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Special Message to the Congress: The American Promise [on the Voting Rights Act], 3/15/65. MP506.

President Johnson’s Special Message to the Congress, The American Promise. March 15, 1965.
Index terms: Speeches; Congress;

LBJ Library video MP506 donated by CBS. No usage fees. Footage shown here was a gift from CBS for the LBJ Library. They are pool coverage of live presidential addresses and are not copyrighted. The Library has made them available (excluding any network commentary) for decades without incident.

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  1. How awful to see those southern Senators sitting there with smug expressions on their faces, not applauding….I hope that every one of them went to their graves with deep regret over being on the wrong side of history.  To deny equal rights to ANY American citizen is simply morally and fundamentally wrong.

  2. A great man and a great President who made a great mistake in pursuing a war in southeast Asia, but at great man and a great President, nevertheless.

  3. Is he reading off the teleprompter but pretending to look at his notes or is he doing both or is he just not using the teleprompter at all?

  4. 50 years ago today. After "Bloody Sunday" AKA The March on Selma, Alabama AKA The March on The Edmund Pettus Bridge. This is one of the greatest (and most important) speeches ever given by a U.S. President. Too bad the current Supreme Court of the United States has gutted so much of it …The Voting Rights Act of 1965.

  5. 24:24 for lead-up to the most famous utterance of the speech

    I can't think of speeches in modern times that open with as grand and righteous a tone as Johnson's opening (3:50): "I speak tonight for the dignity of man and the destiny of Democracy. I urge every member of both parties, Americans of all religions and of all colors, from every section of this country, to join me in that cause."

  6. Every book that I've read about this great man has had to mention Vietnam. That it was his undoing. A war he inherited, that he escalated, and that ultimately plunged the U.S. into chaos. But he was a great senator, a greater President, and despite his shortcomings, the greatest among men.

  7. Whats crazy is that this moment is foundation for how the south votes in elections today, before this no southerner would have ever considered voting republican.

  8. I have heard so many awful things of LBJ. That he was a bully, that he insisted no one disagree amongst his advisors, that he hated Kennedy, that he was a licentious cheat. But he gave this speech like an angel, and I was in love with him before it was half over, and I started to cry when he spoke of teaching non-white children. I don't care; I'd vote for him if he were here today.

  9. No wonder our Country is in the shape it is ; I think if you really study this guy ; he no more gave a crap about Civil Rights ; than a Man on The Moon. With most of these idiots it's Smoke and Mirrors … They will always control you…

  10. I believe in Jesus and I know a lot about God.So if you have questions I'm here.I also have a video, God loves all:message, you might like.God bless you all!:)

  11. Flawed, as we all are and perhaps some of the criticism is warranted; but President Lyndon Johnson is in my opinion, one of the greatest presidents that America has ever seen. His Vietnam policy was seriously flawed, however; much of his legislative accomplishments were some of the greatest since FDR. Truly an underrated president who knew how to speak from the heart and to influence the nation during some of the most vicious times in American history.

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