In early , a Gallup poll sought to explore the extent to which respondents' doubt or lack of certainty was the result of question wording rather than an accurate reflection of what people believed. Half the sample in a January survey were asked the Roper question, and the other half of the sample were asked the following question: "As you know, the term Holocaust usually refers to the killing of millions of Jews in Nazi death camps during World War II.
In your opinion, did the Holocaust definitely happen, probably happen, probably not happen, or definitely not happen? In a speech subsequent to her arrest, Anthony said:. Almost fifty years passed before Anthony and other members of the American suffrage movement succeeded in their cause. In , the Nineteenth Amendment to the U. Constitution was finally ratified, stating: "The right of the citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
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Although the issue of suffrage was decided before the establishment of The Gallup Poll in , the collection of surveys since then documents a wide variety of attitudes relative to the role of women in society. The questions themselves serve as a helpful reminder of the wholesale changes that gender roles have undergone this century:.
Gallup trends on some of these questions show notable change over time. Perhaps the most dramatic example of the cultural shifts in gender-related attitudes is the question of voting for a woman president. When first asked in , only a third of the country said they would vote for a woman for president "if she qualified in every other respect. Attitudes about women in the workplace also seem to have undergone substantial change since Gallup began tracking them.
In recent years, Gallup Poll questions dealing with women's rights have tended to focus on the perceived amount of progress in this area. Despite the major advances in legal rights for women this century, a belief that women are at a cultural disadvantage to men persists. At the same time that Americans tend to be pessimistic about the progress made by women, there seems to be a clear recognition and appreciation for the positive impact made by the suffrage movement.
As noted above, among the 18 events of the century recently rated by Gallup in terms of their importance, women gaining the right to vote in ranked number two, on par with dropping the atomic bomb in World War II. This event exceeds all other reforms listed, including those related to marriage, sexual reproduction, and work.
The act was pushed through by President Lyndon Johnson, who declared almost immediately after assuming the presidency in November that the continuation of assassinated President John F. Kennedy's efforts on civil rights would be one of his highest priorities. Due in large part to Johnson's efforts, the Civil Rights Act was passed by the House of Representatives in February , and after extraordinary debate in the Senate, was passed by the Upper Chamber and signed into law in June The heart of the bill was the section that declared it illegal to discriminate on the basis of race in public places, as follows:.
How did the public react to this sweeping legislation that in parts of the country -- particularly the South -- upset social patterns that had been in place for centuries? Gallup polls conducted at the time showed that reaction was generally positive. As far back as June , in fact, Gallup asked the public to react to Supreme Court decisions that ruled against school segregation and segregation on trains, buses and in public waiting rooms.
The majority of the public at that time said they approved of the Supreme Court's decisions:. The U. Supreme Court has ruled that racial segregation in the public schools is illegal. This means that all children, no matter what their race, must be allowed to go to the same schools. Do you approve or disapprove of this decision? The Supreme Court has also ruled that racial segregation on trains, buses, and in public waiting rooms must end. Do you approve or disapprove of this ruling? The Gallup Poll also tracked a question that summarized the thrust of the proposed new Civil Rights Act from through In a June poll, taken while John F.
In general, do you approve or disapprove of this law?
Collecting the Civil Rights Movement
As might be predicted, significantly different reactions to the new legislation by Americans of different races and regions of the country were noted by Gallup analysts at the time these surveys were conducted. Despite the generally positive reaction to the new civil rights legislation, Gallup polling during the period of the civil rights movement captured mixed feelings among the American public about the speed with which integration and civil rights legislation should be implemented.
For instance, as far back as , it was obvious that the public wanted changes in racial laws and patterns to be implemented slowly, rather than all at once:. Do you think integration should be brought about gradually, or do you think every means should be used to bring it about in the near future? On the whole, do you think that racial integration of Negroes in this country is going ahead too fast or not fast enough? And by , the idea that the federal government was doing too much for the blacks in this country and moving too fast had plurality support over the idea that the federal government was not doing enough or moving too slow:.
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Generally speaking, do you, yourself, feel that the federal government in Washington is not doing enough for the Negro or is doing too much for the Negro? Now, how about the new Civil Rights Law passed last year guaranteeing Negro voting rights and the right of Negroes to be served in public places such as restaurants, hotels, and theaters. Would you say the federal government was moving too fast to enforce this new law, or not fast enough?
Whether a result of specific civil rights legislation or not, one of the most striking changes in American racial attitudes has been the change over time in the overt expression of racially negative attitudes. Gallup summarized these changes in a Gallup Poll Social Audit of the trends in racial attitudes:.
If your party nominated a generally well-qualified person for president and that person happened to be black, would you vote for that person? One of the major changes in American attitudes over time has been the increase in the perception that blacks have the same chance as whites to get any type of job for which they are qualified.
The major changes on this measure took place, significantly, in the years after the Civil Rights Act of was passed:.
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In general, do you think that blacks have as good a chance as white people in your community to get any kind of job for which they are qualified, or don't you think they have as good a chance? Despite the types of progress in racial attitudes shown above, a persistent pattern of differential perceptions between black and whites of the state of race relations in this country continues. For example, in two different polls conducted in and , whites and blacks evinced two distinctly different views of how well blacks are treated in the local areas where they live.
Now, let's talk about your community. In your opinion, how well do you think blacks are treated in your community - the same as whites are, not very well, or badly? As these findings suggest, in the final analysis, the passage of the Civil Rights Act of did not bring about a state in which all racial differences, or at least the perceptions of differences, were erased. Additionally, there is actually somewhat more, rather than less, pessimism now than there was in the early s about the future of the relationship between the races.
This increased pessimism was at about the same level among both whites and blacks. Seventy-four percent of U. Subscribe to receive weekly Gallup News alerts. Never miss our latest insights. The vast majority of Americans believe the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, one of the most infamous events in American history, was a conspiracy.
The fact there was a clear winner though, the invention of the world wide web is judged to have changed the world more than anything else, tells us just how much being connected matters to us all. For many people 80 years is more than a lifetime, which explains perhaps why so many of the moments chosen come from the later part of the period. Russians were especially keen on voting for the web and, unsurprisingly, for the breakup of the Soviet Union. More oddly, votes for the Band Aid concert 30 years ago came from Egypt, which along with India cast no votes for the importance of the second world war.
Walt Disney made it in at The personal achievements of four women made it on to the list against that of 19 men. The British Council will be sharing its publication, 80 Moments, around the world, through social media which was itself voted in at No 12 with the hashtag 80Moments.
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