From the Award-Winning Author of 1920: The Year of the Six Presidents
Comparison of 1948
Civil Rights Party Platform Planks

1948 Democratic Party Civil Rights Plank (original proposal)

    "The Democratic party is responsible for the great civil
    rights gains made in recent years in eliminating unfair
    and illegal discrimination based on race, creed, or color.

    “The Democratic Party commits itself to continuing its
    efforts to eradicate all racial, religious, and economic
    discrimination. We again state our belief that racial and
    religious minorities must have the right to live, the right
    to work, the right to vote, the full and equal protection
    of the law, on a basis of equality with all citizens as
    guaranteed by the Constitution. We again call upon the
    Congress to exert its full authority to the limit of its
    constitutional powers to assure and protect these
    rights.”

1948 Democratic Party Civil Rights Plank
(Southern alternative; defeated 925-309)

    The Democratic Party stands for the principles that the
    Constitution contemplated and established a union of
    indestructible sovereign states and that under the
    Constitution the general Federal Government and the
    separate States have their separate fields of power and
    permitted activities.

    Traditionally it has been, and it remains a part of the
    faith of the Democratic Party that the Federal
    Government shall not encroach upon the reserved
    powers of the States by centralization of government or
    otherwise. Within the reserve powers of the States, to
    be exercised subject to the limitations imposed by the
    Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the
    Constitution on the manner of their exercise, is the
    power to regulate and control local affairs and act in the
    exercise of the police power.


1948 Democratic Civil Rights Plank
(Hubert Humphrey proposal; adopted 651 ½ - 582 ½)

    The Democratic Party is responsible for the great civil
    rights gains made in recent years in eliminating unfair
    and illegal discrimination based on race, creed or color,

    The Democratic Party commits itself to continuing its
    efforts to eradicate all racial, religious and economic
    discrimination.

    We again state our belief that racial and religious
    minorities must have the right to live, the right to work,
    the right to vote, the full and equal protection of the
    laws, on a basis of equality with all citizens as
    guaranteed by the Constitution.

    We highly commend President Harry S. Truman for his
    courageous stand on the issue of civil rights.

    We call upon the Congress to support our President in
    guaranteeing these basic and fundamental American
    Principles: (1) the right of full and equal political
    participation; (2) the right to equal opportunity of
    employment; (3) the right of security of person; (4) and
    the right of equal treatment in the service and defense
    of our nation.

1948 Progressive Party Civil Rights Plank

    End Discrimination
    The Progressive Party condemns segregation and
    discrimination in all its forms and in all places.
    We demand full equality for the Negro people, the
    Jewish people, Spanish-speaking Americans, Italian
    Americans, Japanese Americans, and all Other
    nationality groups.
    We call for a Presidential proclamation ending
    segregation and all forms of discrimination in the armed
    services and Federal employment.
    We demand Federal anti-lynch, anti-discrimination, and
    fair-employment-practices legislation, and legislation
    abolishing segregation in interstate travel.
    We call for immediate passage of anti-poll tax
    legislation, enactment of a universal suffrage law to
    permit all citizens to vote in Federal elections, and the
    full use of Federal enforcement powers to assure free
    exercise of the right to franchise.
    We call for a Civil Rights Act for the District of Columbia
    to eliminate racial segregation and discrimination in the
    nation's capital.
    We demand the ending of segregation and
    discrimination in the Panama Canal Zone and all
    territories, possessions and trusteeships.
    We demand that Indians, the earliest Americans, be
    given full citizenship rights without loss of reservation
    rights and be permitted to administer their own affairs.
    We will develop special programs to raise the low
    standards of health, housing, and educational facilities
    for Negroes, Indians and nationality groups, and will
    deny Federal funds to any state or local authority which
    withholds opportunities or benefits for reasons of race,
    creed, color, sex or national origin.
    We will initiate a Federal program of education, in
    cooperation with state, local, and private agencies to
    combat racial and religious prejudice.
    We support the enactment of legislation making it a
    Federal crime to disseminate anti-Semitic, anti-Negro,
    and all racist propaganda by mail, radio, motion picture
    or other means of communication.
    We call for a Constitutional amendment which will
    effectively prohibit every form of discrimination against
    women—economic, educational, legal, and political.
    We pledge to respect the freedom of conscience of
    sincere conscientious objectors to war. We demand
    amnesty for conscientious objectors imprisoned in
    World War II.


1948 Republican Civil Rights Plank:

    Lynching or any other form of mob violence anywhere is
    a disgrace to any civilized state, and we favor the
    prompt enactment of legislation to end this infamy.

    One of the basic principles of this Republic is the
    equality of all individuals in their right to life, liberty, and
    the pursuit of happiness. This principle is enunciated in
    the Declaration of Independence and embodied in the
    Constitution of the United States; it was vindicated on
    the field of battle and became the cornerstone of this
    Republic. This right of equal opportunity to work and to
    advance in life should never be limited in any individual
    because of race, religion, color, or country of origin. We
    favor the enactment and just enforcement of such
    Federal legislation as may be necessary to maintain this
    right at all times in every part of this Republic.

    We favor the abolition of the poll tax as a requisite to
    voting.

    We are opposed to the idea of racial segregation in the
    armed services of the United States.

1948 Socialist Party Civil Rights Plank

    7. Establish Racial Equality
    Democracy cannot tolerate two classes of citizenship.
    Complete political economic and social equality,
    regardless of race, religion or national origin must be
    established.

    a. Segregation must be abolished in the armed forces, in
    all public institutions and in housing.

    b. Legislation for a Fair Employment Practices
    Committee, long overdue, should be passed.

    c. Anti-lynching legislation must be enacted to wipe out
    the worst blot on the American scene.

    d. Naturalization rights should be granted to Japanese
    immigrants who have demonstrated their loyalty, and
    indemnification should be given to Japanese immigrants
    and their American descend¬ants who suffered property
    losses because of government policy during World War
    II.

    e. All forms of discriminating barriers against
    immigration on grounds of race, color or national origin
    must be abolished.

    f. Guarantee the right to vote to many citizens now
    robbed of suffrage. The 14th Amendment of the
    Constitution, depriving states of representation in
    Congress in proportion to the number of citizens
    deprived of the right to vote by virtue of race, color, or
    previous condition of servitude, should be promptly
    enforced.


1948 Socialist Workers Party Civil Rights Plank

    4. rights of minority croups
    Smash the Jim Crow system! Full economic, political
    and social equality for the Negro people and other
    minorities! Pass and enforce legislation to punish
    lynching, abolish the poll tax, establish a Fair
    Employment Practices Committee with power to root out
    discriminatory practices, eliminate segregation wherever
    it exists! Combat anti-Semitism in all its forms! Wipe out
    discriminatory immigration policies and open the doors
    of the U.S. to refugees! Unite the workers of all races
    for the common struggle against their exploiters!


1948 States Rights Democratic Party Civil Rights Plank

    We stand for the segregation of the races and the racial
    integrity of each race; the constitutional right to choose
    one's associates; to accept private employment without
    governmental interference, and to earn one's living in
    any lawful way. We oppose the elimination of
    segregation, the repeal of miscegenation statutes, the
    control of private employment by Federal bureaucrats
    called for by the misnamed civil rights program. We
    favor home-rule, local self-government and a minimum
    interference with individual rights.

    - 5 -

    We oppose and condemn the action of the Democratic
    Convention in sponsoring a civil rights program calling
    for the elimination of segregation, social equality by
    Federal fiat, regulations of private employment
    practices, voting, and local law enforcement.

    - 6 -

    We affirm that the effective enforcement of such a
    program would be utterly destructive of the social,
    economic and political life of the Southern people, and
    of other localities in which there may be differences in
    race, creed or national origin in appreciable numbers.