To Coin a Phrase

According to the National Archives and Records Administration, it was President Johnson who first used the phrase "affirmative action" when he ordered all executive agencies to require federal contractors to "take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed and that employees are treated during employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, or national origin."

The 1990s

The 1990s were peppered with resonant events of Dr. King's work and the civil rights movement. Some of these are:

  • In 1996, the Supreme Court finds the consideration of race in creating congressional districts to be unconstitutional.
  • In 1995, the Supreme Court rules that in order for federal programs to use racial classifications, they "must serve a compelling governmental interest, and must be narrowly tailored to further that interest."
  • On November 22, 1991, in a surprising turn of events, President Bush reverses his stance and signs the Civil Rights Act of 1991. This act strengthens existing civil rights laws that ban discrimination in employment and allows compensation for victims of intentional discrimination.
  • In 1991, the National Civil Rights Museum opens at the site of Dr. King's assassination, the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. The non-profit organization serves to explain and promote the history of the civil rights movement.