1956 March 27

Rev. Billy Graham Advises President Eisenhower to “Stay Out” of the Civil Rights Controversy


Rev. Billy Graham, a conservative Protestant minister from North Carolina, was just beginning to emerge as the unofficial “minister” to U.S. presidents. On this day, he advised President Dwight D. Eisenhower to “stay out” of the growing civil rights controversy. Eisenhower did not need much persuading, as he did not support the Supreme Court’s historic Brown v. Board of Education decision of May 17, 1954. (Eisenhower sent federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas, on September 25, 1957, to ensure the integration of Central High School, but he did so only because of the violent resistance to a lawful court order.)

Read the Graham-Ike Correspondence: http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/research/online_documents/civil_rights_eisenhower_administration.html

Read: Stephen Miller, Billy Graham and the Rise of the Republican South (2009)

Watch Billy Graham preach in 1958: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MirmwuqPeCQ

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