The Johns Committee and Ruth Perry Term Paper by scribbler

An examination of the power and actions of the Johns Committee in Florida in the mid 1950s.
# 152280 | 1,536 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2013 | US
Published on Jan 21, 2013 in History (U.S. Baby Boom Years 1945-1965)

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The paper explores the Florida Legislative Investigation Committee, or as it would popularly become known, the Johns Committee, that was introduced as an anti-communist and anti-segregationist bill. In order to understand the scope and power of the Johns Committee, the paper provides some background on the nation and Florida in the mid 1950s, and explains the primary objectives of this committee. The paper describes how it succeeded in eradicating homosexuals from Florida's education system but while it tried to disempower the NAACP in Florida, it failed dismally. The paper concludes that the NAACP and its key witness, Ruth Perry, triumphed in advancing the Civil Rights Movement with their battles against this committee.

From the Paper:

"Florida has always been juxtaposed with itself, the northern half is altogether Southern and the southern half is altogether Northern. Until 1968, its legislative apportionment was not based on up-to-date population figures. Thus, a small group of state legislatures from Northern Florida had consolidated the legislative power within the state by the 1950s. This group of like-minded and racist 'Southerners' was known as the Pork Chop Gang (Davis and Frederickson 229).
"Charley Johns was a known racist, segregationist and a member of Florida's notorious 'pork chop gang.' In 1953, Johns was the president of the state Senate when Governor Dan McCarty died, making Johns the acting governor for the state. One of his first actions was to remove/suspend several incumbent high ranking state officials and replace them with his friends and cronies. In 1954 Johns lost the gubernatorial race against moderate Leroy Collins, but he retained his seat and status in Florida's Senate (Davis and Frederickson 229). It is believed that if he was elected governor, Florida would have defied the Supreme Court's ruling of integration as willfully as did her two neighbor states, Alabama and Georgia (Colburn 34)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Colburn, David. From Yellow Dog Democrats to Red State Republicans: Florida and Its Politics since 1940 . Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2007. Print.
  • Davis, Jack, and Kari Frederickson. Making Waves: Female Activism in Twentieth-Century Florida. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2003. Print.
  • Graves, Karen. And They Were Wonderful Teachers: Florida's Purge of Gay and Lesbian Teachers. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2009. Print.
  • Stark, Bonnie. "McCarthyism in Florida: Charley Johns and the Florida Legislative Investigation Committee, July 1956 to July 1965." Master's Thesis, University of South Florida. (1985): Print.

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