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July 3, 2014 5:00 PM

LBJ’s second great battle: enforcing the Civil Rights Act

When Lyndon Johnson became president after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, so closely had he played his political cards that nobody was exactly sure what he believed in. Very quickly, the surprising answer became clear: civil rights. Johnson went all-in on Kennedy’s stalled bill, declaring: “What’s the point of being president if you can’t do what you know is right?”

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