1963 July 10

“Stall-in” Proposed for 1964 World’s Fair

 

The African-American writer Louis E. Lomax provoked strong condemnation from mainstream civil rights leaders by calling for “drive-in demonstration” protests at the forthcoming 1964 World’s Fair on this day. His idea soon became referred to as a “stall-in,” a way to protest racial discrimination in New York. But when the Fair opened on April 1964, there was little noticeable protest.

President Lyndon Johnson mentioned the “stall-in” in his historic speech on voting rights, on March 15, 1965, citing it as an example of an activity that is not protected by the First Amendment.

President Johnson’s reference to “stall-ins”: “We must preserve the right of free speech and the right of free assembly. But the right of free speech does not carry with it, as has been said, the right to holier fire in a crowded theater. We must preserve the right to free assembly, but free assembly does not carry with it the right to block public thoroughfares to traffic.”

Read Lyndon Johnson’s complete 1965 Voting Rights speechhttp://millercenter.org/president/speeches/detail/3386

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