Interview SummaryCooper begins the interview by discussing the politics of Civil Rights up to 1954. Cooper believed that President Eisenhower was in agreement with the Supreme Court ruling on Brown v. Board of Education. Cooper thought that the 1957 Civil Rights Commission was an advance but admits that it had been watered down. Cooper discusses civil rights proposals and legislation in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, including the Civil Rights Acts of 1957, 1960, and 1964. Cloture and filibusters related to the Civil Rights Act of 1957 are detailed. Cooper talks of the difficulties in getting rid of voting literacy tests for federal elections. Cooper discusses a failed Civil Rights bill that he introduced in 1963. Cooper thought that Kennedy would have made proposals which would have been stronger on civil rights if he had not been assassinated. Cooper illustrates civil rights issues in the 1980s. Cooper also compares Kennedy and Johnson on civil rights. The impact of violence in the South upon the speed of Senatorial action on civil rights is considered. Cooper provides an overview of civil rights in Kentucky during the 1960s. The roles of various presidential administrations in civil rights (from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Lyndon Johnson) are examined. Cooper provides his opinion on John F. Kennedy's civil rights strategy that involved using executive orders to bypass the turmoil in the Senate (which often blocked stronger civil rights bills). To conclude the interview, Cooper offers his perspective on how many Southern Senators felt about civil rights.
Interview KeywordEmanuel Celler Fred Vinson John Harlan William M. McCulloch Civil Rights Act of 1964 Civil War Constitutional Amendments The South Dick Russell Senate Senators Richard Russell Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Earl Warren Norris Cotton Ohio River Harry Truman School desegregation Senator Alben W. Barkley Senator Clifford Case Senator Clinton Anderson Senator Everett Dirksen Senator Wayne Morse Senator Hubert Humphrey Supreme Court Voting Rights Bill Dwight Eisenhower Integration John F. Kennedy Plessy v. Ferguson "Separate but equal" Civil Rights Act of 1957 Filibusters Civil Rights Act of 1960 Lyndon Johnson J. Strom Thurmond Franklin D. Roosevelt
Interview LC SubjectCooper, John Sherman, 1901-1991 Cooper, John Sherman, 1901-1991--Interviews Politicians Politicians--United States Politics and government United States--Politics and government Washington (D.C.) Kentucky Ohio River Kentuckians Civil rights movement Civil rights African Americans--Segregation Black people Discrimination Voting Somerset (Ky.) Pulaski County (Ky.) Education Schools Cloture Literacy tests (Election law) Voter registration Race Religion Gender Presidents Executive orders Violence
Interview RightsAll rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interview UsageInterviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
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Cooper, John Sherman Interview by William Cooper. 16 May. 1981. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Cooper, J.S. (1981, May 16). Interview by W. Cooper. John Sherman Cooper Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Cooper, John Sherman, interview by William Cooper. May 16, 1981, John Sherman Cooper Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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