"I stand here with intentions to take an oath - that oath they
just took in there - that will dispel any doubts about my convictions or loyalty."
— Julian Bond, 1966
In a special election held in June of 1965, Julian Bond was elected by a margin of
2,320 to 487, to the Georgia House of Representatives. On January 6, 1966, four days
before his swearing in, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (Bond was a
co-founder and member) issued a statement comparing the deaths of civil rights workers
in the U.S. to the killing in Vietnam and called on African-Americans to fight racial
injustices at home as an alternative to the draft, "knowing full well that it may
cost their lives — as painfully as in Viet Nam." After Bond endorsed the
statement, the Georgia House voted on January 10, 1966, (184-12) to bar Bond from taking
his seat. The house argued Bond's actions were "totally and completely repugnant to and
inconsistent with the mandatory oath" Bond was required to take before taking his
seat. Bond was finally seated on January 9, 1967, after winning two more elections
(one special and one general) and a unanimous decision (9-0) by the U.S. Supreme Court
that found the Georgia House violated Bond's First Amendment rights.
The Election of Julian Bond: 1966–1967
Click here for resources related to Julian Bond's fight to be seated in the Georgia House.
They include the full text of the U.S. Supreme Court decision (Bond v. Floyd),
Georgia State House documents, coverage from the Congressional Record, and more.
Beyond the Election: 1967–
Click here for resources on Julian Bond and Vietnam, after his election battle. They include
a FBI document, a Bond-authored comic book, Web sites, interviews, and several articles
— including one written by Bond in 1992, explaining how racism, ironically, kept
him out of the military in 1961.
Source: "Ft. Carson's Racial Harmony Council: Ethnic Groups are 'Keeping It Together'." Commander's Digest. Vol. 12, no. 2. Washington, D.C. GPO, May 18, 1972.