of Surry County, NC
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The first Hispanic Governor, Romualdo Pacheco, was a Republican (elected in 1863).
Slavery was abolished in 1864 by Republicans.
The Fourteenth Amendment (gave the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses) was passed in 1866 by Republicans.
The idea of Memorial Day was initiated by a Republican (in 1868) and was declared a National Holiday by a Republican
President (in 1971).
The Fifteenth Amendment (gave African-Americans the right to vote) was passed in 1865 by Republicans.
Opposition to Plessy v. Ferguson was made by Justice John Marshall Harlan in 1869, who was appointed by Republican President Rutherford B. Hayes later on.
The first African-American U. S. Senator, Hiram Revels, was elected in 1870.
Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872 by Republican President Ulysses Grant.
The Civil Rights Act of 1865 was passed by Republicans.
The Nineteenth Amendment (gave women the right to vote) was written by a Republican in 1878.
Some of the first women mayors were Republicans (1887).
Republican President Theodore Roosevelt appointed the first Jewish Cabinet Secretary in 1906.
Republican President Calvin Coolidge signed into law the Indian Citizenship Act in 1924, which gave all Native Americans
The first Hispanic U. S. Senator, Octaviano Larrazolo, was Republican (elected in 1928).
The first Asian-American U. S. Senator, Hiram Fong, was Republican (elected in 1938).
The Republican Party was the first to call for dismantling racial segregation in the military (1940).
A Republican wrote the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954.
Republicans established our Federal Highway System in 1954.
Republicans passed the 1957 Civil Rights Act, which was improved upon in 1960 by Republicans.
Republican President Ronald Reagan called for the tearing down of the Berlin Wall in 1987.
In 1994, Republican Newt Gingrich initiated the "Contract with America."
In 1996, Republicans passed Welfare Reform.
***The above facts were borrowed and adapted from http://www.gop.com/index.php/learn/accomplishment/ on April 19, 2010.***
The People's Party
It all started with people who opposed slavery. They were common, everyday people who bristled at the notion that men had any right to oppress their fellow man. In the early 1850s, these anti-slavery activists found commonality with rugged individuals looking to settle in western lands, free of government charges. "Free soil, free labor, free speech, free men," went the slogan. And it was thus in joint opposition to human enslavement and government tyranny that an enterprising people gave birth to the Republican Party.
In 1856, the Republicans became a national party by nominating John C. Fremont for President. Four years later, with the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, the Republicans firmly established themselves as a major political party. The name "Republican" was chosen because it alluded to equality and reminded individuals of Thomas Jefferson's Democratic-Republican Party.
All of Us Equal
In 1861, the Civil War erupted, lasting four grueling years. During the war, against the advice of his cabinet, President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation that freed the slaves. The Republicans of the day worked to pass the Thirteenth Amendment, which outlawed slavery; the Fourteenth Amendment, which guaranteed equal protection under the laws; and the Fifteenth Amendment, which helped secure voting rights for African-Americans. All of these accomplishments extended and cemented the fundamental freedoms our nation continues to enjoy today.
The Republican Party also played a leading role in giving women the right to vote. In 1896, the Republican Party was the first major political party to support women's suffrage. When the Nineteenth Amendment was finally added to the Constitution, 26 of 36 state legislatures that had voted to ratify it were under Republican control. The first woman elected to Congress was a Republican, Jeanette Rankin from Montana in 1917. So it was by hardworking Republican hands that color and gender barriers were first demolished in America.
Free from Oppression
Republicans believe individuals, not government, can make the best decisions; all people are entitled to equal rights; and decisions are best made close to home. These basic principles are as true today as they were when the Party was founded. For all of the extraordinary leaders the Party has produced throughout its rich history, Republicans understand that everyday people in all 50 states and in U. S. territories remain the heart and soul of our Party.
Presidents during most of the late nineteenth century and the early part of the twentieth century were Republicans. The White House was in Republican hands under Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. Under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, the United States won the Cold War, releasing millions from Communist oppression, in true anti-big government Republican spirit.
Elephants, Not Donkeys
The symbol of the Republican Party is the elephant. During the mid-term elections in 1874, Democrats tried to scare voters into thinking President Ulysses S. Grant would seek to run for an unprecedented third term. Thomas Nast, a cartoonist for Harper's Weekly, depicted a Democratic donkey trying to scare a Republican elephant - and both symbols stuck. For a long time Republicans have been known as the "G.O.P." with party faithful believing it meant the "Grand Old Party." But apparently the original meaning (in 1875) was "Gallant Old Party."
When automobiles were invented it also came to mean, "get out and push." That's still a pretty good slogan for Republicans who depend every campaign year on the hard work of hundreds of thousands of everyday volunteers to get out and vote and push people to support the causes of the Republican Party.
Abolition. Free speech. Women's suffrage. The Republican Party adopted these causes early on. In addition, reducing the size of government, streamlining bureaucracy, and returning power to individual states were added to the list. With a core belief in the primacy of individuals, the Republican Party, since its inception, has been at the forefront of the fight for individuals' rights in opposition to a large, intrusive government.
***All of the above text is borrowed and adapted from http://www.gop.com/index.php/learn/who_we_are/ (April 19, 2010).***