1956 February 16

“Powell Amendment” Blocks Federal Education Bill Over Segregation Issue

 

Rep. Adam Clayton Powell, a Democrat from Harlem, New York, and the most vigorous civil rights advocate in Congress in the 1950s, helped to block a bill that provided federal aid to local schools on this day. He did so with an amendment, which became known as the “Powell Amendment,” that would deny funds to schools that were racially segregated. Powell repeatedly blocked federal aid to education legislation from the time of the Brown v. Board of Education decision on May 17, 1954, until the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.

Rep. Powell also temporarily blocked the expansion of the National Guard on June 23, 1955 in a challenge to state National Guard units that were racially segregated in southern states.

 

Learn more about Powell: Wil Haygood, King of the Cats: The Life and Times of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. (1993)

Watch a documentary on Powell: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XJAUVwm92Q

Learn more about Powell: http://www.adamclaytonpowell.com/

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