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That Work-Relief Bill

Article by Lester B. Granger, Executive Director, Los Angeles Chapter National Urban League. “Dismay is the first reaction which thoughtful Negroes will register toward this program-not so much because of what it plans, but because of what it fails to plan”

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Fugitive Slave Act of 1850

Of all the bills that made up the Compromise of 1850, the Fugitive Slave Act was the most controversial. It required citizens to assist in the recovery of fugitive slaves. It denied a fugitive’s right to a jury trial. The act called for changes in filing for a claim, making the process easier for slave-owners. Also, according to the act, there would be more federal officials responsible for enforcing the law.

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Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)

Written by Stephen Jager, independent historian. Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) was the Supreme Court decision that judicially validated state sponsored segregation in public facilities by its creation and endorsement of the “separate but equal” doctrine.

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Civil Rights Act of 1875

“Senator Charles Sumner introduced the Civil Rights Act in 1870… The bill guaranteed all citizens, regardless of color, access to accommodations, theatres, public schools, churches, and cemeteries. The bill further forbid the barring of any person from jury service on account of race, and provided that all lawsuits brought under the new law would be tried in federal, not state, courts.”

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Civil Rights Act of 1964

In the 1960s, Americans who knew only the potential of “equal protection of the laws” expected the president, the Congress, and the courts to fulfill the promise of the 14th Amendment. In response, all three branches of the federal government–as well as the public at large–debated a fundamental constitutional question: Does the Constitution’s prohibition of denying equal protection always ban the use of racial, ethnic, or gender criteria in an attempt to bring social justice and social benefits?

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Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938

Written by Jonathan Grossman. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 applied to industries whose combined employment represented only about one-fifth of the labor force. In these industries, it banned oppressive child labor and set the minimum hourly wage at 25 cents, and the maximum workweek at 44 hours.

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Organization of Municipal Charities and Corrections (1916)

Paper presented by L. A. Halbert, General Superintendent, Board of Public Welfare of Kansas City, Missouri
at the National Conference Of Charities And Correction Held In Indianapolis, 1916. “If we were able to ascertain the activities of all incorporated towns and cities, it would show a tremendous volume of activity and an expenditure of many millions of dollars.”

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The New Governmental Interest in the Arts

Eleanor Roosevelt’s speech before the Twenty-Fifth Annual Convention of the American Federation of Artists in 1934. “Go ahead and make this thing as beautiful as you can make it…make of this thing something that really was the expression of a “love”–a piece of work that was done because he loved to do it.”

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Lasting Values of the WPA

Written by Ellen Woodward, WPA Assistant Administrator in charge of the Division of Women’s and Professional Projects. “No one can better appreciate the lasting values of the work relief program than we women, for its results affect primarily that which is closest to our hearts–the home.”

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