Thursday, August 31, 1967 - 2:40pm - 2:41pm
Lyndon Johnson, Cecilia Marshall

The previous day, August 30, Thurgood Marshall was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 69 to 11 as the 96th Justice of the United States. In the process, he became the first African American member of the Court. The final vote was overwhelmingly in favor, but the hearings had taken almost six hours and included some strong criticism, particularly from some Southern senators, who criticized Marshall for being too liberal and unqualified for the position.1

In this call, Thurgood Marshall's wife, Cecila, called to thank President Johnson for his support of her husband.

President Johnson: Hello?

Cecilia Marshall: President Johnson?

President Johnson: Yes?

Marshall: Cissy Marshall.

President Johnson: Yes, Mrs. Marshall?

Marshall: Now that I have stopped trembling a little, and now that we're more or less legal, I thought I'd like to call you and thank you again so much for the faith you have shown in Thurgood [Marshall] and so much that you have done for everybody.

President Johnson: Well, I know he'll be very worthy of it, and I know that both of us will be proud of him.

Marshall: Thank you so much again.

President Johnson: It's very nice of you to call me. And that makes me feel mighty good.

Marshall: I just had to. I couldn't go by another day without calling you.

President Johnson: Thank you. You're very sweet.

Marshall: Bye.

President Johnson: Good-bye.

  • 1. Fred P. Graham, "Senate Confirms Marshall as the First Negro Justice," New York Times, 31 August 1967, p.1.

Original tape courtesy of LBJ Library. This transcript is a working draft. Please let us know if you find important errors.