| August 28, 1958: “And All This Time I Was Hoping You’d Speak Up”
On March 17, 1954, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Brown v. Board of Education that ordered schools desegregated “with all deliberate speed.” Herblock, a long-time supporter of civil rights, was elated. However, he soon became frustrated by what he saw as the Eisenhower administration’s passive approach. Eisenhower was viewed as passive—or sphinx-like, as he is shown here—in regard to civil rights and other issues for decades, and only recently has a more complicated picture of his stand on civil rights emerged.
Eisenhower did sometimes express the opinion that desegregation should happen more slowly; however, he also ordered the District of Columbia schools to desegregate immediately upon the Supreme Court’s decision and used the army to enforce desegregation in Little Rock. He believed that every American should enjoy the same rights, but also sympathized with historic southern racial issues.