After “Bloody Sunday” (Day marchers beat by police outside Selma en route to Montgomery—1965) President Lyndon B. Johnson met with Alabama Governor George Wallace in the oval office about voting rights.
Johnson told Wallace, “You and I shouldn’t be thinking about 1965; we should be thinking about 1985. Now, in 1985…What do you want left behind? Do you want a great big marble monument that says ‘George Wallace’: He built? Or do you want a little piece of scrawny pine…That says ‘George Wallace’ He hated?”
Two days later, March 15, 1965, President Johnson addressed a special joint session of congress. The nation watched.
Johnson said, “This was the first nation in the history of the world to be founded with a purpose…The great phrases of that purpose … Are not just empty theories…Those words are promised to every citizen that he shall share in the dignity of man. That dignity cannot be found in a man’s possessions. It cannot be found in his power or in his position. It really rests on his right to be treated as a man equal in opportunity to all others…There is no Constitutional issue here. There is no moral issue. It is wrong—deadly wrong—to deny any of your fellow Americans the right to vote…There is no issue of state’s rights or national rights. There is only the struggle for human rights.