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Congressman Lindsay Presses Kennedy on Civil Rights

Jan. 15, 1962 - Representative John V. Lindsay, Manhattan Republican, today wrote a letter to President Kennedy deploring “abandonment of solemn pledges” and urging issuance of an Executive Order on housing discrimination at once. When he was asked about the matter at his news conference today, the President said firmly that his Administration had made more progress on civil rights in the last 12 months than had been achieved in the previous 8 years. He noted that many more cases had been brought by the Justice Department to win Negro voting rights. And he pointed to action against segregation in travel facilities and to more Negro employees in the Federal Government. “So we are proceeding ahead in a way which will maintain a consensus,” the President said, “and which will advance this cause.” He did not indicate when he thought the housing order would be issued. But he said he was “fully conscious” of his campaign statements on the subject and did “plan to meet my responsibilities in regard to this matter.”

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