Obama marks 50th anniversary of Civil Rights Act

2014-04-10 21:14
(Brendan Smialowski, AFP)

(Brendan Smialowski, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Austin - President Barack Obama on Thursday honoured Lyndon B Johnson as a leader who seized the presidency's opportunity to shape the "currents of history" and fulfill America's founding promises of equality.

Obama's 30-minute remarks at the Johnson presidential library came at the end of a three-day summit commemorating the law that ended racial discrimination in public places.

The anniversary has led to a renaissance of sorts for Johnson's domestic agenda and renewed appreciation for the 36th president's mastery of congressional deal making.

"I have lived out the promise of LBJ's efforts," Obama said, marking the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, landmark legislation signed by Johnson that helped clear the way for Obama to become the nation's first black president.

Obama, who has faced criticism for not replicating Johnson's tactics with lawmakers, praised his predecessor's ability to cajole and to strong-arm the civil rights law through Congress over objections from lawmakers in his own party.

"No one knew politics, and no one loved legislating, more than President Johnson," Obama said. "He was charming when he needed to be, ruthless when required."

The president also offered rare personal insight into his views on the office he holds, casting it as a humbling perch.

"You're reminded daily that in this great democracy, you are but a relay swimmer in the currents of history, bound by decisions of those who came before, reliant on the efforts of those who will follow, to fully vindicate your vision," he said.

For Obama, who was criticised by some African-Americans in his first term for doing too little to help minorities, the commemoration of the Civil Rights Act dovetails with a focus on inequality and economic opportunity that has become an early hallmark of his second term with modest success.

Democrats have seized on the broader theme as their battle cry for the election year, and Obama offered his own reminder on Thursday that more work must still be done to even the playing field for all Americans.

"The story of America is a story of progress, however slow, however incomplete," Obama said.

Obama was introduced at Thursday's event by Representative John Lewis who withstood violence and arrest during the civil rights marches through Alabama in the mid-1960s.

Lewis said Obama's election marked a moment when the nation believed it "may have finally realised the vision President Johnson had for all of us - to live the idea of freedom and eliminate the injustice from our beloved country."

- AP
Read more on:    us
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Sales Representative

Western Cape
Neo Batho (Pty) Ltd
R9 000 - R10 000 Per Month

Motor Trade Tech

Western Cape
Oxyon Human Capital Solutions (Pty) Ltd

iOS / Android Developer

Western Cape
Extraordinary Futures
R25 000 - R40 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is easy to get bogged down by things today. The Taurus Moon highlights the comforts and pleasures of life. You may have the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.