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/

Find a Day

Abortion Rights ACLU african-americans Alice Paul anti-communism Anti-Communist Hysteria Birth Control Brown v. Board of Education Censorship CIA Civil Rights Civil Rights Act of 1964 Cold War Espionage Act FBI First Amendment Fourteenth Amendment freedom of speech Free Speech Gay Rights Hate Speech homosexuality Hoover, J. Edgar HUAC Japanese American Internment King, Dr. Martin Luther Ku Klux Klan Labor Unions Lesbian and Gay Rights Loyalty Oaths McCarthy, Sen. Joe New York Times Obscenity Police Misconduct Same-Sex Marriage Separation of Church and State Sex Discrimination Smith Act Spying Spying on Americans Vietnam War Voting Rights Voting Rights Act of 1965 War on Terror Watergate White House Women's Rights Women's Suffrage World War I World War II Relocation Camps


Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear your comments, criticisms and suggestions!