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Kentucky Politics: John Sherman Cooper: Civil Rights

Activity Questions

Listen to the featured interview and write down some of the keywords or topics discussed.

What is Cooper's stance on civil rights? Support your answer with evidence from the featured interview.

What does this interview say about the civil rights movement? How far back does the struggle for equality go?


Featured Interview


In this interview, Cooper's friend George Joplin considers how Senator Cooper's upbringing impacted his early support of civil rights, which is rooted in his Baptist faith and hometown of Somerset.

John Sherman Cooper was an early and consistent supporter of civil rights. While serving as Circuit Judge of Pulaski County in the mid-1940s, he integrated trial juries for the circuit. Cooper voted for many important pieces of civil rights legislation, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 24th Amendment.

Please click on the segment at 56:19 (Cooper's reasons for supporting civil rights).

Cooper and Civil Rights

Cooper sitting and talking with members of the Louisville Development Council

Cooper, W. (1986). John Sherman Cooper: A Senator and his constituents. The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, 84 (2), 192-210.