In the midst of crisis, President John Kennedy reportedly worked the phones with key industrial leaders and won the agreement that a civil rights bill was needed.
President Lyndon Johnson was committed to achieving civil rights goals as well.
Congress passed and President Johnson signed the century’s two most far-reaching pieces of civil rights legislation: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
President Johnson advocated civil rights, even though he knew it would cost the Democratic Party the South in the next presidential election, and possibly for future elections as well.
FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, concerned about possible Communist influence in the civil rights movement and personally antagonistic to Martin Luther King, Jr., used the FBI to investigate King and other civil rights leaders.