tv Reel America The American Revolution of 63 Part 1 - NBC News Report CSPAN August 29, 2020 1:00pm-2:15pm EDT
clips of upcoming programs. c-spanhistory. in 1963, nbc news broadcast a three hour program on the status of the civil rights movement, reporting from 75 locations throughout the united states. in includes appearances from activists, scenes from civil-rights rights events, and comments from integration opponents. next, the first 70 events of the severalwhich covers cities. the report also looks at the history of slavery and jim crow laws. >> in an unprecedented three hour report, nbc news presents the american revolution of '63. gro'sdy of the american ne struggle for equality. here is nbc news correspondent
frank mcgee. >> there comes a time, there even comes a moment in the affairs of men when they sense their lives are being altered forever. but an old order is dying in a new is being bored -- and a new is being born. some.oment comes soon for for others the moment arrives , when a deed of new dimension sets the hour apart, for others, when words are spoken more sharply. later, but still suddenly, it seems men are saying and doing things they have never said or done before. then we know we are experiencing a revolution. but we cannot say, though he'll -- though historians will try, when it began. we know that autumn does not begin with the turning of the leaves, but earlier, on some forgotten afternoon when a shadow passed over the fields and it is no longer in summer. so did "the american revolution of '63," begin in birmingham in -- begin this year in birmingham or in 1955 in montgomery or in 1954 with the supreme court decision, or in 1863 with the
proclamation? some of its roots reach back to 1776 to the independence declaration. even back to the year 52, when the apostle paul said god has made of one blood all nations of men to dwell on the face of the earth. the truth is, the american revolution of began in all of 63 those years, that those generations past along to this passede generations along to this one a restless sometimes ebbs and sometimes flows, but moves toward freedom for all men. our purpose now is to define this revolution. we propose to show how it began. it began in many ways, the course it is following, there are many tributaries, and its effects. to do this, we shall take the next three hours. we have step list no rigid form for doing this. revolutions do not visit you -- do not fit easily into standard sized containers.
we are confident that any strand in a fabric being woven will ultimately cross all the other strands. as in albany, georgia. there, as in hundreds of other communities the church is the , negro's privileged sanctuary. the story was covered by herbert caplow. >> let it shine, let it shine, let it shine i am going to let it shine, let shinene, let it i am going to let it shine, let it shine, let it shine i am going to let it shine ♪
herbert: music has long used as an expression of protest, and why in september 1961 albany became a target, no one is sure. most other communities in this area were recognized as tougher in thisegroes then city, but the resentment showed itself in albany in song and in other forms and arenas of demonstration. ♪ >> oh, freedom, my lord i will space freedom, freedom ♪ >> a ban on demonstrations has brought more than 1500 arrests far,a segregationists so most last summer forces of , martin luther king were prominent in the drive. from outside albany came ministers and rabbis to demonstrate in street prayer.
>> we are here to offer up our prayers to god. >> what is your purpose? >> our purpose is to offer our prayers to god. >> i am asking you to disperse and go your normal way, go back to your normal places of livelihood, preach to your own congregation, and clear your own community of sin and of lawlessness before you come here to try to convert us. anybody else want to be heard from? >> blessed be the name of the lord. from this time forth, and forever more. >> the clergymen, like other demonstrators, were arrested. and as albany became a bigger national story, city officials continued in their refusal to
negotiate with the negroes, a negotiation which brought comment from president kennedy. >> i find it inexplicable why the city council of albany will not sit down with the citizens of albany, who may be negroes, attempt to secure them in a peaceful way their rights. the united states government is in geneva with the soviet union. i can't understand why the city council of albany can't do the same for american citizens. herbert: the otherwise quiet georgia city, 37,000 whites, 23,000 negroes remained stalemated in the fight. at one point, desegregation leader king, who himself had been jailed, saw success ahead. >> we are all disappointed with the recalcitrance of the city commission, and their refusal to talk with the leaders of the albany movement but in spite of , this, we see something developing in this community, which is one of the most significant developments in the civil rights struggle.
and i am convinced that within the next few months, we will be able to see changes in this community that will completely change, in terms of desegregation and in terms of new levels of communication. herbert: but what has resulted from the arrests? 1500 tangibly, little, negro leaders concede. assume was filed against of the federal government and alleged retaliation against a white juror who voted against their -- voted to their displeasure in another civil rights matter. white community of albany has yielded nothing of significance. there are no demonstrations now in albany. there are mass meetings every monday night, but little else. the police chief says albany is just about the way it was before all this.
-- intangibly there is one thing that did come out of albany for the negroes. martin luther king learned the lessons of failure here, and did not repeat them in his next foray, birmingham. >> there are now and have always been those who wish to stand aloof of messy struggle and, at most to remain unemotionally , involved. they are always an uncomfortable and usually an unhappy lot. more than 100 years ago, an old woman, the mother of a member of lincoln's cabinet, sat rocking on her porch and sped out these words. " of all these things in the world i hate slavery the most, except evolutionists. these abolitionists, scourge of the south and bane of the north, careless of the line between righteousness and self-righteousness sent spread what many union men considered pernicious views until they enlarge toward to save the union into a war to abolish slavery. "
in amherst, massachusetts, buildings and trees stand guard over 100 memories. there is a doorway now known to students dead now for over a century and a half. here is a student name henry ward beecher, who established a church in brooklyn. here he could read "the antislaverythe newspaper published by the stern, uncompromising william lloyd garrison. beecher would remember, and in the years ahead, he would shock half the country by auctioning a slave girl from the pulpit of his church, stirring protest. there was horace greeley of the powerful new york tribune. he hated slavery and the tyranny of delay. is ours," he said.
and julia ward howe writing the , words that would be spoken at thousand times when the angry storm came. in co-editor, an angry minister, and a lady, each protesting this -- slavery. and here is how it started. africa, the coast of guinea, a tribesman properly subdued and , brought a better price. africa, the coast of guinea, a tribesman properly set nude and brought a better price than rice. they were packed into ships. these are their children, names and age unknown. and the price. that was a thing of supply and demand. tuesday, newy 5, orleans. 41 slaves sold to the highest bidder.
there was lewis, a black man, 32, a good field hand and laborer. shelley, 26. wesley. anderson, 24-year-old bricklayer and mason, who brought the day's price,ce, $2700 -- top $2700. it was the same in new amsterdam and a score of ports and inland cities. $2700 for a bricklayer. the women made good servants, but the babies could do nothing useful, not for a long time. sometimes they were not made part of the bargain. it was simply a matter of business -- or so they said. ♪
the peculiar institution was argued and debated, attacked and defended, but it was there. ♪ some streets were different. events might have happened differently. as those against slavery almost one in the beginning. by the end of the revolutionary war, it was acknowledged that slavery was not only immoral, it was economically unwise. you could not fire a slave. he had to be fed and clothed. the system was dying out. ♪ it might have died out completely, but for this man. he was not an evil man. his name was eli whitney. in 1793, he invented a device to separate cotton seeds from the fiber. it was brilliantly simple. now, a girl could do the work of men. 10 men could replace 100.
♪ and suddenly, almost cotton , became the main crop of the south. everywhere, cotton replacing rice and tobacco in sorghum. cotton, quickly baled for the endless boats that waited at towns.of river cotton at the mills of new whosed, hungry mills, hunger seemed to grow by what it fed on. windows on a stark, man-made landscape that seemed to stretch to the horizon. ♪ and those who apologized for slavery were called back, called back to draw pictures of how the word of god was given to a happy and well loved people. just picture an evening seen on the river. there is music and dancing, singing voices.
that was the idea. ♪ but this is closer to the reality. and this. and, if any tried to escape this. , in 1854, a new book appeared, cabin."om's it seems hopelessly old fashioned it now, uncle tom and eva in some forest but to its , generation, it came like an avenging bolt of lightning. president lincoln would meet the author, harriet beecher's toe, sister of henry ward beecher, who he called the little lady who started the war. we cannot summon back the sentiments it aroused. we can't know what it was like in a darkened theater to sit and watch a play unfold. but we almost can. in 1903, thomas edison made a
film of the play and it looked , like this. liza crosses the ice to freedom. ♪ now, the beating of uncle tom. the villain is simon lou correa, harsh overseer of the slaves. uncle tom, and here came the classic line that brought tears to a generation. "you may own my body, but my soul belongs to god."' -- belongs to god." and a change was coming. new york city. here, ed kuiper -- at cooper union a lovely brownstone , building that still exists, came a hint that the issue was moving toward a summer
-- toward its somber resolution. in the winter of 1860 came abraham lincoln, a politician from illinois, relatively unknown, and he wouldn't have been invited at all if horace greeley at the tribute hadn't -- at the tribune hadn't been dissatisfied with all the other republican leaders. mr. lincoln might have had something to say. he did. "wrong as we think slavery is, we can yet afford let it stay where it is. but will we allow it to spread in the national territory and overrun us here in the free states? if our sense of duty for bids this, then let us stand by our duty, and fearlessly and effectively. neither let us be slanted by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of disruption to the government. let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith let us to the end they are to do
our duty as we understand it." it doesn't seem like a very powerful statement, not now, not here, and not to us but it was , daring and dramatic in 1860. and suddenly everyone was talking about the lean man with the sad eyes who came to new york and spoke his piece. 100-year-old words that are still in an empty room. -- that echoes still in an empty room. ♪ there were hints of the conflict to come. this is harpers ferry in a place 1859, of no importance at all except for the presence of a government armory. and here came john brown. deep bearded. the plan was to capture arms and start a negro revolt, but it failed and brown was executed. "i, john brown, and certain the -- m certain that the crimes of this guilty land will not be purged away but with lot. that
with blood -- but with blood." it came first at a place called bull run. there would be more. a september night, 100 years ago,: maryland, pleasant but not that night. somewhere up ahead, many would die. 26,000 americans died, for each army about equal. still, the confederates had retreated and lincoln would call it a victory. he came to antietam to talk strategy with general mcclellan, but his thoughts were long and deep. now is the time. he spoke with his cabinet. stanton was against it. no, no. secretary seward, all of them doubted. -- all of them doubtful. and in single resolution and in loneliness, lincoln made the decision. but on the first day of january, 1863, all persons held as slaves
within any state or designated a part of the state, the people thereof shall then be in rebellion against the united then, shall be thenceforth and forever free. ,i further declare and make known that such persons of suitable condition will be received into the armed services of the united states. and if we must have a beginning, perhaps it is here. sale, this man. he is a soldier, bound to his status and his job. . here.s it began for men who dared to fight and there'd dream -- and it dared to dream, and now, for the first time, we really saw their faces. ♪ the proclamation of emancipated no slaves. lincoln had known it would not.
such a decree, he once said it, surely could not be more binding than the constitution, and that cannot be enforced in that part of the country now. the proclamation would free the slaves only after victory and peace. of august 6, 1864, must come to the powerful negotiations of generals grant and sherman. sherman, william tecumseh, red bearded and hot eyed and perhaps half mad, but seeing in a way that only perhaps half mad ducey. sherman realized hatred had become the driving force of the work. he accepted this. his name, he said was to rip the -- with the rebels, humble their pride, follow them to their inmost recesses and make them fear and dread us. he did. atlanta, georgia. sherman, first to realize technology had changed the classics of warfare, was the first to strike at the source of armed power instead of the armed power itself. precisely 99 years ago today he , battered his way into atlanta
and began the ruthless destruction of the city. all rail lines were ripped up. bonfires were bent at the ties and the rails were heated red-hot and twisted around trees to make hairpins. foundries were wrecked, smokestacks wrecked. the flames spread to an arsenal and night explosions thundered against flame reddened skies. when appealed to sherman , replied, war is cruel and you cannot refine it. when he rode out of the city, a of atlanta lay in ashes. third today, although atlanta has not really forgotten, it has changed. and with nbc's sandra van and atlanta constitution editor ralph mcgill, surveys the current city. >> atlanta began as early as 1819 with a group of negro and white people who established a commission dealing with
interracial problems. in 1938, ited and, was expanded in the southern regional council, with offices in all the southern states, but with headquarters here. this was a research organization. this sort of background made it persons for interested to take a look at the city. we like to think we played a part here in this newspaper, the atlanta constitution. we had a great deal of help, especially from mayor hartsfield, who was mayor for about 23 years. i remember bill coming to see us about 16 or 17 years ago. we began a campaign on the paper to help him put in negro police. up,old opposition came there will be blood in the streets. well, nothing happened.
it has been extraordinarily successful. we now have been promoted to officer status. three of them had a great deal to do with making this a better city, the police. now, we had a fine police and andl have him, herbert jenkins -- in herbert police, who trained his before the truman administration, to bring civil rights to the four. was traininghief his officers and patrolman in the rights of citizens. so i guess we have been a lucky city, but we have worked at it, and we have worked together at this, and we have not been unaware of the problem. >> you have lived with this problem for a long time.
atlanta, are the negro aspirations here a reflection of something going on in american society, or just the city? >> i think it is something in american society. looking at it across the span of about 35 years in the city, we were going along, making progress. indeed, we have done most of the things in atlanta before the great outbursts of sit ins and demonstrations, but it seemed to me that what happened in birmingham, alabama, the police dogs and several days of brutality there, and television enabling people all over this country to see what was going on, newspapers writing about it, this really seemed to me to change the pattern almost overnight.
lincoln's was in proclamation ending slavery that -- in every state in the union. it seemed the sparks fell on avery state in the union. this changed and what is opened up demands for civil rights in the north, east, and west. i think this is now a national, and we are part of it. we are lucky to get so well on the way, but now there is no question of the national involvement. after therly a decade supreme court ordered school segregation ended with all deliberate speed, the midstate witnessed and became accustomed to an annual autumnal rite, the enrollment of a few negro students in previously all-white schools, sometimes against the background of howling mobs, sometimes peacefully, but
americans felt the negro was making progress. it was not until this year that the illusion was shattered. most of us were battered by the new character of the struggle. schools were no longer the target. in baltimore, it was an amusement park. of all faiths were arrested joining negroes on segregated grounds. they were invoking the constitution itself. it negotiations no longer halted demonstrations. negro hadoticed, the spilled his cause into the streets, and the movement burst its sea and became a revolutionms. it happened in alabama and was recorded by richard. >> yesterday, water from high-pressure fire hoses sent
inroes reeling and sprawling this park a few miles from downtown birmingham. police used cars to break up negro mobs. of outburst came after days demonstration against racial discrimination in birmingham, the most segregated big-city in the south. the campaign was erected by the reverend martin luther king jr.. he made his headquarters at a neegro hotel. behind me, the baptist church. on good friday, i watched dr. king lead a long and segregation marked through this park. the police commissioner ordered his arrest. these men played at principal roles in the drama of birmingham in theed principal roles drama of birmingham.
>> we preach and practice the use of nonviolent direct action to achieve immediate progress on the middle road between extremism and complacency. o'connor, -- the campaign began with small-scale marches with -- which police generally using -- handled with distraint, but losing patients. -- patience.
students took to the streets by the hundreds. following dr. king's tactics of going to jail deliberately. unlike albany, the supply of recruits was unlimited. people,ngham, 350,000 40% of whom are negores. -- negroes. the demonstrations attracted huge crowds of adult onlookers. a supercharged atmosphere marked the racial antagonism. police turned hoses on police the angry crowd. police dogs were brought in. they had also been used against white crowds during freedom riots 10 years ago.
negroes threw rocks and bottles at the police. next five days, riots and near riots swept through this park. leaders of the birmingham movement joined foleys in an effort to calm the mob, to no event. but leaders insisted there would be no let up in the demonstrations. the demonstrators had aroused the long suppressed feelings of bitterness and frustrations among among the negro community. now the resentment came to the surface in a violent outbreak. in five days, about 2500 negroes were arrested. they filled the jails in dr. king called fulfillment of a dream. the head of the civil rights division of the justice
department, burke marshall, was called to birmingham to try to regenerate stalled negotiations behind the scenes. governor george wallace sent racial troopers to help subdue the situation. this settlement came may 10. the main points were desegregation of public facilities, better job opportunities and the creation , of a biracial committee. the demonstrations and the negro boycott of downtown birmingham, which cost businesses severe losses, was called off. but the trouble was not over. the atmosphere was thick with hatred. extremists thundered the city had been sold out. negotiators refused to make their names public. the day after the announcement, the negro hotel and the home of dr. king's mother were bombed. it was saturday night. the bombings provoked an enraged reaction. they went on a rightist rampage through a nonblack area, again bombarding police and firemen
with anything they could throw. negro leaders again called for order. the rioting remained unchecked into the early morning of mother's day. president kennedy ordered federal troops to bases near birmingham. the next morning, police sealed off a 28 block area, carrying shotguns and carbines. the next day, dr. king carried his message of nonviolence into a negro pool hall. the violence has not ended in birmingham, but these segregated departmentgregated stores downtown tear gas. are recently, the home of negro attorney was dynamited, . white fanatics are causing -- calling for physical resistance.
the city is determined to maintain order. birmingham's racial troubles have not yet run their course. the no longer police commissioner comments today on the american revolution. >> it is not a revolution. it is one phase in an agelong conflict. in every civilization, the ne'er-do-wells, the beatniks, join with some who are genuinely unfortunate and of limited capacity, and align themselves against the industrialists, able, and that paying people. sometimes this contest is bloody and quickly executed. of 1790,h revolution the communist coup in russia in 1918, and the chinese takeover in 1946. in the united states, this contest is being waged gradually at the ballot box.
originally, in our country, only freeholders and educated people could vote. began, andntest freeholder qualifications disappeared. poll taxes were eliminated. population, by the millions, is being poured into the ballot box. our country will not be ruled by its brains, but by its numbers, with those concerned primarily with being nursed by the government. the so-called negro movement is a takeover of our country by the and bygnorant, beatniks, misguided religionists and pleading hearts -- bleeding lookingand politicians to stay in office, not by reasoning, but by the most votes. 1963, the federal
government was still working behind the scenes to arrange or nurture the first hesitant or suspicious contacts between negro or white leaders -- and white leaders, looking to achieve solutions. during that same troubled spring, a truce was achieved with white political leaders in cambridge, maryland. name of the main street in cambridge, white street, symbolizes the gulf of egroes and whites in this community. campaign -- driven further apart racially. the demonstrations and the marylandbrought the national guard here in force to maintain order.
guardsmen still stand watch after deep racial wounds that have not yet healed. the desegregation campaign was organized by the so-called cambridge nonviolent action committee, with total integration as its goal, it was headed by gloria richardson a , militant leader. along the way, nonviolent actions too often became violent. the first explosion came in june after a long series of arrests, demonstrations, more demonstrations, arrest, broken promises, truces, stalled and negotiations and, charges of bad faith from both sides. rioting rocked the city june 11 following a negro march to protest against the sentencing of two youths to correction homes. -- two longer -- later days later, a group of counter protesters prevented from going into the negro neighborhood. a modified martial law including a nighttime curfew smothered the violent outbreaks. the next three weeks,
negotiations stalled while tensions smoldered. on july 8, the guard was pulled out, demonstrations resumed. a corner restaurant became one of the most improbable focal points of national attention when the owner smeared annealing demonstrator with raw agate. kneeling demonstrator with raw egg. afterwards, nbc reporter jack perkins talked with him. >> you saw yourself on television last monday night. we saw a very hateful man. are you that kind of man? >> i would say i am just an ordinary american who feels that he has a right to defend his livelihood. i hope it never happens again either.
i would rather go out of business to participate in anything like this again. >> violence flared again after a prayer meeting at the courthouse. shots were fired by snipers in the dark. the mood of the city was it her -- city was one of anger on both sides. >> they say that we keep begging. we ain't begging for nothing. we are telling them what is ours, right now. [crowd cheering] and we are letting them know that we ain't turning around. like that song jim saying we , will never turn back. >> they can come into town here, but no whites can go there. >> i will say it is all one-sided in the newspapers and the tv cameras pick one-sided pictures and only talk about what is going on on the other side of town.
if i painted myself black i , would be on tv every night. >> again, the curfew, stricter this time. >> demonstrations of all types are prohibited. all stores will be closed at 7:00 p.m. curfew at 9:00 p.m. >> please, obey the curfew. we will not demonstrate tonight or have a mass rally. we are meeting with the attorney general of the united states. please, obey the curfew. >> tear gas was used to break up another protest. even guardsmen became the targets of snipers. president kennedy rebuked the demonstrators for having lost sight of their objective. the governor appealed for a solution to satisfy what he
called legitimate please for equality. an agreement was announced in washington. it called for desegregation of public schools, a federal housing project, a negro at the employment office, and a concert crucial -- a controversial amendment providing for desegregation of public accommodations. the story is not yet over in cambridge. the amendment must go to a public referendum next month. whites outnumber the negro two to one. if the city offers no neernative, the groes may once again take to the streets. if there has been a positive side to the cambridge story it
, may be that other communities are influenced to find a more peaceful solution. narrator: some southern cities had found a delusion even -- found a solution even earlier. charlotte, north carolina had integrated hotels and motels, theaters, restaurants, buses, libraries, parks, swimming pools hospitals and churches. but cambridge and birmingham were more turbulent tributaries to a stream that was reaching flood tide by summer. president kennedy sent a catalog of civil rights proposals to congress in while across the june, country, negro leaders were being asked with frequency, what is it your people want? the answer depends on where you -- where the people are. the immediatee of goal is inference to end service by places doing business with the public. what might be called consumer rights. the most basic goals of the southern negro are the vote and education. in the north, the negro has consumer rights and the vote, but he joins in the demand for education.
then his goals reach beyond public benefits to private advancement -- jobs, housing. the north is often guilty of assuming moral superiority over the south because the north allows the negro public benefits, but when he attempts private advancement, the self-righteousness of the north is frequently exposed. it is evidenced everywhere. three times in 12 years, it has led to violence in chicago. the neighborhood where violence last took place is on chicago's south side, an area that has seen enlargement of the the negro population over the past 20 years. a line between blacks and whites that is called the wall runs between railroad tracks, which bound the community on the south and west. here resides a predominately lower middle-class population fiercely determined to maintain the present character of their neighborhood. it was in inglewood that the
riot took place. >> 30 apartments in the building, 14 of which were vacant. the land lord that landlord leased, rented the apartment to this negro family, and attention has gone to the area. groups have been gathering every night. there have been disturbances disorderly conduct. , police have been assaulted. and citizens. [emergency sirens] narrator: it was chicago's worst racial disturbance in more than a decade. why did it happen? strangely enough, the reasons are always the same -- distrust, unfamiliarity, fear, bigotry, often encouraged by profiteers. similar thoughts run through the minds of people all over the united states. [emergency sirens] >> it is something that goes to
your mind. happens to your feelings. of disillusionment that takes you and you wonder other people can be this way to other people. >> in this neighborhood, we do not stand for coloreds in this neighborhood. >> my husband has to work with them. my children have to go to school with them. but i don't say i have to live with them. >> they don't know me. there is no desire to know me. they saw, when my family came in, they looked at my skin and that was it. they don't know anything about me, and don't care to know. >> i graduated from the university of minnesota in education. i graduated from lincoln university in pennsylvania. i did my theological work at howard university and did
at a quakerk school in pennsylvania. >> it doesn't make any difference to me. >> i don't like it that they are moving here. i moved down here from new york to keep away from them. >> we made our commitment that -- commitment and we will stand by it. >> my daughter is 11 months old, i am 40. a strong commitment has been made. and we have a lot more freedom today than we did, but we have made our commitment to stay, and we will stay. >> the coloreds have been north of 99, and i know the value of our home depreciated then. this has been several years ago. the fact that they are now right in the neighborhood, i filled has decreased the value of our
home now. has decreased the value motorhome. i have lived here 14 years, and when i came over here, it was a real nice neighborhood, everything was clean, all the property kept up, everybody owned their own home. and everybody got along. until about one year ago, when they broke the block and the real estate man came in. >> immediately upon a nonwhite family moving in, all of the people are pestered every sunday morning, every saturday, by real estate men. do you want to sell? do you want to sell? >> all you have to do is stay where you are. it is a known fact that if you stay where you are you can't be , inundated. you can't be run over. >> we did not come here to take somebody out or make someone feel uncomfortable. i believe we will be as fine of -- fine as neighbors as anybody else.
>> in the summertime, we will be having colored people using the same pools as we are. >> this is in a matter of being educated, evidently. -- is not a matter of being educated, evidently. this is what i have believed for so long and have been taught, to be educated and be clean and so on. it isn't until the least of us is free that i am free, or for that matter any of us. as human beings, we cannot live in our country and be accepted as human beings and free citizens, so something is the matter with something. and it isn't me. narrator: it is permitted, even required of historians to find order in the most disordered human affairs. that is one reason why the history of a revolution shows it from the clearest of causes to the most inevitable resolution. -- conclusions. yet to time is distant
say that one goal stood above she others and that it attainment was certain. in clemson, south carolina, this year a personable young negro hardly caused a ripple when he entered the white school. contrast that with clinton, tennessee, where seven years ago, fanatic young white prompted riots and destruction when negro students entered. but education is not necessarily the primary goal. for some, it is a house in a white neighborhood, for others, a hamburger at a lunch counter. but there is remarkable unanimity on the philosophy shaping the revolution's method. originally -- originate with a frail and loincloth to gandhi in india, but a recluse in the new england town of concord. here in this rambling old house , fashioned to ward off cold, new england winters was born , henry david thoreau.
born in july 1870 in concord, massachusetts, a place already touched by history. the years would treat this house kindly, almost as if grateful for giving us this man. it still survives. walden pond was a short walk away and here, oddly enough, in this remote place haunted by winds and things that scurry about at night was born the idea of passive resistance. thoreau built a cabin here. you can find the site. it was 1845, but already concord was too crowded and he needed a place to think. he came here. the thoughts he thought and the words he wrote would sound one day in india, in birmingham, richmond, virginia, the campus of the university of mississippi. his study was stark, so too his words. unjust laws exist. shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to
amend them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? men generally under a government such as this think they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. they think that if they should resist, the remedy would you -- would be worse the in the -- worse than the evil. but it is the fault of the government that the remedy is worse than the evil. or this -- i have paid no poll tax for six years and was put into jail on this account one night and could not help but be struck by the foolishness of that institution which treated me as if i was mere flesh and bones to be locked up. i did not for a moment feel confined. i thought as if i alone among all my townspeople had paid my tax. ♪
it was all a long time ago. i house survives, some furniture, a simple headstone is modest and unpretentious as the man. ♪ even walden pond has changed. there is a public beach there now. of all the things that were there then, only this survives -- a dead tree. he might have brushed it in passing, or arrested for a moment in its shade, but ideas do not die, not strong ones. unjust laws exist. shall we be content to obey them, or shall we transgress them? listen, danville, virginia, 1963. >> we will defy. i have been arrested in danville five times.
i have been to jail before. i am willing to go to jail again. we will do everything possible to defy the injustice in the city of damo. i say to you we will defy this injunction. come in the military government occupying parts of louisiana was about to drop new election laws. wrote -- abraham like a within 16ggest -- years, lincoln was dead, negro es had been given the vote, whites who had aided the confederacy had been denied the vote. dominated the state legislatures. negroes were given the vote,
dominated northern legislatures and scalawags and southern whites helped negroes draw up new constitutions and southern states that they had to accept for readmission to the union. then, the ku klux klan was born. with violence and intimidation, they drove negroes from the legislatures and voting booths and within six years, whites regained the voting majority. thereafter and with supreme court acquiescence, the negro right to vote was whittled away. in the south today, only 28% of those eligible are registered. in mississippi, only 6%. in sunflower county, only 2%. the seat of sunflower county is doddsville. his name, george green. thebattleground, segregation areas in mississippi. his role, warrior and the voter registration campaign. -- in the voter registration campaign. >> negroes who are eligible to vote have been illegally denied registration. the only way to better your life, the lives of your children, is to go down to register to vote.
if you are not registered to vote, you are not a fully fledged citizen. you wouldn't care to vote? >> no. narrator: gains have been small, frustrations large. courage is not as contagious as fear. doddsville, neighboring sunflower county. less than 2% are registered, birthplace of the militant citizens council. now,ore than a year students from the student nonviolent coordinating committee have traveled the backcountry or moved through city streets. >> of this section is the negro section in greenwood. we have divided it in six areas and have been concentrating and -- in areas a and b.
area c is baptisttown. since we have been working especially in the town from the beginning, george and willie and fred and milton and i can go over to baptisttown and we can divide ourselves into other areas. these plantations are very -- are especially important because the people there are isolated and we have got to make sure that they are reached and get into the city to do the voting. >> are we subject to arrest? we could be arrested for trespassing. i think they would rather shoot us. narrator: last spring after three shootings, one that blasted george green, negroes organized protests. police and police dogs barred the way. newsreel film was confiscated and 11 marchers arrested. >> they can't stop us with a few dogs and a few bullets. when the dog sank his fangs into the reverend's ankle, he sank his fangs into my ankle too. narrator: comedian dickie
gregory joined march, was pushed around, told to leave town but never arrested. city officials finally stayed es,l sentences of a negro though the mayor later said they had no grounds for protest. >> there is no discrimination on them registering to vote. we have made no attempt to keep any of them from registering. that was clearly demonstrated before we had the trouble on the 27th of march. from the 15th of march -- on the first of march through the 24th, 280 made applications to register. on march 27, they had their first demonstration. claiming they were deprived of their privilege of registering to vote. i think that clearly demonstrates we were not trying to prevent them from registering because 280 registered in less than a month, or made application to register.
narrator: yet negro leaders have succeeded in getting few names into the registry books, only 50 out of 1500 applicants. but they expect to make substantial gains with the help -- gains eventually with government support. the justice department has brought 42 federal discrimination suits since 1961. 12 in mississippi. but the most ingenious, dramatic lawsuit was filed last spring by the naacp to enforce a long dormant provision of the united states constitution. section two of the 14th amendment, which would take a proportion of congressional seats away from any state that denies voting rights. this section has never been applied. the answer is still in the courts. last month, mississippi negroes tried a new legal move. they marched to the polls in the democratic primaries carrying ballots and affidavits declaring they had been illegally denied registration. it did not work. the state ruled the attempt illegal. but negro leaders say challenges will continue.
>> if it were up to me, i would lean toward having federal troops enforce the right to vote negroes in the south. the situation is that serious, the trickery is that complicated. the stubbornness of registrars and the resistance of traditional political machines are such that i believe federal troops ought to be called out to stand at every ballot oxen see -- ballot box to see that a negro citizen, 21 years of age or over who otherwise qualifies, is not denied his rights. narrator: but negro leaders do not want to depend on force at the polls, rather through by peaceful persuasion coming through legal action and the massive drive to educate the negro for registration. day by day, rally bilaterally -- rally by rally, county by county. >> it has got into the house of
the people live here, the hearts of the children. i see a great movement underway. you see frederick douglass tried to tell us a long time ago that this struggle is an attempt to save black men's bodies and white men's souls. narrator: senator james eastman, democrat of mississippi, filmed this statement specifically for this report. >> well of course, the whole thing is stirred up by a group of agitators. the negro in the south has economic equality and is well treated. now, i cannot speak of conditions in chicago or new york city. the push is for social equality, it's not for economic rights. as far as the south goes, there
is full economic equality. now, we sit in the deepest part of the deep south. property owners, businessmen,ro wealthy men. there is no discrimination against them at all. now, the demonstrations are to promote social equality. that's something that you can't legislate or you can't force. andarious advisors, negro wide, are offering advice on what should be the negro's primary objective. if you has broken the barrier at the point he selects, the rest of the barrier will collapse. what he has gained determines what he wants next, so while the
southern negro who hasates, the negro a job has half the income of that of whites. this is nbc's bob teague. union countye courthouse annex in elizabeth, new jersey. had been admitted to the trade union. haveeir reckoning, negroes a right to more jobs because dollars, outom tax of their pockets as well as those of whites. only one picket or was present, having been there all night long. he describes his makeshift bed as uncomfortable, but police called it unlawful. >> what made you decide to sleep here tonight? , we are striving
for equal rights. we are maturing, we are coming up in life, and i feel like we have one foot in the door now. >> eventually, other demonstrators began arriving in small groups. they grab their -- gathered at a nearby negro baptist church. for pickets, rally complete with songs and chants. they also told the demonstrators how to avoid trouble at all costs. once outside the church, it did not take long for things to get out of hand. [crowd shouting]
when you watch demonstrations like this one, number of questions come to mind about the ideas and emotions of the people involved. one way to look for the answers is to put yourself on the picket line. i guess the first thing is an you sense it and all the people around you. courage too. it may not be much, but it is a personal effort. is,strangest part about it everybody here keeps going. everyone of them must know, deep down, there is very little chance that what they want will be given anytime soon. it is something like swimming out to sea, no end in sight, no sign to tell you how much farther you have to go. so you just keep going.
hoping. at a time, sometime, aere, wise man will figure out a better way, an easier way of writing back i bet a lot of people here would like that. after a while, your feet start hurting. you get tired. you get bored. you start thinking about all the other places, all the other things you would rather be doing right now. but they say because they are part of something, maybe the most important something of their whole lives, that does not mean they are friends or even that they know each other. it goes deeper than that. i would say it is a kind of comesp, the kind that from staying in the same foxhole. come to think of it, this thing could be just as dangerous as a foxhole. another might break out at any moment.
suppose the guy next to you clubs a policeman. what would you do? suppose the policeman clubs you? there is no comfort in thinking about it. a you walk along, you pick up sense of determination, even stubbornness all around you, and you can tell that if trouble does come again, not one person will run away. the fight for more jobs is still going on in many cities, including brooklyn. toy march, sit, or lie down amplify their demands. chanting]
>> those demonstrations and others just like them have sparked action on a number of fronts. employment, some gains are being made through selective boycotts or buying campaigns. the economic boycott will soon replace demonstrations as the primary weapon in the fight. this threat has already led some business firms to go out of their way to put more negroes on the payroll. but despite charges of discrimination in reverse, some leaders say not nearly enough companies have adopted those policies. their reasoning is simple -- it takes money to obtain advantages such as higher education and better housing, which means that for millions of negroes denied an equal chance in the job market, the american dream is beyond reach. >> obviously, all of this is a matter of political concern, of a different kind of concern in
the south and the north, but a concern nonetheless. governor nelson rockefeller of new york is one who expresses that concern. >> new york state has been a leader among the states in barring discrimination. everybody has the right to vote, discrimination is barred in education and housing, public , employment, apprenticeship, and access to --. our problem now is primarily in employment. and puerto rican and other minority groups having the knighted -- necessary education training and opportunities to get them into these skilled positions where they have have trouble, both due to lack of training and due to discrimination. will progress be made? i think the unions and employers
are uniting to achieve this equality of opportunity for all in the state. >> nigro demonstrations -- negro demonstrations in the north have made it clear. a common goal of the revolution is the elimination of discrimination. several cities have been found guilty of segregating schools by twisting boundaries of school districts, a far more common condition is the schools that is predominantly negro because the district is predominantly negro, and this because the housing in that district is all the negro parents can afford. as englewood schools open for the academic year of 1962-1963, lincoln elementary school, 95% negro, was picketed. a boycott left it almost empty. and important dormitories for the new york
metropolis seemed an ideal home nearlys 7000 negroes, one third of the population. there are palatial homes in the most exclusive sections, comfortable, middle-class homes are commonplace. negroes work for the city and private enterprise. all facilities are open to them. but there is a block -- the fourth ward. it is a slum, almost entirely negro. this creates the active segregation, and finally, some negroes decided to act. the various constitutions of these organizations -- so a group of us got together and after we got just about ready, we said, we needed someone to coordinate this movement. well, what we are trying to do with the englewood movement is to crystallize the complete
contempt and lack of respect which has more or less been shown towards negroes in suburban areas such as englewood. one thing that should also be --fect we clear, the white in the north is upset about the englewood movement, because this is the first time there will be an outcry, where the slice -- the negro is not the majority. send same liberals will $25 to desegregate in albania, georgia, but they will turn their back and call names. the gateway to new determination. [applause] >> and the time when the white orer structure could get one two negroes, a doctor or lawyer
or two, [inaudible] dealople say i wheel and and move in high-handed fashion. fair, who wants to play you take the token integration. you take the token freedom that goes with it. i wanted all, i want it now. not tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. when it comes, tomorrow i am going to fight for it. >> de facto segregation at lincoln school was officially ended. 70 other cities in 18 other states must still solve the problem. so far, we have seen the revolution is nationwide and a long time in the making. we have seen that it has five major objectives. equality for negroes in education, employment, housing, the vote, and in places doing
business. we have seen the fight is more for equal treatment, more for employment and housing in the north. and for education in all areas. israll, the negro challenging discrimination, whether sanctions by law are practiced in fact. we have seen that the north, while perfectly willing for the south to accept change and its social patterns, is often quite reluctant to accept change of its own. we have established the origins of the revolutions technique, to see we are about the methods employed by the negro to peacefully disobey. >> on september 2, 19 63, nbc news broadcast a program discussing the current state of the civil rights movement. 75 locationsm throughout the united states, it
includes appearances by well-known activists, scenes from historic civil rights events, and comments from integration opponents. up next, a 50-minute portion of sit incial covering the movement, the little rock school integration crisis, and other events. >> every revolution has its marching unit. the american revolution of 1963 forged it into a powerful weapon for unity and inspiration. [crowd chanting "freedom"] ♪ >> ♪ and go home to myd