August 9, 1967. The House of Representatives votes down, 160-244, a resolution to disapprove LBJ’s proposed reorganization of Washington, DC. The resolution therefore stands. Republicans split, 110-64 for the resolution and against the home-rule plan, as did southern Democrats (47-39 for the resolution/against the plan). Supporters of home rule argued that denying residents of the capital, a city 65% black, was a violation of civil rights, and the majority of the House agrees.
With the failure of the resolution, for the first time, the nation’s capital will have some measure of representative government. The President will appoint a city commissioner, to be known as Mayor, a deputy commissioner, and a nine-member council. They replace the three-member commission that previously ran the District, and affords more representation for the diversity of the city. Now the fight moves to the proportion of whites and black that LBJ will appoint, and who will hold the position of Mayor. LBJ hopes that this measure will be only an interim plan until Congress passes home rule, and residents can elect their own representatives, but this will not happen in 1967.
Congressional Quarterly Almanac, Vol. XXIII, 1967, p. 1024-1026. Photo via US Marines.