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This week, Speaker Boehner sent a letter to the organizers of the LBJ Presidential Library’s Civil Rights Summit, applauding them for celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and indicating that the House & Senate will hold a formal ceremony to mark this milestone.

As the July 2nd anniversary of final passage approaches, I expect the House and Senate to join you in formally commemorating this milestone,” Boehner writes. “This will be entirely in keeping with our efforts to see that the Civil Rights Movement receives its due in the Capitol.”

Read the full letter here or below:

April 7, 2014

Dear Mr. Temple and Mr. Updegrove,

It is most fitting that the LBJ Presidential Library will bring together presidents and notables to mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  I truly appreciate your invitation, and regret that House business precludes my attendance.

Passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is rightly regarded as one of the House’s finest hours.  I am particularly proud of the pivotal role played by Ohio’s William McCulloch, who hailed from Piqua, a town I now have the privilege to represent.  “Without him,” President Kennedy once declared, the bill “can’t be done.”  It was McCulloch and his colleagues in the House who pressed for the strongest and most definitive measure, one capable of fulfilling the promise of justice and opportunity for all.  Indeed, just as the House shaped the bill, the bill reaffirmed this institution’s standing as the body closest to the people.

As the July 2nd anniversary of final passage approaches, I expect the House and Senate to join you in formally commemorating this milestone.  This will be entirely in keeping with our efforts to see that the Civil Rights Movement receives its due in the Capitol. Last year alone, we added statues of Frederick Douglass and Rosa Parks, marked the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, and paid tribute to the victims of the 1963 Birmingham bombing.  In addition, the House historian has launched an online exhibit on the Civil Rights Movement, complete with testimonies from lawmakers and images from the LBJ Library. 

Though it is vital to celebrate the wisdom and fortitude of those who came before us, it is better still to build on their work.  The LBJ Library recognizes this truth, and in your contributions, we find much to cheer and emulate.  Best wishes for a successful summit.

Sincerely,

John A. Boehner
Speaker