The South and the Presidency

Archive Report

Threatened Southern Bolt Over Civil Rights

The threat of a southern bolt from President Truman in November as a result of his stand on civil rights legislation is now being taken with grim seriousness by national leaders of the Democratic party. Similar threats have frequently been made in previous presidential years but have blown over by election time. The present revolt has been gathering momentum steadily since early February and many southern leaders now seem too firmly committed to back down. The loss of the conservative southern vote, together with the defection of left-wing northern and western votes to Wallace's third party, would present an almost insuperable obstacle to the President's reelection.

The revolt was touched off when the President sent a special message to Congress, ...

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