1964, African American Museum
“Let us close the springs of racial poison,” Johnson said
In signing the Civil Rights Act, which banned major forms of discrimination against racial, ethnic and religious minorities and women, President Johnson deployed 72 pens, providing plenty of keepsakes. One went to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who said the new law would “bring practical relief to the Negro in the South, and give the Negro in the North a psychological boost that he sorely needs.” LBJ told the East Room crowd that the historic ceremony was occurring on his daughter Luci’s 17th birthday and exactly nine years after his heart attack in 1955.