Senator, Lyndon Johnson, Senate discussed on John Batchelor
Thirty five news talk eight fifty W F T L Johnson congress and this time the battle for the great society, Civil Rights Act of nineteen sixty four the filibuster in those days meant, you talked and Richard Russell of Georgia headed up the eighteen other segregationist southerners, and there were six Republicans who join them Barry Goldwater was one of them to block this by talking. How what did it look like how did they conduct a Senate in this filibuster, Jillian? Well, it wasn't as dramatic or historic as you'd imagine. Not all the senators were usually there one Senator for this out, the south had a smaller team than the pro civil rights forces would make all kinds of speeches ranging from some that were just totally ridiculous examples of why civil rights was unconstitutional to more pointed and fiery debates about states rights and the threat that the government made. But sometimes there was one case where someone was literally sleeping next to the person who was doing the filibuster most of the chamber was actually empty a lot of the time unless there was a quorum call which meant that you needed fifty one members to come back to vote for the day. So you basically had a team of southerners, and at least a team of civil rights. Supporters led by Hubert Humphrey, who would be in the chamber to monitor what was going on. And in the galleries. You had religious leaders you had civil rights activists, and you had union leader. Who were literally monitoring events on the floor just to keep track of what was going on. They were called the gallery. Vultures at one point. There are a number of senators who've gone to Washington senators game. Yes. In those days. It was called the Washington senators not the nationals, and there was an announcement made all US senators. Why did they have to rush to the limousine? Julia. Because if there's not enough people in the Senate for a quorum when there's a quorum call and the day comes to an end, and that basically meant that the southerners would have time to replenish their voices and to give a new set of speeches. So at the opening day, all the senators are there Lyndon Johnson throws the opening pitch and Richard Russell, basically just trying to get under the skin of the northerners, and he has a quorum call in the middle of a game. So all the senators have to leave. But what happened was the civil rights organizations had limousine waiting for the senators and get them right back to the capital within minutes, and they make the quorum call. But this is what other ways. Which southerners constantly tried to wear down proponents of civil rights. Johnson was very busy. He was making thirty speeches across the country. He was also using the powers of the presidency. I love the the water daily made for zone, Carl Hayden. However, what it comes to public opinion. Is that what is that? What turned to Julian when the polls show that the public was against the filibuster. Yeah. I really think this was quite important. And it reminds us that all of Linden Johnson's tricks and tactics what really mattered was the way in which the civil rights movement with fundamentally changing public opinion, and related to that opinion on Capitol Hill, you have people like Everett, Dirksen, the Senate minority leader who is often called the wizard of us because it was long winded speeches who by the spring of nineteen sixty four reaching the conclusion that this Bill must pass that the time is inevitable, and that's really a a response and an effect. Of the changes in public opinion. What by civil rights activists from the Martin Luther King's to religious leaders who are constantly talking to Republicans about the need to pass this Bill. They delay the challenge until after the California primary won by Barry Goldwater, a member he's one of the senators who is against this with John tower of Texas, a Republican there are other Republicans. There are six of them against the civil rights Bill. It's mostly Democrats, but you need to overcome the filibuster in those days, you need sixty seven votes, and the Democrats dominate the the the Senate and the public opinion swings towards breaking it on the last day starting at seven thirty eight PM, there's wonderful detail here at night and speaking they'll nine fifty one AM the next morning is Robert Byrd Virginia. Right. Robert Byrd was the last speaker, Harry, burn Harry, burn. I got to get this right there. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, Robert West Virginia. And he was the final speaker. And now it's going to come to a vote. Did they know they were going to win once the fill a once? They came to cloture vote Jolyon. Yeah. Yeah. By the time, they reach the cloture vote. The Senate minority leader Everett, Dirksen, at basically reached an agreement with Hubert Humphrey, who was then the Senator in charge of the Bill and nNcholas Katzenbach who represented the administration from the Justice department, and Dirksen had already rounded up about the twenty to twenty five oats that they were going to need to end the southern filibuster. So birds speeches is a final last-gasp is to make a statement. But the administration and civil rights forces. No, this is one. So so the moment had come and they knew what the result was going to be the Bill passes cloture is as they win colo-. They have seventy one votes for that seventy one to twenty nine the Bill passes and LBJ signs of July. Second the civil rights. Act and that is the beginning of the momentum that becomes the great society. Because immediately the war on poverty is part of Johnson's energy. He wants this to happen for the election. He's running for he's running for election for the first time ever, but he has to go and convince everybody that money for education is part of fighting or the war on poverty was that a fresh idea nineteen sixty four that educating young people is a way of fighting poverty, Julian he connects to various effectively, I do think proponents of education funding in the early sixties in congress like Wayne Morris who is a well-known Senator at the time had made this case, but Johnson vary effectively thinks of packaging the two together. And part of the reason is he wanted to stress that his war on poverty was in some ways conservative his goal is to use government to give people the tools, they needed to become self sufficient, so education is a great. Way in his mind of making this case. But more importantly, he wanted to think of a way around the problem where liberals often opposed federal education proposal because urban Democrats wanted funding for parochial schools, and many other Liberal Democrats oppose this so hide it to the war on poverty was less about the buildings, and it was more about helping students get out of the case of poverty. There is a shadow that comes over nineteen sixty four it's called Vietnam and the shadow over Vietnam is the Cold War, and we now turn to the to the election campaign of nineteen sixty four Johnson Lyndon Baines Johnson of Texans versus Barry Goldwater of Arizona. And when we come back that election will give Johnston the tools in nineteen sixty five to push to push major pieces of of legislation to be greatly successful. But it will also completely Burton the country with the tragedy Vietnam. I'm John Batchelor with Julian's zealous or the book is. The fierce urgency of now Lyndon Johnson, congress and the battle for the great society. This is the John Batchelor show..