The Congress: The Corkscrew Compromise

No section of Lyndon Johnson's 1966 Civil Rights Bill has raised more of a ruckus than Title IV, the wide-ranging ban on racial discrimination in the sale or rental of housing. One reason is that civil rights bills have never previously hit Northerners so close to home. From the moment it was drafted, a powerful coalition of builders, real estate men and politicians of all persuasions objected to the housing measure, and Southern civil rights foes viewed their discomfiture with undisguised glee. "For the first time," chortled North Carolina's Democratic Senator Sam Ervin, "we have a bill which proposes...

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