Fifty Years of Fair Housing: Learning from the Past, Looking to the Future

The Hon. L. Douglas Wilder*

I think sometimes you need to wonder where we were in 1968. It wasn’t just the Fair Housing Act that was passed in 1968. What happened in 1968? George Wallace was running for presi- dent. Hubert Humphrey was running for president, and Richard Nixon as well. It wasn’t just the assassination of Dr. King, we al- so had the assassination of Robert Kennedy. We likewise had the Vietnam War, and America was a mess. We had something else occurring in 1968. That was the Kerner Commission Report, that Dr. Crutcher mentioned had been instrumental in the fair hous- ing bill. And they made recommendations. I happened to have been a part of that last month in Minnesota, and had great occa- sion to talk with Fred Harris, who was the last surviving member of the Kerner Commission, Senator from Oklahoma. And also, Walter Mondale and I had a long time to talk.

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* Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, 1990–1994. Professor, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, Virginia Commonwealth University. This Keynote Address was delivered by the author at the 2018 University of Richmond Law Review Symposium, The 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act—Past, Present, and Future, on October 5, 2018, at the University of Richmond School of Law.

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