November 22, 1963. President John F. Kennedy has just been assassinated and Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson is now President. One of his first acts as President is to reaffirm the US government's intention to pass the Civil Rights Act. This Act was drafted while JFK was in office and gives people of all races the same rights, including voting rights, access to education and access to public facilities. However, he faces strong opposition to the bill, especially from within his own party. He will have to use all his political will and cunning to get it through.
Politics is war.
Did You Know?
Right after President Lyndon Baines Johnson
signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Senator Dick Russell (Frank Langella
) walks off into an adjoining room, obviously very upset. He's then seen standing and looking at a painting of President Harry S. Truman
, as Johnson comes into the same room after him. The reason this is important is because President Truman unsuccessfully tried passing a major Civil Rights Bill in 1948, and Russell, a segregationist, had a leading role in blocking Truman's bill. Russell had a long track record for defeating civil rights legislation via use of the filibuster. However, he was unsuccessful in his leadership and efforts to defeat Johnson's bill. See more
Many words and phrases used in this TV movie were not in the common vernacular in 1964, including "tarmac" (popularized by John le Carre in the 1970s), "cut to the chase," and "reach out" which is used these days as a poor substitute for "contact." See more
Lyndon B. Johnson
I'm gonna need another set of those cufflinks.
Performace led by Hollis Watkins
Courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings See more