Here’s a regional breakdown of the vote on the Civil Rights Act of 1957:
United States: 71-18-4
The South: 12-17-1
The South provided 17 of the 18 votes against the Civil Rights Act of 1957 which was the first federal civil rights law passed by the U.S. Congress since Reconstruction. Sen. Strom Thurmond sustained the longest one-person filibuster in American history – 24 hours and 18 minutes – in an attempt to stop the bill in the Senate. In an all-Southern Senate, the Civil Rights Act of 1957 would have been defeated, 17 to 12.
In case you are wondering, the only non-Southerner who voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1957 was Sen. Wayne Morse of Oregon. Every U.S. senator from the Northeast and Midwest voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1957.
United States: 285-126-9
The South: 20-112-1
Nine members of the U.S. House voted “present.”
Every member of the U.S. House from the Lower South – with one exception, Rep. Samuel Rayburn of Texas who voted present – voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1957. In the Upper South, every member of the U.S. House from Virginia, North Carolina, and Arkansas voted against the bill, and 6 out of 7 representatives from Tennessee voted against the bill.
In the Border South, the vote was 5/0 in West Virginia, 2/3 in Oklahoma, 3/5 in Kentucky, 9/2 in Missouri, and 7/0 in Maryland in favor of the bill, which illustrates that support for the Civil Rights Act of 1957 increased as the relative strength of Southern identity decreased.
Of the 126 nays, 112 of the nays were from the South, which voted 112 to 20 against the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and which passed solely because of the existence of the Union.
In the Northeast, the vote was 118-3-3 with every single member of the U.S. House from New England voting for the Civil Rights Act of 1957 along with every representative from Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey. In Pennsylvania, there were 30 ayes and 2 presents. In New York, there were 38 ayes, 3 nays, and 1 present.
In the Midwest, the vote in the U.S. House was 98-10-3: 8/1 in Minnesota, 2/0 in North Dakota, 1/0 in South Dakota, 5/1 in Kansas, 4/0 in Nebraska, 6/1 in Iowa, 9/1 in Wisconsin, 21-1-1 in Ohio, 10/0 in Indiana, 11-3-1 in Michigan, and 21-2-2 in Illinois. If Missouri were included, the vote in the Midwest would have been 107-12-3.
Note: Dixie is again defined here as 15 states: Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.