Mark DeWolfe Howe '28, professor of Law, will be among fifteen Boston delegates to an NAACP lobbying conference in Washington this week. The delegation leaves from Logan Airport this morning for a three-day stay in the capital.
Over 1000 people from every state and congressional district in the country will attend the meeting, officially titled the "NAACP Grassroots Leadership Conference." The main purpose of the gathering, a prelude to the Aug. 28 march on Washington, is to win congressional support for President Kennedy's civil rights bill.
The Boston delegation was organized by Archie C. Epps, a second-year Harvard graduate student. Besides Howe and Martin Peretz, teaching fellow in Government, it includes representatives of Massachusetts government officials and private groups.
Gov. Peabody will be represented by James Purdy and Richard Banks. Attorney General Edward Brooke, Cardinal Cushing, the Republican state committee, and the Boston branch of the NAACP are also sending official representatives.
According to Epps, the Boston group will concentrate on trying to convince Sen. Leverett Saltonstall '14 to support all parts of the President's civil rights bill. Saltonstall is said to be opposed to the section of the bill which would ban racial discrimination in public accommodations.
Prof. Howe will reportedly ask Speaker of the House John W. McCormack to make every effort to secure passage of the entire bill. Howe was a prominent backer of the Speaker's nephew, former Attorney General Edward J. McCormack, Jr., in his unsuccessful Senatorial primary campaign against Edward M. Kennedy '54 last year.
Howe will be available to testify before congressional committees during his stay in Washington. It is not yet known, however, whether any committees will hold hearings on civil rights legislation this week.
Walter P. Reuther, president of the United Auto Workers' Union, will address tonight's plenary session of the conference. Tomorrow night, delegates will hear Reps. Emmanuel Celler (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Charles Diggs (D-Mich.), one of five Negro members of Congress.
Epps said yesterday that the Massachusetts delegates, besides lobbying for the NAACP position on the civil rights bill, will try to get Senators and Representatives to define exactly their positions on the proposed legislation. He said this information will be publicized in Massachusetts and used during the massive Aug. 28 march,