'68: Civil Rights

Civil Rights


Throughout the 1960s, Nebraska found itself challenged by the push for racial equality in America. As late as 1963, there were still public swimming pools in Omaha that black children could not use. Poor housing and limited job opportunities for minorities were major issues. Time and again, disturbances in once tranquil North Omaha ended in the burning and looting of the predominantly black neighborhood. If it was not a major issue for political candidates in the state, it certainly drew the attention of much of Omaha and Lincoln.

Civil Rights Clips

When American Party candidate and segregationist George Wallace visited Omaha, an ugly confrontation spilled into the streets.
Disturbances in North Omaha bring blacks and police face to face, and the Mayor asks for emergency powers. Before the city council, Ernie Chambers rises to object.
The assassination of Martin Luther King brought a fiery and eloquent speech by community activist Lawrence McVoy.
Robert Kennedy’s campaign stop in North Omaha brought out record crowds and energized a generation of African American political leaders.