Everett Dirksen, Lyndon Johnson and the Passage of Civil Rights Legislation

There is a long history of bipartisan cooperation between liberals and conservatives in passing important legislation that benefited the nation. A perfect example is liberal Democrat Lyndon Johnson’s civil rights legislation in the mid 1960s.

Johnson pushed for civil rights legislation to help African Americans gain legal equality. One of the greatest obstacles to Johnson’s plans were members of his own party. At that time, segregationist Southern Democrats made up a sizable number of the Democratic Party and they threatened to filibuster civil rights legislation in the Senate. In order to overcome a filibuster, President Johnson needed the support of moderate and conservative Republicans to join with liberal Democrats. The key to this support was the Senate Minority Leader, a conservative Republican from Illinois named Everett Dirksen.

Dirksen had supported civil rights legislation during his time in the House of Representatives, voting for anti-poll tax and anti-lynching measures. Dirksen worked with Hubert Humphrey, Mike Mansfield and other Democratic leaders in breaking the Southern Democrat filibusters to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Here is a video from the LBJ Library of a telephone recording of President Lyndon Johnson and Senator Everett Dirksen on June 23, 1964 where Johnson asks for Republican support for an Excise Tax Bill and Dirksen talks about his actions to help support the 1964 Civil Rights Bill.

About angelolopez

I’ve wanted to be an artist all my life. Since I was a child I’ve drawn on any scrap of paper I could get a hold of. When I went to San Jose State University, I became more exposed to the works of the great fine artists and illustrators. My college paintings were heavily influenced by the humorous illustrations of Peter De Seve, an illustrator for the New Yorker magazine. I also fell under the spell of the great muralists of the 1930s, especially Thomas Hart Benton and Diego Rivera. I graduated with a degree in Illustration. Angelo Lopez has had illustrations published in Tikkun Magazine, the Palo Alto Daily News and Z Magazine. From April 2008 to May 2011, Angelo's cartoons were regularly published in the Tri-City Voice, a weekly newspaper that covers the Fremont, Hayward, Milpitas, Neward, Sunol and Union City areas in California. He did a political webcomic starring his cartoon character Jasper for the progressive blogsite Everyday Citizen. Since December 2011, Angelo does a regular weekly political cartoon for the Philippine News Today, a Filipino American newspaper based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Angelo is a member of the Sunnyvale Art Club, and the Northern California chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. During the 1990s, he was a member of the part-timer workers SEIU unit in the city of Sunnyvale. Angelo won the 2013, 2015 and 2016 and 2018 Sigma Delta Chi award for editorial cartooning for newspapers with a circulation under 100,000. He has also won the 2016 RFK Book and Journalism Award for Editorial Cartoons. Angelo won first prize for the Best of the West contest in 2016 and third prize in 2017. Angelo is married to Lisa Reeber. They enjoy taking walks, watching movies and hanging out with their nieces.
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