On 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Act, Obama Says He’s The Living Legacy

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President Obama, with Michelle Obama, the library director, Mark K. Updegrove, left, and Representative John Lewis. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times
President Obama, with Michelle Obama, the library director, Mark K. Updegrove, left, and Representative John Lewis. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

Presidential legacies were on everyone’s mind in Austin, Texas, this week as President Obama and three other presidents addressed the crowd at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library and Museum on the 50th anniversary of Johnson’s signing of the landmark Civil Rights Act — a law that Obama said led directly to his election as president.

As described by the New York Times, “President Obama presented himself on Thursday as the living, walking, talking and governing embodiment of the landmark 1964 law that banned discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin.”

While acknowledging that racism still exists and that government programs have not always succeeded, Obama said, “I reject such cynicism because I have lived out the promise of L.B.J.’s efforts, because Michelle has lived out the legacy of those efforts, because my daughters have lived out the legacy of those efforts.”

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