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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

Letter from MLK to Katherine Gunning

Dr. King thanks Katharine Gunning for sending him a copy of the letter she sent to President Johnson. He urges that "those of us who seek peaece through non-violence make our consciences and numbers known to the men who run our government."

Letter from MLK to Keith Black

Dr. King thanks Keith Black and the Valley Community Presbyterian Church for their contribution to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, stating the progress and upcoming goals of the organization.

Letter from MLK to Mrs. Theodore A. Dilday

Dr. King writes Mrs. Dilday of Riverside Baptist Church to express his appreciation for her two contributions to the SCLC. He explains the current works of the SCLC in Chicago and Alabama and stresses the importance of supporters like her.

Letter from MLK to President Johnson on Greenville Air Base

Dr. King writes to President Johnson proposing the conversion of the Greenville Air Base to a center for training and housing for poverty-stricken Negro citizens of the Mississippi Delta. He urges that the program be coordinated by federal officials and representatives, that action be taken to provide decent housing and nondiscriminatory training programs, and that clear-cut procedures for evaluation be established.

Letter from MLK to Rev. C. B. Wilson

Dr. King conveys gratitude to Rev. C. B. Wilson of Southern Baptist Church for a contribution to SCLC. King explains the increasing expenses of the Civil Rights Movement at a time when liberals are redirecting their attention to the peace issue.

Letter from Mr. and Mrs. Harry Crosby to MLK

The Crosby family of Massachusetts encloses a check to Dr. King to aid in the fight for equality. Mrs. Crosby notes that her husband was the first individual to employ a Negro teacher at Boston University, where Dr. King received his PhD in systematic theology.

Letter from Mrs. Gossett to MLK

Mrs. Gossett responds to Dr. King's "Showdown for Non-Violence," an article in Look magazine. She compares welfare and social security to subsidies received by the agricultural, railroad and mining industries. She also encloses an editorial from her local paper that mentions Dr. King.

Letter from Nicholas Katzenbach to MLK

U.S. Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach writes to Dr. King acknowledging his suggestion of using the Greenville Air Force Base to help alleviate the economic problems of Negro families in the Mississippi Delta. Katzenbach states that most of the land is no longer leased by the U.S. government but that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1965 would apply to any educational programs.

Letter from O. O. Rabb to MLK

This note and newspaper clipping from O.O. Robb was addressed to "The Right Reverend Martin Luther King, Pastor & Civil Rights Agitator." Robb assures Dr. King that he would, in fact, find supporters, "for there are many soft-headed wild-eyed people who have a soft heart and no brains who will follow." Robb contines that President Johnson's Great Society and War on Poverty must go on and ends that Dr. King and his supporters will get their reward - a prison cell.

Letter from P. Charles to MLK

P. Charles, President of the Hyderabad Lutheran Church in India, writes Dr. King to commend him on receiving the Nobel Peace Prize and also to congratulate him on the landslide election victory of President Lyndon Johnson.

Letter from Paul Shields to MLK

Paul Shields, the News Director of CBS Television in Atlanta, writes to Dr. King to lodge a complaint against the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's press department. He states that press conferences convened by the SCLC rarely begin on time.

Letter from President Johnson to Alan Westin

President Lyndon B. Johnson writes to Professor Alan Westin, of Columbia University, to congratulate him on the formation of the Center for Research and Education in American Liberties.

Letter from President Johnson to MLK on Assuming Presidency

President Johnson writes Dr. King thanking him for his sympathetic telegram as he assumes the Presidency and assures him that he will continue the fight for civil rights initiated by President Kennedy.

Letter from President Johnson to MLK on Voting Rights

President Johnson offers his gratitude to Dr. King for supporting his advocacy before Congress of legislation guaranteeing universal voting rights.

Letter from President Johnson to Robert W. Gilmore

President Johnson writes Robert Gilmore regarding the "Democratic Action in South Vietnam" statement of the Center for War/Peace Studies. Johnson assures him that the U.S. government shares his concern for the development of democracy in Vietnam.

Letter from Raphael Gould to Coretta Scott King

Mr. Gould of the Fellowship of Reconciliation sends Mrs. King a compilation of writings about and by Phan Thi Mai, a Vietnamese student who self-immolated on May 16, 1967 in an appeal to end the war in Vietnam. Mai "decided to burn herself to make her voice heard by the war."

Letter from Rev. J. H. Cole to Roy Wilkins and MLK

Rev. Cole writes to Dr. King and Roy Wilkins of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to convey his disgust at the treatment of Negroes in such areas as housing, education, politics and police brutality. He suggests the initiation of a nationwide letter writing campaign to every member of Congress to highlight this treatment and seeks a program that will provide Negroes with jobs skills. Cole also encloses a letter he sent to President Johnson and Attorney General Ramsey Clark regarding Congress' disregard of "racial discontent."

Letter from Richard Tucker and Stanford Ovshinsky to Lyndon Johnson

The Oakland County (Michigan) Peace Committee, believing U.S. involvement in Vietnam is a mistake, asks President Johnson and government representatives to stop bombing North Vietnam, promote a bilateral ceasefire, and enter multilateral negotiations.

Letter from Robert Finley to President Johnson

Robert Finley proposes a federal gasoline tax increase of at least fifty cents to relieve the burden of property owners. He enumerates the benefits that would be achieved.

Letter from Robert N. Balkind to Andrew Young

This document is a letter of condolence written by the chief executive of a manufacturing company and addressed to Andrew Young, mistakenly listed as head of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). The writer laments Dr. King's assassination and offers a contribution in his "name, honor, and memory."

Letter from Robert Stark to President Johnson

Mr. Stark sends the President his views on Liberty and Justice for All, calling programs designed to benefit Negroes a "farce," denouncing Negro lack of responsibility and claiming that it is civil rights not the Vietnam War that is expensive. He is upset that there is so much media focus on blacks and believes it is time to insist upon white rights.

Letter from Roland Gammon to MLK

Roland Gammon requests an interview with Dr. King for a sequel to Faith Is A Star, a book about the role faith has played in the lives of prominent Americans. The sequel will focus on world leaders.

Letter from Ruth Frank Rosenwald to MLK

Ruth Frank Rosenwald writes urging Dr. King to commend Robert Kennedy for his advocacy of peaceful alternatives to war and to invite him to issue a joint call for a meeting of civil rights and peace leaders and President Johnson for dialogue on U.S policy in Vietnam, Santo Domingo and West Germany.

Letter from Samuel Kirk to President Johnson

Mr. Kirk, Director of the Institute for Research on Exceptional Children, writes to President Johnson expressing his desire for peace in Vietnam. Kirk suggests that Johnson appoint a Peace Commission consisting of Dr. King and others to help create solutions for ending the war.

Letter from Sevy Powell to MLK

evy Powell expresses her view that President Johnson has done more for Negroes than President Kennedy did and Robert Kennedy or Sen. Eugene McCarthy can do because of his ability to influence Congress.

Letter from Smithsonian Institution to MLK

S. Dillon Ripley, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, invites Dr. King to attend the bicentennial birthday celebration of the organization's founder, James Smithson.

Letter from Svend Erik Stybe to MLK

The president of the Danish Students' Association invites Dr. King to Denmark to give an address to Danish students.

Letter from the Norway-American Association to MLK

Ragnhild Galtung, director of the Norway-American Association, congratulates Dr. King on his Nobel Peace Prize and invites him to speak during his upcoming visit to Oslo.

Letter from Theodore Brown to MLK

Theodore Brown writes Dr. King requesting his signature on a telegram to President Johnson from the American Negro Leadership Conference on Africa expressing disapproval of South Africa's rule over South West Africa and requesting U.S. support for turning over administration to the United Nations.

Letter from Thomas R. Hughes to MLK

Thomas R. Hughes, Executive Assistant to the Secretary of Agriculture, sends Dr. King Orville Freeman's Senate testimony on the Department's efforts to improve nutrition for low-income families and provide food assistance throughout the country.

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