Flashback Friday: Florida, Fair Housing and the Civil Rights Act of 1968

This week, in 1968 following the assassination of  Rev. Martin Luther King, a stalled civil rights measure made its way to the House floor. Essentially a fair housing measure the act was much more controversial nationally than the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In the entire Florida Delegation only Congressmen Claude Pepper and Dante Fascell both from liberal (Miami) Dade County voted for the measure.

The legislation did the following.

  • Banned the refusal to sell or rent a dwelling to any person because of his/her race, color, religion or national origin.
  • Made unlawful the discrimination against a person in the terms, conditions or privilege of the sale or rental.
  • Banned the advertising the sale or rental of a dwelling which indicated a preference of discrimination based on race, color, religion or national origin
  • Banned the coercing, threatening, intimidating, or interfering with a person’s enjoyment or exercise of housing rights based on discriminatory reasons or retaliating against a person or organization that aids or encourages the exercise or enjoyment of [fair housing] rights.

The measure passed both bodies in the wake of the MLK Assassination but found little support in Florida. Full Roll Call vote of the Florida Delegation is below.


Nay D Sikes, Robert FL 1st
Nay D Fuqua, Don FL 2nd
Nay D Bennett, Charles FL 3rd
Pre D Herlong, Albert FL 4th
Nay R Gurney, Edward FL 5th
Nay D Gibbons, Sam FL 6th
Nay D Haley, James FL 7th
Nay R Cramer, William FL 8th
Nay D Rogers, Paul FL 9th
Nay R Burke, Herbert FL 10th
Aye D Pepper, Claude FL 11th
Aye D Fascell, Dante FL 12th


Nay D Holland, Spessard FL
Nay D Smathers, George FL

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