Oct. 9, 1964. 7:27 pm. Lady Bird and Lyndon meet in New Orleans at the end of the Whistle Stop and he makes the following remarks, putting it all in perspective:

"We are going to have a government of all the people, and your President is going to protect the constitutional rights of every American.

"Those that want to be fair and those that want to be just, and those that want to follow the Golden Rule of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, we invite them to come and join us.  Those that have other views are welcome to them, and this is a free country.  They can express them as strongly as they want to with such vehemence as they may choose and we will listen, but we will not follow.  Because this democratic land of ours is going to be a united land.

"In the words of Robert E. Lee, I am going to say tonight, let’s try to get our people to forget their old animosities and let us all be Americans."

Oct. 7, 1964. 3:58 PM. In Columbia, South Carolina, Lady Bird and the Whistle Stop encounter some of the trouble they had anticipated as a result of the recently passed civil rights legislation.  Liz Carpenter recounted the story in an oral history:

…When we got to Columbia, South Carolina, there were a group of people.  I guess they were students.  They had a drum that helped them keep their chant going, and they tried to interrupt her speech and stop her from speaking.  Interestingly enough, it wasn’t Vietnam.  It was civil rights that provoked this, and the Johnson policy on civil rights, which had been more liberal than anyone’s.  And she handled it beautifully.  She just put one hand up and said, ‘My friends, this is a country of free speech, and I respect your opinion.  But this is my time to speak my mind.’

Watch above (starts at about 17:30). 

More on the Whistle Stop: http://whistlestop.lbjlibrary.org.

October 7, 1964. 10:50 AM. In Salisbury, North Carolina, most of the crowds are supportive, but Lynda Bird (LBJ and Lady Bird’s daughter) makes reference in her remarks to some signs that, “I don’t agree with..” Listen: http://youtu.be/scpHfUDqTjM

October 7, 1964. 10:50 AM. In Salisbury, North Carolina, most of the crowds are supportive, but Lynda Bird (LBJ and Lady Bird’s daughter) makes reference in her remarks to some signs that, “I don’t agree with..” Listen: http://youtu.be/scpHfUDqTjM

October 5, 1964. Lady Bird prepares to head out  tomorrow on her four-day, eight-state Whistle Stop campaign. She knows that LBJ’s chances of taking the southern states are slim, in light of the recent passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and that she will face hostile crowds, heckling, and even violence. She is going anyway.

“And every time the rest of the nation makes one more snide joke about cornpone or rednecks, the defenses of the South go up more angrily.  The dividing abyss widens and the curtain becomes thicker and murkier.  It is partly the South wanting to pull away and partly the rest of the nation misunderstanding – yes even laughing – in a way.  None of this is right or is good for the future of our country.” 

 —Lady Bird’s recorded thoughts before departing on her Whistle Stop campaign tour, LBJ Presidential Library transcript. 

October 5, 1964. Lady Bird prepares to head out  tomorrow on her four-day, eight-state Whistle Stop campaign. She knows that LBJ’s chances of taking the southern states are slim, in light of the recent passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and that she will face hostile crowds, heckling, and even violence. She is going anyway.

And every time the rest of the nation makes one more snide joke about cornpone or rednecks, the defenses of the South go up more angrily.  The dividing abyss widens and the curtain becomes thicker and murkier.  It is partly the South wanting to pull away and partly the rest of the nation misunderstanding – yes even laughing – in a way.  None of this is right or is good for the future of our country.” 

 —Lady Bird’s recorded thoughts before departing on her Whistle Stop campaign tour, LBJ Presidential Library transcript

October 21, 1967. Antiwar protesters participating in the March on the Pentagon include students, veterans, longtime radicals and pacifists, and many activists who have been or still are active in the civil rights movement, especially religious organizations.
One such religious organization is Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Viet Nam—National Emergency Committee (CALC), led by Rev. Richard Neuhaus, Rabbi Abraham Heschel, Father Daniel Berrigan, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King delivered his ‘Beyond Vietnam" speech condemning the war under the CALC auspices on April 4, 1967 and accepted the position as co-chair soon after.
 Dr. King did not support organized draft evasion, mass civil disobedience, or confrontational rhetoric, however. He is not present at the October 21 march, and indeed the larger civil rights movement is divided about how much to support the antiwar movement. 

October 21, 1967. Antiwar protesters participating in the March on the Pentagon include students, veterans, longtime radicals and pacifists, and many activists who have been or still are active in the civil rights movement, especially religious organizations.

One such religious organization is Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Viet Nam—National Emergency Committee (CALC)led by Rev. Richard Neuhaus, Rabbi Abraham Heschel, Father Daniel Berrigan, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King delivered his ‘Beyond Vietnam" speech condemning the war under the CALC auspices on April 4, 1967 and accepted the position as co-chair soon after.

Dr. King did not support organized draft evasion, mass civil disobedience, or confrontational rhetoric, however. He is not present at the October 21 march, and indeed the larger civil rights movement is divided about how much to support the antiwar movement. 

October 1967. Government preparations for the Oct. 21 antiwar march ramp up, amid White House fears that the march will spark city-wide riots. like that summer’s violence in Detroit and Newark.

Despite efforts to identify the root causes of violence, especially after Watts, officials have made little progress on prevention—but they have gotten better at planning responses:

“It was our purpose to hold down the number of arrests, that is, the department’s purpose under the Attorney General. The thinking was that those who were marching on the Pentagon had as their purpose the creation of conditions which would lead to a large number of arrests. The number of arrests was approximately six hundred and seventy-six. That was a large number, but I think it was smaller than perhaps we had feared….
“It gave the federal government a chance to show the nation what orderly processing in a civil disturbance would be. It came not long after the very inadequate processing which was possible in Detroit, for example, where persons were held on buses for substantial periods of time following their arrest….
“One of my assignments was to make backup arrangements for the necessities of life—portable toilets, water, and first aid—in the event march leaders failed to carry out their agreed responsibility to provide such facilities. In fact, they did fail to carry out their responsibilities in that regard, and we had to provide some backup help.”

—-Steven Pollak, First Assistant, Civil Rights Division, Department of Justice, in his oral history, page 33-34. Photo: the aftermath of the riots in Detroit, Bentley Image Bank, Bentley Historical Library via the Insititute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.

October 1967. Government preparations for the Oct. 21 antiwar march ramp up, amid White House fears that the march will spark city-wide riots. like that summer’s violence in Detroit and Newark.

Despite efforts to identify the root causes of violence, especially after Watts, officials have made little progress on prevention—but they have gotten better at planning responses:

“It was our purpose to hold down the number of arrests, that is, the department’s purpose under the Attorney General. The thinking was that those who were marching on the Pentagon had as their purpose the creation of conditions which would lead to a large number of arrests. The number of arrests was approximately six hundred and seventy-six. That was a large number, but I think it was smaller than perhaps we had feared….

“It gave the federal government a chance to show the nation what orderly processing in a civil disturbance would be. It came not long after the very inadequate processing which was possible in Detroit, for example, where persons were held on buses for substantial periods of time following their arrest….

“One of my assignments was to make backup arrangements for the necessities of life—portable toilets, water, and first aid—in the event march leaders failed to carry out their agreed responsibility to provide such facilities. In fact, they did fail to carry out their responsibilities in that regard, and we had to provide some backup help.”

—-Steven Pollak, First Assistant, Civil Rights Division, Department of Justice, in his oral history, page 33-34. Photo: the aftermath of the riots in Detroit, Bentley Image Bank, Bentley Historical Library via the Insititute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.

August 22, 1967. LBJ meets with Walter Washington, Chairman of the New York City Housing Authority, and LBJ’s pick for the new Mayor-Commissioner of Washington, DC. Washington will be the very first African-American Mayor of a large U.S. city. The President calls upon the Mayor of New York—and the First Lady—to help make Washington a success. According to the Daily Diary, LBJ tells Lady Bird:

 “”We talked to Walter and he says he wants to try the job, and now we’re going to see [New York] Mayor Lindsay and see if he can help make the transition easier. And then we’ll depend on you to help Walter to do it. I don’t want him on my neck. You get his wife and you all get on that crime thing.’” 

Top: Walter Washington, via Wikipedia: Bottom. Mayor Lindsay—check out his body language!—and LBJ in their meeting that day. LBJ Library photo # 6380-7, public domain. 

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. 

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

June 19, 1967. Larry Levinson writes this memo for Tom Johnson about whether to hold a White House Conference for Mexican-Americans, and whether or not Puerto Rican representatives should be included. The debate over whether or not to hold a Mexican-American conference along the lines of “To Fulfil These Rights” on civil rights has been going on for much of 1967.
Memo, 6/19/67, “HU  2 6/16/67-6/30/67 EX” White House Central File, Subject File HU Box 5.

June 19, 1967. Larry Levinson writes this memo for Tom Johnson about whether to hold a White House Conference for Mexican-Americans, and whether or not Puerto Rican representatives should be included. The debate over whether or not to hold a Mexican-American conference along the lines of “To Fulfil These Rights” on civil rights has been going on for much of 1967.

Memo, 6/19/67, “HU  2 6/16/67-6/30/67 EX” White House Central File, Subject File HU Box 5.

June 14, 1967. LBJ’s aide Marvin Watson receives this memo about Stokely Carmichael’s trip to the USSR. 
Memo, “HU  2 6/16/67-6/30/67,” White House Central File, Subject File HU, Box 5, LBJ Library.

June 14, 1967. LBJ’s aide Marvin Watson receives this memo about Stokely Carmichael’s trip to the USSR. 

Memo, “HU  2 6/16/67-6/30/67,” White House Central File, Subject File HU, Box 5, LBJ Library.

June 13, 1967. LBJ meets with Solicitor General Thurgood Marshall just before announcing his nomination to the Supreme Court. LBJ takes these notes during their meeting.

Early that morning, LBJ had a frank conversation with Attorney General Ramsey Clark about Marshall, asking questions like, “Is he well-liked by staff?” and inquiring as the origin of the negative things he’s heard (begins about 1:55). Clark’s response, at 2:20, is that he “doesn’t fit the mold…he’s a big, easy-going very humane type of person.” 

Photo: #C5706-1, public domain. Notes, Handwriting File, “June 1967, [3 of 3],” Box 27, LBJ Library. 

…no matter how we articulate this, no matter which theory of the Due Process Clause or which emphasis we attach to, no one can articulate it better than Richard Loving when he said to me, ‘Mr. Cohen, tell the Court I love my wife and it is just unfair that I can’t live with her in Virginia’.

On April 10, 1967 Mr. Bernard S. Cohen made these arguments before the Supreme Court in the case of Loving v. Virginia. Hear the arguments at the Oyez Project.

On June 12, 1967 the Supreme Court decided in favor of the Lovings, thus striking down laws prohibiting interracial marriage. In its decision, the Supreme Court wrote, “Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.”

June 9, 1967. LBJ swears in Vicente T. Ximenes to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Ximenes is the first Mexican-American on the committee, which is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting discrimination. LBJ acknowledges the significance of the appointment, which is covered extensively by the Mexican-American press and in Mexico as well. He also uses the opportunity to announce a focus on Mexican-American issues within the Great Society: 

"Today, I am releasing a special Cabinet report which tells the story of new opportunities that have been created for more than 5 million Mexican-American citizens.

It shows how far government, business, labor, and community leadership still must go to turn the slogan of opportunity into the fact of reality….

I am going to establish today the highest level committee a President can create, a Cabinet committee on Mexican-Americans…. and I am going to ask Mr. Vicente T. Ximenes to serve as the chairman of that committee.” 

Meanwhile, there is growing activism by the Chicano civil rights movement in the Southwest. In Texas strife continues between striking Mexican-American farmworkers and the Texas Rangers, who they accuse of excessive force and illegal arrests. Just six days ago the farmworkers union filed suit with the Justice Department after Governor John Connally declined to intervene. In New Mexico, ten members of the land-grant activist group La Alianza have been arrested. La Alianza’s declared mission is the return of Spanish and Mexican land grants that were lost after Mexican American War: the group staged an armed raid on the Rio Arriba County courthouse on June 5. At the time of LBJ’s speech, there is an intense manhunt ongoing for Reies Lopez Tijernia, the group’s leader.

Top: LBJ congratulates Ximenes on his appointment, LBJ Presidential Library photo C5654-12A. Bottom: Reies López Tijerina and California Brown Berets in 1969, by Mark Bralley via the High Country News

See also LBJ’s full speech, more on La Alianza in the journal Antipode, and LBJ and Mexican Americans, by Julie Leininger Pryor (Austin UT-Austin Press, 1997). The papers of Reies Tijerina are available at the University of New Mexico.