Obama to join three former presidents to mark Civil Rights Act 50th at LBJ Library

McClatchy Washington BureauFebruary 27, 2014 


President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will join former presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush at a civil rights summit at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act.

Obama will speak on April 10; Carter will speak April 8; Clinton will speak April 9; and George W. Bush will speak the evening of April 10.

The Austin American-Statesman says that other attendees will include LBJ daughters Luci Baines Johnson and Lynda Johnson Robb; former NAACP Chairman Julian Bond; University of Texas President Bill Powers and Taylor “Parting The Waters” Branch, "the premier historian of the civil rights movement," the newspaper said.

It said the agenda is to highlight Johnson’s domestic policy successes, particularly the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which had languished in Congress under President John F. Kennedy.

"As our first African American President, Barack Obama is the fulfillment of the promise of the Civil Rights legislation delivered by President Johnson and a bi-partisan Congress," said library director Mark K. Updegrove.

The three-day event commemorates the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which, the library said "along with the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the Fair Housing Act in 1968, helped establish the legal foundation in fulfilling the long elusive promise of equality among all Americans."

It said the summit "will not only celebrate those pivotal laws, but, just as LBJ would have wanted, will address the civil rights issues we face today in America and around the world."

The LBJ library, located on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin, is one of 13 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.

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