On This Day in History: Today

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April 11th, 1964

On this day in 1964, David Bean, pianist, performed at a White House Tea for the 9th and 10th grade classes of the National Cathedral School, attended by Luci Baines Johnson.

April 11th, 1965

On this day in 1965, President Johnson signed the Elementary and Secondary Act [ESEA] (PL 89-10) at the former Junction Elementary School in Stonewall, Texas. Sitting beside him is his first teacher, Mrs. Kathryn Deadrich Loney. This was the first general aid-to-education program ever adopted by Congress and it provided programs to help educate disadvantaged children in city slums and rural areas. (ESEA was technically an amendment to a 1950 “impacted area” act and was amended in 1965, ’66, ’67, and ’70.)

April 11th, 1967

On this day in 1967, President Johnson met with Latin American leaders at a summit in Punta del Este, Uruguay.

April 11th, 1968

On this day in 1968, President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968. This act was designed to end racial discrimination in the sale and rental of 80% of U.S. homes and apartments. It also gave federal protection to civil rights workers.

“In the Civil Rights Act of 1964, we affirmed through law that men equal under God are also equal when they seek a job, when they go to get a meal in a restaurant, or when they seek lodging for the night in any State in the Union. Now the Negro families no longer suffer the humiliation of being turned away because of their race.

“In the Civil Rights Act of 1965, we affirmed through law for every citizen in this land the most basic right of democracy—the right of a citizen to vote in an election in his country. In the five States where the Act had its greater impact, Negro voter registration has already more than doubled. Now, with this bill, the voice of justice speaks again.

“It proclaims that fair housing for all—all human beings who live in this country—is now a part of the American way of life.

“We all know that the roots of injustice run deep. But violence cannot redress a solitary wrong, or remedy a single unfairness.

“Of course, all America is outraged at the assassination of an outstanding Negro leader who was at that meeting that afternoon in the White House in 1966. And America is also outraged at the looting and the burning that defiles our democracy.

“We just must put our shoulders together and put a stop to both. The time is here. Action must be now.

“So, I would appeal to my fellow Americans by saying, the only real road to progress for free people is through the process of law and that is the road that America will travel.

“I urge the Congress to enact the measures for social justice that I have recommended in some twenty messages. These messages went to the Congress in January and February of this year. They broke a precedent by being completed and delivered and read and printed. These measures provide more than $78 billion that I have urged the Congress to enact for major domestic programs for all Americans in the fiscal 1969 budget.

“This afternoon, as we gather here in this historic room in the White House, I think we can all take some heart that democracy’s work is being done. In the Civil Rights Act of 1968 America does move forward and the bell of freedom rings out a little louder.”