Anyway, samosas come from Bangladesh
Noodles come from China
Pizza comes from Italy
Blah blah blah
Etc etc etc… my bum hurts soooo much
On 22 November 1963, at approximately 2:38 p.m. (CST), Lyndon B. Johnson stood in the middle of Air Force One, raised his right hand, and inherited the agenda of an assassinated president.1 Cecil Stoughton’s camera captured that morbid scene in black-and-white photographs that have become iconic images in American history. Three days after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. suggested to the new president that “one of the great tributes that we can pay in memory of President Kennedy is to try to enact some of the great, progressive policies that he sought to initiate.” President Johnson promised that he would not “give up an inch” and that King could “count on” his commitment.2 Seven and a half months later, on 2 July 1964, Johnson sat at a table in the East Room of the White House and signed the Civil Rights Act. Reverend King and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy were among the several dozen politicians and civil rights activists crowded together to witness the event in person, while a national audience watched the event live on television. Forged from years of grassroots organizing and political maneuvering, this legislation would eventually force the dismantling of Jim Crow, the approximately seventy-year-old system of racial segregation in the United States. The bill gave the federal government the power to desegregate public accommodations, fight against workplace discrimination, speed up public school desegregation, mediate racial disputes, and restrict several other discriminatory practices.
For his most important moment since the assassination, President Johnson wore a dark suit and wire-rimmed glasses. He had his hair slicked back in the style of the day. Using a restrained, deliberate voice, he spoke directly into the camera and in a ten-minute message called on the American people to comply with this effort “to eliminate the last vestiges of injustice in our beloved country” and “to close the springs of racial poison.” He then handed out souvenir pens like postpartum cigars, giving a whole handful to Robert Kennedy to take back to his assistants in the Justice Department. The president was also pleased—as he told the crowd surrounding the desk awaiting their pens—that the event occurred on his daughter Luci’s seventeenth birthday and on the ninth anniversary of his 1955 heart attack. 3
His elation did not last. Later that evening, in a mood described by White House aide Bill Moyers as “melancholy,” Johnson predicted that “we just delivered the South to the Republican Party for a long time to come.”4 That remark is one of