundreds of eating places in our city.
And participation by Negroes so far has been very slight. For
example, one of Atlanta's topmost restaurants served only 16 out of
Atlanta's 200,000 Negro citizens during the first week of freedom
from discrimination.
The plan for eliminating discrimination in hotels as yet takes
care only of convention delegates. Although prominent Negroes
have been accepted as guests in several Atlanta hotels, the Negro
citizens, as a whole, seldom appear at Atlanta hotels.
Underlying all ·the emotions of the situation, is the matter of
economics. It should be r e membere d that the right to use a facility
does not mean that it will be used or misused by any group, especially the groups in the lower economic status.
The statements I have givep you cover the actual progress
made by Atlanta toward total elimination of discrimination.
Now I w ou l d like to submit m y personal reasons why I think
Atlanta has resolved some of t hese problems while in other cities,
s olutions h ave seemed i mpossible and s trife and conflict have
res ulted .
As an illustration, I w ould like to describe a recent visit of
an official delegation fr om a g r eat Ea s te r n city which has a Negro
population of over 600, 00 0 c ons isting of in excess of 20% of its
whole popula tion.
The members of t h is de l egation at first simply did not understa nd and would hardl y believe t hat the b u siness, civic and political
inte r e sts of Atlanta had inte ntly c on cerne d themselves with the
Negro population. I s till do n ot be lieve that they are convinced
t hat a ll of our civic bodies backed b y the pub lic inte r est and sup ported by the City Government have daily c once rned themselves
with an effort to solve our gravest problem -- which is r elations
between our races. Gentlemen, Atlant a has n ot s wept this
-4-
�question under the rug at any point. Step by step - sometimes
under Court order - sometimes voluntarily moving ahead of
pressures - sometimes adroitly - and many times clumsily - we
have tried to find a solution to each specific problem through an
agreement between the affected white ownership and the Negro
leadership.
To do this we have not appointed a huge general bi-racial
committee which too often merely becomes a burial place for unsolved problems. By contrast, each time a specific problem has
come into focus, we have appointed the people involved to work
out the solution . . . Theatre owners to work with the top Negro
leaders . . . or hotel owners to work with the top leadership . . •
or certain restaurant owners who of their own volition dealt with
top Negro leadership. By developing the lines of communication
and respectability, we have been able to reach amicable solutions.
Atlanta is the world's center of Negro higher education.
There are six great Negro universities and colleges located inside
our city limits. Because of this, a great number of intelligent,
well-educated Negro citizens have chosen to remain in our city.
As a result of their education, they have had the ability to develop
a prosperous Negro business community. In Atlanta it consists of
financial institutions like banks - building and loan associations life insurance companies - chain drug stores - real estate dealers.
In fact, they have developed business organizations, I believe, in
almost every line of acknowledged American business. There are
also many Negro professional men.
Then there is another powerful factor working in the behalf of
good racial relations in our city. We have news media, both white
and Negro, whose leaders strongly believe and put into practice the
great truth that responsibility of the press (and by this I mean radio
and television as well as the written press) is inseparable from
freedom of the press.
The leadership of our written, spoken and televised news
media join with the business and government leadership, both white
and Negro, in working to solve our problems.
We are fortunate that we have one of the world famous editorial
spokesmen for reason and moderation on one of our white newspapers,
along with other editors and many reporters who stress significance
rather than sensation in the reporting and interpretation of what
happens. in our city.
- 5-
�And we are fortunate in having a strong Negro daily newspaper,
The Atlanta Daily World, and a vigorous Negro weekly, The Atlanta
Inquirer.
The Atlanta Daily World is owned by a prominent Negro family the. Scott family - which owns and operates a number of other newspapers.
The sturdy voices of the Atlanta Daily World and the Atlanta
Inquirer, backed by the support of the educational, business and
religious community, reach out to our Negro citizens. They speak
to them with factual information upon which they can rely. They
express opinions and interpretations in which they can have faith.
As I see it, our Negro leadership in Atlanta is responsible and
constructive. I am sure that our Negro leadership is as desirous of
obtaining additional civic and e conomic and personal rights as is any
American citizen. But by constructive I mean to define Atlanta's
Negro leadership as being realistic - as recognizing that it is more
important to obtain the rights they s eek than it is to stir up demonstrations. So it is to the constructive means by which these rights
can be obtained that our Negro leaders constantly address themselves.
They are interested in results instead of rhetoric. They reach for
lasting g oals instead of grabbing for mome ntary publicity . They are
r ealists , not r a bble rous e rs. Along with i nte grati on the y wa nt
i ntegrity.
I do not believe that any sincere American citizen desires to
s ee the rights of private busine ss restricted by the Federal Gove rnm e nt unless such restriction is absolutely nece ssary for the welfare
of the pe ople o f this c ountry .
On the other hand, following the line of thought of the decisions
of the F ede r al Courts in the past 15 years, I am not conv inced that
current r uling s of the Cour ts would g rant to Ame rican busine ss the
privilege of dis crimina t i on b y ra c e in the se le ction of its cus tomers.
Here again we get into the area of wha t i s right and wha t is
best fo r the people of this country . If the privilege of s e lection
based on r a c e a n d color should be grante d the n would we b e g iving
t o busine s s the r i ght to s e t up a segregat e d economy? . . . And
if so, how fast wou l d t h i s r i ght b e u t ilized by t he Na tion's pe o ple?
. . . And how soon would we again be going t hrough t he old turmoil
of riots, strife, demonstrations, boycotts, picketing?
-6-
�Are we g oing to say that it is all right for the N egro citizen
to go into the bank of Main street to deposit his earnings or borrow
money, then to go the department store to buy what he needs, to go
to the superma rke t to purchase food for his family, and so on along
Main street until he comes to a restaurant or a hotel -- In all these
other business places he is treated just like any other customer - But when he comes to the restaurant or the hotel, are we going to
say that it is right and legal for the operators of these businesses,
merely as a matter of convenience, to insist that the Negro's
citizenship be changed and that, as a second class citizen, he is
to be refused service ? I submit that it is not right to allow an
American's citizenship to b e changed merely as a matter of convenie nce.
If the Cong ress should fail to clarify the issue at the pre s e nt
time, then by inference it w ould be saying that you could begin discrimination under the guise of private business. I do not believe
that this is what the Supreme Court has intended with its decisions.
I do not believe that this is the intent of Congress o r the people of
this country.
·
I ap'.l not a lawye r, Senators. I am not sure I clearly understand all of the testimony involving various amendments to the
Constitution and the Commerce clause whi c h has b een given to this
Committee. I have a fundament al respect for the Constitution of
the United States. Under this Constitution we have always been
able to do what is b est for all of the people of this country. I b eg
of y ou not to let this issue of discrimination.drown in legalistic
waters. I am firm ly convince d that the Supreme Court insists
that the same fundamental rights must be he l d by every American
citizen.
Atlanta is a case that proves that the problem of discrimination
can be s olved to some extent . . . and I use this "some extent"
cautiously . . . as we certainly have not solved all of the problems;
but we have met them in a number of areas. This can be done locally,
voluntarily, and by private business itself!
On the other hand, there are hundre ds of communities and
cities, certainly throughout the nation that have not ever addressed
themse lves to the issue. Whereas, others have flag rantly ignored
the demand, and today, stand in all defiance to any change.
The Congress of the Unite d States is now confronte d with a
grave decision. Shall you pass a public accommodation bill that
- 7-
�forces this issue ? Or, sha ll y ou c r e ate a not her round of dispute s
over segregation b y r e fusin g to pass su ch l e gislation ?
Surely, the Congr ess realiz e s that after having failed to take
any definite action on this subject in the last ten years, to fail to
pass this bill would amount to an endorsement of private business
setting up an entirely ne w status of discrimination throughout the
nation. Cities like Atlanta m i ght slip backwards. Hotels and
restaurants that h ave alre ady t ake n this i ssue upon themselves
and opened their doors mig ht find it conve nie nt to go back to the
old status. Failure b y Congress to take definite action at this
time is by inference an endorsement of the right of private business
to practice racial discrimination and, in my opinion, would start
the same old round of squabbles and demonstrations that we have
had in the past.
Gentlemen, if I had y our problem armed with the local experience I have had, I would pass a public accommodation bill,
Such a bill, however, should provide an opportunity for each local
government first to meet this problem and attempt to solve it on a
local, voluntary basis, with e ach business making its own decision .
I realize that it is quite eas y to ask you to give an opportunity to
each businessman in each city to make his decision and to accomplish such an objective . . . but it is extre m e ly difficult to le gislate such a proble m .
What I am t r y ing to s a y i s that the pupil pla c eme nt pla n ,
which has b e en wide ly us e d in the South, prov ide d a time t a ble
approved b y the Fe dera l c ourt s w hi c h he lpe d in ge tting ove r t roubled
water of elimina tion of di scrim ination i n public schools. It se ems
to me that c itie s work ing with p rivat e bus ines s institutions could now
move into the same a rea and tha t the fe deral g ove rnm e nt legislation
should be bas ed on t h e i dea that tho se bus ines ses h ave a reasonab le
time to accomplis h such a n a ct.
I think a public acco m modation law now should stand only as
the last r esor t to assure t h a t dis crimination is eliminated, but that
su ch a law would grant a reas onab l e t ime for c itie s a nd bus ines ses
to c a r r y out this func tion before federa l i nterve ntion.
It m i ght even b e necess a ry tha t the time facto r b e m a de more
l enient in favor of smaller cit ies and communities, for we all know
t ha t l arge metropolitan areas have the capability of adjusting to
changes more rapidly than smaller communities.
- 8-
�•
Perhaps this, too, should be given consideration in your
legislation. But the point I want to emphasize again is that now is
the time for legislative action. We cannot dodge the issue. We
cannot look back over our shoulders or turn the clock back to the
1860's. We must take action now to assure a greater future for
our citizens and our country.
A hundred years ago the abolishment of slavery won the
United States the acclaim of the whole world when it made every
American free in theory.
Now the elimination of segregation, which is slavery's stepchild, is a challenge to all of us to make every American free in
fact as well as in theory - and again to establish our nation as the
true champion of the free world.
Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, I want to
thank you for the opportunity of telling you about Atlanta's efforts
to provide equality of citizenship to all within its borders .
-9-
�STATEMENT
by
IVAN ALLEN, JR.
MAYOR OF ATLANTA, GA.
BEFORE
COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE
REGARDING
s.
1 732
BILL TO ELIMINATE DISCRIMINATION IN PUBLIC
ACCOMMODATIONS AFFECTING
INTERSTATE COMMERCE
July 2 6, 19 63
�STATEMENT BY IVAN ALLEN, JR.
MAYOR OF ATLANTA
July 2 6, 19 63
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Senate Commerce Committee:
I am honored to appear before your Committee.
At the beginning I would like to make it clear that I feel qualified to speak on the subject under discussion which is the elimination
of ra c ial discrimination, on what I have learned from personal
experience and obs ervation in my home city of Atlq.nta, Georgia.
As perceptive men of wide experience I feel confident that you will
agree with me that this is as serious a basic problem in the North,
East and West as it i s i n the South.
It must be defined as an all-American problem, which requires
an all-American s olution based on local thought, local action and
local cooperation .
The 500, 000 people who live within our city limits consist of
300, 000 white citizens and slightly more than 200, 000 Negro citizens.
That makes the p opulation of Atlanta 60 percent white, 40 percent
Negro.
That 60 - 40 percentage emphasize s how essential it is for the
people of Atlanta, on their local level, to solve the problem of racial
discrimination in order to make Atlanta a better place in which to
live.
Elimination of racial descrimination is no far off philosophical
theory to the more than one million people who live in and around
Atlanta. The problem is part and parcel of our daily lives. Its
solution must b e s tudie d and worked out on our homefront.
As the mayor of the Southeast's largest city, I can say to you
out of first hand experience and first hand knowledge that nowhere
does the problem of eliminating discrimination between the races
strike so closely home as it does to the local elected public official.
He is the man who cannot pass the buck.
From t his viewpoint, I s peak of the problem as h aving b een
brought i nto sharp focus by deci sions of the Supreme Court of the
�United States and then generally ignored by the Presidents and
Congresses of the United States. Like a foundling baby, this awesome problem has been left on the doorsteps of local governments
throughout the nation.
Now to take up specifics. You gentlemen invited me to tell
you how Atlanta has achieved a considerable measure of comparative
success in dealing with racial discrimination.
It is true that Atlanta has achieved success in eliminating
discrimination in areas where some other cities have failed, but
we do not boast of our success. Instead of boasting, we say with
the humility of those who believe in reality that we have achieved
our measure of success only because we looked facts in the face
and accepted the Supreme Court's decisions as inevitable and as
the law of our land. Having embraced realism in general, we then
set out to solve specific problems by local cooperation between
people of good will and good sense representing both races.
In attacking the specific problems, we accepted the basic
truth that the solutions which we sought to achieve in every instance
granted to our Negro citizens rights which white American citizens
and businesses previously had reserved to themselves as special
privileges.
These special privileges long had been propped up by a
multitude of local ordinances and statewide laws which had upheld
racial segregation in almost every conceivable form.
In Atlanta we had plenty of the props of prejudice to contend
with when we set out to solve our specific problems of discrimination.
In attacking these problems, I want to emphasize that in not one single
instance have we retained or enhanced the privileges of segregation.
It has been a long, exhausting and often discouraging process
and the end is far from being in sight.
In the 1950's Atlanta made a significant start with a series
of reasonable eliminations of discrimination such as on golf courses
and public transportation. We began to become somewhat conditioned for more extensive and definitive action, which has been
taking place in the 19 60 1 s.
During the past two and a half years, Atlanta has taken the
following major steps to eliminate racial discrimination:
- 2-
�In September, 1961, we began removing discrimination
in public schools in response to a court order.
1.
2. In October, 1961, lunch counters in department and variety
stores abolished ' discrimination by voluntary action.
3. On January 1, 1962 Atlanta city facilities were freed from
discrimination by voluntary action of municipal officials.
4. In March, 1962 downtown and arts theatres, of their own
volition, abolished discrimination in seating.
5. On January 1, 19 63, the city voluntarily abolished separate
employment listings for whites and Negroes.
6. In March, 1963 the city employed Negro firemen.
ago employed Negro policemen .
It long
7. In May of 1963 the Atlanta Real Estate Board (white) and
the Empire Real Estate Board (Negro) issued a Statement of
Purposes, calling for ethical handling of real estate transactions
in controversial areas.
8. In June, 19 63, the city government opened all municipal
swimming pools on a desegregated basis. This was voluntary action
to comply with a court order.
9. Also in June, 1963, 18 hotels and motels, representing the
leading places of public accommodations in the city, voluntarily
removed all segregation for conventions.
10. Again, in June, 1963 more than 30 of the city's leading
restaurants, of their own volition, abolished segregation in their
facilities.
You can readily see that Atlanta's steps have been taken in
some instances in compliance with court decisions, and in other
instances the steps have been voluntary prior to any court action.
In each instance the action has resulted in white citizens relin~
quishing special privileges which they had enjoyed under the
practices of racial discrimination. Each action also has resulted
in the Negro citizen being given rights which all others previously
had enjoyed and which he has been denied .
As I mentioned at the beginning, Atlanta has achieved on ly
- 3-
�a measure of succe ss. I think it would assist you in understanding
this if I explained how l imited so far has b ee n this transition from
the old segregated society of generations past, and also how limited
so far has been t~e participation of the Negro citizens.
Significant as is the voluntary elimination of discrimination in
our leading restaurants, it affects so far only a small percentage of
the hundreds of eating places in our city.
And participation b y Negroes so far has been very slight. For
example, one of Atlanta's topmost restaurants served only 16 out of
Atlanta's 200 , 000 Negro citizens during the first week of freedom
from discrimination.
The plan for e liminating discrimination in hotels as yet takes
care only of convention delegates. Although prominent Negroes
have been accepted as guests in several Atlanta hotels, the Negro
citizens, as a whole, seldom appear at Atlanta hotels.
Underlying all -the em otions of the situation, is the matter of
economics. It should be remembere d that the right to use a facility
does not mean that it w ill be used o r m isused by any group, especially the groups in the lower economic status.
The statements I have given you cover the actual progress
made by Atlanta toward t otal elimination of discrimination.
Now I wou l d lik e to submit my personal reasons why I think
Atlanta has r e solve d some of these problems while in other cities,
s olutions have seeme d impos s ible and strife and conflict have
resulted.
As an illustration, I would like to describe a recent visit of
an official dele gation from a great Eastern city which has a Negro
population of ov e r 600 , 000 consisting of in excess of 20% of its
whole population.
The m e m bers of t his de l egation at first simply did not understand and would hardly b e lieve that the business, civic and political
interests of A tlanta had inte ntly c oncerned themselves with the
Negro population. I still do not believe that they are convinced
that a ll of ou r civic b o dies backe d b y the public interest and supp orte d b y the City Government have da ily c oncerned themselves
with an effort to solve our gravest problem -- which is relations
b e twee n our races. Gentlemen, Atlanta ha s not swept this
- 4-
�•
question under the rug at any point. Step by step - sometimes
under Court order - sometimes voluntarily moving ahead of
pressures - sometimes adroitly - and many times clumsily - we
have tried to find a solution to each specific problem through an
agreement between the affected white ownership and the Negro
leadership.
To do this we have not appointed a huge general bi-racial
committee which too often merely becomes a burial place for unsolved problems. By contrast, each time a specific problem has
come into focus, we have appointed the people involved to work
out the solution . . . Theatre owners to work with the top Negro
leaders . . . or hotel owners to work with the top leadership . . .
or certain restaurant owners who of their own volition dealt with
top Negro leadership. By developing the lines of communication
and respectability, we have been able to reach amicable solutions.
Atlanta is the world's center of Negro higher education.
There are six great Negro universities and colleges located inside
our city limits. B e cause of this, a great number of intelligent,
well-educated Negro citizens have chosen to remain in our city.
As a result of their education, they have had the ability to develop
a prosperous Negro business community. In Atlanta it consists of
financial institutions like banks - building and loan associations life insurance companies - chain drug stores - r e al e state dealers.
In .fact , they have deve loped busine ss organizations, I b e lieve, in
almost every line of acknowledged American business. There are
also many Negro professional men.
Then there is another powerful factor working i n the behalf of
g ood r a cial r e lations in our city. W e have news m e dia , both white
a nd Negro, whose l eaders strongly b e liev e a nd put i nto pra ctice the
great truth that responsibility of the press (and by this I mean radio
and television as well as the written press) is inseparable from
free dom of the press.
T h e leadership of our writte n, s poken and t e l evi se d n e w s
media join with the business a nd g overnment leadership, both whit e
a nd Negr o, in wor king to solve our problems .
We are fortunat e tha t we have one of the w o r ld famous e dito rial
spokesmen f o r re a s on and m oderation on one of our white newspapers,
a long with other e dit ors and many r e porters who stress significance
r a the r tha n sensation in the reporting and interpretation of wha t
happens. in our c ity.
- 5-
�And we are fortunate in having a strong Negro daily newspaper,
The Atlanta Daily World, and a vigorous Negro weekly, The Atlanta
Inquirer.
The Atlanta -Daily World is owned by a prominent Negro family the Scott family - which owns and operates a number of other newspapers.
The sturdy voices of the Atlanta Daily World and the Atlanta
Inquirer, backed by the support of the educational, business and
religious community, reach out to our Negro citizens. They speak
to them with factual information upon which they can rely. They
express opinions and interpretations in which they can have faith.
As I see it, our Negro leadership in Atlanta is responsible and
constructive. I am sure that our Negro leadership is as desirous of
obtaining additional civic and economic and personal rights as is any
American citizen. But by constructive I mean to define Atlanta 1 s
Negro leadership as being realistic - as recognizing that it is more
important to obtain t~e rights they seek than it is to stir up demonstrations. So it is to the constructive means by which these rights
can be obtained that our Negro leaders constantly address themselves.
They are interested in results instead of rhetoric. They reach for
lasting goals instead of grabbing for momentary publicity. They are
realists, not rabble rousers. Afong with integration they want
integrity.
I do not believe that any sincere American citizen desires to
see the rights of private business restricted by the Federal Government unless such restriction is absolutely necessary for the welfare
of the people of this country.
On the other hand, following the line of thought of the decisions
of the Federal Courts in the past 15 years, I am not convinced that
current rulings of the Courts would grant to American business the
privilege of discrimination by race in the selection of its customers.
Here again we get into the area of what is right and what is
best for the people of this country. If the privilege of selection
based on race and color should be granted then would we be giving
to business the right to set up a segregated economy? . . . And
if so, how fast would this right be utilized by the Nation's people?
. . . And how soon would we again be going through the old turmoil
of riots, strife, demonstrations, boycotts, picketing?
-6-
�Are we going to say that it is all rig ht for the Negro citizen
to go into the bank of Main stree t to deposit his earnings or borrow
money, then to go the department store to buy what he needs, to go
to the supermark~t to purchase food for his family, and so on along
Main street until he comes to a restaurant or a hotel -- In all these
other business places he is treated just like any other customer - But when he comes to the restaurant or the hotel, are we going to
say that it is right and legal for the operators of these businesses,
merely as a matter of convenience, to insist that the Negro's
citizenship be changed and that, as a second class citizen, he is
to be refused service? I submit that it is not right to allow an
American's citizenship to be changed merely as a matter of convenience.
If the Congress should fail to clarify the issue at the present
time, then by inference it would be saying that you could begin discrimination under the guise of private business. I do not believe
that this is what the Supreme Court has intended with its decisions.
I do not believe that this is the intent of Congress or the people of
this country.
I a.p:i not a lawyer, Senators . I am not sure I clearly understand all of the t estimony involving various amendments to the
Constitution and the Commerce clause which has been given to this
Committee. I have a fundamental res pect for the Constitution of
the United State s. Unde r this Constitution we have always been
able to do what is b est for all of the people of this country. I b eg
of you not to l e t this issue of discrimination.drown in legalistic
waters. I am firm ly convinced that the Supreme Court insists
that the same funda m e ntal rights mus t b e held by every Ameri ca n
citizen.
Atlanta is a case that proves that the problem of disc r iminat ion
can be solved to some extent . . . and I use this "some extent"
cautiously . . . as we certainly have not solve d all of the problems;
but we have m e t them in a number of are a s . This can be done locally ,
voluntarily, and by priva t e busine ss itse lf!
On the other hand, the r e a re hu nd re ds of communities and
cities, certainly throughout the nation that have not ever addres s ed
themselves to the issue . Where as, others have flagrantly ignore d
the de mand, a nd today , stand in a ll defiance to any c hange.
The Cong r es s of the Unite d St ates is now c onfronte d with a
grave decision. Shall y ou pas s a public accommodation bill that
- 7-
�forces this issue? Or, shall y ou create another round of disputes
over segregation by refusing to pass such legislation?
Surely, the Congress realizes that after having failed to take
any definite action on this subject in the last ten years, to fail to
pass this bill would amount to an endorsement of private business
setting up an entirely new status of discrimination throughout the
nation. Cities like Atlanta might slip backwards. Hotels and
restaurants that have already taken this issue upon themselve s
and opened their doors might find it convenient to go back to the
old status. Failure by Congress to take definite action at this
time is by inference an endorsement of the right of private business
to practice racial discrimination and, in my opinion, would start
the same old round of squabbles and demonstrations that we have
had in the past.
Gentlemen, if I had your problem armed with the local experience I have had, I would pass a public accommodation bill.
Such a bill, however, should provide an opportunity for each local
government first to meet this problem and attempt to solve it on a
local, voluntary basis, with each business making its own decision.
I realize that it is quite easy to ask you to give an opportunity to
each businessman in each city to make his decision and to accomplish such an objective . . . but it is extremely difficult to l egislate such a problem.
What I am trying to say is that the pupil placement plan,
which has been widely used in the South, provided a time table
approved by the Federal courts which helped in getting over troubled
water of elimination of discrimination in public schools. It s eems
to me that cities working with private business institutions could now
move into the same area and that the federal government legislation
should be based on the idea that those businesses have a reasonab l e
time to accomplish such an act.
I think a public accommodation law now should stand only as
the last resort to assure that discrimination is eliminated, but that
such a law would grant a reasonable time for cities and busine sses
to carry out this function b efore federal intervention.
It might even be necessary that the time factor be made more
lenient in favor of smaller c ities and communities, for we all know
that large metropolitan areas have the capability of adjusting to
changes more rapidly than smaller communities.
- 8-
�Perhaps this, too, should be given consideration in your
legislation. But the point I want to emphasize again is that now is
the time for legislative action. We cannot dodge the issue. We
cannot look bac}{ over our shoulders or turn the clock back to the
1860 1s. We must take action now to assure a greater future for
our citizens and our country.
A hundred years ago the abolishment of slavery won the
United States the acclaim of the whole world when it made every
American free in theory.
Now the elimination of segregation, which is slavery's stepchild, is a challenge to all of us to make every American free in
fact as well as in theory - and again to establi~h our nation as the
true champion of the free world.
Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, I want to
thank you for the opportunity of telling you about Atlanta's efforts
to provide equality of citizenship to all within its borders.
- 9-
�STATEMENT
by
IVAN ALLEN, JR.
MAYOR OF ATLANTA, GA.
BEFORE
COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE
REGARDING
s.
1 732
BILL TO ELIMINATE DISCRIMINATION IN PUBLIC
ACCOMMODATIONS AFFECTING
INTERSTATE COMMERCE
July 2 6, 19 63
�STATEMENT BY IVAN ALLEN, JR.
MAYOR OF ATLANTA
July 26, 1963
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Senate Commerce Committee:
I am honored to appear before your Committee.
At the beginning I would like to make it clear that I feel qualified to speak on the subject under discussion which is the elimination
of racial discrimination, on what I have learned from personal
experience and observation in my home city of Atlc1-nta, Georgia.
As perceptive men of wide experience I feel confident that you will
agree with me that this is as serious a basic problem in the North,
East and West as it is in the South.
It must be defined as an all-American problem, which requires
an all-American so_lution based on local thought, local action and
local cooperation.
The 500, 000 people who live within our city limits consist of
300, 000 white citizens and slightly more than 200, 000 Negro citizens.
That makes the population of Atlanta 60 percent white, 40 percent
Negro.
That 60 - 40 perce ntage emphasizes how essential it is for the
people of A tlanta, on the i r local level, to solve the problem of racial
disc r imination in order t o make Atlanta a better place in which to
live.
Elimination of raci a l de scrimination is no far off philosophical
theory to the m o re than one million people who live in and around
Atlanta . The p rob lem is pa rt and parcel of our daily lives. Its
solution mus t be studied and w o r ked out on our homefront.
A s the m ayo r of the Southeast's largest city, I can say to you
out of fi rs t h and experi enc e and first hand knowledge that nowhere
d oes the problem of e lim i n ating discrimination between the races
strik e so clo se ly home a s it does to the local elected public official.
He is the man who cannot pass the buck.
From t his vie wpoint , I speak of the p r oblem as having been
brought into s harp focus by decis ion s of the Supreme Court of the
�United States and then generally ignored by the Presidents and
Congresses of the United States. Like a foundling baby. this awesome problem has been left on the doorsteps of local governments
throughout the nation.
Now to take up specifics. You gentlemen invited me to tell
you how Atlanta has achieved a considerable measure of comparative
success in dealing with racial discrimination.
It is true that Atlanta has achieved success in eliminating
discrimination in areas where some other cities have failed, but
we do not boast of our success. Instead of boasting, we say with
the humility of those who believe in reality that we have achieved
our measure of success only because we looked facts in the face
and accepted the Supreme Court's decisions as inevitable and as
the law of our land. Having embraced realism in general, we then
set out to solve specific problems by local cooperation between
people of good will and good sense representing both races.
In attacking th~ specific problems, we accepted the basic
truth that the solutions which we sought to achieve in every instance
granted to our Negro citizens rights which white American citizens
and businesses previously had reserved to themselves as special
privileges.
These special privileges long had been propped up by a
multitude of local ordinances and statewide laws which had upheld
racial segregation in almost every conceivable form.
In Atlanta we had plenty of the props of prejudice to contend
with when we set out to solve our specific problems of discrimination.
In attacking these problems, I want to emphasize that in not one single
instance have we retained or enhanced the privileges of segregation.
It has been a long, exhausting and often discouraging process
and the end is far from being in sight.
In the 1950's Atlanta made a significant start with a series
of reasonable eliminations of discrimination such as on golf courses
and public transportation. We began to become somewhat conditioned for more extensive and definitive action, which has been
taking place in the 19 60 1 s.
During the past two a nd a half years, Atlanta has taken the
following major steps to eliminate racial discrimination:
- 2-
�In September, 1961, we began removing discrimination
in public schools in response to a court order.
1.
2. In Octo~er, 1961, lunch counters in department and variety
stores abolished discrimination by voluntary action.
3. On January 1, 1962 Atlanta city facilities were freed from
discrimination by voluntary action of municipal officials.
4. In March, 1962 downtown and arts theatres, of their own
volition, abolished discrimination in seating.
5. On January 1, 1963, the city voluntarily abolished separate
employment listings for whites and Negroes.
6. In March, 1963 the city employed Negro firemen.
ago employed Negro policemen.
It long
7. In May of 1963 the Atlanta Real Estate Board (white) and
the Empire Real Estate Board (Negro) issued a Statement of
Purposes, calling for ethical handling of real estate transactions
in controversial areas.
8. In June, 1963, the city government opened all municipal
swimming pools on a desegregated basis. This was voluntary action
to comply with a court order.
9. Also in June, 1963, 18 hotels and motels, representing the
leading places of public accommodations in the city, voluntarily
removed all segregation for conventions.
10. Again, in June, 1963 more than 30 of the city's leading
restaurants, of their own volition, abolished segregation in their
facilities.
You can readily see that Atlanta's steps have been taken in
some instances in compliance with court decisions, and in other
instances the steps have been voluntary prior to any court action.
In each instance the action has resulted in white citizens relinquishing special privileges which they had enjoyed under the
practices of racial discrimination. Each action also has resulted
in the Negro citizen being given rights which all others previously
had enjoyed and which he has been denied.
As I mentioned at the beginning, Atlanta has achieved only
- 3-
�a measure of success. I think it would assist you in understanding
this if I explaine d how limited so far has been this transition from
the old segregated society of generations past, and also how limited
so far has been the participation of the Negro citizens.
Significant as is the voluntary elimination of discrimination in
our leading restaurants, it affects so far only a small percentage of
the hundreds of eating places in our city.
And participation by Negroes so far has been very slight. For
example, one of Atlanta's topmost restaurants served only 16 out of
Atlanta's 200,000 Negro citizens during the first week of freedom
from discrimination.
The plan for eliminating discrimination in hotels as yet takes
care only of convention delegates. Although prominent Negroes
have been accepted as guests in several Atlanta hotels, the Negro
citizens, as a whole, seldom appear at Atlanta hotels.
Underlying all t_he emotions of the situation, is the matter of
economics. It should be remembered that the right to use a facility
does not mean that it will be used or misused by any group, especially the groups in the low er economic status.
The statements I have givep you cover the actual progress
made by Atlanta towa r d total elimination of discrimination.
Now I would like to submit m y personal reasons why I think
Atlanta has res olv ed some of t hes e problems while in other cities,
s olutions have s ee med i mpossible and st r ife and conflict have
res ulted .
As an illustration, I w ould like to describe a recent visit of
an official delegation fr om a g reat Eastern city which has a Negro
population of over 600 , 000 cons isting of in excess of 20% of its
whole popula tion.
The memb e rs of this de legation at fi r st simply did not understand and would hardly b elieve tha t the b u s iness, civic and political
intere sts of Atlanta had inte ntly con c erned themselves with the
Negro population. I s till do not believe that they are convinced
t hat a ll of ou r civi c bodie s backe d by t he pub lic interest and supp ort e d by the C ity Governme nt have daily conc e rned thems e lves
with an e ffort to so lv e our g ravest problem - - which i s r e lations
b etween our races. Gentleme n, Atlant a has n ot swept this
- 4-
�question under the rug at any point. Step by step - sometimes
under Court order - sometimes voluntarily moving ahead of
pressures - sometimes adroitly - and many times clumsily - we
have tried to find a solution to each specific problem through an
agreement betweeh the affected white ownership and the Negro
leadership.
To do this we have not appointed a huge general bi-racial
committee which too often merely becomes a burial place for unsolved problems. By contrast, each time a specific problem has
come into focus, we have appointed the people involved to work
out the solution . . . Theatre owners to work with the top Negro
leaders . . . or hotel owners to work with the top leadership . . .
or certain restaurant owners who of their own volition dealt with
top Negro leadership. By developing the lines of communication
and respectability, we have been able to reach amicable solutions.
Atlanta is the world's center of Negro higher education.
There are six great Negro universities and colleges located inside
our city limits. Bec~use of this, a great number of intelligent,
well-educated Negro citizens have chosen to remain in our city.
As a result of their education, they have had the ability to develop
a prosperous Negro business community. In Atlanta it consists of
financial institutions like banks - building and loan associations life insurance companies - chain drug stores - real estate dealers.
In fact, they have developed business organizations, I believe, in
almost every line of acknowledged American business. There are
also many Negro professional men.
Then there is another powerful factor working in the behalf of
good racial relations in our city. We have news media, both white
and Negro, whose leaders strongly believe and put into practice the
great truth that responsibility of the press (and by this I mean radio
and television as well as the written press) is inseparable from
freedom of the press.
The leadership of our written, spoken and televised news
media join with the business and government leadership, both white
and Neg r o, in working to solve our problems .
We a r e fortunate that we have one of the world famous edito r ial
spokesmen for r eason and moderation on one of our white n ewspape r s ,
a long with othe r edito r s and many re porte r s who str ess sign ifican c e
rat h e r tha n sensation in the r epo r ting a nd inte r pretation of what
happe n s. i n our city .
- 5-
�And we are fortunate in having a strong Negro daily newspaper,
The Atlanta Daily World, and a vigorous Negro weekly, The Atlanta
Inquirer.
The Atlanta Daily World is owned by a prominent Negro family the Scott family - which owns and operates a number of other newspapers.
The sturdy voices of the Atlanta Daily World and the Atlanta
Inquirer, backed by the support of the educational, business and
religious community, reach out to our Negro citizens. They speak
to them with factual information upon which they can rely. They
express opinions and interpretations in which they can have faith.
As I see it, our Negro leadership in Atlanta is responsible and
constructive. I am sure that our Negro leadership is as desirous of
obtaining additional civic and economic and personal rights as is any
American citizen. But by constructive I mean to define Atlanta's
Negro leadership as being realistic - as recognizing that it is more
important to obtain the rights they seek than it is to stir up demonstrations. So it is to the constructive means by which these rights
can be obtained that our Negro leaders constantly address themselves.
They are interested in results instead of rhetoric. They reach for
lasting goals instead of grabbing for momentary publicity. They are
realists, not rabble rousers. Along with integration they want
integrity.
I do not believe that any sincere American citizen desires to
see the rights of private business restricted by the Federal Government unless such restriction is absolutely necessary for the welfare
of the people of this country.
On the other hand, following the line of thought of the decisions
of the Federal Courts in the past 15 years, I am not convinced that
current rulings of the Courts would grant to American business the
privilege of discrimination by race in the selection of its customers.
Here again we get into the area of what is right and what is
be st for the people of this country. If the privilege of selection
based on race and color should be granted then would we be giving
to business the right to set up a segregated economy? . . . And
if so, how fast would this right be utilized by the Nation's people?
. . . And how soon would we again be going through the old turmoil
of r iots, strife, demonst r ations, boycotts , picketing?
-6-
�Are we going to say that it is all right for the Negro citizen
to go into the bank of Main street to deposit his earnings or borrow
money, then to go the department store to buy what he needs, to go
to the supermarket to purchase food for his family, and so on along
Main street until he comes to a restaurant or a hotel -- In all these
other business places he is treated just like any other customer - But when he comes to the restaurant or the hotel, are we going to
say that it is right and legal for the operators of these businesses,
merely as a matter of convenience, to insist that the Negro's
citizenship be changed and that, as a second class citizen, he is
to be refused service? I submit that it is not right to allow an
American's citizenship to be changed merely as a matter of convenience.
If the Congress should fail to clarify the issue at the present
time, then by inference it would be saying that you could begin discrimination under the guise of private business. I do not believe
that this is what the Supreme Court has intended with its decisions.
I do not believe that this is the intent of Congress or the people of
this country.
I a.pi not a lawyer, Senators. I am not sure I clearly understand all of the testimony involving various amendments to the
Constitution and the Commerce clause which has been given to this
Committee. I have a fundamental respe ct for the Constitution of
the United State s. Under this Constitution we have always been
able to do what is best for all of the people of this country . I beg
of you not to let this issue of discrimination.drown in legalistic
waters. I am fi r mly convince d that the Supreme Court insists
that the same funda m e nta l rights mu s t b e he ld by eve r y Am eri can
citizen.
Atlanta is a case that p r ove s that the problem of discrimination
can be solved to some exte nt . . . and I use this "some extent"
cautiously . . . as we ce rtainly have not solved all of the problem s ;
but w e have m e t them in a num b er of areas. This c a n b e done locally,
voluntarily, a nd b y p r ivat e bus iness itse lf!
On the other ha nd, there are hundreds of communities a nd
cities, certainly thr oughout t he nation tha t have not ever addre ssed
the mselve s to the issue. Whereas, othe r s h ave flagrantly ignore d
the de m and, and t oday, stand in a ll defiance to a n y change.
The Congre ss of the United Sta t es is now confronted with a
grave decis ion. Shall you pass a public accommoda tion bill t hat
- 7-
�forces this issue? Or, shall you create another round of disputes
over segregation by refusing to pass such legislation?
Surely, the Congress realizes that after having failed to take
any definite action on this subject in the last ten years, to fail to
pass this bill would amount to an endorsement of private business
setting up an entirely new status of discrimination throughout the
nation. Cities like Atlanta might slip backwards. Hotels and
restaurants that have alre ady taken this issue upon themselves
and opened their doors might find it convenient to go back to the
old status. Failure by Congress to take definite action at this
time is by inference an endorsement of the right of private business
to practice racial discrimination and, in my opinion, would start
the same old round of squabbles and demonstrations that we have
had in the past.
Gentlemen, if I had y our problem armed with the local experience I have had, I would pass a public accommodation bill.
Such a bill, however, should provide an opportunity for each local
government first to meet this problem and attempt to solve it on a
local, voluntary basis, with each business making its own decision .
I realize that it is quite easy to ask you to give an opportunity to
each businessman in each city to make his decision and to accomplish such an objective . . . but it is e xtremely difficult to legislate such a problem.
What I am try ing to say is that the pupil place ment plan,
which has been wide ly us e d in the South, provided a time table
approved b y the F e de r a l c our t s which he lped in getting over tr oubled
water of elimination of dis c rimination in public schools. It s e ems
to me that cities working w ith private business institutions could now
move into the same are a a nd that the federal government l egi slat i on
should be based on the ide a that thos e busine sses have a re a sonab l e
time to accomplish such an act.
I think a public accommodation law now should stand only as
the last resort to a s sure tha t dis c rimination is eliminate d, but t h at
such a law woul d gra nt a rea sonable time for cities and busines s e s
to carry out this fun ct i o n b e fo re fe de ra l i nt erv e ntion.
It might even b e n ece ssary that the time factor be made mo re
lenie nt in fav o r of s m a ller c itie s and communitie s , for we a ll know
that la rge m e t ropolitan a re as have the c a pab ility of adjus ting t o
c hanges mo re r a pidly than s m a lle r communit i e s.
- 8-
�Perhaps this, too, should be given consideration in your
legislation. But the point I want to emphasize again is that now is
the time for legislative action. We cannot dodge the issue. We
cannot look back ,over our shoulders or turn the clock back to the
1860 1s. We must take action now to assure a greater future for
our citizens and our country.
A hundred years ago the abolishment of slavery won the
United States the acclaim of the whole world when it made every
American free in theory.
Now the elimination of segregation, which is slavery's stepchild, is a challenge to all of us to make every American free in
fact as well as in theory - and again to establish our nation as the
true champion of the free world.
Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, I want to
thank you for the opportunity of telling you about Atlanta's efforts
to provide equality of citizenship to all within its borders.
- 9-
�STATEMENT
by
IVAN ALLEN, JR.
MAYOR OF ATLANTA, GA.
BEFORE
COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE
REGARDING
s.
1 732
BILL TO ELIMINATE DISCRIMINATION IN PUBLIC
ACCOMMODATIONS AFFECTING
INTERSTATE COMMERCE
July 2 6, 19 6 3
�STATEMENT BY IVA N ALLEN, JR.
MAYOR OF ATLA NTA
July 26, 1963 -
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Senate Commerce Committee:
I am hono red to appear before your Committee.
At the b eginning I would like to make it clear that I feel qualifi e d to speak on the subject under discussion which is the elimination
of racial discrimination, on what I have learned from personal
experience and observation in my home city of Atlanta, Georgia.
A s p erceptive men of wide experience I feel confident that you will
agree with m e that this is as serious a basic problem in the North,
East and West a s it is in the South.
It must be de fined as an all-American problem, which requires
an all-Ame rican solution based on local thought, local action and
local cooperation.
The 500, 000 people who live within our city limits consist of
300, 000 white citizens and slightly more than 200, 000 Negro citizens.
That makes the population of Atlanta 60 percent white, 40 percent
Negro .
That 60 - 40 perce ntage emphasizes how essential it is for the
people of Atlanta, on the ir local level, to solve the problem of racial
disc r imination in order to make Atlanta a better place in which to
live.
Elimination of racial descrimination is no far off philosophical
theory to the mo r e than one million people who live in and around
Atlanta. The prob l e m is part and parcel of our daily lives. Its
s olution mu st be s tudi e d and worked out on our homefront.
As the mayo r of the Southeast's largest city, I can say to you
out of first hand experience and first hand knowledge that nowhere
does the problem of eliminating discrimination between the races
strike so closely home as it does to the local elected public official.
He is the man who cannot pass the buck.
From this view point, I spe a k of the problem as having been
brought into sharp focus by decisions of the Supreme Court of the
�United States and then generally ignored by the Presidents and
Congresses of the United States. Like a foundling baby, this awesome problem has been left on the doorsteps of local governments
throughout the nation.
Now to take up specifics. You gentlemen invited me to tell
you how Atlanta has achieved a considerable measure of comparative
success in dealing with racial discrimination.
It is true that Atlanta has achieved success in eliminating
discrimination in areas where some other cities have failed, but
we do not boast of our success. Instead of boasting, we say with
the humility of those who believe in reality that we have achieved
our measure of success only because we looked facts in the face
and accepted the Supreme Court's decisions as inevitable and as
the law of our land. Having embraced realism in general, we then
set out to solve specific problems by local cooperation between
people of good will and good sense representing both races.
In attacking th~ specific problems, we accepted the basic
truth that the solutions which we sought to achieve in every instance
granted to our Negro citizens rights which white American citizens
and businesses previously had reserved to themselves as special
privileges.
These special privileges long had been propped up by a
multitude of local ordinances and statewide laws which had upheld
racial segregation in almost every conceivable form.
In Atlanta we had plenty of the props of prejudice to contend
with when we set out to solve our specific problems of discrimination.
In attacking these problems, I want to emphasize that in not one single
instance have we retained or enhanced the privileges of segregation.
It has been a long, exhausting and often discouraging process
and the end is far from being in sight.
In the 1950's Atlanta made a significant start with a series
of reasonable eliminations of discrimination such as on golf courses
and public transportation. We began to become somewhat conditioned for more extensive and definitive action, which has been
taking place in the 19 60 1s.
During the pa st two a nd a h a lf years, Atla nta has t a k e n the
following major steps to eliminate racial discrimination:
- 2-
�1. In September, 1961, we began r emoving discrimination
in public schools in response to a court order.
2. In October, 1961, lunch counters in department and variety
stores abolished discrimination by voluntary action.
3. On January 1, 1962 Atlanta city facilities were freed from
discrimination by voluntary action of municipal officials.
4. In March, 1962 downtown and arts theatres, of their own
volition, abolished discrimination in seating.
5. On January 1, 1963, the city voluntarily abolished separate
employment listings for whites and Negroes.
6. In March, 1963 the city employed Negro firemen.
ago employed Negro police men.
It long
7. In May of 1963 the Atlanta Re al Estate Board (white) and
the Empire Real Estate Board (Negro) issued a Statement of
Purposes, calling for ethical handling of real estate transactions
in controversial areas.
8 . In June, 1963, the city government opened all municipal
s w imm i n g p ools o n a des e gregated basis. This was voluntary action
to comply w it h a cou r t order .
9. A ls o i n June, 19 63, 18 hote ls and motels, representing the
l eading p l ace s of public accommodations in the city, voluntarily
remov ed all segregation for conventions .
10. Aga i n, in June, 1963 more than 30 of the city's leading
restaurants, of the i r own volition, a bolished segregation in their
facilities .
You can readily s ee tha t Atlant a ' s steps have been taken in
some i ns t ances in compliance with c our t decisions, and in other
instances t he s t e p s have b een volunt ary p r ior to any cour t action.
In each i nstance the action has r esulted in white citizens r elin qui s hing spe c i a l p r ivileges which they had enjoyed unde r the
practices of racial di scrim ination . Each action also has r esulted
in the Ne gro c iti zen b e i ng g ive n r i ghts which all others p r eviously
had enjoyed and which he has been denied.
As I mentioned at the beginning, Atlanta h a s achieved only
- 3-
�a measure of success. I think it would assist you in understanding
this if I e xplained h ow limited so fa r has b e en this transition from
the old segregated society o f g ene r ati ons past, and also how limited
so far has been the participation of the Ne gro citizens.
Significant as is the v oluntary elimination of discrimination in
our leading restaurants , it a ffects so far only a small percentage of
the hundreds of eat ing places i n our city.
And participation by Negroes so far has been very slight. For
example, one o f Atlanta ' s topmost restaurants served only 16 out of
Atlanta's 200,000 Ne gro citi ze ns during the first week of freedom
from discrimi n a tion.
The plan fo r eliminating discrimination in hotels as yet takes
care only of conv ention delegates . Although prominent Negroes
have been accepte d as guests in several Atlanta hotels, t he Negro
citizens, as a whole, seldom appe ar at Atlanta hotels.
Underl ying a ll t he emotions of the sit u a t ion, is the matter of
economics. It should be r ememb ere d that the right to use a facility
does not mean that it will be used o r m i suse d by any group, especially the groups in the lowe r e conomic status .
The s t a t ement s I h ave giv ep y ou c over the actual progress
m a de b y Atla nta toward total elimina t i on o f dis criminat i on.
Now I w ould l ike to s ubmit my personal reasons why I think
Atlanta has r es olve d some of t hese proble ms while in othe r c ities,
solut i ons h ave seeme d i mpossib l e and s t rife and confli ct have
r e sulted.
A s a n i llu stration, I w ould like to de scribe a r ecent v isit of
an offi c ia l de le gation from a gre a t Eas t ern c ity whi ch has a Negr o
popu l ation of over 600, 000 c ons i s ting of in excess of 2 0% of its
whole popul ation.
The membe rs of this de l egation at first simply did n ot u nder stand and would hardly be l ieve t hat the busine ss , c ivic and politica l
inte r e s t s of Atlanta h ad int ently concerne d the m s e lves with the
Negro popula tion. I s till do not b e liev e tha t t h e y a r e c onvinced
tha t a ll of our civic bodie s backed by the public interest a nd s up ported by the City Gove rnme nt have da ily concern ed themse lves
with an e ffort t o s olve our g r a v est p roblem - - which is re l a t ions
b etween our races. Gentlemen, Atlanta has n ot swe pt this
-4-
�question under the rug at any point. Ste p by step - sometimes
under Court order - sometimes voluntarily moving ahead of
pressures - sometimes adroitly - and many times clumsily - we
have tried to find. a solution to each specific problem through an
agreement between the affected white ownership and the Negro
leadership.
To do this we have not appointed a huge general bi-racial
committee which too often merely becomes a burial place for unsolved problems. B y contrast, each time a specific problem has
come into focus, we have appointed the people involved to work
out the solution . . . Theatre owne rs to work with the top Negro
leaders . . . or hotel owners to work with the top leadership . . .
or ce r t ain re staurant owne rs who of their own volition dealt with
top Negro leadership. By developing the lines of communication
and respectability, we h ave been able to reach amicable solutions.
Atlanta is the world's cent e r of Neg ro higher education.
There are six great Negro univers itie s and colleges located inside
our city limits. B e cause of this, a gre at number of intelligent,
well- e ducated Negro citizens have chosen to remain in our city.
A s a r esult of their education, they have had the ability to develop
a p rospe rou s Neg ro business c ommunity. In Atlanta it consists of
fin a n c ial institutions like banks - building and loan associations life insura n ce c ompanies - chain drug stores - real estate dealers.
In fact, they have developed business organizations, I believe, in
almost every line of a cknowledged American business. There are
also many Negro p r ofess ional m e n .
Then there is another powerful factor working in the behalf of
good racial relations in our city. We hav e news media, both white
and Negro , whose le a ders s t r ong ly b e lieve and put into practice the
g reat t r uth t ha t r esponsibility of the press (and b y this I mean r adio
and t e levision as w ell as the w ritten p r ess) i s inseparable from
free dom of the p r ess .
T he leadership of our w ritten, spoken and televised n e ws
media j oin w ith the b usine ss a n d g overnment l e ade r ship, both wh ite
a n d Negro , i n wo rking to solve our proble m s .
We are fo rtunate t hat we have one of t he wo rld fa mous edit o r ial
spokesmen fo r re a s on a n d mo de r ati on on o n e of our white n e ws papers ,
along with other editors and many reporters who s tre ss s i gnificance
rather than sensati on in the reporting and interpreta tion of what
happens. in our city.
- 5-
�And we are fortunate in having a strong Negro daily newspaper,
The Atlanta Daily World, and a vigorous Negro weekly, The Atlanta
Inquirer.
The Atlanta Daily World is owned by a prominent Negro family the Scott family - which owns and operates a number of other newspapers.
The sturdy voices of the Atlanta Daily World and the Atlanta
Inquirer, backed by the support of the educational, business and
religious community, reach out to our Negro citizens. They speak
to them with factual information upon which they can rely. They
express opinions and interpretations in which they can have faith.
As I see it, our Negro leadership in Atlanta is responsible and
constructive. I am sure that our Negro leadership is as desirous of
obtaining additional civic and economic and personal rights as is any
American citizen. But by constructive I mean to define Atlanta's
Negro leadership as being realistic - as recognizing that it is more
important to obtain the rights they seek than it is to stir up demonstrations. So it is to the constructive means by which these rights
can be obtained that our Negro leaders constantly address themselves.
They are interested in results instead of rhetoric. They reach for
lasting goals instead of grabbing for momentary publicity. They are
realists, not rabble rousers. Afong with integration they want
integrity.
I do not believe that any sincere American citizen desires to
see the rights of private business restricted by the Federal Government unless such restriction is absolutely necessary for the welfare
of the people of this country.
On the other hand, following the line of thought of the decisions
of the Federal Courts in the past 15 years, I am not convinced that
current rulings of the Courts would grant to American business the
p r ivilege of discrimination by race in the selection of its customers.
Here again we get into the are a of what is right and what is
bes t for the people of this countr y . If the privilege of sele ction
based on r ace and colo r should b e granted then would we be giving
to b usiness the right to set up a segregated economy? . . . And
if so, how fast would this right be utilized by the Nation's people ?
. . . And how soon wou ld we again be goin g thr ough the old tu r moil
of r i ots, str ife, demonst r ations , boyc otts, picketing ?
- 6-
�, - - - - - -- -- - - - - -- -- - - -- - -- - --
---
-
Are we going to say that it is all right for the Negro citizen
to go into the bank of Main street t o depos it his earnings or borrow
money, then to go the depa r tment store to buy what he needs, to go
to the supermarket to purc hase food fo r his family, and so on along
Main street until he comes to a r esta urant or a hotel -- In all these
other business places he is treated just like any other customer - But when he comes to the restaurant or the hotel, are we going to
say that it is right and l e gal for the ope rators of these businesses,
merely as a matter of convenience, to insist that the Negro's
citizenship be changed and that, as a second class citizen, he is
to be refused service? I submit that it is not right to allow an
American's citizenship to b e changed merely as a matter of convenience.
If the Congress should fail to clarify the issue at the present
time, then by inference it would b e s aying that you could begin discrimination under the guise of private business. I do not believe
that this is what the Supreme Court has intended with its decisions.
I do not believe that this is the intent of Congress or the people of
this country.
I a.p1 not a lawyer, Senators. I am not sure I clearly understand all of the t e stimony involving var ious amendments to the
Constitution and the Commerce cla us e which has b een given to this
Com mittee . I h a v e a fundame nta l re spect fo r the Cons tituti on of
the United St a t es . Under t his Constit ution we have a lways b een
able to do what is b e st for all of the people of this country. I beg
of y ou not to le t this issue of di scriminati on .dr own in legalistic
wa t e rs. I am firmly convince d that t he Supre me Cour t ins i sts
tha t t he s ame fundam e nta l rights mu st b e he l d b y every American
cit izen.
Atlanta i s a case that prove s that the proble m of dis crim ination
can b e solved to s ome extent . . . and I use t his "some extent"
cautiously . . . as we certainly have n ot s olve d all of t he problems;
but we have m et them in a number of areas. This can b e done l ocally,
v oluntarily, and by p riv a t e busine ss its e lf !
On the othe r hand, there are hundre ds of communiti es and
citie s , certain l y thr oughout the nation t hat have not ever addres s ed
t hemselves to the issu e. Whe reas, others have flagrantly igno red
the de mand, and today, s t and in a ll de fiance to any change .
T he Congres s of t he Unit ed St ates is n ow confront e d with a
grave decisi on. Shall y ou pass a public accommodation bill that
- 7-
�forces this issue? Or, shall you create another round of disputes
over segregation by refusing to pass such legislation?
Surely, the Congress realizes that after having failed to take
any definite action on this subject in the last ten years, to fail to
pass this bill would amount to an endorsement of private business
setting up an entirely new status of discrimination throughout the
nation. Cities like Atlanta might slip backwards. Hotels and
restaurants that have already taken this issue upon themselves
and opened their doors might find it convenient to go back to the
old status. Failure by Congress to take definite action at this
time is by inference an e ndorsement of the right of private business
to practice rac ial discrimination and, in my opinion, would start
the same old round of squabbles a nd de monstrations that w e have
had in the past.
Gentlemen, if I had y our problem armed with the local experience I have had, I would pass a public accommodation bill.
Such a bill, however, should provide an opportunity for each local
governme nt first to m ee t thi s proble m and a tte mpt to solve it on a
local, voluntary basis, with ea ch business making its own decision.
I realize that it is quite easy to ask you to g ive an opportunity to
each businessman in each city to make his decision and to accomplish such an objective . . . but it is ext re mely difficult to legislate such a proble m.
What I am try ing to say is that the pupil placement plan,
which has been wide ly us e d in the South, provided a time t a ble
approved b y the Fe deral c our t s which he lpe d in getting over troubled
wa t er of e limination of discriminat i on i n public s chools. It seems
to m e tha t cities work ing with p rivat e bus ines s ins t itutio ns could now
move into the same area and t hat the federa l g overnment l egi slation
should be based on the idea tha t thos e busine sses have a r eas onable
time to accomplish such an act .
I think a pub li c accommoda tion l aw now should s t and only as
the last resort to assure t ha t di scrimination is e liminat e d , but that
s u ch a law would grant a reas onable time for cit i es and b u sines ses
to c a rry out this fun ction b e fore fe deral intervention.
It might even b e nece ssary tha t the time fa cto r b e ma de m o re
l enient in favor of smalle r cities and communities, for we a ll know
t hat large m e tropolitan areas have the capability of a djusting to
c hanges more rapidly than smaller communities.
-8-
�Perhaps this, too, should be given consideration in your
legislation. But the point I want to emphasize again is that now is
the time for legislative action. We cannot dodge the issue. We
cannot look back over our shoulders or turn the clock back to the
1860 1s. We must take action now to assure a greater future for
our citizens and our country.
A hundred years ago the abolishment of slavery won the
United States the acclaim of the whole world when it made every
American free in theory.
Now the elimination of segregation, which is slavery's stepchild, is a challenge to all of us to make every American free in
fact as well as in theory - and again to establish our nation as the
true champion of the free world.
Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, I want to
thank you for the opportunity of telling you about Atlanta's efforts
to provide equality of citizenship to all within its borders.
- 9-
�1733 B.North Decatur Road
Atlanta,Ga.30307
March 6,1,67
Mayor Ivan Allen
City of Atlanta,Georgia
City Hall
Atlanta,Ga.
Dear Mr.Mayor:With reference to President Johnscf>n's new Civil
Rights message to the Congres s you are rep6ted in. the pre!s
as having sent him a telegram nr pledge you my full support
for the program and the leg1~lat1Te propoBala, and I am
glad to furnish whatever help I may be in seeing that it 18
passed etc".
The President on his Pedernalea ranch and appendages
(some 15,000 acres) is assure4 of s~elter from the provisions
of the proposed legislation. State parks are being developed
to further protect his priTacy. When he goes to Austin he
probably meets his friend!: in exelus1Te clubs.
You too probably li~e in a non-integrated neighborhood nd I doubt that your neighbor• would welcome an integrated apartment house. I am certain that neither the Capital
City club nor the Piedmont Driving club would approTe 1our
proposing ·a.nd mponsor1ng negro members. Just how would •open
housi:m.g• affect your social contacts or the education of your
grandeh1ld.ren? You and the Pres1ient, because of your financial
resources can enjoy the immunities you seek to deny to the
great middle elasm. We too have standards.
Not mal'l.Y social workers have the honesty to do as
Rector Black (a white Harvard graduate~ who, with hie family,
lives in Vine City among the people he seeks to help.
Polities mot only
kes for atre.nge bedfellows as
witRess tke President's voting record as a senator, but 1t
alao breeds hypocr11y.
�Sweeping
to
Will
WASHINGTON (UPI) - President Lyndon B. Johnson will ask
Congress Wednesday for a
sweeping civil r ights program,
incJuding a gradual, three-stage
end to discrimination in housing.
The President is scheduled to
send t he special message to
Congress, markipg the fourth
time in four years the administration has asked for civil
rights laws.
The new civil rights package,
according to informed sour-ces,
is very similar to the one
passed by the House in modi-
A-Drop
Perfected
By France
(Copyright 1967 by The New York T im es Co.)
PARIS-A device permitting
the effective dropping of atom
bombs from low altitudes has
been ,periected by France, it
was annow1ced Tuesday. The
device is a parachute that slows
the fall of the bombs from altitudes as low as several hundred
yards, thus preventing them
from rebounding.
The announcement was made
during a conducted tour of
" Base 921," France's underground headquarters for her
strategic air command at Taverny, about 18 miles northwest
of Paris.
According to the announcement, the French A-arm, or
force de f r a p p e, will be
equipped with such bombs as
of this summer.
The new device was seen as
a way to slow the obsolescence
of France 's present " first-generation" means of delivery for
her atomic bombs, a fleet of
Mirage-4 supersonic bombers.
France has 51 such bombers
now, with 11 more scheduled to
be operational by November.
These planes will be phased
out in the years to come, awaiting France's first nuclear submarine around 1970. During the
phasing-out period, land-based
missiles are to bridge the gap.
Pending the phasing out of
these planes, the question had
long been asked how France,
in _case of war, could hope to

IV
0
ights Bill
gress Today
fied · form and filibustered to
death by the Senate last year .
The controversial " open housing" section has been revamped
to pr ovide for a gradual end to
discrimination in the r ental or
sale of property rather than
the outright ban advocated last
year by the administration.
The sources said the new
housing proposal will be patterned after the equal employment opportunity section of the
1964 Civil Rights Act.
Under this provision, employers with less than 100 employes
were exempt the first year.
This was r educed to 75 the second year; to 50 the third year,
and to a basic 25 after that.
A similar three-stage operation is planned for the housing
proposal. It would be voluntary
the first year ; apply to large
developments and apartments
the se c o nd year, and to all
homes after that.
Opposition to the housing provision k i 11 e d the 1966 civil
rights bill, although it was sharply modified by the House. The
House-passed bill would have
exempted all but an estimated
23 million apartments in larger
buildings and homes in new developments- about 40 per cent
of the nation's total housing.
The chief obstacle to Senate
approval was Republican leader E verett M. Dirksen, who refused to accept any housing
prov ision. Without his aid, efforts to stifle the Senate filibuster failed.
The new civil rights package
also will include several other
provisions which died last year.
These would outlaw discrimination in the selection of federal, state, and local juries and
strengthen federal laws forbid-
IPIXies
By ~ obi
I
ding violence and terror against
Negroes and civil rights workers.
New provisions in this year's
program would give added powers to the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission a n d
grant another extension to the
Civil Rights Commission.
• The proposed bill would provide "cease and desist" powers
to the commission which now
has to go to court to move
against employers who discriminate.
Role in Colleges
Of CIA Admitted
By HARRY KELLY
WASHINGTON Ul')...-The State Department acknowledged
Tuesday the Central Intelligence Agency was a secret financial
backer of the country's largest college student organization-the
National Student Association-for more than 10 years.
The disclosure threatened the
future of the NSA and promised ed the world of American stua new storm in academic circles dent leaders."
and in Congress over the big The 23-year-old Groves spy agency's subrosa opera- whose ·a dmission was later contions.
firmed by the State Department
Capitol Hill sour ces familiar - said the CIA had pumped
with CIA activities said private- " substantial funds" into NSA to
ly however, they knew of the help finance its overseas activiCIA-NSA financial ties and the ties , beginning in the 1950s.
State Department indicated the "The relationship apparently
relationship was approved "at originated because the Central
the high levels of government." Intelligence Agency believed
The president of NSA, W. Eu- that a strong American national
gene Groves, formally revealed union of students acting internathe connection after Ramparts tionally was in the· national inmagazine trumpeted in newspa- terest," Groves said in a stateper ads Tuesday morning that it ment edged with bitterness.
was going to expose " how the Groves said only "some offiCIA has infiltrated and subvert- cers and a few staff members"
knew of the financial aid from
CH and that in 1965 officers
decided " the relationship was
intolerable," and started a
break with the CIA which became complete this year.
The a sociation's international affairs vice president, Richard G. Stearns, said he underPHILADELPHIA (UPI)-A poem by a 13-year-old girl in a stood the CIA contribution ran
Presbyterian magazine which criticizes U.S. use of napalm in about $200,000 a year at the
Vietnam has caused the Defense department to cancel 13.000 beginning - in the early 1950s
subscriptions, the Presbyterian Board of Christian Education - and was down to about $50,000 when the ties were cut.
(PBCEJ said Tuesday.
To break all connections with
The Defense department said
the CIA at one stroke would
the magazine, "Venture," has
have meant bankruptc 1 , said
been dropped from the list of
Stearns, who put the NS/\ budgpublications -recommended for
1
'
Pentagon Quits Magazi11e
With Anti-Napalm Poem
.
·





.





1
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- - - - - -- ~ - - - - - -- -~


,,.


February 15, 1967
FOR RELEASE UPON DELIVERY TO THE CONGRESS
NOTICE: There should be ~ premature release of this Message to the
Congress, nor should its contents b~ paraphrased, alludad to or hinted
at in earlier stories. There is a total embargo on this Message until
delivered to the Congress, February 15, 1967, which includes any and
all references to any material in this Message.
George Christian
THE W!IlTE HOUSE
MESSAGE ON EQUAL JUSTICE
TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:
Almost two centuries ago, the American people decla1·ed these
truths to be self-evident:
That all men are created equal, that they
are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable
ri ghts , t hat among these are life, liberty and the
pursuit of happiness."
Seventy-five years later, a savage war tested the foundations of
their democratic faith. The issue of the struggle was, as Lincoln said,
whether "we shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the l ast, best hope on
earth.
Democracy triumphed in the field in 1865. But for the Negro
American , emancipation fr om slavery was but the first engagement in
a long campaign. He had still to endure the assaults of discrimination
that denied him a decent home, refused his children a good education,
closed the doors of economic progress against him, turned him away
at the voting booth, the jury box, at places of public accommodation,
seated him apart on buses and trains, and sometimes even threatened
him wit h violence if he did not assent to these humiliations.
In 1948, President Truman ordered the defense establishment to
accord equal t reatment to servicemen of every race. That same year,
t h e Supreme Court declared that state courts could not enforce racial
covenants in the sale of houses, The Court later struck down racial
discrimination in public transportation.
In 1954, segregated education was found to be inherently unequal
a nd in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
In 19 57, t h e first civil r i ghts a c t in eighty - two years passed the
Congress .
Three later Acts were adopted within the next decade - - in 1960 ,
1964, and 196 5. Co n gress p r ohibited inte rferenc e with the r ight to
vote -- t o us e any hotel, r e staurant, or theate r -- to s ecure a job on
the bas is of merit. It barred the use of Fed eral funds to any agency
that practiced racial discrimination.
more
�2
Within these twenty years, the institutions of democratic government
have begun to m~ke the ancient, self-evident truths a
reality for all Americans.
Though much of our task still lies before us, it is important to
measure the progress we have made in the past few years.
The Struggle Against Discrimination
Voting
Since the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the number of
Negroes registered in the five states where voter discrirnination was
most severe has increased by 64 percent -- from 715,099 to 1,174,569.
The vast majority of the new voters - - about 334, 000 - - were registered
by local officials, in voluntary compliance with the Act.
The remainder - - some 125, 000 - - were registered by Federal
examiners in 47 counties of the five states. Federal observers were
present in many counties during the 1966 primary and general election s
to insure that the newly registered voters were pe r mitted to vote without
inte rfe r enc e .
In 1960, a Negro citizen complained that fo r 10 years he had t r ied
with out succe ss to regis ter to vote. Not a s ingle Negro had been
r e g ister ed i n his county fo r 60 y ears. In 1966, he ran for a seat on
the l oca l s ch ool board - - a nd won .
Today , twenty Negr oes se r ve in Southern l e gislatures. Several
importa nt loca l office s, such as s chool boar ds and county commissions ,
now have Negro membership .
The e l e ctorate in these states has begun t o change . The right
to vote -- the fundamental democratic righ t -- is now exercised by
men and women whose color served i n y ears past to b a r them fr o m the
polls. After centuries of silence, thei r voice i s being heard. It will
never again be stilled.
Schools
In the 1963-1964 school year, ten years after the landmark Brown
decision, one percent of the Negro students in the ! 1 Southern states
were in schools also attended by white students.
Then came the 1964 Civil Rights Act and its prohibition against the
use of Federal funds to support racial bias.
In September 1966, 12. 5 percent of the Negro students in those
same states were enrolled in desegregated schools. We expect this
figure to increase significantly next fall. We will proceed with the
task of securing the rights of all our children.
more
�3
Hospitals
This year, Negroes are being admitted to hospitals which barred
them in the past. By January, 7,130 hospitals -- more than 95 percent
of the hospitals in the nation - - had agreed t o provide services without
discrimination. More than 1,500 of those hospitals have had to change
past policies to make that commitment.
Getting rid of discriminatory practices has benefitted hospital
systems, as well as the people they serve.
Last year, for example, half the beds in an all-white hospi tal
were unoccupied, Yet Negroes in t he community were sent to a completely
segregate d and overcrowded hospital. The half-empty hospital changed
its policies to admit Negroes, and it now operates at full capacity. The
formerly Negro hospital will be converted into a nursing home serving
both races. The effect of the change was to provide better medical care
for the entire community.
Public Accommodations
When the 1964 Civil R i ght s Act was passed, p r ohibiting racia l
disc r i minati on i n places o f public accommodation, f ears w e re e x pres sed
that thi s sharp cha n ge i n established customs would b ring a bout seriou s
e c onom ic l o s s a n d perhaps eve n viole nc e .
Yet fr om t h e s tart the r e h as been w idespr ead voluntary compliance
with the l aw. Thousands of res t a urants , m otels a n d h ot e ls h ave been
opened t o Americans of all races a nd col o rs . What was thought t o be
laden with danger pr oved generally a c ceptable t o b oth races.
Because all business es of a s imilar t y pe are covered, each
businessman is free, for the first time, t o operate o n a non-discriminatory
basis without fear of suffering a c o mpetitiv e disadvantage.
Now N e g r o families travelling through most parts of their count ry
do not need to suffer the inconvenience of searching for a place to rest
or eat where they will be accepted or the humiliating indignity of
being turned away.
Prog ram s fo r Socia l Jus t ice
The struggl e a gains t today' e discrimi nati on is onl y part of the
nation's commitment to equal justice for all Americans. The bigotry
of the past has its effects in broken families , men without skills,
children without l earning, poor housing , a nd neighborhoods dominated
by the fear of crime.
Because these effects are encrusted by generations of inferior
opportunities and shattered hopes, they will not yield to laws against
discrimination alone. Indeed there is no swift medicine, no matter
how potent or massively applied, that can heal them at once. But we
know some of the things we must do if the healing process is to begin
and we are doing them.
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Education
Head Start has given deprived children a chance to learn in later
years - - inste~d of being merely exposed to school. Through this
and other preschool progra1ns, two million children have been offered
better education and health care.
More than seven million children in seventy percent of all _school
districts in the United States have participated in programs under
Title I of the 1965 Education Act, These programs have a single aim:
to improve the education of disadvantaged children. The better: libraries,
larger professional staffs, advanced instructional equipment and other
services they provide are investments in the future of children who need
them most.
In my 1'v1essage on America's Children and Youth, I asked the Congress
With these
funds, we will launch a Head Start Follow-Through Program in the early
'g rades of elementary school to maintain the momentum the child has
gained and we will. extend the Head Start Program downward to cover
more three-year-olds.
to provide an additional $135 million to strengthen Head Start.
Extraordinary help at the start of life is necessary for all disadvantaged children. It is particularly necessary for the Negro child
reared in poverty and encumbered by generations of deprivation.
Jobs and T r aining
Thousands of job opportunities for the young have been created
by t he Neighborhood Youth Corps and the Job Corps. The first, act ive
i n both u r ban and rural areas, has enabled many young people to ea r n
enou gh t o remain in sch ool, and provi ded employment and remedi al
educa t i on fo r d r opouts.
The Job C o rp s -- also m e ant t o help tho s e between 16 and 21
ha s offer e d o t he r thousand s both a change of enviro nm e nt a nd th e
o ppo rtunity t o a cqui re educat ion and job traini n g .
The Manpo wer D e v e l opm e nt and Train i n g A ct gi ve s m e n without
jobs or skills the chanc e t o a c quire both , by c om bining gov e rnm e nt
planning a nd resourc e s with privat e indu s try. The Work Experience
Program offers welfar e recipients a means of obtaining the experience
they need for gainful employment.
Today's strong economy, which last y e ar put almost three n1illion
more Americans on the payrolls, is also of tremendous benefit to needy
persons in search of dependable employment. But for the long term,
and as demand for better qualified workers grows, training and rem edial
education will be of even greater importance to the disadvantaged, This
is particularly true for those who leave the farm and move to urban
areas in search of en1ployment, without the skills an urban society
requires.
During the last three year s , our training programs have provided
the means of self- sufficiency to almost a million men and women, The
value of these program s to the Negro American is especially great.
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The unemployment rate for Neg r oes is more than double that for
whites. About 650, 000 Americans, rr'.lOre th an 20 percent of all
unemployed, are non-white. About 213,000 of these a r e between 14
and 19 years of age. Job training is essential to enable them to get off
the welfare rolls ,a nd to go on the tax rolls.
Our economy is also strengthened by these programs. If Negroes
today had the same skills as other Americans, and if they were free
from discrimination in employment, our G r oss National Product could
become $30 billion higher.
I will shortly submit recommendations to str engthen and expand
these training programs. I am asking the Congress for an additional
$ 135 million in appropriations fo r the Office of Economic Opportunity
for a speci al program to ope n the doors of oppor tunity and meani ngfu l
employment to our most disadvantaged citizens.
I will call fo r the active assistance of private industry and
organized labor to p r ovide skills and jobs to those now confined to
t he welfare r olls and the slums.
The Need for Pe r severa.nce
T h ere are thos e who believe t his se ries of accom plishments
is l ong enou gh. There are those who grow wea r y of s upport ing great
s o cial p r ograms , impatient with the failures that attend them a nd
cynical a bou t those they a r e intended to help. The r e a r e tho s e wh o
think "equal ju stice " is a rhe t o ric a l phr a se , intende d only a s a n
a d m onition t o j udges, n ot as a gu i d i n g p rincipl e fo r national p olicy.
To t h em I c an only say: c onsider the c o n s equences if the Nati o n
and I as the Pr e s ident -- were t o t ake what appe a r s to be the easy way
ou t , a bandon the l ong, ha1·d struggle fo r s o cial a nd economic j ustice
and say that enough has been d one.
T h er e would b e little hope of strengthe ning t h e economy
of t h e c ount r y through the i m prove d earning-power and
productive c apacity of N e g r o America n s.
There would b e little h o pe of avo iding m a ss ive welfare
expenditures for people denied the t rain ing and j obs
they need to become self - supporting.
T h e r e would be little hope of ending the cha in of p ersonal
tragedies that began with ancient bigotr y and continues
to t his h our o
There would - - above all - - b e little hoEe of achiev ing
the self-re s pect that c omes to c!:_nat ion from doing what
i s right .
Our t as k i s far fr om ov er . T he stati stic s demonstrate the
magnitude of the effort requiredo
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The life expectancy of the Negro is five years shorter
than that of his white contemporary and the infant
mortality rate for Negroes is 40 percent higher.
The ad,ult white has had at least three more years of
education - - and has been educated in better schools - than the average adult Negro.
The unemployment rate for nonwhites aged 21
even in this time of near full employment - - is double
that of whites.
Negroes are characteristically more densely housed
in units only 56 percent of which meet health and safety
standards.
The income of the average Negro family is about 40 percent
lower than that of the average white family.
The programs we have adopted inthe past few years are only a
beginning. We have made a good start.
But we must remember that it is only a start. We must realize
that civil rights are also civil opportunities. Unless these rights are
recognized as opportunities by Negro and white alike, they can achieve
nothing. We m ust realize that training and education progrru.ns provide
skills and opportunities. But only whe r e there is both the will to seek
the job and the willingness to hire the job applicant, can these programs
achieve their ultimate objectives.
The nex t steps are harder, but they are even more important. We
shall need y ears of t rial and error -- years in which children can b e
strengthened to grow into responsible young adults, years of b etter
training, better jobs, better health, and better housing - - before the
results of what we h a ve done so far can be seen.
Perseverance, the willingness to abandon what does not work,
and the courage to keep searching f o r better solutions - - these are
the virtues the times require.
Civil Rights Legislation
Last year I proposed the enactment of important civil rights
legislation. I proposed that le gi slation because it was right and just.
The civil rights legislation of 1966 was passed by the House of
Representatives, and brought to the floor of the Senate. Most of its
features commanded a strong majority in both Houses. None of its
features was defeated on the rnerits .
Yet it did not become law.
in the Senate.
It could not be brought to a final vote
Some observers felt that the riots which occurred in several cities
last summer prevented the passage of the bill.
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Public concern over the riots was great, as it should have been.
Lawlessness cannot be tolerated in a nation whose very existence
depends upon respect for law. It cannot be permitted because it
injures every American and tears at the very fabric of our democracy.
We want public order in America, and we shall have it. But a
decent public order cannot be achieved solely at the end of a stick, nor
by confining one race to self-perpetuating poverty.
Let us create the conditions for a public order based upon equal
justice.
The Act I am proposing this y e ar is substantially the same as
last year's bill. Some revisions have been incorporated to take account
of useful suggestions and perfecting a m endments made by the 89th
Congress. I believe these :cevisions offer a basis for common action.
!_recommend the adoption 9..f ~ national policy against discrimination
in housing~ account of race, color, religion or national origin. _!
propose the adoption of progressive steps ~ carry out this policy •
.!_ recommend the clarification and strengthening
~
existing Federal
criminal laws against interference with Federal rights •
.!_ recommend re quirements for the selection
~
juries in Fede r al
courts ~ guard against discrimination and insure that juries~
properly representative ~ the community.
I recommend legislation !._o elimin·a te all forms of discrimination
in the selection ~ state court juries.
!_ recommend that t he Civil Righ ts Act o_i 1964 b!: amended__!.9
authorize the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission~ issue
judicially enforceable cease-and-desist orders.
additional five y ~ ,
United States Commission o~ Civil Rights.
!_ recommend the extension, for
~
.f:1 the
!_recommend~ 2.Q_percent increase in appropriations for the
Community Relations Service.
These measures are not new. I have recomrnended and supported
them in the past. I urge the Congress to act favorably upon them because
justice and human dignity demand these protections for each American
citizen.
Equal Justice in Housing
For most Americans, the availability of housing depends upon one
factor -- their ability to pay.
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For too many, however, there a r e other crucial fact ors - - the
color of thei r skin, their r eligion or their national o r i gin.
When a Negro seeks a decent home for h i mself and his family,
he frequently finds that the doo r is closed. It remain s closed - - though
the Negro may be a serviceman who has fought for freedom.
The result of countless individual acts of disc r imination is the
spawning of urban ghetto e s, where housing is inferior, overcrowded
and too often overpriced.
Statistics tell a part of the story. Throughout the nation, almost
twice as many nonwhites as whites occupy deteriorating or dilapidated
housing. In Watts, 32. 5 percent of all housing is overcrowded,
com.pared with 11. 5 percent for the Nation as a whole.
In Harlem, more than 237, 000 people ll ve in an area consisting
of three and one-half square miles. This is a density of 105 people
per ac r e. Ninety percent of the buildings in Harlem are more than
30 year s old, and almost half we r e built before t he end of the ninete enth
century.
The environment of mos t urban ghettoes is the same: inferior
pub lic facilities and services -- streets , lighting, parks; sanitation
and police p r ote ction ; i n fe rior schools; a nd isolation fr om job opp o rtunities .
In e v ery s phere o f u r b a n life the ghetto - d welle r is sho rtchanged .
A child g r o wing up in such an environment m ust ove r come
tremendous m an - made obstacle s to b e come a usef ul cit i zen . T he
miser y we tolerate toda y multiplies t h e misery of t omo rrow .
Many of our existing and pro po sed programs -- though n o t directed
simply at relieving the pro blems of any particu lar mino r i ty group -will r e lie ve c o nditions found i n t h e ir mo st acute form in the urb an
ghetto. T h ese programs are neces s ary and they must be fully supported.
But money and assistance are not enough. Since the ratification
of the 14th Amendme nt to t h e C onstitu tion, this Nat ion h a s b e.e n
committed to accord every citizen the equal protection o f its laws.
We must strengthen that commitment as it relate s to discrimination
in housing - - a problem that is national in scope.
The legislation I recomme nd woul d u l t i mat e ly apply to a ll
housing in the Un ited Stat es . It would go i nto effec t by pro gre ssive
sta g e s.
The pro po sed l egislation wo uld d i r ect t he Sec r e t a r y of Hou s ing
and Urban Development to carry out education a nd conciliation
mea s ures to seek an end to di s crimination i n hous ing . He w ould call
conferences of leaders in the housing industry, consult with state and
local officia ls, and work with pri v a te organization s .
The prohibition again s t discrimination in the sale or rental of
housing would beE::ome effective progressively over a two -year
period:
Immediately, to housing alxeady covered by the
Presidential order on equal opportunities in housing.
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During 1968, to dwellings sold or rented by someone
other than their occupant, and to dwellings for five
or more families. Essentially, thi s stage would cover
large apar t ment houses and real estate developments.
In 19(,9, the Act would apply to all housing.
This Act would be aimed at commercial transactions, not at the
privacy of the home . It would outlaw discriminatory practices in
financing housing and in providing real estate broker s I services. It
would prohibit "block-busting, 11 by which unscrupulous dealers seek
to frighten homeowners into selling quickly, out of fear that the value
of their homes will decline.
In every instance , the legislation woul d require the Secretary of
Housing and Urban D e velopme nt to try to achieve a voluntary solution.
Only if such a settlement could not be reached would the Secretary be
authorized to hold an administrative hearing. If, after an administrative
hearing, a violation of the law were found, the Secretary would be
authorized to issue a judicially enforceable cease-and-desist order .
The Sec r etar y would work with State and municipal fair housing
agencies that already exi st. In appropriate cases he would be
authorized to rely on their enforcement of the State and city laws.
T h e Atto r n e y Gen e ral would be empowered to s u p port these
enforcement efforts , whe n h e h a d r e ason to b e lie ve that a gene ral
pa t tern o r p rac tice o f disc r i m i nation exi st s.
Last year the l egisla tion I proposed to ban di s c r imin ation in
hou s ing stirr ed gre at controversy. Alth ough a major ity o f both
H o uses in t he Cong r ess f a v o red t hat l egis l ation, i t was not e nac ted.
Some of the p r oblems raised by i t s adv ersaries we r e real; mo st
invo lved m y ths and mi sinfo r m a tion. The summe r riot s in o ur citi es
did as much damage to the c hances of p assing that le gisl a t i o n a s the
unfoun ded fears of many Americans and the o ppo s i tio n of spe cial
int e r e st groups.
T h ere s hou l d b e no need fo r laws to r e quire men to deaJ f a i r ly
and decent l y wi th t h eir f e llowma n . There should be n o n eed to enact
a law prohi biting discriminati o n in housing -- j u st as the r e s hould
have been n o n e ed to send registrars to e n fo rce voting right s , t o
issue guidelines t o require d esegr e gation of our school s, to bring
suits in Federal courts to insure equ al access to public accommodations, and to outlaw discrimination in employment.
But the Civil Rights Acts of 1957, 1960, and 1964 and the V oting
Rights Act of 1965 were necessary and they have moved this country
toward our goal of providing a decent life for each of our citizens.
I am proposing fair housing legislation again this year because
it is decent and right. Injustice must be opposed, however difficult
or unpopular the issue.
I believe that fair housing legislation must and will be enacted
by the Congress of the United States. I was proud to be a member of
the Congresses that enacted the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960
and as President to sign into law the 1964 and 1965 Acts. I believe
the generations to come would look upon the enactment of this
legislation by the 90th Congress as one of its proudest achievements.
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I cannot urge too strongly that the Congress act promptly on this
legislation.
Today the su.bject of fair housing is engulfed in a cloud of
1nisinformation and unarticulated fear . Some believe the value of their
homes must decline if their neighborhoods are integrated. They fear
the conversion of their communities into unsightly slums, if a family
of a different color moves into a house across the street. Neither of
these events need occur. In an atmosphere of reason and justice,
they would not occur. In the scores of cities and states that have such
laws these events have not occurred.
The task of informing the minds and enlightening the consciences
of those who are subject to these fears should begin at once. Churches
can help pe r form this task with a unique compete nc e -- and they should.
So should civic organizations, public officials, human relations
commissions, labor unions and private industries. It must be done.
The sooner it is done, the nearer we will come to that just America it
is our purpose to achieve.
Interference with Right s
Another basic test of equal just ice is whether all men are free
to exercise rights established by the Congress and the Constitution.
A right has little meaning unless it can be freely exercised. This
applies in particular to Neg r o Americans who seek to vote, attend
s chool, and utilize public accommodations on an equal basis.
Negro children have been abused for att ending previously
segregated schools. Shots have been fired into the homes of their
parents. Employers who practiced nondiscrimination have been
harrassed. Most shocking of all are the crimes which result in loss
of life. Some of the victims have been Negroes; others were whites
devoted to the cause of justice.
State a nd local officials are primarily responsible for pr eventing
and punishing acts of violence. In many cases, however , these
officials have not been able to detect or prosecute the perpe tr ato r s
of the crimes. In some, unfortunately, they have not be en willing
to meet their obligations. For these reasons and b ecause violence
has too oft en been' used to deny Federal rights, there is need for
F ede ral legi s lation.
Pr ese nt Federal s t atut es are inadequate in seve r al respects.
Maximum penalties ar e too low for crimes which cause death or
serious injury. Only in s ome instances do the statute s reach misconduct
by private persons not a cting in conc e rt with public officials . Existing
l aws do not spell out clearly the Federal rights which they protect.
To remedy these deficiencies, !._ recommend legislation to:
Specify the activities which~ protected, including voting,
purchas i.1g ~ home, holding a_job, attending ~ school,
obtainin~ service in -2' restau~~ ~ other pJ.ac~ .2i_ public
accommodation.
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Prohibit acts or threats~ violence,~ private individuals
acting alone or public officials , directed against Negroes or
members of other minority groups because they are~ have
been participating in those activities.
Authorize victims of violence
damages or injunctive relief.
~ bring
civil actions for
The penalties prescribed are graduated, depending on the gravity
of the offense. When physical injury results , the maximum penalty is
$10,000 a.nd ten years. When death occurs, the sentence may be
imprisonment for any term of years or for life.
Federal and State Juries
A fair jury is fundamental to our historic traditions of justice.
Fairness is most likely to result when the jury is selected from
a broad cross section of the community. The exclusion of particular
groups or classes from jury duty not only de nies defendants their right to
an impartial jury. It al so denies mernbers of the excluded group the
o pportunity to fulfill an important obligation of citizenship and to participate in the processes of their government.
On many occasions, I have emphasized the importance of respect
for the law. Yet, cr eating respe ct for le gal institutions becomes
virtually impossible when parts of our judicial system o perate unlawfully
o r give the appearance of unfairness.
Current methods of Federal court jury selection have sometimes
resulted in the exclusion of N egr o es and other rninority groups . Often
the cause lay in the method o f selection .
!._ recommend legislation to:
Eliminate di scrimi nati o n in the sel ection_ of juries in Federal
courts.
Insure that juries in Federal cour ts ~ uni,formly drawn
from a broad cross section of the community.
---
'
To r educe to a minimwn the possibility of arbitrary exclusion
of certain groups, the act will spell out in detail the selection procedures
t9 be followed in all Federal district courts. Names of prospective jurors
would be obtained by random selection from voter lists - - a broadly
representative source in almost a ll parts of the country, now that the
Voting Rights Act of 1965 is being implemented. Under the bill only
objective standards, including basic literacy requirements found in
e xi s ting law, could be used to determine the qualifications of a prospective juror .
Legislation to deal with sele ction of State court juries is also
needed. There has been persistent, intentional discrimination in juror
selection in some localities. A recent case involved jury discrimination
in a county who se population in 1960 was more than 70 percent Negro. Of
the persons listed on the jury roll s between 1953 and 1965, less than two
percent were Negro. No Negro had ever served as a member of a jury
in that county.
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Numerous criminal convictions obtained in State courts have
been set aside on the ground that Negroes were excluded from the juries.
Such court decisions may assure justice in a particular case. They
cannot reform the jury selection systems.
The Fourteenth Amendment establishes equality before the law
and charges the Congress with enforcing that requirement. Such flagrant,
persistent abuses as are revealed in many recent jury selection cases
cannot be tolerated by a society which prides itself on the rule of law.
!. recommend
legislation to:
Prohibit discrimination on account of ~ color, religion,
national origin, ~ · ,..£! economic status ~ the selection of
State 2.! local juries.
Authorize the Attorney General~~State ~ local jury
officials who exclude Negroes ~ members of other minority
groups fron_; juries .
P res cribe new r ·e medies
discrimina~.
~make
it easier to prove jury
Authorize the courts ~issue~ variety of orders specially
tailored to eliminate the most common methods _E.Y which
~ discrimination is pr~ed.
Equal Jus tic e in Employme nt
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited discrimination in hiring,
promotion and working conditions, as well as disc rimination in the
membership practices of labor organizations. The Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission was created to carry out the Congressional
mandate.
The Commission was directed to eliminate discriminatory
employment practices by informal methods of conciliation and persuasion.
By the end of this fiscal year, the Commission will have completed over
two thousand investigations and more than five hundred conciliation
efforts. This is hard work, but when it succeeds, case by case it opens
up new opportunities to:
The minority group employees of an aircraft c ompany, who
no longer are confi ned to dead-end j obs but now have training
opportunities in 40 job classifications .
The employees of a large ship construction firm which
has improved the job rights of over 5,000 Negroes.
Unlike most other Federal regulatory agencies, the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission was not given enforcement powers.
If efforts to conciliate or persuade are unsuccessful, the Commission
itself is powerless. For the individual discriminated against, there
remains only a time-consuming and expensive lawsuit.
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In considering the proper role of the Equal Employment Opportunity
Comrnission, it is important to bear in mind that non-white unemployment
remains disproportionately high:
In 1966, ,t he unemployment rate was 3. 3 percent for white
persons. It was 7. 3 percent for non-whites.
Non-white unemployment in 1965 was twice the rate for whites.
In 1966, the ratio rose to 2. 2 to 1.
Among youth not attending school, the unemployment rate in
1966 was 8. 5 percent for whites and 20. 3 percent for nonwhites.
No single factor explains the differences in the unemployment rates
of non-whites and whites. But part of the disparity is clearly attributable
to discrimination. For that reason, effective remedies against discrimination are essential •
.!_ recommend legislation to give the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission authority to issue orders, after a fair hearing, to require
the termination o!_ disctimirurtory employmentpractices.
The cease-and-desist orders of the Commission would be enforceable
in the Federal Courts of Appeal and subject t o judicial review there. Thes e
powers are similar to those of other Federal regulatory agencies.
Enforcement power would harmonize the procedures of the Com1nission with the prevailing practice among States and cities that have
had fair employment practices agencies for many years. It would reduce
the burden on individual complainants and on the Federal court s. It w ould
enhance the orderly implementation of this important national policy.
The Commission~ Civil Rights
The United States Commission o n Civil Rights has, since its creation
in 1957, proved to be an exceptionally valuable agency. This bipartisan
fact-finding agency has contributed substantially to our determined effort
to assure the civil rights of all Americans. Its investigations and studies
have contributed to important changes in the laws and policies of the
Federal govermnent. Publications of the Cornin is sion - - in the fiel d s
of voting, housing, employment, school segregation, and equality of
opportunity in government programs - - have been helpful to other
government agencies and to private groups interested in equality of
opportunity.
The Commission has also served as a clearinghouse for information
on civil rights matters. It has provided information on Federal laws,
programs a nd services to assist communities and private organizations
in de aling with civil right s issues and with economic and social problems
affecting race relation s .
Under existing law, t.t1.e term of the Commis s ion expires on
January 31, 1968. But much more remains to be done.
I recommend that the life of the Commission be extended for an
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Community ~elations Service
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 recognized the importance of providing bridges of understanding for communities across the land
struggling with problems of equal justice and discriminat ion. Last
year, I recommended, and you inthe Congress appr:>ved, the transfer
of the Community Relations Service to the Department of Justice to make
it a more effective instrument of national policy.
This year, I recommend that the funds for the work of the CmnmunityRelationsService be increased by 9opercent--:-::-?r<m1 $1.-4-million to $2. 7 million. ----


In city after city and county aft er county, the men of the Community
Relat ions Service have wo r ked, quietJ.y and effectively, behind the scenes,
to conciliate disputes before they flared up in the courtrooms or on the
street s.
I deeply believe that , under our democrat ic syst em , t he wo r k of
concili ation can be brought t o bear increasingl y t o remove many of t he
injustices, intentional and unintentional, which derive from prejudice.
I t is in this spirit and with this convic t ion that I request a s u bstanti al
increase in the funds a ppr opriated to the Comm u n i ty Relations Se r vice.
E qual J ustic e
W e ado pted a Con stitution " t o fo rm a m o re p e rfe c t u n i o n, e s tab li sh
justice, insure the domestic tranqu ilit y, " and " pr ovide f o r the c ommon
defense. 11
In o ur wars A merican s , N egr o and white , have fought side by side
to defend freedom. Negro s o ldi ers - - like white soldiers - - have won
every medal for b rave r y our c ountry bestows. The bullets of our
enemies do not discriminate between Negro Marines and white Marines.
They kill and maim whomever they strike.
The American Neg r o has waited long for first-class citizen ship
for his right for e qual justice. But he has long accepted the full
responsibilities of citizenship.
If there wer e any doubt, one need only look to the se rvicemen who
man our defenses. In Vietnam, 10. 2 percent of our soldiers are American
Negroes bearing equal responsibilities in the fight for freedom -- but at
home, 11 percent of our people are American Negroes struggling for
equal opportunities.
The bullets at the battlefront do not discriminate - - but the landlords
at home do. The pack of the Negro soldier is as heavy as the white
soldier• s - - but the burden his family at home bears is far heavier.
In war, the Negro Ame~ican has given this nation his best -- but this
nation has not given him equal justice.
more
�15
It is time that the Negro be given equal justice. In America, the
rights of citizenship are conferred by birth - - not by death in battle.
It is our duty -- as well as our privilege -- to stand before the
world as a nation dedicated to equal justice. There may be doubts about
some policies or' programs, but there can be no doubt about the rights
of each man to stand on equal ground before his goverrunent and with
his fellow man,
On June 4, 1965, at Howard University, I spoke about the challenge
confronting this Nation - - "to fulfill these rights." What I said then has
- even greater importance and meaning for every American today:
"Freedom is the right t<.) share fully and equally in American
society -- to vote, to hold a job, to enter a public place, to
go to school. It is the right to be treated in every part of our
national life as a person equal in dignity and promise to all
others.
"But freedqm is not enough. You do not wipe away the scars
of centur ies by saying: Now you are free to go where you
want, do as you desire, and choose the leaders you please.
"You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled
by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line
of a race and then say, 'You are free to compete with all the
others, 'and still justly believe that you have been completely
fair.
"Thus it is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity.
All of our citizens must have the ability to walk through those
gates.
"This is the next and more profound stage of the battle for
civil rights. We seek not just freedom but opportunity -not just legal equity but human ability - - not just equality
as a right and a theory, but equality as a fact and as a result.
"For the t ask is to give 20 million Negroes the same cha nce
as eve r y other American to learn and grow, to work and
share in society, to develop their abilities - - physical, mental
and spiritual, and to pursue their individual happiness."





















"There is no single easy answer to all of these problems.
"Jobs are part of the answer. They bring the income which
permits a man to provide for his family.
more
�16
"Decent homes in decent surroundings, and a chance to
learn -- an equal chance to learn -- are part of the answer.
"Welfare and social prograrr.s better designed to hold
families together are part of the answer.
"Care of the sick is part of the answer.
"An understanding heart by all Americans is also a large
part of the answer.
"To all these fronts - - and a dozen more - - I will dedicate
the expanding efforts of the Johnson Administration."
LYNDON B. JOHNSON
THE WHITE HOUSE,
February 15, 1 967.


# # # # #


�STATEMENT
by
IVAN ALLEN, JR.
MAYOR OF ATLANTA, GA.
BEFORE
COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE
REGARDING
s.
1 732
BILL TO ELIMINATE DISCRIMINATION IN PUBLIC
ACCOMMODATIONS AFFECTING
INTERSTATE COMMERCE
July 2 6, 19 63
�STA TE MENT BY IVAN A LLEN, JR.
MAYOR OF AT LANTA
July 2 6, 19 63
Mr. Cha i rman a nd Members of the Senate Commerce Committee:
I am h ono re d to appe ar before your Committee.
At the b egin n ing I w ould like to make it clear that I feel qualified t o speak on t h e subject under discussion which is the elimination
o f ra cia l d i s crimination, o n w hat I have learned from personal
experi e n ce and ob s e rvation in my home city of Atlanta, Georgia.
As perceptive men of wide e x perience I feel confident that you will
ag r e e with me that this i s as serious a basic problem in the North,
Eas t a nd West a s it is i n the South.
It must b e de fined as an all-America n problem, w hich require s
an a ll-Am erican s olution bas e d on loca l thought, local action a nd
local coope ration .
The 500, 00 0 pe ople who live within our city limits consist of
300 , 000 whit e c itize ns a nd slightly m ore t han 200,000 Ne gro c itizens .
T h a t m a k e s the p opulation of Atla nta 60 perc e nt white , 4 0 p erc ent
Negro.
That 60 - 40 pe r c entage e mphasi zes how essential it is fo r t he
pe ople of A tlan t a , on the i r local l eve l, to s olv e the problem o f racial
dis crimination in o rder t o make A tlanta a better pla c e in which t o
l ive .
Elimin a t ion of r a c i a l desc r i mination i s no fa r off philos ophical
theory to the m o r e than one million people w ho live in a n d a r oun d
Atlant a . T h e proble m i s pa rt and p arce l of our daily lives. It s
sol uti on must b e s t u die d a n d w orke d out on our homefront.
As the mayor of the Southeast ' s l arge st city, I can say to y ou
o ut of f i rst hand expe rie n c e a nd firs t hand knowl edge that n o where
does t he problem of e liminating discrimination between the races
strik e so close ly hom e as it d o es to the l ocal e l ected public official.
He is the m a n who ca nnot pass the buck.
From this viewpoint , I speak of the problem as ha v ing b een
brought into sharp fo cus by d ecisions of the Supr e me Cou rt of t he
�l
United States and then generally ignored by the Presidents and
Congresses of the United States. Like a foundling baby, this awesome problem has been left on the doorsteps of local governments
throughout the nation.
Now to take up specifics. You gentlemen invited me to tell
you how Atlanta has achieved a considerable measure of comparative
success in dealing with racial discrimination.
It is true that Atlanta has achieved success in eliminating
discrimination in areas where some other cities have failed, but
we do not boast of our success. Instead of boasting, we say with
the humility of those who believe in reality that we have achieved
our measure of success only because we looked facts in the face
and accepted the Supreme Court's decisions as inevitable and as
the law of our land. Having embraced realism in general, we then
set out to solve specific problems by local cooperation between
people of good will and good sense representing both races.
In attacking the specific problems, we accepted the basic
truth that the solutions which we sought to achieve in every instance
granted to our Negro citizens rights which white American citizens
and businesses previously had reserved to themselves as special
privileges.
These special privileges long had been propped up by a
multitude of local ordinances and statewide laws which had upheld
racial segregation in almost every conceivable form.
In Atlanta we had plenty of the props of prejudice to contend
with when we set out to solve our specific problems of discrimination.
In attacking these problems, I want to emphasize that in not one single
instance have we retained or enhanced the privileges of segregation.
It has been a long, exhausting and often discouraging process
and the end is far from being in sight.
In the 1950 1s Atlanta made a significant start with a series
of reasonable eliminations of discrimination such as on golf courses
and public transportation. We began to become somewhat conditioned for more extensive and definitive action, which has been
taking place in the 19 60 1 s.
During the past two and a half years, Atlanta has taken the
follow i ng major steps to eliminate racial discrimination:
- 2-
�1. In Se ptember, 1961, we b e gan re moving discrimination
in public schools in r e sponse to a court order.
2. In October, 1961, lunch counters in department and variety
stores abolished discrimination by voluntary action.
3. On January 1, 1962 Atlanta city facilities were freed from
discrimination by voluntary action of municipal officials.
4. In March, 1962 downtown and arts theatres, of their own
volition, abolished discrimination in seating.
5. On January 1, 19 63, the c ity voluntarily abolished separate
employment listings fo r wh it e s a nd Negroe s.
6. In M a rch, 1963 the cit y employed Negro firemen.
ago employed Ne gro policemen .
It long
7. In May of 19 63 the Atlanta R e a l E state Board (white ) and
t h e Empire R e a l E stat e B oard (Negro) i ssue d a Sta t ement of
Purposes, c alling for ethical handling of real estate transactions
in controversia l a r e as.
8. In J u n e , 19 63, t he c i ty g ove rnment ope ned all municipal
swimming pools on a dese gre gat e d b asis. Thi s wa s v oluntary action
to c omply w ith a c ourt o rde r.
9. Also in June , 1963, 18 hotels and motels, r e p re s e nting the
l e ading p l ace s of pub lic ac c ommoda tion s in the c ity , v olunta rily
removed a ll segregat i on for conve ntions.
10 . Again, in June, 1963 mo re tha n 30 of the cit y's l e adin g
restau rants, of their own v olition, a bolis he d s e gregation i n the i r
fa c ilities.
You can readily s ee tha t Atlant a 's ste ps have b e en taken i n
som e inst ances in c omplia n ce with cou r t de cisions, and in other
i nstances the s t e ps h av e b e en voluntary prior to a ny c our t actio n.
In e a ch inst ance the a ction has r esulte d in whit e c itizens re l in·quishing special priv ilege s whic h the y had e njoyed under t he
pra ctices of racial discrimination. Each action a l so has r esulted
in the Ne gro c itizen being g iv e n r ights which a ll othe r s previously
had enj oyed an d whic h h e has been denie d.
As I mentione d a t the b e ginnin g, Atlanta has achiev e d only
-3-
�a measure of success. I think it would assist you in understanding
this if I explained how limited so far has been this transition from
the old segregated society of gene r ations past, and also how limited
so far has been the participation of the Negro citizens.
Significant as is the voluntary elimination of discrimination in
our leading restaurants, it affects so far only a small percentage of
the hundreds of eating places in our city.
And participation by Negroes so far has been very slight. For
example, one of Atlanta's topmost restaurants served only 16 out of
Atlanta's 200,000 Negro citizens during the first week of freedom
from discrimination.
The plan for eliminating discrimination in hotels as yet takes
care only of convention delegates. Although prominent Negroes
have been accepted as guests in several Atlanta hotels, the Negro
citizens, as a whole, seldom appear at Atlanta hotels.
Underlying all ·the emotions of the situation, is the matter of
economics. It should be rememb e red that the right to use a facility
does not mean that it will be used o r misuse d by any group, especially the groups in the lower economic status .
The stateme nts I have givep you cover the actual progress
made by Atlanta toward total elimination of discrimination.
Now I would like to submit m y personal reasons why I think
Atlanta has r es olved s ome of t hese p r oble ms while in other cities,
solutions hav e s ee me d i mpos s ible and strife a nd conflict have
resulted.
As an illus t ration, I w ould like t o de scribe a recent visit of
an official dele gati on from a great Eastern city which has a Negro
population of over 600 , 000 consisting of in excess of 20% of its
whole population.
The m emb e rs of thi s de l e gation at firs t simply did not understand and w ould hardly be lieve that t he business, civic and political
inte rests of Atlanta had inte ntly conce rned themselves with the
Negro population. I s t ill do not b e lieve that they are convinced
that all of ou r civi c b o dies backe d by t he pub lic inte r est and support ed b y the C ity Govern ment have da ily concern e d t hemselves
with an effort to solve our gravest problem -- whi c h is re lations
betwee n our races. Ge ntlemen , Atlanta has n ot s wept this
- 4-
�question under the rug at any point. Step by step - sometimes
under Court order - sometimes voluntarily moving ahead of
pressures - sometimes adroitly - and many times clumsily - we
have tried to find a solution to each specific problem through an
agreement between the affected white ownership and the Negro
leadership.
To do this we have not appointed a huge general bi-racial
committee which too often merely becomes a burial place for unsolved problems. By contrast, each time a specific problem has
come into focus, we have appointed the people involved to work
out the solution . . . Theatre owners to work with the top Negro
leaders . . . or hotel owners to work with the top leadership . . •
or certain restaurant owners who of their own volition dealt with
top Negro leadership. By developing the lines of communication
and respectability, we have been able to reach amicable solutions.
Atlanta is the world's cent er of Negro higher education.
There are six great Negro univer sities and colleges locate d inside
our city limits. Because of this, a great number of intelligent,
well-educated Negro citizens have chosen to remain in our city.
As a result of their education, they have had the ability to develop
a prosperous Negro business community. In Atlanta it consists of
financial institutions like banks - building and loan associations life insurance c ompanies - chain drug stores - real estate dealers.
In fact, they have developed business organizations, I believe, in
almost every line of acknowledged American business. There are
also many Negro professional men.
Then there is another powerful factor working in the behalf of
good racial relations in our city. We have news media, both white
and Negro, whose leaders strongly believe and put into practice the
great truth that responsibility of the press (and by this I mean radio
and television as well as the written press) is inseparable from
freedom of the press.
The leadership of our written, spoken and televised news
media join with the business and government leadership, both white
and Negro, in working to solve our p rob lems.
We are fortunate that we have one of the world famous editorial
spokesmen for reason and moderation on one of our white newspapers,
along with other editors and many reporters who stress significance
rather than sensation in the reporting and interpretation of what
happens in our city.
-5-
�And we are fortunate in having a strong Negro daily newspaper,
The Atlanta Daily World, and a vigorous Negro weekly, The Atlanta
Inquirer.
The Atlanta Daily World is owned by a prominent Negro family the_Scott family - which owns and operates a number of other newspapers.
The sturdy voices of the Atlanta Daily World and the Atlanta
Inquirer, backed by the support of the educational, business and
religious community, reach out to our Negro citizens. They speak
to them with factual information upon which they can rely. They
express opinions and interpretations in which they can have faith.
As I see it, our Negro leadership in Atlanta is responsible and
constructive. I am sure that our Negro leadership is as desirous of
obtaining additional civic and economic and personal rights as is any
American citizen. But by constructive I mean to define Atlanta's
Negro leadership as being realistic - as recognizing that it is more
important to obtain the rights they seek than it is to stir up demonstrations. So it is to the constructive means by which these rights
can be obtained that our Negro leaders constantly address themselves.
They are interested in results instead of rhetoric. They reach for
lasting goals instead of grabbing for momentary publicity. They are
realists, not rabble rousers. Afong with integration they want
integrity.
I do not believe that any sincere American citizen desires to
see the rights of private business restricted by the Federal Government unless such restriction is absolutely necessary for the welfare
of the people of this country.
On the other hand, following the line of thought of the decisions
of the Federal Courts in the past 15 years, I am not convinced that
current rulings of the Courts would grant to American business the
privilege of discrimination by race in the selection of its customers.
Here again we get into the area of what is right and what is
best for the people of this country. If the privilege of selection
based on race and color should be granted then would we be giving
to business the right to set up a segregated economy? . . . And
if so, how fast would this right be utilized by the Nation's people?
. . . And how soon would w e again b e g oing through the old turmoil
of riots, s trife , demonstrations, boycotts , picketing?
-6-
�Are we going to say that it is a ll right for the Negro citizen
to go into the bank of Main street to deposit his earnings or borrow
money, then to go the department store to buy what he needs, to go
to the supermarket to purchase fo od for his family, and so on along
Main street until he comes to a restaurant or a hotel -- In all these
other business places he is treated just like any other customer - But when he comes to the restaurant or the hotel, are we going to
say that it is right and legal for the operators of these businesses,
merely as a matter of convenience, to insist that the Negro's
citizenship be changed and that, as a second class citizen, he is
to be refused service ? I submit that it is not right to allow an
American's citizenship to b e c hanged merely as a matter of conveni ence.
If the Congress should fail to clarify the issue at the present
time, then by inference it would be say ing that you could begin discrimination under the guise of private business. I do not believe
that this is what the Supreme Court has intended with its decisions.
I do not believe that this is the intent of Congress or the people of
this country.
·
I a.pi not a lawyer, Senators. I am not s ure I clearly understand all of the t e stimony involving various amendments to the
Constitution and the Commerce clause which has been g iven to this
Committee . I have a fundamental respe ct for the Constitution of
the United States. Unde r this Constitution we have a lways b een
able to do what is b e st for all of the people of this country . I beg
of you not to let this issue of discrimination. drown in legalistic
waters. I am firm ly convince d that the Supr e me Court insist s
that the same fundame nta l r i g ht s m u st b e he ld by every Ame rican
citizen.
Atlanta i s a case t hat p roves that t he problem of dis c rim ination
can be solved to some extent . . . and I use this "some extent"
cautiously . . . as we ce rtainly have not solve d all of the problems;
but we have met them in a number of areas . This can be done loca lly ,
voluntarily, a nd b y p r ivat e bus iness its e lf !
On the other hand, there are hund re ds of communities and
cit ies, certainly thr oughout the nation tha t have n ot ever addressed
themselves to the issue . Whereas , othe rs have flagrantly ignor ed
the de m a nd, and t o day, s t and in a ll de fia n ce to any change .
The Congress of the United St ates is n ow c onfront ed with a
grave de cision. Shall you pass a public a ccommodation bill that
-7-
�forces this issue? Or, shall you create another round of disputes
over segregation by refusing to pass such legislation?
Surely, the Congress realizes that after having failed to take
any definite action on this subject in the last ten years, to fail to
pass this bill would amount to an endorsement cif private business
setting up an entirely new status of discrimination throughout the
nation. Cities like Atlanta might slip backwards. Hotels and
restaurants that have already taken this issue upon themselves
and opened their doors might find it convenient to go back to the
old status. Failure by Cong ress to take definite action at this
time is by inference an endorsement of the right of private business
to practice racial discrimination and, in my opinion, would start
the same old r ound of squabbles and demonstrations that we h ave
had in the past.
Gentlemen, if I had y our problem armed with the local experience I have had, I would pass a public accommodation bill.
Such a b i ll, however, should provide an opportunity for each local
government first to-m ee t this proble m a nd a ttempt to solve it on a
local, voluntary basis, with each business making its own decision.
I realize that it is quite easy to ask you to g ive an opportunity to
each businessman in each city to make his decision and to accomplish such an objective . . . but it is extremely difficult to l egislate such a problem.
What I am trying to say is that the pupil placement plan,
which has been widely used in the South, provided a time table
approved by the Federal courts which he lped in getting ove r troubled
water of elimination of dis crimination in public schools. It seems
to me that cities working with private busines s institutions could now
move into the same area and that the federa l g overn ment l egislation
should be based on the idea that thos e bus ine sses have a reasonable
time to accomplish such an act.
I think a publi c accommoda tion l aw now should stand only as
the last resort to assure that discrimination is e liminat e d, but tha t
s u ch a l aw would grant a reasonab l e time for cit ies and businesses
to carry out this function before federal intervention.
It might even b e n ecessa ry that the time factor b e ma de more
l e nie nt in favor of smaller cities a nd communities, for we all know
that l arge metropolitan areas have the capab ility of adj usting to
changes more rapidly tha n smaller c ommunities.
-8-
�Perhaps this, too, should be given consideration in your
legislation. But the point I want to emphasize again is that now is
the time for legislative action. We cannot dodge the issue. We
cannot look back over our shoulders or turn the clock back to the
1860's. We must take action now to assure a greater future for
our citizens and our country.
A hundred years ago the abolishment of slavery won the
United States the acclaim of the whole world when it made every
American free in theory.
Now the elimination of segregation, which is slavery's stepchild, is a challenge to all of us to make every American free in
fact as well as in theory - and again to establish our nation as the
true champion of the free world.
Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, I want to
thank you for the opportunity of telling you about Atlanta's efforts
to provide equality _of citizenship to all within its borders.
- 9-
�......... •.
STATEMENT
by
IVAN ALLEN, JR.
MAYOR OF ATLANTA, GA.
BEFORE
COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE
REGARDING
s.
1 732
BILL TO ELIMINATE DISCRIMINATION IN PUBLIC
ACCOMMODATIONS AFFEG::TING
INTERSTATE COMMERCE
.
July 2 6, 19 63
�7
STATEMENT BY IVAN ALLEN, JR.
MAYOR OF ATLANTA
July 26, 1963
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Senate Commerce Committee:
I am honore d to appear before your Committee .
.
At the b e ginning I would like to make it clear that I feel qualified to speak on the subject under discussion which is the elimination
of racial discrimi n a tion, on what I have learned from personal
experience and observation in my home city of Atlanta, Georgia.
As perceptive men of wide experience I feel confident that you will
agree with m e that this is as serious a basic problem in the North,
East and _West as it is in the. South.
It must be defined as an all-American problem, which requires
an all-American ·solution based on local thought, local action and
local cooperation.
The 500, 000 people who live within our city limits consist of
300, 000 white citizens and slightly more than 200, 000 Negro citizens.
That makes the population of Atlanta 60 percent white, 40 percent
Negro.

That 60 - 40 percentage emphasizes how essential it is for the
people of Atlanta, on their local level, to solve the problem of racial
discrimination in order to make Atlanta a better place in which to
live .
Elimination of racial descrimination is no far off philosophical
theory to the more than one million people who live in and around
Atlanta. The proble m is part and parcel of our daily lives. Its
solution must be studied and worked out on our homefront.
As the m ayor of the Southeast's largest city, I can say to you
out of first h a nd exp e rie nce and first hand knowledge that nowhere
doe s the problem of eliminating discrimination between the races
strike so clo se ly home as it does to the local elected public official.
He is the m an w h o cannot pass the buck .
From this viewpoint, I speak of the problem as having been
b r ought i nt o sharp focus by de cisions of the Supr eme Court of the
�United States and then generally ignored by the Presidents and
Congresses of the United States. Like a foundling baby, this awesome problem has been left on the doorsteps of local governments
throughout the :1-ation.
Now to take up specifics. You gentlemen invited me to tell
you how Atlanta has achieved a considerable measure of comparative
success in dealing with racial discrimination.
It is true that Atlanta has achieved success in eliminating
discrimination in areas where some other cities have failed, but
we do not boast of our success. Instead of boasting, we say with
the humility of those who believe in reality that we have achieved
our measure of success only because we looked facts in the face
and accepted the Supreme Court's decisions as inevitable and as
the law of our land. Having embraced realism in general, we then
set out to solve specific proble ms by local cooperation between
people of good will and good sense representing both races. ·
In attacking-the specific problems, we accepted the basic
tr~th that the solutions which we sought to achieve in every instance
granted to our Negro citizens rights which white American citizens
and businesses previously had reserved to themselves as special
privileges.
These special privileges long had been propped up by a
multitude of local ordinances and statewide laws which had upheld
racial segregation in almost every conceivable form.
In Atlanta we had plenty of the props of prejudice to contend
with when we set out to solve our specific problems of discrimination.
In attacking these problems, I want to emphasize that in not one single
instance have we retained or enhanced the privileges of segregation.
It has been a long, exhausting and often discouraging process
and the end is far from being in sight.
In the 1950 1s Atlanta made a significant start with a series
of reasonable eliminatior~s of discrimination such as on golf courses
and public transportatio"i1.· We began to become somewhat conditioned for more extensive and definitive action, which has been
taking place in the 19 60 1s.
Dur ing the past t w o and a half years, Atlanta has taken the
following majo r steps to eliminate racial discrimination :
- 2-

�•
1. In September, 1961, we began removing discrimination
in public schools in response to a court order.
2. In October, 1961, lunch counters in departm.ent and variety
stores abolished discrimination by voluntary action.
3. On January 1, 1962 Atlanta city facilities were freed from
discrimination by voluntary action of municipal officials.
4. In Ma"rch, 1962 downtown and arts theatres, of their own
volition, abolished discrimination in seating.
5. On January 1, 1963, the city voluntarily abolished separate
employment listings fo :i:- whites a nd Negroes.
6. In March, 1963 the city employed Negro firemen.
ago· employed Negro policeme n.
It long
7. In Ma:,,: of 1963 the Atlanta Real Estate Board (white ) and
the Empire R eal Estate Board (Negro) issued a Statement of
Purposes, calling for ethical handling of real estate transactions
in controve rsial areas.
8. In June, 1963, the city government ope n e d a ll municipal_
swimming pools on a desegregat e d basis. This was voluntary action
to compl y with a court order.
9. Also in June, 1963, 18 hotels and mote ls, r epresenting the
leading places of public accommodations in the city, volunta rily
removed all segregation for conventions.
,
10. Again, in June , 1963 more than 30 of tpe city's l eading
restaurants, of the ir own "':olition, abolished segregation in their
facilities .
You can readily see that Atlanta's s t e ps h ave been t aken in
som e ins t a n ce s in compl iance with court decisions, and in other
ins t a n ces the ste ps h av:e b een volunta ry prior to a ny court action.
In each instance the action ·has resulted in whit e citizens relin-quishing spe cial privileges which they had enj oyed under the
practices of racial discrimina tion. Each action also has resulted
in the Negro citize n b e ing give n rights which a ll othe rs previously
had e njoye d and whi ch h e h as b een de nie d.
As I mentioned at the b e ginning, Atlanta has achieved only
- 3-
�a measure of success. I think it would assist you in understanding
this if I explained how limited so far has been this transition from
the old segregated society of generations past, and also how limited
so far has been the participation of the Negro citizens.
Significant as is the voluntary elimination of discrimination in
our leading restaurants, it affects so far only a small percentage of
the hundreds of eating places in our city.
And partic"ipation by Negroes so far has been very slight. For
example, one of Atlanta's topmost restaurants served only 16 out of
Atlanta's 200,000 Negro citizens during the first week of freedom
from discrimination.
The plan for eliminating discrimination in hotels as yet takes
care only of convention delegates. Although prominent Negroes
have -been. acce pte d as guests in several.Atlanta hotels, the Negro_
citizens, as a whole, seldom appear at Atlanta hotels.
Underlying all the emotions of the situation, is the matter of
economics. It should be remembered that the right to use a facility
does not mean that it will be used or misused by any group, especially the groups in the lower economic status.
The statements I have givep you cover the actual progress
made by Atlanta toward total elimination of discrimination .
. Now I would like to submit my personal reasons why I think
Atlanta has resolved some of these problems while in other cities,
solutions have seemed impossible and strife and conflict have
resulted.
As an illustration, I would like to des cribe a recent visit of
an official delegation from great Eastern city which has a Negro
population of over 600, 000 consisting of in excess of 20% of its
whole population.
a
The members of this delegation at first simply did not understand and would hardly believe that the business, civic and political
interests of Atlanta had intently concerned themselves with the
Negro population. I still do not believe that they are convinced
that all of our civic bodies backed by the public interest and supported by the City Government have daily concerned themse lves
with an effort to solve our gravest problem - - which is relations
between our races. Gentlemen, Atlanta has not swept this
-4-
�,'
question under the rug at any point. Step by step - sometimes
under Court order - sometimes voluntarily moving ahead of
pressures - sometimes adroitly - and many times clumsily - we
have tried to find a solution to each specific problem through an
agreement bE;tween the affected white ownership and the Negro
leadership.
To do this we have not appointed a huge general bi-racial
committee which too oft en merely becomes a burial place for unsolved problems. By contrast, each time a specific problem has
" we have appointed the people involved to work
come into focus,
out the solution . . . Theatre owners to work with the top Negro
leaders . . . or hotel owners to work with the top leadership . . .
or certain restaurant owners who of their own volition dealt with
top Ne gro l e adership . 'By developing the lines of communication
and respectability, v-re ·have been able to reach amicable solutions.
Atlanta is the world's cent e r of Negro higher education.
There are six great Negro universities and colleges located inside
our city limits. Because of this, a gre at numb er of intelligent,
well-educated Negro citizens have chosen to remain in our city.
As a result of their education, they have had the ability to develop
prosperous Negro business community. In Atlanta it consists of
financ ial institutions like banks - building and loan associations life insurance companies - chain drug stores - real estate dealers.
In fact, they have develope d business organizations, I believe , in
almost eve ry line of acknowledged American business . There are
also many Negro professional m e n.
a
Then there is another powerful fact or working in the b ehalf of
good raci a l re lations in our city. We have news m edia, both white
and Negro, whose leade rs strongly b e lieve and put into practice the
··great truth that r e spons ibility of the pre ss (and by this I m ean radio
and t e levision as well as the written press) is insepara ble from
freedom of the ·press.
The leadership of our written, spoken and t e l evised news
media join with the busine ss and gove rnment l e ade r s hip, both white
and Ne gro, in working 'to solve our proble ms .
.~'.
We are fortunat e that we have one of the wo rld famous editorial
spokesmen for reason and mode ration on one of our white n e wspape rs,
along with othe r editors and m a ny r e porte r s who stress significance
rather tha n sensa tion in the r e porting a nd interpre t a tion of wha t
ha ppe n s. in our c ity.
- 5-

�And we a re fo"rtunate in having a str ong Negro da ily new spaper,
The Atlanta Daily World, and a vigorous Negro weekly, The Atlanta
Inquirer.
The Atlanta Daily World is owne d by a prominent Negro family the Scott family - which owns and ope rates a number of other newspapers.
The sturdy voices of the Atlanta Daily World and the Atlanta
Inquirer, backed by the support of the educational, business and
religious community, reach out to our Negro citizens. They speak
to them with factual information upon w hicl). they can rely. They
express opinions and interpretations in which they can have faith.
As I s ee it, our Ne gro l eaders hip in Atla nta is r e sponsible and
constructive. I am sure that our Negro leadership is as desirous of
obtaining additional civic and economic and personal rights as is any
American citizen. 'But by constructive I mean to define Atlanta's
Negro leadership as b e ing r e alistic - as r e cogni zing tha t it is more
importa nt to obta in the rights the y s e e k tha n it is to stir up demonstrations. So it is to the con structive m eans by which the s e rights
can be obtained that our Ne g ro leaders constantly address the mselves.
The y are interested in results instead of rhe toric. The y reach for
lasting goals inste ad of grabbing for momentary publicity. They are
realis t s , not rabble rouse rs. Afong with inte gra tion the y want
. inte grity.
I do not believ e that any sincere Ame rican citize n de sires to
see the right s of private busines s r e stricte d by the F ederal Government unless such r e str iction i s ab s olute ly nece ssary fo r the we lfare
of the pe ople of this count ry .
On t h e oth e r ha nd, fo llowing t h e lin e of t hought of the decis i on s
of the Federal Courts in the pa st 15 y e ars, I am not convinced tha t
cur r e nt rulings of the Courts would g r a nt to Ame rica n bus ine ss the
privile ge of discrimination b y race i n the s e l e ction of its cus tom e rs.
_
Here again we get int o t h e a r ea of wha t i s rig ht a nd wha t i s
b est for t h e p e ople of t his count ry. If t he privilege of se l e ction
b ~se d on race and c olo r ··should b e g r ant e d the n would we b e giving
t o bus iness t he right t o set u p a s egre gat e d e c on omy? . . . And
if so, how fas t would this r ig ht b e utili ze d by th e Na t ion ' s p e opl e ?
. . . .i:\nd how s oon w oul d w e a gain b e g oing t hrough t h e o ld tu rmoil
of r iots, s t rife , demonst rations , b oycotts , picke t ing ?
- 6-
.

.. .
�Are we going to say that it is all right for the Negro citizen
to go into the bank of Main street to de posit his earnings or borrow
money, then to go the department store to buy what he needs, to go
to the supermarket to purchase food for his family, and so on along
Main street until he comes to a restaurant or a hotel - - In all these
other business places he is treated just like any other customer - But when he comes to the restaurant or the hotel, are we going to
say that it is right and legal for the operators of these businesses,
merely as a matter of convenience, to insist that the Negro's
citizenship be changed and that, as a second class citizen, he is
to be refused service? I submit that it is not right to allow an
American's citizenship to be changed merely as a matter of convenience.
If the Congress should fail to clarify the issue at the present
time, then by inference it would be saying that you could begin discriminati.on under the guise of private business. I do not believe
that this is what the Supreme Court has intended with its decisions·.
I do not believe that this is the intent of Congress or the people of
this country.
I ap1 not a lawyer, Senators. I am not sure I clearly understand all of the testimony involving various amendments to the
Constitution and the Commerce clause which has been given to this
Committee. I have a fund a mental r e spe ct for the Constitution of
the United Sta t e s. Unde r this Constitution we have always be en
able to do what is best for all of the pe ople of this country. I beg
of you not to let this issue of discrimination.drown in legalistic
waters. I am firmly convinced that the Supreme Court insists
that the s a m e fund a m e nta l rig hts mu s t b e he ld by eve ry America n
citizen.
Atlanta is a case that proves that the problem of discrimination
can be solved to some exte nt . . . and I use this "some extent"
cautiously . . • as we certainly have not solved all of the problems;
but we hav e m e t them in a numb e r of are as. This c an b e done loca lly,
volunta rily, a nd by priva t e business itse lf!
On the othe r ha nd, -the re are hundre ds of communities and
citie s, ce rtainly throughout the nation that have not eve r addre ssed
the mse lve s to the i ssu e . Whe r e as, others have fla g rantly ignore d
the de m a nd, a nd today, s t a nd in a ll defiance to a ny change .
T h e C ong r es s of the Unite d St a t es is n ow confr onte d wit h a
grave de cis ion. Sha ll you pass a pub lic accommodati on bill tha t
- 7-
�forces this is s u e? Or, shall you creat e a nothe r round of dispute s
over segr e ga tion b y re fusing to pa s s su ch l egislation?
Surely, the Cong r e ss r e ali ze s that after having fail e d to take
any definite action on thi s sub j e ct in the last ten years, to fail to
pass this bill would amount to an endors e m e nt of private busine ss
setting up an e ntire ly ne,v status of discrimination throughout the
nation. Citie s like Atla nta might slip backwards. Hotels and
restaurants that h ave alre ady take n this is s u e upon the ms e lves
and opened the ir: doors might find it convenie nt to go back to the
old status. F a ilure b y Cong r e ss to take definite action at this
time is by infe r e nce an e ndors e m e nt of the right of private business
to practice ra c ial discrimina tion and, in my opinion, would start
the same old round of squabbles and demonstrations that we have
had in the past.
_.
· Gentleme n, if I had y our proble m armed with the local e x perience I hav e had, I w ould pass a public accommodation hill.
Such a bill, however, should provide an opportunity for each local
government first to m ee t this proble m and attempt to solve it on a
local, volunta ry basis, with e ach business making its own decision.
I . realize that it is quite ·easy to ask you to g ive an opportunity to
each businessman in each city to make his decision and to accomplish such an objective . . . but it is e xtremely difficult to legislate such a problem.
What I am t rying to say is that the pupil placement plan,
which h a s b een w ide ly us e d in the South, provided a tim e table
approved by the F e de ral courts which helpe d in getting over trouble d
water of elimina tion of discrimina tion in public schools. It s ee m s
to me that cities working with private business instHutions could n o w
move into the sam e area and that the fed e ral government l egi s lat io n
should be bas e d on the ide a that thos e businesses have a reasona ble
time to accomp~ish su c h an act.
I think a public ac commoda t1on law now should stand only as
the last resort to a s su re that discrimination is eliminate d, but tha t
such a law would grant a r eas-o nable tim e for cities and busine ss es
to carry out this fun ctio n b e for e fe deral i ntervention .
-·' -
It might ev e n b e n e ces sary that the time factor be made more
lenie nt in favor of sma lle r c ities and communities, fo r we all know
that la rge m et r opolit a n a r e as h ave the capability of adjus ting to
c hanges more r apidly tha n s m a ller c ommunitie s .
>
- 8-
•·
�Perhaps this, too, should be give n consideration in your
legislation. But the point I want to empha size again is that now is
the time for legislative action. We cannot dodge the issue. We
cannot look back over our shoulders or turn the clock back to the
1860 1s. We must take action now to assure a greater future for
our citizens and our country.
A hundred years ago the abolishment of slavery won the
United States the acclaim of the whole world when it made every
American free in theory.
Now the elimination of segregation, which is slavery's stepchild, is a challenge to all of us to make every American free in
fact as we ll as in the ory - and again to establish our nation as the
true champion of the free world.
Mr. Chairma.n and members of the Committee, I want to
thank you for the opportunity of telling you about Atlanta's efforts
to provide equality of citizenship to all within its borders .
.>
- 9-
. .· '
�.. ...
I
STATEMENT
by
.
IVAN ALLEN, JR.
MAYOR OF ATLANTA, GA.
BEFORE
COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE
REGARDING
s.
1 732
BILL TO ELIMINATE DISCRIMINATION IN PUBLIC
ACCOMMODATIONS AFFE8TING
INTERSTATE COMMERCE
.,
July 2 6, 19 6 3
'
�STATEMENT B Y IVAN ALLEN, JR.
MAYOR OF ATLANTA
July 26, 1963
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Senate Commerce Committee:
I am honore d to appear before your Committee.
~
At the beginning I would like to make it clear that I feel qualified to spe a k on the subject under discussion which is the elimination
of racial discrimina tion, on what I have learned from personal
e xperie n ce a nd obs e rva tion in my home city of Atlanta, Georgia.
As perceptive men of wide experience I feel confident that you will
agree with m e that this is as serious a basic problem in the North,
East and West as it is in the South.
It must b e defined as an all-American problem, which requires
an all-Ame rica n _solution based on local thought, local action and
local cooperation.
The 500, 000 people who live within our city limits consist of
300, 000 white citizens and slightly more than 200, 000 Negro citizens.
That make s the popula tion of Atlanta 60 percent white, 40 percent
Negro.
That 60 - 40 percentage emphasizes how essential it is for the
people of Atlanta, on their local level, to solve the problem of racial
discrimination in orde r to make Atlanta a better place in which to
live.
.
.
Elimination of racial descrimination is no far off philosophical
theory to the more than one million people who live in and around
Atlanta . The proble m is pa rt and parcel of our daily lives. Its
solution mus t b e s tudie d and worked out on our homefront.
A s the mayo r of the Southeast' s la r ge st city, I can say to you
out of first ha nd exp e ri~nce and first hand knowledge that nowhere
doe s the p r oble m of e liminating discrimination between the races
st r ike s_o close l y home as it doe s to the local elected public officia l.
He is the m a:n who ca nnot pa s s the bu ck .
From t his v iewpoint, I s peak o f the p r oblem as having b een
b r ought into sharp focus b y de cisions of the Supreme Court of the
f
�United States and then generally ignored by the Presidents and
Congresses of the United States. Like a foundling baby, this awesome problem has been l eft on the doorste ps of local governments
throughout the nation.
Now to take up specifics. You gentlemen invited me to tell
you how Atlanta has achieved a considerable measure of comparative
success in dealing with racial discrimination.
It is true that Atlanta has achieved success in eliminating
discrimination in areas where some other cities have failed, but
we do not boast of our success. Instead of_boasting, we say with
the humility of those who believe in reality that we have achieved
our measure of success only because we loqked facts in the face
and accepte d the Supreme Court's decisions as inevitable and as
the law of our land. Having embraced realism in general, we then
set out to solve specific problems by local cooperation between
people o( good will and good sense representing both races.
In attacking the specific problems, we accepted the basic
truth tha t the solutions which we sought to achieve in every instance
granted to our Negro citizens rights which white American citizens
and businesses previously had reserved to themselves as special
privileges.
These special privileges long had been propped up by a
multitude of local ordinances and statewide laws which had uphe ld
racial segregation in almost every conceivable form.
In Atlanta we had plenty of the props of prejudice to contend
with when we set out to solve our specific problems of discrimination.
In attacking these problems , I want to emphasize that in not one single
instance h ave we retaine d or e nhanced the privileges of segrega tion.
It has been a long, exhausting and often discouraging process
and the end is far from being in sight.
_
In the 1950's Atlanta made a significant start with a series
of reasonable eliminations of discrimination such as on golf courses
a:r:id public transportatio'ii. We began to become somewhat conditioned for more extensive and definitive action, which has be en
taking place in the ·1960 1s.
During the past two and a h a lf years, Atlant a has taken the
following major steps to eliminate racial discrimination:
-2.. · ·...
�,'
1. In September, 1961, w e began removing discrimination
in public schools in response to a court order.
2. In October, 1961, lunch counters in department and variety
stores abolished discrimination by voluntary action.
3. On January 1, 1962 Atlanta city facilities were freed from
discrimination by voluntary action of municipal officials.
4. In Ma"rch, 1962 downtown and arts theatres, of their own
volition, abolished discrimination in seating.
5. On January 1, 1963, the city voluntarily abolished separate
employment listings fo1: whites and Ne groes.
6: In March, 1963 the city employed Negro firemen.
ago employed Negro policemen.
It long
7. In May of 1963 the Atlanta R e al Estate Board (white) and
the Empire Real" Estate Board (Negro) issued a Statement of
Purposes, calling for ethical handling of real estate transactions
in controversial areas.
8. In June, 19 63, the city government opened all municipal
swimming pools on a desegregated basis. This was voluntary action
to comply w ith a court order.
9. Also in June, 1963, 18 hotels and motels, representing the
leading places of public accommodations in the city, voluntarily
removed all segregation for conventions.
10 . . Again, in June, 1963 more than 30 of the city's leading
restaurants, of their own volition, abolished segregation in their
faciliti e s.
You can readily see that Atlanta's steps have been taken in
some instances in complia·nce with court decisions, and in other
instan ce s the ste ps hav.e been voluntary prior to any court action.
In each instan ce the act.ion has r e sulte d in white citize ns relinquishing spe cial p r ivile ges which they had enjoyed under the
practice s of racial discrimina tion. E a ch action also has resulted
in the Ne gro· citize n b e ing give n rights which all others previously
had enjoye d and whi c h h e ha s b e en deni e d .
As I me ntione d at the b eginning , Atlanta h a s achieve d only
- 3-

�a measure of success. I think it would assist you in understanding
this if I e xplained how limited so far has b ee n this transition from
the old segregated society of generations past, and also how limited
so far has been the partic ipation of the Negro citizens.
Significant as is the voluntary elimination of discrimination in
our leading restaurants, it affects so far oniy a small percentage of
·- - ·- -the hun d reds- of eat1ng pla ces in-our city.
And partic".i.pation by Negroes so far has been very slight. For
example, one of Atlanta's topmost restaurants served only 16 out of
Atlanta's 200,000 Negro citizens during the first week of freedom
from discrimination.
The plan for eliminating discrimination in hotels as yet takes
care only of convention delegates. Although prominent Negroes
have bee·n accepted as guests in several Atlanta hotels, the Negro
citizens, as a whole, seldom appear at Atlanta hotels.
·
Underlying all the emotions of the situation, is the matter of
economics. It should be r emembe red that the right to use a facility
does not mean that it will be used or misused by any group, especially the groups in the lower economic status.
The statements I have givep you cover the actual progress
made by Atlanta toward total elimination of discrimination.
Now I would like to submit my personal reasons why I think
Atlanta has r e solved some of these problems while in other cities,
solutions have seemed impossible and strife and conflict have
resulted.
As an illustration, I would like to describe a recent visit of
an official delegation from a great Eastern city which has a Negro
population of over 600, 000 consisting of in excess of 20% of its
whole population.
The members of this delegation at first simply did not understand and would hard ly believe that the business, civic and political
interests of Atlanta had intently concerned themse lves with the
Negro population. I still do not believe that they are convinced
that all of our civic bodies b acked b y the public interest and supported by the City Governm ent have daily concerned themse lves
with an effort to solve ~ur grave st problem - - which is re lations
betwee·n our races. Gentlemen, Atlanta has not swept this
-4-
•·
�question under the : rug a t a ny point. Step by step - sometimes
under Court orde r - some times volunta r ily moving ahe ad of
pressure s - some time s a d r oitly - and m a ny time s clumsily - we
have tried to ·f ind a solution to each spe cific problem through an
agreement between the affected white ownership and the Negro
leadership.
To do this we have not appointed a huge general bi-racial
committee whi ch too often merely b e comes a buria l place for unsolved problems.
.. By contrast, each time a specific problem has
come into focus, we have appointed the people involved to work
out the solution . . . Theatre owners to work with the top Negro
leaders . . . or hote l own e rs to work with the top leadership . . .
or c e rta in resta ura nt owne rs who of the ir own volition dealt with
top Ne gro leade rship. 'By d ev e loping the lfue s of communica tion
and respectability, we -hav e b e en able to reach amicable solutions.
Atla nta is the world's cente r of Negro highe r education.
There are six great Ne g ro univers itie s a nd college s located inside
our city limits. Beca us e of this, a gre a t numb e r of inte lligent,
well- e du cat e d N egro citi zen s h a v e chosen to r emain in our c it y .
As a result of their education, they have had the ability to develop
a prospe rous N egro business community. In Atlanta it consists of
financia l institutions like banks - building and loan associations life insurance compa nies - cha i n dr u g store s - real e state d eal e r s .
In fa ct, the y have deve lope d busine s s organi zations, I belie v e , in
almo s t eve r y l i n e of acknowle dge d Am e r i can business . There are
also many Ne g ro professional men.
Then the r e is a nothe r powe rful fa ctor working i n the b e ha lf of
good raci a l r e lati ons in ou r city. W e ha ve n e ws m e dia , both white
and Negro, whose l eaders strong ly b e liev e and put into p ractice the
great t r uth tha t resp on s ibility of the ·p ress (a nd b y this I m ean radio
and t e levision as well as the w ritte n pre ss) is inseparable from
fre e dom of the p r e s s.
The leade r s hi p of our w r itten, s poke n a nd t e levise d n ews
i:nedia j oin with t he b u siness and government l eadership, both white
and Negro, in w o rking 't o solve our p r ob lems .
-·' ·
We are fo rtuna t e t ha t we hav e one of the w o r ld fam ous e ditorial
s pokesrµen f o r reas on a n d m o deration on one of our whit e newspapers,
along with other editors and many reporters who stress significance
rather than sensation in the reporting and inte rpreta tion of wha t
happe ns. in our city.
I,.
-5-
I
. ·..
.
�And we are fortunate in having a strong Negro daily newspaper,
The Atlanta Daily World, and a vigorous Negro weekly, The Atlanta
Inquirer.
The Atlanta Daily World is owned by a prominent Negro family the Scott family - which owns and operates a number of qther newspapers.
The sturdy voices of the Atlanta Daily World and the Atlanta
Inquirer, backed by the support of the educational, business and
religious community, reach out to our Negro citizens. They speak
to them with factual information upon which they can rely. They
express opinions and interpretations in which they can have faith.
As I see it, our N;gro leadership in Atlanta is responsible and
constructive. I am sure that our Negro leadership is as desirous of
obtaining additional civic antj economic and personal rights as is any
Americari citizen. But by constructive I mean to define Atlanta's ·
Negro leadership as being realistic - as recognizing that it is more
important to obtain the rights they seek than it is to stir up demonstrations. So it is to the constructive means by which these rights
can be obtained that our Negro leaders constantly address themselves.
They are interested in results instead of rhetoric. They reach for
lasting goals instead of grabbing for momentary publicity. They are
realists, not rabble rousers. Afong with integration they want
integrity.
I do not believe that any sincere American citizen desires to
see the rights of private business restricted by the Federal Government unless such restriction is absolutely necessary for the welfare
of the people of this country.
On the other hand, following the line of thought of the decisions ·
of the Federal Courts in the past 15 years, I am not convinced that
current rulings of the Courts would grant to American business the
privilege of discrimination by race in the selection of its customer!3.
Here again we get .into the area of what is right and what is
best for the people of thi~ country. If the privilege of selection
based on race and color should be granted then would we be giving
to business the right to set up a segregated economy? . . . And
if so, how fast would this right be utilized by the Nation's people?
• . . And how soon would we again be going through the old turmoil
of riots, strife, demonstrations, boycot.t s, picketing?
-6-
�Are we going to s ay that it is all right for the Negro citizen
to go into the b a nk of Main street to de posit his earnings or borrow
money, then to go the de partment store to buy what he needs, to go
to the supermarket to purchase food for his family, and so on along
Main street uritil he come s to a resta ura nt or a hotel -- In all these
other business places he is treated just like any other customer -But when he comes to the restaurant or the hotel, are we going to
say that it is right and l e ga l for the operators of these businesses,
merely as a matter of convenience, to insist that the Negro's
citizenship be changed and that, as a second class citizen, he is
to be refused service? I submit that it is not right to allow an
American's citizenship to be changed m e rely as a matter of convenience.
If the Congress should fail to clarify the issue at the present
time, then by inference it would be saying that you could begin discrimination under the guise of private business. I do not believe
that this is what the Supreme Court has intended with its decisions.
I do not believe that this is the intent of Congress or the people of
this country.





I a.p:i not a lawyer, Senators. I am not sure I clearly understand all of the testimony involving v a rious amendments to the
Constitution and the Comme rce claus e which has be en given to this
Committe e. I have a fund a mental r e spe ct for the Constitution of
the Unite d Sta t e s. Unde r this Cons titution we have always be en
able to do what is best for all of the people of this country. I beg
of you not to let this issue of discrimination.drown in legalistic
waters. I am firmly conv ince d that the Supreme Court insists
that the same fund a m e nta l rig ht s mu st b e he ld by eve ry Am e rican
citize n.
Atlanta is a case tha t prove s that the problem of discriminatioh
can be solved to some extent . . . and I use this "some e xtent"
cautiously . . . as we ce rtainly have not solved all of the proble ms;
but we have m e t them in a numbe r of a rea s . This can b e done fo cally,
volunta rily, a nd b y p riva t e· busine ss its e lf!
On the othe r hand, _:the r e are hundre ds of communities. and
cities, certainly throughout the nation that have not eve r addresse d
the m s elve s to the i s sue . Whe r e as, others have flagra ntly ignore d
the de mand, ·a nd t oday, s t a nd in a ll de fia nce to a ny change.
I
The . Congress of the Unite d Sta t e s is now confront e d with a
g rav e de cis ion. Sha ll y ou pass a public accommoda tion bill that
- 7-
�forces this issue ? . Or, sha ll you cre ate a nother round of disputes
over segre gation by refusing to pas s such l e gislation?
Surely, the Congre ss realizes that after having failed to take
any definite action on this subject in the last ten years, to fail to
pass this bill w ould amount to an endors e ment of private business
setting up an entirely ne w status of discrimination throughout the
nation. Cities like Atlanta might slip backwards. Hotels and
restaurants that h av e a lready t a k e n this issue upon thems e lves
and opened the ir: doors might find it convenient to go back to the
old status. Failure by Congress to take definite action at this
time is by infere nce an endorsement of the right of private business
to practice racial discrimination and, in m"y opinion, would start
the same old round of squabbles and demonstrations that we have
had in the past.
.,
Gentlemen, if I had your problem armed with the local experience ·1 have had; I would pass a public accommodation bill.
Such a bill, however, should provide an opportunity for each local
governme nt first to m ee t this proble m and attempt to solve it on a
local, voluntary ba sis, with each bus ine ss making its own decisi on.
I realize that it is quite easy to ask you to give an opportunity to
each businessman in each city to make his decision and to accomplish such an objective . . . but it is extremely difficult to legislate such a proble m.
,
Wha t I am trying to s a y i s tha t the pupil place m e nt pla n,
which has been widely used in the South, provided a time table
approved by the Federal cour ts which helped in getting ove r troubled
water of elimina tion of discrimination in public schools. It se e ms
to me that citie s working w it h priva t e busine ss institutions could n ow
move into the s a m e area a nd tha t the fe de r a l g ove rnment l egi s l ation
should b e base d on th.e idea tha t those bus ine s ses h a v e a reas onable
time to accomplish such an act.
I think a publi c ac c omm oda tion law now should sta nd on ly as
the last r e sor t to a ssure that dis c r i m ination is e limina t e d, but that
s u ch a l aw w ould grant a r eas onable t ime fo r cities a nd busin e s ses
to c arry out this funct ion b e for e fe de ral i nt ervention .
.·'-
It might even b e n e cessary tha t the t ime factor b e ma de mo re
l e nie nt in favo r of smalle r cit ies. and c omm unities , fo r w e a ll know
tha t l arge metropolita n areas h ave the capabilit y of adjus t ing to
cp.anges more rapidly t h a n smaller communities.
- 8..· ·,
�Perhaps this, too, should be given consideration in your
legislation. But the point I want' to emphasize again is that now is
the time for legislative action. We cannot dodge the issue. We
cannot look back over our shoulders or turn the clock back to the
1860's. We must take action now to assure a greater future for
our citizens and our country.
A hundred years ago the abolishment of slavery won the
United States the acclaim of the whole world when it made every
American free in theory.
Now the elimination of segregation, which is slavery's stepchild, is a challenge to all of us to make every American free in
fact as well as in theory - and again to establish our nation as the
true champion of the free world.
Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, I want to
thank you for the opportunity of telling you about Atlanta's efforts
to provide equality of citizenship to all within its borders.
_).
- 9-
�I
STATEMENT
by
IVAN ALLEN, JR.
MAYOR OF ATLANTA, GA.
BEFORE
COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE
REGARDING
s.
1732
BILL TO ELIMINATE DISCRIMINATION IN PUBLIC
ACCOMMODATIONS AFFE8TING
INTERSTATE COMMERCE
July 2 6, 19 63
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�STATE M E N T BY IVAN ALLEN, JR.
MAYOR O F AT L A NTA
July 2 6, 19 63
Mr. Cha irman and Memb e rs of the Senate Commerce Committee:
I am honore d to appe ar b e fore your Committee .
.
At the b eginning I w ould like to make it clear that I feel qualified to speak on the subj ect under discussion which is the elimination
of racial discrim i n a tion, on what I have learned from personal
e x perie nc e and ob s ervation in my home city of Atlanta, Georgia.
As perceptive m e n of wide exp e rience I feel confident that you will
agre e w ith me tha t thi s is as serious a basic problem in the North,
East and. W est a s it is in the South. ·
It must b e d e fined as an all-American problem, which requires
an all-Am e r i car_:i solution based on local thought, local action and
local coopera tion.
The 500, 000 p e ople who live within our city limits consist of
300, 000 w hit e citi ze ns and slightly more than 200,000 Negro citizens.
That make s t he popula tion of Atla nta 60 percent white, 40 percent
· Negro.
That 60 - 40 percentage emphasizes how essential it is for the
people o f Atla nta , on their loc a l level, to solve the problem of racial
discriminat ion in order to make Atlanta a better place in which to
live.
Elimina t i on of racia l descrimination is no far off philosophical
theory to the more tha n one million people who live in and around
Atlanta. The p rob l em is pa rt and parcel of our daily lives. Its
solution mu s t b e s tudie d and w o r k e d out on our homefront.
As t he mayor of the Southeast's largest city, I can say to you
out of fir s t h a nd exp e ri.~ n ce and first ha nd know ledge that now here
does t he problem of e liminating discrimination betw een the races
st r i ke s o clo s e l y h ome a s it do e s to the local elected public o fficial.
He i s t he man w h o cannot pa ss t he buck.
From t hi s viewpo int , I speak of t he problem a s h a v ing b een
brought into s ha rp fo c us b y d ecision s o f the Sup re m e C ou rt of the
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United States and then generally ignored by the Presidents and
Congresses of the United States. Like a foundling baby, this awesome problem has been left on the doorsteps of local governments
throughout the nation.
Now to take up specifics. You gentlemen invited me to tell
you how Atlanta has achieved a considerable measure of comparative
success in dealing with racial discrimination.
It is true that Atlanta has achieved success in eliminating
discrimination in areas where some other cities have failed, but
we do not boast of our success. Instead of boasting, we say with
the humility of those who believe in reality that we have achieved
our measure of success only because we looked facts in the face
and accepted the Supreme Court's decisions as inevitable and as
the law of our land. Having embraced realism in general, we then
set out to solve specific proqlems by local cooperation between
people of good will and good sense representing both races.
In attacki~g the specific problems, we accepted the basic
truth that the solutions which we sought to achieve in every instance
granted to our Negro citizens rights which white American citizens
and businesses previously had reserved to themselves as special
privileges.
These special privileges long had been propped up by a
multitude of local ordinances and statewide laws which had upheld
racial segregation in almost every conceivable form.
I
In Atlanta we had plenty of the props of prejudice to contend
with when we set out to solve our specific problems of discrimination.
In attacking these problems, I want to emphasize that in not one single
instance have we retained or enhanced the privileges of segregation.
It has been a long, exhausting and often discouraging process
and the end is far from being in sight .
In the 1950's AtlaI?-ta made a significant start with a series
of reasonable eliminations of discrimination such as on golf courses
and public transportation. We began to become somewhat conditioned for more extensive and definitive action, which has been
taking place in the 19 60 's. ·
During the past two and a half years, Atlanta has taken the
following major steps to eliminate racial discrimination:
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�In September, 19 61, we b e gan removing discrimination
in public schools in response to a court order.
1.
2. In October, 1961, lunch counters in department and variety
stores abolished discrimination by voluntary action.
3. On January 1, 19 62 Atlanta city facilities were freed from
discrimination by voluntary action of municipal officials.
4. In Ma"rch, 1962 downtown and arts theatres, of their own
volition, abolished discrimination in seating.
5. On January 1, 1963, the city voluntarily abolished separate
employment listings foI' whites and Negroes.
6. In March, 1 9 63 the city employed Negro firemen.
ago empJ.oyed Negl'.'.o" policeme n.
It long
7. In May of 1963 the Atlanta Real Estate Board (white) and
the Empire Real Estate Board (Negro) issued a Statement of
Purposes, calling for ethical handling of real estate transactions
in controversial areas.
8. In June, 19 63, the city government opened all municipal
swimming pools on a desegregated basis. This was voluntary action
to comply with a court order .
9. Also in June, 1963, 18 hotels and motels, representing the
leading places of public accommodations in the city, voluntarily
removed all segregation for conventions.
10. Again, in June, 1963 mor~ than 30 of the city's leading
restaurants, of their own volition, abolished segregation in their
facilities.
You can readily see that Atlanta's steps have been taken in
some instances in compliance w ith court decisions, and in other
instances the steps hav.e been voluntary prior to any court action.
In each instance the act.ion has resulted in white citizens relinquishing spe cial privileges which they had enjoyed under the
practice s of racial discrimination. Each action also has resulted
in the Negro citizen b e ing given ·rights which all others previously
had enjoye d and which h e has b ee n denie d .
As I mentione d at the beginning, Atlanta has achieved only
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a measure of su c ce s s . I think it would assist you in understanding
this if I e xplaine d h ow limite d so fa r has be en this transition from
the old segregat e d so cie t y of generations past, and also how limited
so far has b e en the pa r ti cipation of the Ne g ro citizens.
Significant as is the volunt a ry elimina tion of discrimination in
our leading resta ura nts, it affects so far only a small percentage of
the hundreds of e at ing place s in our city.
And partic"ipa tion b y Ne g r oes so far has be e n very slight. For
example, one of Atla nta 's topmo st re staurants s e rved only 16 out of
Atlanta's 200,000 Neg ro citize ns during the first week of freedom
from discrimina tion.
The plan for e liminating discrimination in hotels as yet takes
care only of conve ntion dele ga t e s. Although prominent Negroes
have been acc e pte d '.3-S guests in s ev e ral Atlanta hotels, the Negro
citizens, as a whole , seldom app e ar at Atlanta hotels.
Underlying all the emotions of the situation, is the matter of
economics. It should be r e m e mb e red that the right to use a facility
does not mean tha t it will be used or misused by any group, especially the groups in the lower economic status.
The stateme nts I have giv ep you cover the actual progress
·made by Atlanta toward total elimination of discrimination.
"
Now I would like to submit m y personal reasons why I think
Atlanta h a s r es olve d some of t he s e p r oble ms while in othe r citie s,
solutions have s eeme d imposs ible a nd strife and conflict hav e
result e d.
As an illustration, I would like to describe a recent visit of
an official delegation from a great Easte rn city which has a Negro
population of ov er 600, 000 cons isting of in e x cess of 20% of its
whole population .
The m emb ers of this de l egat io n at first simply did not understand and would hard ly b e lieve tha t the bus ine ss, civic and political
intere sts of Atlant a h a d int e ntly conce rne d the ms e lve s with the
Negro p opula t ion . I still do not b e lieve tha t they a r e conv in c e d
tha t a ll of ou r civic b odie s b a cked b y the public intere st a n d supported b y t he City Gove rnm e nt hav e da ily concerned thems e lve s
with an e ffort t o solve our grave st prob l em - - whi c h i s re lations
. bet we en our rac e s. Ge ntlemen, Atlant a ha s not swept this
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�question under the rug at any point. Step by step - sometimes
under Court order - sometimes voluntarily moving ahead of
pressures - sometimes adroitly - and many time s clumsily - we
have tried to find a solution to each spe cific problem through an
agreement between the affected white ownership and the Negro
leadership.
To do this we have not appointed a huge general bi-racial
committee which too often merely becomes a burial place for unsolved problems.
.. By contrast, each time a specific problem has
come into focus, we have appointed the people involves} to work
out the solution . . . Theatre owners to work with the top Negro
leaders . . . or hotel owners to work with the top leadership . . .
or certa in restaura nt owners who of their own volition dealt with
top Negro l e ade rship. 'By developing the lines of communication
and respectability, we -have been able to reach amicable solutions.
Atlanta is the world's · cente r of Negro higher education.
There are six great Negro unive rsitie s a nd colleges located inside
our city limits. B e cause of this, a great numbe r of intellige nt,
well-educate d Ne gro citizens have chos e n to remain in our city.
As a result of their education, they have had the ability to develop
a prospe rous Ne gro business community. In Atlanta it consists of
financial institutions like banks - building and loan associations life insura n ce compa nies - chain drug stores - real e state de alers.
In fact, the y ha ve d ev e lope d bus in e s s o r ganiza tions, I belie v e , in
almost every line of acknowle dge d Ame rica n busine s s . The r e are
also many Negro professional men.
Then there is anothe r powerful factor working in the b e half of
good racial relations in our city. We ha ve news media, both white
and Negro, whose lea de rs strong ly b e lieve and put into practice the
gre at truth that responsibility of the pre ss (and by thi s I mean radio
and television as well as the written pre ss) is inseparable from
freedom of the press.
The leaders hip of our writte n, spoken and t e levise d n e w s
m e dia join with the bus iness a nd g overn ment le a dersh i p, both white
and Negr o, in w o rking 't q solve our p r oblems .
.• .
We are f ortuna t e that we ha v e one of the w orld famous edito r ia l
spokes m en fo r reas on a nd m odera.tion on one of our white n ewspapers,
a lon g with other edito rs and m a ny r e porters who s t ress s ignificance
rat h e r t ha n s e n s a t ion in the r e porting and interpre t a tion of wha t
happens in our city.
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�And we are fortunate in having a strong Negro daily newspaper,
The Atlanta Daily World, and a vigorous Negro weekly, The Atlanta
Inquirer.
The Atlanta Daily World is owned by a prominent Negro family the. Scott family - which owns and operates a number of other newspapers.
The sturdy voices of the Atlanta Daily World and the Atlanta
Inquirer, backed by the support of the educational, business and
religious community, reach out to our Negro citizens. They speak
to them with factual information upon which they can rely. They
express opinions and interpretations in which they can have faith.
As I see it, our Negro leadership in Atlanta is responsible and
constructive. I am sure that our Negro leadership is as desirous of
obtaining additional civic and economic and personal rights as is any
American citizen. But by constructive I mean to define Atlanta's
Negro leadership as being realistic - as recognizing that it is more
important to obtain the rights they seek than it is to stir up demonstrations. So it is to th_e constructive means by which these rights
can be obtained that our Negro leaders constantly address themselves.
They are interested in results instead of rhetoric. They reach for
lasting goals instead of grabbing for momentary publicity. They are
realists, not rabble rousers. Afong with integration they want
integrity.
I do not believe that any sincere American citizen desires to
see the rights of private business restricted by the Federal Government unless such restriction is absolutely necessary for the welfare
of the people of this country.





On the other harid, following the line of thought of the decisions
of the Federal <;;ourts in the past 15 years, I am not convinced that
current rulings of the Courts would grant to American business the
privilege of discrimination by race in the selection of its customers.
Here again we get into the area of what is right and what is
best for the people of this_ country. If the privilege of selection
based on race and color· ·should be granted then would we be ·giving
to business the right to set up a segregated economy? . . . And
if so, how fast would this right be utilized by the Nation's people?
. . . And how soon would we . again be going through the old turmoil
of riots, strife, demonstrations, boycotts, picketing?
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�Are we going to s a y tha t it i s all right for the Negro citizen
to go into the bank of Main stre et to deposit his earnings or borrow
money, then to go the department store to buy what he needs, to go
to the supermarket to purcha se food for his family, and so on along
Main street until he comes to a restaurant or a hotel - - In all these
other business places he is treated just like any other customer - But when he comes to the restaurant or the hotel, are we going to
say that it is right and legal for the operators of these businesses,
merely as a matter of convenience, to insist that the Negro's
citizenship be change d and that, as a second class citizen, he is
to be refused service? I submit that it is not right to allow an
American's citizenship to be changed merely as a matter of convenience.
If the Congress should fail to clarify the issue at the present
time, then by inference it would be saying that you could begin discriminat,i on under the guise of private busine.ss. I do not believe
that this is what the Supreme Court has intended with its decisions.
I do not believe that this is the intent of Congress or the people of
this country. _
I ap:i not a lawyer, Senators. I am not sure I clearly understand all of the testimony involving various amendments to the
Constitution and the Commerce clause which has been given to this
Committee. I have a fundamental respect for the Constitution of
· the United States. Under this Constitution we have always been
able to do what is b e st for all of the people of this country. I beg
of you not to let this issue of discrimination.drown in legalistic
waters. I am firmly conv.i nced that the Supreme Court insists
that the same fundam e ntal rights must be held by every American
citizen.
Atlanta is a case that prove s that the problem of discrimination
can be solved to some extent . . . and I use this "some extent"
cautiously . . . as we certainly have not solved all of the problems;
but we have met the m in a number of areas. This can be done locally,
voluntarily, and by private business itself!
On the othe r ha nd, the re are hundre ds of communities and
cities, certainly throughout the n ation that have not ever addressed
themselves to the issue. Whereas, others have flagrantly ignored
the demand, and toda y, sta nd in all de fiance to any change.
I
The , Cong r e ss of the Unite d States is now confronted with a
grave decision . Sha ll you pa ss a public ac c ommodation bill that
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�forces this issue? Or, shall you create another round of disputes
over segregation by refusing to pass such legislation?
Surely, the Congress realizes that after having failed to take
any definit,e action on this subject in the last ten years, to fail to
pass this bill would amount to an endorsement of private business
setting up an entirely new status of discrimination throughout the
nation . . Cities like Atlanta might slip backwards. Hotels and
restaurants tha t have already taken this issue upon themselves
and opened their: doors might find it convenient to go back to the
old status. Failure by Congress to take definite action at this
time is by inference an endorsement of the right of private business
to practice racial discrimination and, in my opinion, w ould start
the same old round of squabbles and demonstrations that we have
had in the past.
..
Gentlemen, if I had your problem armed with the local experience I have had, I would ·pass a public accommodation bill.
Such a bill, howev~r, should provide an opportunity for each local
government first to meet this problem and attempt to solve it on a
local, voluntary b asis , with each busine ss making its own decision.
I realize that it is quite easy to ask you to give an opportunity to
each businessman in each city to make his decision and to accomplish such an objective . . . but it is extremely difficult to legislate such a problem.
What I am t rying to say is t hat the pupil placem ent pla n,
which has been widely used in the South; provided a time table
approved by the F ederal courts which helped in getting over troubled
water of elimina tion of discrimination in public schools. It s eems
to me that citie s working with private business institutions could n ow
move into the same area and that the federa l government l egi s lation
should b e b ase d on the idea tha t those bus inesses h a v e a reasonable
time to accomplish such an act.
I think a public accommodafion law now should stand only as
the l ast resort to assure tha t discrimina tion is e liminated, but that
such a law would grant a r eas onable time for citie s and busin esses
to carry out this function_ b e for e federal intervention.
It might even b e n e cess a ry that the time factor b e made more
lenient in favor of smalle r c ities a nd communities, for w e all know
tha t large m e tropolitan areas h ave the capability of adj usting to
changes more rapidly tha n smaller communities .
-8 -
�Perhaps this, too, should be given consideration in your
legislation. But the point I want to emphasize again is that now is
the time for legislative action. We cannot dodge the issue. We
cannot look back over our shoulders or turn the clock back to the
1860 1s. We must take action now to assure a greater future for
our citizens and our country.
A hundred years ago the abolishment of slavery won the
United States the acclaim of the whole world when it made every
American free in theory.
Now the elimination of segregation, which is slavery's stepchild, is a challenge to all of us to make every American free in
fact as well as in theory - and again to establish our nation as the
true champion of the free world.
Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, I want to
thank you for the opportunity of telling you about Atlanta's efforts
to provide equality of citizenship to all within its borders.
_:'.
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