History

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NorthStar News Today.com and Blackmansstreet.Today reader Larry Delano Coleman posted the correct answer in response to last week’s question about Reconstruction.

Reconstruction in the South meant black men could vote.
Reconstruction in the South meant black men could vote.

Reconstruction began in 1865 and ended in 1877 when President Rutherford B. Hayes as part of a compromise with southern states to win the presidency agreed to withdraw federal troops stationed in the region to protect the rights of African Americans.

Reconstruction led to the creation of Freedmen’s Bureau to help newly freed slaves, passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 to protect black men from laws such as the black codes and passage of the 14th Amendment, which made African Americans citizens. It was ratified in 1868. The 15th Amendment, ratified by the states in 1870, gave blacks the right to vote. The 13th Amendment ratified in 1865 ended slavery.

Southern Democrats began to regain control of the South from 1869 when they defeated the Republicans, the party of Abraham Lincoln, in Tennessee and Virginia and soon afterward in North Carolina and Georgia and other states.

President Ulysses Grant, who preceded Hayes, supported Radical Reconstruction and protected African Americans in the South through the use of the Enforcement Acts passed by Congress to suppress terrorist groups like the Klu Klux Klan.

Hayes, the Republican candidate for president in 1876, was awarded the White House over Democrat Samuel Tilden with the understanding that Hayes would remove the federal troops whose support was essential for the survival of Republican state governments in South Carolina, Florida and Louisiana. The agreement was known as Hayes-Tilden Compromise or the Compromise of 1877.

Next week’s question

When President Lyndon Baines Johnson on July 14, 1967, nominated Thurgood Marshall as an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, LBJ’s aides were acting like nervous nellies, ringing their hands over whether Marshall would survive the vicious onslaught from racist Southern Democrats who controlled the Senate Judiciary Committee. If committee members approved Marshall’s nomination it would be sent to the full Senate for a vote.

Who was LBJ’s backup candidate should Marshall fail?

  1. Julian Bond
  2. William T. Coleman
  3. Walter White

For more information about this exciting period, read Wil Haygood’s new book “Showdown” about Marshall’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

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