59 Years Ago Today, the Civil Rights Act of 1957 was Passed.

On September 9, 1957, President Eisenhower signed the Civil Rights Act of 1957. This was the first piece of Civil Rights legislation that had been passed since the 19th century Reconstruction era.

“The Civil Rights Act of 1957 was designed to protect voting rights, but also established the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department and the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. Federal prosecutors were also empowered to use court injunctions against those who attempted to interfere with citizens’ voting rights.”

The Civil Rights Act met resistance from racist politicians. For instance, South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond, a known racist, set a record for “the longest one-person filibuster in American history.” His filibuster, thankfully, did not prevent the bill from being passed.

The Civil Rights Act of 1957 was a major victory for civil rights because it laid the foundation for more civil rights legislations to be passed in the future.

Via University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill