Back to Top

Truth

 

A Timeline of significant events by the Republican Party’s efforts to push for freedom and civil rights for African Americans and how those events have impacted Texas Politics:

  • Slavery was part of the birth of the United States of America in 1776.  Thomas Jefferson, 2nd President of the United States, author of the United States Declaration of Independence, and founder of the modern Democratic Party, fought to preserve slavery within the United States along with his party colleagues.

  • The Democrat Party adopted resolution after resolution to put “planks” in its national platform in support of slavery.

  • The Republican Party of the United States [also called the "Grand Old Party" (GOP)] was founded by anti-slavery activists in 1854.  It dominated politics nationally for most of the period from 1860 to 1932. Eighteen presidents have been Republicans with the first being Abraham Lincoln in 1860 and the latest being George W. Bush in 2000.

  • Republican President Abraham Lincoln issued an Executive Order called Emancipation Proclamation to abolish slavery in most of the United States, but news didn’t reach Texas until June 19, 1863.  This date became a day of celebration in Texas known as “Juneteenth.”  Juneteenth is a Texas state holiday and is celebrated by African Americans in other states.

 

The Emancipation Proclamation
January 1, 1863

By the President of the United States of America:

A Proclamation.

Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:

"That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.

That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any State, or the people thereof, shall on that day be, in good faith, represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State, and the people thereof, are not then in rebellion against the United States."

Now, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days, from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States, the following, to wit:

Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of New Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth[)], and which excepted parts, are for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.

And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defense; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.

And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-seventh.

By the President: ABRAHAM LINCOLN
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

 

-Timeline continued -

  • Because the Democrat Party denied African Americans their right to participate in the political process, the Republican Party of Texas emerged from a convention held in Houston, Texas on July 4, 1867.  There were 150 African American and 20 Anglo delegates who attended the convention. 
  • In that same year 1867, the Ku Klux Klan actively began to terrorize, lynch and kill both African Americans and Republicans citizens to discourage them from engaging in politics.
  • Texas Democrats engaged in bizarre gerrymandering to prevent elected African American members of the legislature from being re-elected.  When African American Republican legislator Robert L. Smith departed in 1897, no African American was elected in Texas until 1966, when the U.S. Supreme Court ordered Texas Democrats to redraw political districts.
  • The first faith-based program was proposed in the 1870’s by African American and Texas Republican Senator Mathew Gaines.
  • One of the early Texas African American Republican leaders was Rev. Jack Yates who designed and constructed the Antioch Baptist Church in downtown Houston, Texas.  It is one of the oldest Baptist Churches in Texas.  Rev. Yates and his colleagues built the historic Freeman’s Town in the historic 4th Ward in Houston.  It was one of the first residential developments in America for newly freed slaves.
  • When the Republicans gained control of the Texas Legislature in 1869, they established a system of free public schools to educate all the children of Texas – something Democrats had refused to do.
  • When Democrats regained control of Texas government in 1872, Democrat Governor Richard Coke’s election was described as “the restoration of white supremacy and Democratic rule.”
  • The Texas Democrats passed laws like the poll tax and literacy test requirements to prevent African Americans from voting.
  • In Washington D.C., Republican members of Congress continued to push for civil rights for African Americans.  The 13th Amendment abolishing slavery passed Congress on January 31, 1865 and ratified by the states on Dec 6, 1865.  100% of Republican members in both Houses supported it, but it could only get 23% support of the Democrat members.
  • Not a single Democrat member in the United States House or the Senate voted for the 14th Amendment declaring that former slaves were full citizens of the state in which they lived and therefore entitled to all the rights and privileges of any other citizen in that state.  It was ratified by the states on July 9, 1868.
  • The 15th Amendment was passed to prevent governments in the United States from denying the right to vote because of a citizen’s race, color or previous servitude.  It was ratified by the states on February 3, 1870.  Yet when it was voted on earlier, not a single one of the 56 Democrats in United States Congress voted for the 15th Amendment, the one that granted explicit voting rights to African Americans.
  • The first 42 African Americans elected to the Texas Legislature were all Republicans. 
  • The first African American members of the United States Congress were all Republicans.
  • Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower, first elected in 1952, was the first president to appoint an African American to an executive position on the White House staff.

 

 

  • The Supreme Court, led by a Republican Chief Justice, appointed by President Eisenhower, declared school segregation unconstitutional in its ruling, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas.
  • The day after the Court handed down its decision, President Eisenhower told District of Columbia officials to make Washington a model for the rest of the country in integrating black and white public school children
  • On September 3, 1957, the Democrat Governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus, used the National Guard to stop 9 black children from attending the local high school in Little Rock. Woodrow Mann, the reforming mayor of the city, disagreed with this decision and on 4th September telegraphed President Dwight Eisenhower and asked him to send federal troops to Little Rock.
  • On September 24, 1957, President Dwight Eisenhower, went on television and told the American people: "At a time when we face grave situations abroad because of the hatred that communism bears towards a system of government based on human rights, it would be difficult to exaggerate the harm that is being done to the prestige and influence and indeed to the safety of our nation and the world. Our enemies are gloating over this incident and using it everywhere to misrepresent our whole nation. We are portrayed as a violator of those standards which the peoples of the world united to proclaim in the Charter of the United Nations."
  • After trying for eighteen days to persuade Orval Faubus to obey the ruling of the Supreme Court, President Eisenhower decided to order paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division, to protect black children going to Little Rock Central High School. 

  • A higher percentage of Republican members of Congress voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 than did Democrats.
  • On August 8, 1969, Republican President Richard M. Nixon, signed Executive Order 11478, Equal Employment In The Federal government, to open up federal employment and contracting opportunities to African Americans.

 

Citation: Richard Nixon: "Executive Order 11478--Equal employment opportunity in the Federal Government," August 8, 1969. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=59072.


 

 

Under and by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and statutes of the United States, it is ordered as follows: 

Section 1. It is the policy of the Government of the United States to provide equal opportunity in Federal employment for all persons, to prohibit discrimination in employment because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap, or age, and to promote the full realization of equal employment opportunity through a continuing affirmative program in each executive department and agency. This policy of equal opportunity applies to and must be an integral part of every aspect of personnel policy and practice in the employment, development, advancement, and treatment of civilian employees of the Federal Government.

[Preamble deleted and sec. 1 amended by Executive Order 12106 of Dec. 28, 1978, 44 FR 1053, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 263]

Sec. 2. The head of each executive department and agency shall establish and maintain an affirmative program of equal employment opportunity for all civilian employees and applicants for employment within his jurisdiction in accordance with the policy set forth in section 1. It is the responsibility of each department and agency head, to the maximum extent possible, to provide sufficient resources to administer such a program in a positive and effective manner; assure that recruitment activities reach all sources of job candidates; utilize to the fullest extent the present skills of each employee; provide the maximum feasible opportunity to employees to enhance their skills so they may perform at their highest potential and advance in accordance with their abilities; provide training and advice to managers and supervisors to assure their understanding and implementation of the policy expressed in this Order; assure participation at the local level with other employers, schools, and public or private groups in cooperative efforts to improve community conditions which affect employability; and provide for a system within the department or agency for periodically evaluating the effectiveness with which the policy of this Order is being carried out.

Sec. 3. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission shall be responsible for directing and furthering the implementation of the policy of the Government of the United States to provide equal opportunity in Federal employment for all employees or applicants for employment (except with regard to aliens employed outside the limits of the United States) and to prohibit discrimination in employment because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap, or age.

[Sec. 3 amended by Executive Order 12106 of Dec. 28, 1978, 44 FR 1053, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 263]

Sec. 4. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, after consultation with all affected departments and agencies, shall issue such rules, regulations, orders, and instructions and request such information from the affected departments and agencies as it deems necessary and appropriate to carry out this Order.

[Sec. 4 amended by Executive Order 12106 of Dec. 28, 1978, 44 FR 1053, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 263]

Sec. 5. All departments and agencies shall cooperate with and assist the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the performance of its functions under this Order and shall furnish the Commission such reports and information as it may request. The head of each department or agency shall comply with rules, regulations, orders and instructions issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission pursuant to Section 4 of this Order.

[Sec. 5 amended by Executive Order 12106 of Dec. 28, 1978, 44 FR 1053, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 263]

Sec. 6. This Order applies (a) to military departments as defined in section 102 of title 5, United States Code, and executive agencies (other than the General Accounting Office) as defined in section 105 of title 5, United States Code, and to the employees thereof (including employees paid from non-appropriated funds), and (b) to those portions of the legislative and judicial branches of the Federal Government and of the Government of the District of Columbia having positions in the competitive service and to the employees in those positions. This Order does not apply to aliens employed outside the limits of the United States.

Sec. 7. Part I of Executive Order No. 11246 of September 24, 1965, and those parts of Executive Order No. 11375 of October 13, 1967, which apply to Federal employment, are hereby superseded.

Sec. 8. This Order shall be applicable to the United States Postal Service and to the Postal Rate Commission established by the Postal Reorganization Act of 1970.

[Sec. 8 added by Executive Order 11590 of Apr. 23, 1971, 36 FR 7831, 3 CFR, 1971-1975 Comp., p. 558]

Citation: Richard Nixon: "Executive Order 11478--Equal employment opportunity in the Federal Government," August 8, 1969. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=59072. 



  • On November 2, 1983, Republican President Ronald Reagan, sitting the Rose Garden, signed into law a bill authorizing the MLK Holiday in honor of slain American Civil Rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with widow Mrs. Coretta Scott King witnessing to the historic occasion.
  • President George W. Bush, elected in 2000, appointed African American General Colin Powell as Secretary of State. 
o   President Bush also appointed the first African American National Security Advisor, Dr. Condoleeza Rice.

o   African American Dr. Rod Paige was appointed Secretary of Education.

o   President Bush appointed African American business man Alphonso Jackson, as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

  • In July 2003, President Bush named Randall Tobias to be Global AIDS Coordinator
  • President Bush spoke at Goree Island in Senegal, met with South African President Mbeki
  • President Bush commits the United States of America to a Global AIDS Initiative in Botswana. In his second term, President Bush appointed a Condoleeza Rice as the second African American Secretary of State.
  • The National Museum of African American History and Culture had a long struggle to procure a building site. This idea was first proposed in 1916.  Representative Mickey Leland (D-TX) helped advance the plan. In 1994, the House passed a bill approving the museum, but it was blocked in the Senate. After a continued push for a museum site, President George W. Bush declared "it is time" and signed a bill authorizing the museum on December 16, 2003. 
 

  • Texas Democrats have never elected an African American to a statewide office.
  • Texas Republicans have elected 3 African Americans to statewide office.  They are: 
    • Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson.
    • Supreme Court Justice Dale Wainwright
    • Railroad Commission Chairman Michael Williams.

Texas Governor Rick Perry announces the appointment of Justice Wallace Jefferson as the first African American Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court in 2004

  • In June of 2008, Texas Democrats rejected the bid of an African American woman to lead their party. 

  • In June of 2008, Texas Republicans re-elected Dr. Robin Armstrong, an African American physician as Vice Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas. 

  • In 2012, Dr. Armstrong was elected Texas National Committeeman to the Republican National Committee.

 

 
 


Texas Federation for Republican Outreach
Powered by CampaignPartner.com - Political Websites