On June 23, 1964, President Johnson was receiving news that three civil rights workers--Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner--were missing in Mississippi. Throughout this day and the next week, Johnson continued to follow the case closely, holding over 40 recorded conversations. In this call, Johnson reached out to Senator James O. Eastland, a staunch segregationist from the Mississippi Delta. Eastland declared the episode a publicity stunt, denied the existence of organized white supremacy groups in that part of Mississippi, and ridiculed Fannie Lou Hamer.
Unknown to Johnson, the three workers had been murdered by a group of white supremacists that included local law enforcement officials. A massive manhunt turned up bodies, but not of the three workers. Only after a tip from a paid informant were they discovered--over six weeks later--in an earthen dam southwest of Philadelphia.
This call of June 21, 1964, found President Johnson relishing in the triumph achieved two days earlier when the Civil Rights Bill finally passed the Senate. With a vote in the House still remaining, here Johnson urged House Minority Leader Charles Halleck to push through quick votes on several other bills pending before the House and to pass the Civil Rights Act in time to have a signing ceremony for July 4th. Johnson was worried that a delay would allow the Republicans to avoid voting before leaving for their nominating convention on July 13th.
On August 20, 1965, Jonathan Daniels and several other civil rights activists wanted to buy a coke after getting out of jail. A few minutes later, the 26-year-old Episcopal seminary student lay dead in Alabama, having stepped in front of a shotgun blast intended for a fellow activist, Ruby Sales.
LBJ and Robert Kennedy∇ discuss school integration in Alabama.
Meeting with Civil Rights leaders A. Philip Randolph and Walter White, President Roosevelt considers various options for integrating the U.S. military and preparedness efforts.