LBJ Lectures Southern Ministers on Civil Rights
With the Civil Rights Bill pending in Congress, and passage still uncertain, President Lyndon Johnson gave a stern lecture to Southern ministers on their responsibility to support the bill and to help rally support for it among their members. The bill passed and Johnson signed the historic 1964 Civil Rights Act into law on July 2, 1964.
LBJ to the ministers: “I am not a theologian. I am not a philosopher. I am just a public servant that is doing the very best I know how. But in more than 3 decades of public life, I have seen first-hand how basic spiritual beliefs and deeds can shatter barriers of politics and bigotry. I have seen those barriers crumble in the presence of faith and hope, and from this experience I have drawn new hope that the seemingly insurmountable moral issues that we face at home and abroad today can be resolved by men of strong faith and men of brave deeds.”
Read LBJ’s talk to the Southern ministers: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/print.php?pid=26130T
Read: Todd Purdom, An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Two Presidents, Two Parties, and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (2014)
Read about LBJ and the 1964 Civil Rights Act: Robert Caro, The Passage of Power (2012)