I am puzzled by Millie Fry's statement that in 1964 "the civil rights movement had yet to explode onto the scene" (Culture, Socialist Review, February 2009). The Civil Rights Act signed that year by Lyndon Johnson was one index of a long, hard-fought struggle.
Granted, the full desegregation of Southern schools was still a long way from being accomplished. But far from "taking its first tremulous, tension-ridden steps", the integration campaign had already forced a presidential intervention (backed by federal troops) in 1957 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The nine black students involved were actively supported by the NAACP, who had also been central to achieving the 1954 Supreme Court decision that helped to force Eisenhower's hand. This case, Brown versus the Board of Education of Topeka, began way back in 1951.