Our own Archivist of the United States, David S. Ferriero, will introduce President Carter tonight at the Civil Rights Summit in Austin, Texas.
In honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library is hosting the summit on April 8, 9, and 10.
You can watch the panel discussions and keynote address live on their website: http://www.civilrightssummit.org/updates/
The keynote speakers include President Barack Obama and three former Presidents: Jimmy Carter will speak on April 8; Bill Clinton will speak on April 9; and George W. Bush will speak on the evening of April 10.
Learn more about the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in our new Google Cultural Institute exhibit, which includes videos, letters, telegrams, meeting minutes, and high resolution photos.
Image: LBJ signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Serial Number: A1030-17a Date: 08/06/1965. Credit: LBJ Library photo by Yoichi Okamoto.
Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968.
As detailed in his official daily diary, President Lyndon Johnson received word of the shooting shortly after 7 p.m. that evening. After learning of King’s death, Johnson called Coretta Scott King and later addressed the American people on television.
President’s Daily Diary Entry, April 4, 1968, 04/04/1968 - 04/04/1968
Welcome Back to Earth!
Six days after Astronaut John Glenn orbited the Earth in the Friendship 7 capsule, he rode in a parade with his family and Vice President Lyndon Johnson in Washington, DC.
Washington, DC, Astronaut John Glenn and Mrs. Glenn with their Children Ride with Vice President Johnson in the Washington Parade, 02/26/1962
Happy Year of the Horse!
Two terra cotta tomb sculptures of men on horses, 05/09/1967
From the series: Artifacts Relating to the Life and Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson.
From the Scope & Content description:
Each figure is made of glazed and unglazed terra cotta. They were excavated near Sian, capital of Shensi Province and given to President and Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson from President and Madame Chiang Kai-Shek of the Republic of China. The artist is unknown.
(From the holdings of the lbjlibrary.)
On January 18, 1966 Robert C. Weaver became the first African American Cabinet member when he was sworn in United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Secretary Weaver was appointed by President Lyndon Johnson five days earlier on January 13, 1966.
Photograph of Swearing In of Robert C. Weaver as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, 01/18/1966
Robert Weaver becomes the first African American Cabinet Member
Today in history, January 13, 1966, Robert C. Weaver was nominated as Secretary of Housing and Development by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Weaver became the first African American Cabinet member when he was sworn in as head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on January 18 of that year.
Photo: Informal gathering after the Swearing-In of Dr. Robert Weaver and Dr. Robert Wood as Secretary and Under Secretary respectively of Dept. of Housing and Urban Affairs. Photo ID #A1765-20A.
-from the LBJ Library
The War on Poverty
Fifty years ago today, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a war on poverty. In his Annual Message to Congress on the State of the Union, LBJ outlined his plan to alleviate poverty in America.
LBJ believed that the most effective way to “win the war on poverty” was to introduce legislation, programs, and tax cuts that would result in a Great Society, giving all Americans — not just the poor and underprivileged — a better quality of life.
“At its best, public television would help make our Nation a replica of the old Greek marketplace, where public affairs took place in view of all the citizens.”
-President Lyndon B. Johnson
On this day in 1967, LBJ signed the Public Broadcasting Act (S.1160).
Photo: President Lyndon B. Johnson delivering remarks prior to the signing in the East Room of the White House. November 7, 1967.
Read the full remarks at the American Presidency Project.
-from the LBJ Library
Johnson in Vietnam
After attending a summit in the Philippines with the Heads of State and Government of Australia, Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, President Johnson traveled to Vietnam. He visited with U.S. military personnel in Cam Ranh Bay on October 26th.
President Lyndon B. Johnson in Vietnam: With General William Westmoreland and the fighting men, 10/26/1966
Click it…or ticket!
This 1965 Corvette Stingray was a gift to LBJ’s daughter Luci on her 18th birthday. Unlike most cars manufactured in the sixties, it was equipped with seat belts.
On September 9, 1966, LBJ signed legislation setting new standards for vehicle safety, which included equipping all cars with seat belts beginning in 1968.
-from the LBJ Library
Happy Birthday, LBJ!
Here’s the first photograph ever taken of Lyndon Baines Johnson. He was born approximately six months earlier, on August 27, 1908, in central Texas. No word on the teddy bear’s photographic history, but at least we know it had nicely brushed fur the day this was taken.
-from the LBJ Library
"President Lyndon B. Johnson listens to tape sent by Captain Charles Robb from Vietnam, 07/31/1968"
In this White House photo taken by Jack Kightlinger on July 31, 1968, President Lyndon Johnson listens to a tape recording from his son-in-law Capt. Charles Robb, who was a Marine Corps company commander serving in Vietnam (and later Governor and Senator from Virginia).
LBJ Signs the Medicare Bill
On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare into law. The event took place at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and LBJ told the nation that Medicare “all started with the man from Independence.”
Truman was the first president to publicly endorse a national health insurance program.
As a Senator, Truman had become alarmed at the number of draftees who had failed their induction physicals during World War II. For Truman these rejections meant that the average citizen could not afford visiting a doctor to maintain health. He stated “that is all wrong in my book. I am trying to fix it so the people in the middle-income bracket can live as long as the very rich and the very poor.”
Truman’s first proposal in 1945 provided for physician and hospital insurance for working-aged Americans and their families. A federal health board was to administer the program with the government retaining the right to fix fees for service, and doctors could choose whether or not to participate. This proposal was defeated after, among many factors, the American Medical Association labeled the president’s plan “socialized medicine” taking advantage of the public’s concern over communism in Russia.
Even though he was never able to create a national health care program, Truman was able to draw attention to the country’s health needs, have funds legislated to construct hospitals, expand medical aid to the needy, and provide for expanded medical research.
In honor of his continued advocacy for national health insurance, LBJ presented Truman and his wife Bess with Medicare cards number one and two in 1966.
Image: Harry S. Truman’s Medicare Card #1.
Photo: President Lyndon B. Johnson shakes hands with former President Harry S. Truman at the signing of the Medicare Bill. LBJ Library #34897-14.
White House Meeting with Civil Rights Leaders. June 22, 1963
Photograph of meeting with Civil Rights leaders. Front Row Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, Roy Wilkins, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Walter P. Reuther, Whitney M. Young, A Philip Randolph Second Row Second From Left Rosa Gragg Top Row Third From Left James Farmer
From the Abbie Rowe White House Photographs series