This Day in Black History: May 6, 1960

President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Civil Rights Act of 1960.

Posted: 05/06/2013 07:00 AM EDT
Dwight Eisenhower

On May 6, 1960, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Civil Rights Act of 1960, establishing federal inspection of local voter registration polls and penalties for obstructing someone's attempt to register to vote.

The bill was drafted in response to an outbreak of violent attacks on churches and Black schools in the South. In addition to paving the way for stronger legislative protection against discrimination, like the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the act also broadened the reach of the 1957 Civil Rights Act by prohibiting bombings and local interference with federal court orders.

Although not as critical as other civil rights legislation, the passing of the act was not a battle easily won as Southern politicians railed against the law, sparking the longest filibuster in history, which lasted more than 125 hours.

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 (Photo:  Library Of Congress/Getty Images)

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