We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
"Segregation ...not only harms one physically, it also harms one spiritually...it scars the soul...It is a system which stares the segregated in the face, saying "You are less than..." and "You are not equal to...""
Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)
From a US Govt. "backgrounder" on the Civil Rights Act:
The assassination of John Kennedy in November 1963 left most civil rights leaders grief-stricken. Kennedy had been the first president since Harry Truman to champion equal rights for black Americans, and they knew little about his successor, Lyndon Baines Johnson. Although Johnson had helped engineer the Civil Rights Act of 1957, that had been a mild measure, and no one knew if the Texan would continue Kennedy's call for civil rights or move to placate his fellow southerners.
But on November 27, 1963, addressing the Congress and the nation for the first time as president, Johnson called for passage of the civil rights bill as a monument to the fallen Kennedy. "Let us continue," he declared, promising that "the ideas and the ideals which [Kennedy] so nobly represented must and will be translated into effective action." Moreover, where Kennedy had been sound on principle, Lyndon Johnson was the master of parliamentary procedure, and he used his considerable talents as well as the prestige of the presidency in support of the bill.
On February 10, 1964, the House of Representatives passed the measure by a lopsided 290-130 vote, but everyone knew that the real battle would be in the Senate, whose rules had allowed southern (Democrats) in the past to mount filibusters that had effectively killed nearly all civil rights legislation. But Johnson pulled every string he knew, and had the civil rights leaders mount a massive lobbying campaign, including inundating the Capitol with religious leaders of all faiths and colors. The strategy paid off, and in June the Senate voted to close debate; a few weeks later, it passed the most important piece of civil rights legislation in the nation's history, and on July 2, 1964, President Johnson signed it into law.
Here's a link that briefly summarizes the civil rights era in the US.
I see the "Bushification" of past Republican Presidents is now in full swing. If memory and my public school education serve, Eisenhower (R) was president in 1957 when Little Rock Central High School was integrated. Sounds like a "champion of civil rights" to me.
And Lincoln was the first Republican President, let us not forget in view of this latest instance of Lincoln- hijacking by Democrats. Most Americans have forgotten- or never knew, or were born after, including Obama- that African Americans were once as solidly Republican as they are now Democrats.
This was Lincoln's legacy to Republicans.
The vestiges of Democrat racism from that era still exist despite the Dems best efforts to deny it; Democrats were primarily a Northern urban and Southern regional coalition up until 1964. And, if I recall correctly, MLK identified himself as a Republican prior to his incarceration during the 1960 Presidential campaign; it was JFK playing Johnny-On-The-Spot who started the movement of African Americans toward the Democrat Party.
When the historical record is examined in toto, the Republican Party has a longer and more honorable record on equal rights than the Democrats; Democrats, through their domination by Southern congressional barons, have a shameful past prior to 1960 in this regard. Republicans need never apologize or concede a thing when it comes to the GOP record in standing up for equal rights and opportunities for all.
Steered through to passage the first civil rights bill in 82 years (Civil Rights Act of 1957). As Chairman of the Senate Preparedness Investigating Subcommittee he began hearings on the American space program following the launch of the Russian satellite, Sputnik, on October 4. Johnson considered the highlights of his Senate career to be the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and the vitalization of the United States space program.