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Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines)

b. 1908 - d. 1973

Lyndon Baines Johnson, 36th U.S. president (1908-1973), assumed the presidency after John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963. Johnson went on to win the 1964 election, with strong support from Dr. King. Johnson did not seek re-election in 1968, choosing unity over the bitter division surrounding the Vietnam War. Johnson was responsible for passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He nominated Thurgood Marshall to be the first African American justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. Though cordial, the relationship between Johnson and Dr. King was often strained. King appreciated Johnson’s generally positive position on civil rights, but King’s vocal opposition of the Vietnam War created challenges for the Johnson Administration.

Associated Archive Content : 231 results

Guidelines for a Constructive Church

In this sermon delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Dr. King spells out guidelines for the church: healing the broken-hearted, preaching deliverance to the captive (freeing people from everything that enslaves), and preaching the acceptable year of the Lord. The acceptable year of the Lord, he says, is every year the time is right to do right, stop lying and cheating, do justice, learn to live as brothers and beat swords into plowshares.

Hall Syndicate: LBJ Unveils New Education Plan

Howard U. sends this article to Dr. King with a note asking him to have the students protest its contents, and soon. The article, by Robert S. Allen and Paul Scott, discusses President Lyndon B. Johnson's proposed plan to allow students to borrow from the federal government to finance their college education, repaying the loans through extra income taxes during their working years.

Institute for Human Relations LBJ Leaflet

The Office of Economic Opportunity republished this spotlight on President Johnson's War on Poverty from Look Magazine in June 1967. The editors discuss the "poverty of opportunity" plaguing nearly 1 in every 6 Americans, saying that Johnson's War on Poverty makes an attempt to combat the economic conditions of America's most vulnerable, including Negro Americans. The articles also shed light on the numerous shortcomings the Johnson Administration-supported legislation has encountered amongst legislators and the American public.

Interview about Refusal to Seat Julian Bond

This is transcript of a question and answer period following a news conference at which Dr. King made a statement regarding the Georgia State Legislature's refusal to seat Julian Bond after Bond announced his support of a Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) news release opposing the Vietnam War. King led a protest rally to the state house.

Invitation to President Johnson's Inauguration

Dr. King receives an invitation to attend and participate in the Inauguration of President Lyndon B. Johnson and Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey.

Invitation to President Kennedy's Inaugural Ball

This invitation was sent to Dr. and Mrs. King, inviting them to the Inaugural Ball following the inauguration of President-elect John F. Kennedy and Vice President-elect Lyndon B. Johnson.

Invitation to President Kennedy's Inaugural Concert

This invitation was sent to Dr. and Mrs. King, inviting them to attend a concert celebrating the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson. The concert features Mischa Elman, a Russian emigre and famed musician.

Invitation to President Kennedy's Inauguration Reception

The Distinguished Hospitality Committee of the Inaugural Committee invite Dr. and Mrs. King to attend a reception preceding the inauguration of President-elect John F. Kennedy and Vice President-elect Lyndon B. Johnson.

Johnson Said to be Choice of Negroes

Kivie Kaplan, the President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said that they would be endorsing Johnson for President. Kaplan said their decision was not made lightly, and they will always endorse the candidate who has a principle of equality for all.

King Plans Capital Shantytown 'In a Tumbledown Shack'

This article describes Dr. King's plans, as observed by a detractor, for the 1968 March of Poor People to Washington.  The Associated Press reports that shacks and poor people from all over the nation will descend on the nation's capital to make the nation aware of their presence. President Lyndon B. Johnson, when reached for comment, said he hoped to work with the groups.

Letter from A. Philip Randolph to President Lyndon Johnson

A. Philip Randolph, the President of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (an AFL-CIO affiliate), writes to President Johnson to urge him to convene a small group of national civil rights leaders to advise local leaders and businessmen on how to deal with the escalation of riots occurring all over the country.

Letter from A. S. Young to MLK

Mr. Young criticizes Dr. King and the black community for their support of heavyweight champion Cassius Clay's refusal to be drafted into the military. He also expresses worry about the quality of black leadership and urges a move from a selfish focus on Negroes only to concern for all people.

Letter from Anonymous Writer to MLK

The author of this letter copies an article "Communists Meet the Church," published by the San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle, to support his accusations of cooperation between the Catholic Church and Communists.

Letter from B. J. Mason to President Johnson

B. J. Mason deplores how justice is not yet color-blind, at least in Alabama. Mason states that Mr. Boykin's right to "due process of law" is being violated. Edward Boykin admitted guilt to a crime and was sentenced to death, but the trial judge had not ensured that the defendant understood the plea. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the conviction in Boykin vs. Alabama (1968), citing the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Letter from Beatrice Rossell to MLK

Beatrice Rossell wrote this letter to Dr. King on Independence Day in 1964, commending him on the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and enclosing a donation. She ends her note, saying "God bless you, your fine family, and the future of your great work."

Letter from Benjamin Spock to MLK

Dr. Spock, pediatrician and Vietnam anti-war activist, writes Dr. King to enlist his support for an anti-war effort by joining in a "statement of common concern" with other "key spokesman for major American interests and institutions." He proposes that the group hold a press conference to release the statement with the intention of encouraging collective action against the Vietnam War. Dr. Spock indicates that he would like to hold the press conference on March 7, 1966. Dr. Spock hopes the group can get an audience with President Johnson to discuss their concerns.

Letter from Bernard Edelman to MLK

Bernard Edelman, a former supporter of Dr. King and the SCLC, expresses his objection to Dr. King's stance on Vietnam.

Letter from Cantor Solomon Mendelson to Dora McDonald

Cantor Mendelson of Congregation Beth Sholom writes to Miss McDonald requesting some of Dr. King's biographical material. Cantor Mendelson also informs her that he has met with Dr. King's attorney, Clarence Jones, to discuss the "I Have A Dream" as a "basis of a musical work."

Letter from Clifford L. Alexander to MLK

Clifford L. Alexander, Chairman for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, wrote to Dr. King to encloses some clippings from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission News Digest, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post regarding the EEOC's hearings on white collar discrimination in New York.

Letter from Dana McLean Greeley to MLK

Dana McLean Greeley, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association, asks Dr. King to lend his name to a letter addressed to President Lyndon Johnson. The letter, which was drafted at the request of the Inter-Religious Peace Conference, requests an interview with President Johnson. Dr. King's handwriting appears on the top right of this letter, saying that he would be happy to allow them to use his name in this context.

Letter from David L. Clark and Charles E. Young to MLK

David Clark and Charles E. Young of the University of California Los Angeles write to Dr. King to ask him to speak to the UCLA student body. They express that their students are very interested in the Civil Rights Movement and have planned an entire "Selma Week" to correspond with his speech and raise money for the Selma Movement.

Letter from Dr. Alex Hershaft to MLK

Dr. Alex Hershaft writes to Dr. King to tell him he is happy to make a donation now that Dr. King has aligned himself against the war in Vietnam. Rather than having to choose between donating to civil rights or anti-war causes, Dr. Hershaft can donate to Dr. King and accomplish both.

Letter from Dr. J. H. Young to MLK

Dr. J. H. Young writes this letter to Dr. King about slavery, the Civil War, and President Lincoln. He reminds Dr. King that the Civil War was fought not over slavery, but succession.

Letter from Dudley Babcock to MLK

Dudley P. Babcock writes to Dr. King to assure him he supports his civil rights leadership but questions his involvement in the Vietnam War protests. Babcock reminds Dr. King that there are always pacifists who might need to accept war in order to prevent more war, citing the example of Neville Chamberlain and the escalation of violence in World War II.

Letter from E. P. and M. C. King to President Johnson

The Kings write President Johnson to discuss their dissatisfaction that neither Dr. King nor Charles Evers was appointed a member of the Advisory Commission on Civil Disorder.

Letter from Edward Thacker to MLK

Edward Thacker, former State Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars for Arkansas, expresses his disagreement with Dr. King's views on the Vietnam War. Thacker also contends that the eradication of poverty is an unrealistic goal.

Letter from Elliot J. Groszek to MLK

Elliot Groszek sends his support to Dr. King after hearing his speech in which he proposed that President Johnson sponsor a program for employment. Groszek finds King to be a revo-lutionary leader and would like for him to run for President of the United States.

Letter from Ernst Ketel to MLK

Ernst Ketel writes Dr. King expressing disgust with current political parties and ideals. He requests that Dr. King consider running for political office, preferably president.

Letter from Esther G. Stone to MLK

Esther G. Stone writes to Dr. King to express her opinions on Negro leadership, American politics, and the Vietnam War. Stone writes that President Lyndon Johnson has done so much for Negroes and that Mrs. Johnson did not deserve the hurtful remarks of Eartha Kitt.

Letter from Eugen Bosch to MLK

Eugen Bosch writes to Dr. King to tell him that, "As always, King was rational and understanding and put the whole thing in the right perspective." Bosch is hopeful that Dr. King will help James Meredith, who had decided to run for Congress in a special election against the incumbent, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.

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