Republicans and Civil Rights


Tomi Olson, Candidate For State Representative in the 24th Middlesex, is out to correct the record. She’s using her website ( to inform voters about unmatched Republican record of supporting Civil Rights and Individual Liberty.


  Republican Party Leading The Charge For Civil Rights Since 1854


    Over 150 Years Republican — A Proud Legacy of Inclusion:

Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican President was elected in 1860. Most all of us who know any history, know the President Lincoln issued “The Emancipation Proclamation,” which freed the slaves in the 10 rebelling States. But unfortunately most of us don’t know the detailed history of the Republican Party’s dedication to the intrinsic dignity, equality, civil rights, and liberty of each individual person. Not because we belong to a particular race, creed, color, or gender, but because we are all human beings “endowed by [our] creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Rooted in this core belief, the Republican Party has consistently supported and spearheaded the cause of civil rights for all individuals. Indeed, the Republican Party has an unmatched history and legacy of Inclusion

In July of 1854 a group of men came to together in Jackson Michigan and formed the Republican Party. These men who came from an assortment of “splinter parties” rallied around the notion that national interests took precedent over special interest.  In addition they were all united in the belief that slavery had to be abolished. The first national platform adopted in 1856 to a strong position opposing the view that Congress had the right to recognize slavery in a territory. Likewise this New Republican Party held that Congress should act to abolish slavery in the territories.

   Significant  Historical Events In American Civil Rights History:

  • 13th Amendment Freeing all the slaves, was passed by a Republican Congress, with unanimous opposition of the Democrats.
  • 14th Amendment granting citizenship for former slaves and granting equal protection under by a Republican Congress, with unanimous opposition of the Democrats
  • 15th Amendment, giving former slaves voting rights was passed by a Republican Congress, with near with unanimous opposition of the Democrats.
  • The First Hispanic Governor was a Republican— Romualdo Pacheco (elected 1875)
  • Republicans Established Howard University for African Americans
  • The First African-American Senator was a Republican— Hiram Revels
  • Republicans Outlawed the Ku Klux Klan – The 1871 Civil Rights Act passed by a Republican Congress, was aimed at the KKK. It crushed them and they did not rise again until the Democrat Administration of Woodrow Wilson.
  • Republicans Passed the 1875 Civil Rights Act— Massachusetts Republican Senator Charles Sumner the original sponsor of the bill rallied support from his deathbed. Again a Republican Congress passed this law that banned discrimination in all public facilities. The Law was eventually struck down by SCOTUS.  And it was not until 1964 that Congress was able to pass these protections again.
  • A Former Slave Chaired the 1884 Republican National Convention— former congressman, John Lynch
  • A Republican Wrote the 19th Amendment—This Amendment granted women the right to vote. Republican Senator Aaron Sargent authored it in 1878. For 4 decades the strongest opposition came from Democrats. And it was not until 1919, when a Republican Congress finally able to pass it.
  • First Women Mayors in the United States— in 1887, Republican Susanna Salter was elected mayor of Argonia Kansas.  Republican Bertha Landes was elected the first woman mayor of a major U.S. City (Seattle) in   1926.
  • First Woman elected to Congress — Republican Jeanette Rankin Of Montana was the first woman elected to the House of Representatives in 1917.
  • A Republican President Appointed the First Jewish Cabinet Secretary— In 1906 Republican President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt appointed Oscar Straus Secretary of Commerce and Labor.
  • Republicans Passed the Indian Citizenship Act— In 1924, Republican President Calvin Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act, granting citizenship to all Native Americans. It was passed by a Republican Congress.  Republican Senate Majority Whip, Charles Curtis, whose mother was Native American, when on to become the Vice President in 1928.
  • The First Hispanic U.S. Senator was a Republican— Octaviano Larrazolo New Mexico (1928).
  • The First Asian-American U.S. Senator was a Republican— Hiram Fong Hawaii  (1959).
  • The Republican Party First Called for Ending Racial Segregation in the Military— The 1940 Republican National Convention Platform stated: “Discrimination in the civil service, the army, navy, and all other branches of the Government must cease.” Democrat Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and later Harry Truman refused to integrate the military. Finally in 1948 Truman acquiesced.
  • A Republican Wrote the Brown v. Board of Education decision — Republican President Dwight Eisenhower appointed Republican Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, who wrote the Brown v Board of Education decision.
  • Republicans Passed the 1957 Civil Rights Act— Republican President Dwight Eisenhower’s Attorney General wrote this legislation and it was passed in spite of a Democrat lead filibuster.
  • The Republican’s sponsored the 1960 Civil Rights Act.
  • The 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed only because the Republican Senate Minority Leader Everett McKinley Dirksen rallied his fellow Republicans to break the Democrat lead filibusterer. This legislation finally accomplished the goals of the 1875 Civil Rights Act, which the Republicans had passed but was struck down by SCOTUS.
  • The 1965 Voting Rights Act — As was the case with the 1964 Civil Rights Act, it took the Republicans to overcome a Democrat Lead Filibuster to pass this legislation. On final vote 94% of the Republican but only 27% of Democrat Senators supported this law.
  • Republican lead the effort to ensure those who reached 18 yrs of age could vote — In 1954 Republican Dwight Eisenhower became the first President to publicly support allowing 18 year old citizens to vote. In 1971 Republican President Richard Nixon signed the extension of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. This included a provision requiring all states to allow 18 year olds to vote. This was provision was found to be Unconstitutional by the Court. This lead to the passage of the 26th Amendment in 1971.
  • First woman on the Supreme Court — Ronald Reagan appointed Sandra Day O’Connor the first woman Supreme Court Justice.
  • Republican support for higher education for African Americans — In 1981, Republican President Ronald Reagan establishes the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  • Extension of 1965 Voting Rights Acts  — Signed in to law by Ronald Reagan in 1982.
  • Civil Liberties Act of 1988— President Ronald Reagan sign this legislation which compensated Japanese-Americans for their illegal internment by Democrat President FDR during World War II.
  • Civil Rights Act 1991 — Republican President George H.W. Bush signs this legislation intended to strengthen Civil Rights Laws.
  • First African American Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — George H.W. Bush appointed Collin Powell Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. This is the highest position in the United States Military.
  • The First African-American Secretary of State — Republican President George W. Bush appointed the Collin Powell, the first African-American Secretary of State. This is highest Cabinet post, at the time making Republican Colin Powell, the highest-ranking Executive Branch Government Official.
  • First African American and First Woman National Security Advisor — In 2000 President George W. Bush appointed Condoleezza Rice as National Security Advisor.
  • First African American Woman Secretary of State— In 2005 George W. Bush appoints Condoleezza Rica the first African-American Woman as Secretary of State.
  • First Latino Attorney General — In 2005 George W. Bush appointed Alberto Gonzales as the first Latino Attorney General.

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