Thursday, June 19, 2014
THANK YOU, LYNDON JOHNSON!
President Kennedy had called for the passage of a Civil Rights Bill on June 11, 1963 in his Civil Rights Speech which I consider to be his greatest speech. He said: "We are confronted primarily with a moral issue. It is as old as the Scriptures and is as clear as the American Constitution."
After the death of President Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson made the passage of the bill his mission. Despite a 54-day filibuster led by Richard Russell and Strom Thurmond, a substitute bill was introduced and it was marked by Robert Byrd's 14 hour filibuster speech. Howard W. Smith introduced an Amendment to Title VII which included "sex" as one of the classes. The Senate passed the bill with a vote of 73-27 and in the House the vote was 289-126.
Title VII dramatically changed the lives of women and girls.
I frequently say, "I get down on my knees and thank Lyndon Johnson and the Congress for Civil Rights, Voting Rights, and Medicare!"
Recently a person was praising Hospice care a relative had received and I remarked, "Yes, I thank Lyndon Johnson for that!" The person, who just happens to be a Republican, asked, with a great deal of incredulity in her voice, "WHY would you say that?" I answered, "If Johnson hadn't created Medicare, Hospice couldn't have been made a part Medicare." The woman did not know that Hospice Care was covered under Medicare. She actually thought that Hospice was a charity and was funded by donations.
Do you remember the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964? (Read article HERE)