The Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library and Museum will host a three-day Civil Rights Summit, April 8 – April 10, 2014, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Act, 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. 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.
President Obama will be the keynote speaker and will be joined by three former Presidents who will also deliver remarks: Jimmy Carter will speak on April 8; Bill Clinton will speak on April 9; and George W. Bush will speak on the evening of April 10. The event will be live-streamed.
Archivist of the Unites States David Ferriero will also make remarks and note a letter he wrote to President Johnson as a young man which is now part of the collection of records at the LBJ Library. Ferriero said “The National Archives is honored that the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum is hosting this historic Summit which will bring the words, wisdom and insights of President Obama, former Presidents Carter, Clinton, and Bush, and other Civil Rights experts to the global community.”
To celebrate the Civil Rights Summit, the National Archives has partnered with the Google Cultural Institute, a digital platform for viewing cultural treasures from around the globe, to create a Historic Moments exhibit on the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The exhibit explores how LBJ set the stage for the landmark civil rights legislation amid a period of change in America. Discover the exhibit through videos, photos, and documents that capture the growing civil rights movement, the legislative process, and events at the White House. Over 50 objects are featured, including photos of Oval Office meetings between President Johnson and Civil Rights leaders and the Senate cloture motion for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The exhibit is at http://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/exhibit/the-civil-rights-act-of-1964/wRSRa8FV. Coinciding with the Summit, the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum has just opened an exhibit titled Cornerstones of Civil Rights which includes two documents signed by President Abraham Lincoln: an authorized edition of the Emancipation Proclamation and the resolution proposing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. It will also include two documents signed by President Lyndon Johnson: the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Theseare the four “cornerstones” documents on which modern civil rights legislation is enacted.
The Civil Rights Summit is this year’s cornerstone event of a multi-year anniversary celebration of President Johnson’s prodigious legislative legacy.
The LBJ Presidential Library and Museum is one of thirteen Presidential Libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. It is located on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin. Dedicated in May 1971, it is the nation’s fifth presidential library. Its mission is to preserve and protect the historical materials in its collections and make them readily accessible; to increase public awareness of the American experience through relevant exhibitions and educational programs; and to advance the LBJ Library's standing as a center for intellectual activity and community leadership while meeting the challenges of a changing world.