Monthly Archive for September, 2012

Remembering the Committee on Urban Conditions Among Negroes

On September 29, 1910—102 years ago today—a coalition of progressive whites and African Americans founded the Committee on Urban Conditions Among Negroes. One year later, this Committee would merge with other social welfare organizations to form the National League on Urban Conditions Among Negroes, which would soon become the National Urban League.

In the League’s first annual report, leaders listed three goals:

“a. To promote and to do constructive and preventative social work for improving the social and economic conditions among negroes in urban centers.

“b. To bring about coordination and cooperation among existing agencies where necessary.

“c. To secure and to train negro social workers.”

To help train future social workers, the League established relations with Fisk University and Columbia University.

Throughout the following decades, the National Urban League provided educational and employment opportunities and counseled African Americans who migrated from the South. The organization grew quickly, with staff in 30 cities by the end of World War I, and became a major force in the civil rights movement.

The League, led by former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial, continues today to fight for civil rights in areas of life ranging from economic empowerment to civic engagement.

To view minutes from the Committee’s first meeting, check out this link from the Library of Congress. To learn about the National League on Urban Conditions Among Negroes’ first annual report (January 1912), check out this New York Times article.

To learn more about the National Urban League, check out this page from PBS or this informational document from the organization. The League’s website also provides a helpful summary of its history and mission.

To learn more about the League’s early work, check out Touré Reed’s Not Alms but Opportunity: The Urban League and the Politics of Racial Uplift, 1910-1950 (UNC Press 2008) and Felix Armfield’s Eugene Kinckle Jones: The National Urban League and Black Social Work, 1910-1940 (University of Illinois Press 2012).

To learn more about African American migration to the North, check out Nicholas Lemann’s The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration and How It Changed America (Anchor 1992).

To learn more about Progressive Era reforms in New York, check out John Louis Recchiuti’s Civic Engagement: Social Science and Progressive-Era Reform in New York City (University of Pennsylvania Press 2006).

Executive Order 11246 and Affirmative Action

On September 24, 1965—47 years ago today—President Lyndon B. Johnson issued Executive Order 11246, prohibiting employment discrimination and requiring contractors to take affirmative action.

The fight for equal employment opportunity had been ongoing. In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802, banning discrimination in defense industries and creating the Fair Employment Practices Committee. President Dwight Eisenhower in 1953 through Executive Order 10479 created a committee to monitor compliance with equal employment opportunity programs. Then, in 1961, President John F. Kennedy’s Executive Order 10925 required government contractors to “take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin.”

Now, years later, Executive Order 11246 broadened this order, prohibiting employment discrimination on four grounds: race, color, religion, and national origin. (Two years later, President Johnson would add sex to this list.)

The Order states, in part:

The contractor will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The contractor will take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment without regard to their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

It included provisions for multiple areas, such as employment, upgrading, demotion, transfer, recruitment, compensation, and more. The Order required government contractors to “take affirmative action” toward prospective minority employees in all aspects of hiring and employment.

News articles published soon after the signing described Johnson’s efforts as a revamping of civil rights programs.

Today, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) within the U.S. Department of Labor ensures that government contractors comply with these provisions. (To learn more about how this works, check out the Department of Labor’s website.)

For more information, check out this page from the Department of Labor. To read the full text, click here or click here.

For a comprehensive list of related laws, check out this page from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

To learn more about the history of affirmative action, check out this page from UC Irvine’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity. Detailed studies can be found in J. Edward Kellough’s Understanding Affirmative Action: Politics, Discrimination, and the Search for Justice (Georgetown University Press 2006) and Terry H. Anderson’s The Pursuit of Fairness: A History of Affirmative Action (Oxford University Press 2005).

Affirmative action—not only in employment but also in school acceptances and other such arenas—is still debated today. For a discussion of the affirmative action debate, check out Faye Crosby and Cheryl VanDeVeer’s edited volume Sex, Race, and Merit: Debating Affirmative Action in Education and Employment (University of Michigan Press 2000).

To learn more about President Johnson, check out Robert Caro’s The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power (Knopf 2012).

To learn about President Johnson’s relationship with the civil rights movement, check out David Carter’s The Music Has Gone Out of the Movement: Civil Rights and the Johnson Administration, 1965-1968 (UNC Press 2009).

On This Day: The ICC and Interstate Transportation Desegregation

On September 22, 1961—51 years ago today—the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), at Robert Kennedy’s insistence, ordered an end to segregation on interstate transportation and within transportation facilities.

The Commission’s new rules, which were set to become effective on November 1, 1961, followed years of anti-segregation demonstrations, perhaps most notably by the Freedom Riders who risked verbal and physical attacks to challenge Jim Crow laws. Although individuals and groups had challenged segregation for decades, the Freedom Rides officially began in May 1961, and were heavily reported by national and international media.

Robert Kennedy, who had sought protection for Freedom Riders, asked the Interstate Commerce Commission on May 30 to end bus segregation. In mid-August, the Justice Department urged the Commission to back these plans, and on September 23, the ICC announced the new rules, which prohibited segregation in interstate travel and required interstate buses to post signs reading “Seating aboard this vehicle is without regard to race, color, creed or national origin by order of the Interstate Commerce Commission.”

The new rules certainly represented a great victory; however, questions remained over whether transportation officials would actually follow them. Civil rights activists from groups like the NAACP and CORE put enforcement to the test, traveling through many Southern states. They found that some areas were fully compliant with the new rules, while others—especially in Mississippi and Alabama—resisted them.

Ultimately, federal court rulings proved necessary (see, for example, a ruling by a federal court voiding three Mississippi segregation laws). However, the ICC ruling represented a significant step in the fight against segregation, and a milestone in the broader civil rights movement.

To learn more, check out this page from the Federal Highway Administration. To read the regulations, click here.

To read an article from the Crisis, click here.

To read about the Freedom Rides, check out this blog post and also Raymond Arsenault’s Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice (Oxford University Press 2007).  A documentary film on the freedom riders is available via PBS.

To learn more about protests against transportation discrimination, check out Blair Kelley’s Right to Ride: Streetcar Boycotts and African American Citizenship in the Era of Plessy v. Ferguson (UNC Press 2010).

To learn more about Robert Kennedy, check out this page from Stanford University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute.

On This Day: The Atlanta Race Riot

On September 22, 1906—106 years ago today—Atlanta, Georgia, dissolved into horrifying and unrestrained violence which after a few days would leave dozens of African Americans dead and many more wounded.

Although Atlanta had developed a reputation for relative racial harmony, extensive population growth over the previous two decades led to competition and tension between whites and African Americans. White supremacists instituted Jim Crow laws to keep the races segregated both in public accommodations and in residential neighborhoods.

As publicity abounded in the months leading up to the 1906 gubernatorial election, racial tensions flared between those advocating African American disfranchisement and those pushing for equality. White supremacists used the media as a vehicle of racial hatred, spreading lies about African Americans—especially rumors about African American violence against whites.

Thus it perhaps was not surprising that after rumors raged of four alleged sexual assaults by African American men on white women, white mobs hit the streets on the night of September 22, beating hundreds of African Americans and destroying their businesses.

State militia and police officers were called in, but were not immediately effective at quelling the violence. African Americans were forced to defend their homes and businesses, and many innocent African American individuals were killed.

On September 24, when police officers learned of a meeting of African Americans in a town just outside Atlanta, they raided the meeting, claiming fear of a counterattack. A shootout resulted in the death of one police officer; heavily armed militia arrested hundreds of African Americans.

Fearing the destruction of the city’s formerly positive reputation, local officials and public figures called for an end to the riot, beginning a dialogue with African American elites.

Estimates show that as many as 10,000 whites rioted against African Americans, leaving at least 25 African Americans dead—but most likely many more than that. The biracial meetings that developed as a result of the riot served as a model for white-African American relations.

Discussed in middle and high schools, the riot stands today—more than a century later—as a bitter reminder of the racial hostility and violence African Americans faced for decades.

To learn more, check out this summary from the New Georgia Encyclopedia, this page from PBS, and this article from NPR.

This article from the Atlanta Constitution demonstrates the blame white supremacists placed on African Americans. This New York Times article discusses the aftermath of the riot, stating that militia disarmed African Americans (most of whom, presumably, were armed simply to protect themselves and their families from white mob violence).

To learn more, check out David Godshalk’s Veiled Visions: The 1906 Atlanta Race Riot and the Reshaping of American Race Relations (UNC Press 2005), Gregory Mixon’s The Atlanta Riot: Race, Class, and Violence in a New South City (University Press of Florida 2005), and Rebecca Burns’ Rage in the Gate City: The Story of the 1906 Atlanta Race Riot (University of Georgia Press 2009).

To learn more about Atlanta’s race relations, check out Ronald Bayor’s Race and the Shaping of Twentieth-Century Atlanta (UNC Press 1996).

Walter White, who would serve as NAACP secretary for more than two decades, witnessed the riot as a 13-year-old child. He described the riot in his autobiography, A Man Called White. To learn more about White, check out Kenneth Janken’s Walter White: Mr. NAACP (UNC Press 2006).

“Blowout!” New Multimedia Book on the Way

Today the LCRM Project team finalized a file that we have been working on for a few months.  It contains 2.5 hours of audio and 1 hour of video in the form of 100 excerpts from archival sources—mostly interviews with 10 individuals, but also some film footage from 1968.  The file is our latest enhanced e-book, Blowout!  Sal Castro and the Struggle for Educational Justice by Mario García and Sal Castro.  The book is about the student walkouts in 1968 that started the Chicano rights movement.

Published in hardcover in 2011 by UNC Press, Blowout!  is an ideal candidate to become an enhanced e-book because it is based on oral-history interviews.  Sal Castro’s first-person narrative, as transcribed by Professor García of U.C. Santa Barbara from some 50 interview tapes, forms the central narrative.  In the print version, brief quotes from the students are interspersed throughout the book.  In the enhanced version, we were able to include much more of these interviews, transforming a one-person narrative into more of a multi-voiced production.

We have also included a number of documents.  A few standout items are J.F. Kennedy’s Los Angeles itinerary from the day he met with Castro only one week before he won the 1960 Presidential election, a telegram containing Senator Robert Kennedy’s endorsement of the students’ efforts, a page from a student newspaper expressing outrage at biased treatment by teachers and administrators, and materials given to students attending the Chicano Youth Leadership Conference (CYLC) in 1964, 1965, and 2004.  (When you read the book, you’ll understand how important this CYLC material was in helping to shape generations of Chicano leaders.) All told, these important items comprise 100 pages of documents and images that the reader can enlarge to see more detail. Earlier this afternoon, we sent the file to Professor García for checking on his iPad.  Official release of the enhanced e-book for iPhone and iPad via Amazon’s Kindle app, and for the Nook Color and Nook Tablet from Barnes & Noble, is scheduled for November.  Stay tuned! Once the enhanced e-book is available via Kindle, we will make a video demonstration, the way we did for Freedom’s Teacher.  

Here is the marketing blurb that will be made available shortly.  It is a bit long at 352 words because we could not quite contain our enthusiasm after working on this fascinating project! Continue reading ‘“Blowout!” New Multimedia Book on the Way’

On This Day: The Bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church

On September 15, 1963—49 years ago today—four young girls were killed by the blast of a KKK bomb while attending Sunday school at Birmingham’s Sixteenth Street Baptist church.

Racial tensions were already high in Birmingham, where only five days earlier federal intervention had forced public schools to finally comply with integration orders. After extensive demonstrations and protests (through, for example, the Birmingham Campaign and the Children’s Crusade), civil rights activists had finally begun to see progress. However, any hope engendered by successful desegregation efforts was crushed after Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley were killed.

The largest African American church in the city, the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church was known as the meeting place for prominent civil rights leaders. A white supremacist placed dynamite under the church; the explosion shortly before the 11 A.M. service injured 20 individuals and killed the four girls, three of whom were fourteen years old, and one of whom was eleven years old.

The murder of these young girls shocked and horrified citizens across the country. More than 8,000 people attended the funeral; Martin Luther King, Jr., gave the eulogy. As grief and anger fueled an increased push against racial discrimination and violence, the four children came to symbolize a painful chapter in America’s history.

The four young girls are remembered as innocent victims whose murder served as a catalyst for much-needed societal changes—changes which they unfortunately did not live to witness. When the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Memorial was formally dedicated last year, young actress Amandla Stenberg gave a speech in remembrance of these four girls, quoting Martin Luther King, Jr.’s statement that, “They didn’t live long lives, but they lived meaningful lives.” (To see Stenberg’s speech, fast-forward to 4:00 in this video.)

Despite public outrage, it would be more than 38 years before a conviction was handed down. Finally, on May 23, 2002, Bobby Frank Cherry was sentenced to life in prison for the murders. His appeal was denied and he died in prison.

To learn more about this horrific event, check out this page from NPR.

To view photographs of the destruction, check out this page from the Birmingham Post-Herald.

The Birmingham Public Library hosts an expansive digital collection focused on the bombing, complete with photographs, newspaper clippings, and other documents.

Carolyn McKinstry, a friend of the four girls and a witness to the bombing, wrote a book about it: While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age during the Civil Rights Movement (Tyndale House Publishers 2011).

For a photographic account designed for children, check out Larry Dane Brimner’s Birmingham Sunday (Boyd Mills Press 2010).

To read Martin Luther King, Jr.’s eulogy, check out this page from the King Center.

To read a collection of New York Times articles regarding the eventual conviction, click here.

For more on Birmingham’s significance in the civil rights struggle, check out Glenn Eskew’s But for Birmingham: The Local and National Movements in the Civil Rights Struggle (UNC Press 1997) and Horace Huntley and John W. McKerley’s edited oral history volume Foot Soldiers for Democracy: The Men, Women, and Children of the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement (University of Illinois Press 2009).

CCC progress update: W.C. George Papers and NCCU Faculty and Staff Photograph Records now online

Portions of two archival collections have been digitized by TRLN’s “Content, Context & Capacity” project: UNC’s W.C. George Papers and NCCU’s Faculty and Staff Photograph Records. Content is available online through the collections’ respective finding aids. These two collections offer unique perspectives on the Long Civil Rights Movement in North Carolina.

Wesley Critz George was a professor in the Medical School at UNC from 1920 to 1961 who served as head of the Department of Anatomy. Outside of his teaching, he was very active in the Patriots of North Carolina, a group working to prevent racial integration and maintain existing social structures. In addition, he was a well-recognized researcher on the genetics of race, and he developed his own theories regarding genetic components of “racial inferiority.” He published and spoke often on this topic, as well as on other aspects of what he termed “the race problem.” George was and remains a controversial subject in Tar Heel history.

In strong contrast to the W.C. George Papers, the NCCU Faculty and Staff Photograph Records provide a glance at the diverse and distinguished individuals who helped to build NCCU’s reputation as an outstanding black university in the South. Faculty portraits and more casual photos of gatherings and events help create a sense of the school as it grew and evolved during the course of the 20th century. Photographs feature professors such as historian John Hope Franklin, novelist Zora Neale Hurston (author of Their Eyes Were Watching God), photojournalist Alex M. Rivera, and Marjorie Brown (one of the first two African-American women to earn a PhD in Mathematics).

The collections can be accessed through the finding aids for the W.C. George Papers and the NCCU Faculty and Staff Photograph Records.

On This Day: Cooper v. Aaron

On September 12, 1958—54 years ago today—the Supreme Court in its landmark case Cooper v. Allen ruled that the states (in this case, Arkansas) were bound by the Supreme Court’s decisions, and therefore could not pass laws or constitutional amendments designed to negate the Court’s rulings.

Four years earlier, in Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court had ruled segregated public schools unconstitutional—and then, in the 1955 Brown II decision, the Court had ordered school districts to desegregate “with all deliberate speed.”

The integration orders met resistance in many states, including Arkansas, where the legislature (supported by the governor) passed laws and even constitutional amendments outlawing integration.

In September 1957, the world watched as nine African American students, escorted by more than 1,000 armed soldiers, attended their first day of school in Little Rock, Arkansas. For the remainder of the school year, these nine African American students endured intimidation, bullying, and threats of violence, as well as physical and verbal attacks.

In February 1958, a local federal court approved the school board’s request to remove the African American students and postpone integration. Fought by the NAACP, the case made its way first to a Court of Appeals and then to the United States Supreme Court.

In a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court ordered that the African American students be allowed to remain in school and that integration must move forward.

The constitutional rights of children not to be discriminated against in school admission on grounds of race or color declared by this court in the Brown case can neither be nullified openly and directly by state legislators or state executive or judicial officers nor nullified indirectly by them through evasive schemes for segregation whether attempted ‘ingeniously or ingenuously.’

Although the Court recognized that public education was primarily a state issue, it made clear that the U.S. Constitution was the “supreme Law of the Land.” Expanding on the reach and significance of the ruling, the Court stated that the Arkansas was bound by its orders and therefore, no legislation or amendment could be used to negate the opinion of the nation’s highest court.

Article VI of the Constitution makes the Constitution the ‘supreme Law of the Land.’ In 1803, Chief Justice Marshall, speaking for a unanimous Court, referring to the Constitution as ‘the fundamental and paramount law of the nation,’ declared in the notable case of Marbury v. Madison… that ‘It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.’ This decision declared the basic principle that the federal judiciary is supreme in the exposition of the law of the Constitution, and that principle has ever since been respected by this Court and the Country as a permanent and indispensable feature of our constitutional system. . . . No state legislator or executive or judicial officer can war against the Constitution without violating his undertaking to support it.

With this unanimous decision, the Court ordered the school district to admit African American students for the new school year. The significance of this ruling cannot be overstated. The Court made it clear that federal courts can and should enforce federal civil rights laws and court decisions, taking one more step in the fight for integration and equality.

To learn more about Cooper v. Aaron, check out this page from PBS and this page from the U.S. Department of State.  Readers will also be interested in Tony Freyer’s Little Rock on Trial: Cooper v. Aaron and School Desegregation (University Press of Kansas 2007).

To listen to the oral arguments, check out this page from Chicago-Kent College of Law’s Oyez Project.  To read the full text of the opinion, click here.

To read about the Little Rock Nine, check out this blog post. Readers might also be interested in Karen Anderson’s Little Rock: Race and Resistance at Central High School (Princeton University Press 2009), John A. Kirk’s edited collection An Epitaph for Little Rock: A Fiftieth Anniversary Retrospective of the Central High Crisis (University of Arkansas Press 2008), and John A. Kirk’s edited collection Beyond Little Rock: The Origins and Legacies of the Central High Crisis (University of Arkansas Press 2007).

49 Years Ago: Executive Order 11118 and Birmingham’s Integration

On September 10, 1963—49 years ago today—the Birmingham City Schools were integrated after President John F. Kennedy issued Executive Order 11118, ordering federal assistance in removing “unlawful obstructions of justice in the State of Alabama.”

Nine years after the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education struck down segregation in public schools, many areas of the South still resisted integration, forcing the federal government to take action. In Birmingham, federal intervention proved particularly necessary.

Birmingham was no stranger to the civil rights movement. Four months earlier, the Birmingham Campaign had ended in victory after local officials agreed to desegregate downtown stores and release jailed demonstrators. Schoolchildren had taken an active part in the movement, marching in the Children’s Crusade.

But despite the success of the Birmingham Campaign in integrating certain facilities, the city schools were still segregated. The Fifth Circuit Court in mid-1963, deciding that the Board of Education had operated a race-based segregated school system, ordered the School Board to submit a desegregation plan by August 19, 1963—a plan which came to be known as the “Freedom of Choice Plan.” Under the plan, approved immediately by a district court judge, students were supposed to choose which school to attend.

The new plan did not end the desegregation controversy. Violence broke out in the tense atmosphere as white supremacists agitated against integration. Alabama Governor George Wallace, an ardent segregationist, vowed to block integration and swiftly shut down several schools that had been slated for integration, citing the threat of violence.

After Wallace attempted to use the Alabama National Guard to block integration, President Kennedy federalized more than 200 of these Guardsmen, finally putting a stop to Wallace’s maneuvers and allowing African American students to enter previously all-white city schools.

Despite threats and demonstrations, the first day of integrated education went fairly smoothly; the Associated Press on September 11 reported no serious incidents of in-school violence that day. National Guardsmen stood by to break up any potential violence. That said, it was a tense atmosphere, with segregationists demonstrating with signs and confederate flags.

To read the full text of the Executive Order, check out this page from the American Presidency Project.

For more on Birmingham’s significance in the civil rights struggle, check out Glenn Eskew’s But for Birmingham: The Local and National Movements in the Civil Rights Struggle (UNC Press 1997) and Horace Huntley and John W. McKerley’s edited oral history volume Foot Soldiers for Democracy: The Men, Women, and Children of the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement (University of Illinois Press 2009).

To learn more about George Wallace, check out Dan Carter’s The Politics of Rage: George Wallace, the Origins of the New Conservatism and the Transformation of American Politics (Louisiana State University Press 2000).

Three months before the Birmingham City Schools were integrated, George Wallace had also tried to block the desegregation of another school: the University of Alabama. To learn more, read this post from the LCRM blog and check out E. Culpepper Clark’s The Schoolhouse Door: Segregation’s Last Stand at the University of Alabama (Oxford University Press 1995).

On This Day: The Civil Rights Act of 1957

On September 9, 1957—55 years ago today—President Eisenhower signed into law the first piece of federal civil rights legislation since the 19th century era of Reconstruction.

It had been a long time coming. Civil rights activists had long been struggling for equality in every element of life from schooling to voting rights. Six months earlier, civil rights leaders had organized a Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom to urge the federal government to fulfill promises laid out in the Supreme Court’s 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education. Now, with discrimination and segregation issues at the forefront of the American discourse, President Eisenhower took a stand.

Originally proposed by Attorney General Herbert Brownell, the Civil Rights Act of 1957 was designed to protect voting rights, but also established the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department and the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. Federal prosecutors were also empowered to use court injunctions against those who attempted to interfere with citizens’ voting rights.

In an effort to block the legislation, South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond—a man famous for his discriminatory stands against integration and equality—set a record for the longest one-person filibuster in American history. Ultimately, though, the bill passed, and went to the President for approval.

It was a quiet signing, lacking the fanfare of other law enactments—after all, Americans were already tense as they watched a hotly contested integration process in Southern schools. (Two weeks later, President Eisenhower would send federal troops to protect African American students during the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.)

The Act was only the first in a series of laws designed to protect Americans’ civil rights, and indeed was by itself not very effective in increasing equality and providing African Americans with voting rights. However, it represented a significant step toward equality, paving the way for stronger legislation to come, including the Civil Rights Act of 1960, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

To view documents related to the Act, check out this page from the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum.

To read the full text of the Civil Rights Act of 1957, check out this page from Teaching American History, a project of the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University.

For archival resources, check out this page from the Civil Rights Digital Library.

For a comprehensive list of civil rights legislation, click here. To learn more about federal civil rights legislation, check out Robert Mann’s When Freedom Would Triumph: The Civil Rights Struggle in Congress, 1954-1968 (Louisiana State University Press 2007).

By the time the law was enacted, it had been 82 years since the last piece of federal civil rights legislation, the Civil Rights Act of 1875. Check out this blog post about the 1875 legislation.

To learn more, check out The 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and Its Continuing Importance (BiblioGov).

For more on President Eisenhower and the struggle for equality, check out David Nichols’ A Matter of Justice: Eisenhower and the Beginning of the Civil Rights Revolution (Simon & Schuster 2008).

To learn about President Eisenhower’s relation with the media and the American public, check out Craig Allen’s Eisenhower and the Mass Media: Peace, Prosperity, and Prime-time TV (UNC Press 1993), available through UNC Press’s Enduring Editions Collection.