LBJ Signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Fifty years ago, the work of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson led to the passing of the Civil Rights Act. Passage was not easy and depended on the painstaking efforts of civil rights leaders, cooperation in a resistant Senate, and growth in public support.
When the bill was finally signed on July 2, 1964, it was the most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction.
This week, The Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas honors this historic legislation. Presidents Obama, George W. Bush, Clinton, and Carter are part of the Summit, joining a full schedule of programs that address the civil rights issues we face today.
Our own Archivist of the United States, David S. Ferriero, will introduce President Carter tonight at the Civil Rights Summit in Austin, Texas.
In honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library is hosting the summit on April 8, 9, and 10.
You can watch the panel discussions and keynote address live on their website: http://www.civilrightssummit.org/updates/
The keynote speakers include President Barack Obama and three former Presidents: Jimmy Carter will speak on April 8; Bill Clinton will speak on April 9; and George W. Bush will speak on the evening of April 10.
Learn more about the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in our new Google Cultural Institute exhibit, which includes videos, letters, telegrams, meeting minutes, and high resolution photos.
Image: LBJ signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Serial Number: A1030-17a Date: 08/06/1965. Credit: LBJ Library photo by Yoichi Okamoto.
If you weren’t able to get tickets to next week’s Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Library, don’t worry! The event will be live streamed on their website:
President Barack Obama will be joined by three former Presidents who will also deliver remarks at the upcoming Civil Rights Summit: Jimmy Carter will speak on April 8; Bill Clinton will speak on April 9; and George W. Bush will speak on the evening of April 10.
The Civil Rights Summit, comprised of afternoon panel discussions followed by evening keynote addresses, will reflect on the seminal nature of the civil rights legislation passed by President Johnson while examining civil rights issues in America and around the world today.
On this day, March 20, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson calls for federal and state troops to protect civil rights marchers led by Martin Luther King, Jr. The decision came two weeks after the “Bloody Sunday” attacks on demonstrators by police in Montgomery, Alabama.
LBJ signed a proclamation and executive order to provide federal assistance in the state of Alabama that would provide monetary funds for the Alabama National Guard and the U.S. Army to protect the demonstrators who would be marching from Selma to Montgomery.
This entry from the President’s Daily Dairy outlines the historic day.
On April 8-10, 2014, the LBJ Presidential Library will host a Civil Rights Summit to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter will all deliver remarks. Learn more
-from the LBJ Library
Civil Rights sit-in at the White House
March 11, 1965. Twelve protestors stage a sit-in demonstration at the White House in relation to civil rights.
January 15, 1967. The first Super Bowl is played between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (pictured above). The Packers win 35-10. In 1967, the cost of a 30-second commercial for the Super Bowl was $42,000. In 2013, the cost of a 30-second commercial was $4 million.
Robert Weaver Becomes the First African American Cabinet Member
Today in history, January 13, 1966, Robert C. Weaver was nominated as Secretary of Housing and Development by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Weaver became the first African American Cabinet member when he was sworn in as head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on January 18 of that year.
Photo: Informal gathering after the Swearing-In of Dr. Robert Weaver and Dr. Robert Wood as Secretary and Under Secretary respectively of Dept. of Housing and Urban Affairs. Photo ID #A1765-20A.
-from the LBJ Library
The War on Poverty
Fifty years ago today, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a war on poverty. In his Annual Message to Congress on the State of the Union, January 8, 1964, LBJ outlined his plan to alleviate poverty in America.
LBJ believed that the most effective way to “win the war on poverty” was to introduce legislation, programs, and tax cuts that would result in a Great Society, giving all Americans — not just the poor and underprivileged — a better quality of life.
Photo: President Lyndon B. Johnson visits Tom Fletcher residence during Poverty Tour of Appalachia. 4/24/64.