“In conjunction with the civil rights movement, Johnson overcame southern resistance and convinced Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed most forms of racial segregation. Johnson signed it into law on July 2, 1964.
Legend has it that, as he put down his pen, Johnson told an aide, “We have lost the South for a generation,” anticipating accoming backlash from Southern whites against Johnson’s Democratic Party. In 1965, he achieved passage of a second civil rights bill, the Voting Rights Act, which outlawed discrimination in voting, thus allowing millions of southern blacks to vote for the first time.
After the murder of civil rights worker Viola Liuzzo, Johnson went on television to announce the arrest of four Ku Klux Klansmen implicated in her death….”“…He angrily denounced the Klan as a “hooded society of bigots”, and warned them to “return to a decent society before it’s too late.” He turned the themes of Christian redemption to push for civil rights, thereby mobilizing support from churches North and South.
At the Howard University commencement address on June 4, 1965, he said that both the government and the nation needed to help achieve goals:
To shatter forever not only the barriers of law and public practice, but the walls which bound the condition of many by the color of his skin. To dissolve, as best we can, the antique enmities of the heart which diminish the holder, divide the great democracy, and do wrong — great wrong — to the children of God…
In 1967, Johnson nominated civil rights attorney Thurgood Marshall to be the first African American Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.”
Text and photo provided by wikipedia.com
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