Historic artifact to be presented to ACCORD

Gwendolyn Duncan, President the 40th ACCORD, Inc., reported to Historic City News this morning that she will soon receive the first pen used by President Lyndon Baines Johnson, to sign the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Duncan said that she will be presented with the historic artifact as an “in-kind” gift from a private Florida resident at the 5th Annual Freedom Trail Luncheon being held on Saturday, July 2, 2011, at the Casa Monica Hotel located at 95 Cordova Street in St. Augustine.

“This is a substantial donation,” Duncan told Historic City News. “I will be seeking a secure place to display this artifact until putting in on “indefinite loan” to the Civil Rights Museum Committee of St. Augustine, Inc.”

Committee Chairman Richard P. Burton and his Co-Chair, J.T. Johnson, are grateful for the loan from the Duncan family.

40th ACCORD, Inc., has also secured a “long-term loan” of the largest collection of Lyndon B. Johnson artifacts in private hands, for the Civil Rights Museum of St. Augustine, Inc.

Some of the items in the collection include:

• An extraordinarily rare handwritten letter to Senator Albert Gore, Sr. Gore and Johnson both refused to sign the Southern Manifesto.

• A menu, signed by LBJ, from March 22, 1965 – during the Selma Civil Rights marches. The menu is from a state dinner for governors at the White House and is from the estate of former California Governor Pat Brown.

• LBJ notes in his diary that Governor George Wallace did not RSVP to the state dinner.

• A typed letter signed by Lyndon Johnson, as Vice President, to Ralph Creger, civil rights activist and author of “This Is What We Found” regarding desegregation at Central High in Little Rock, AR

• A collection of more than 20 bill signing pens used by Lyndon Johnson to sign legislation, including the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965 – which established the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Model Cities Act, the Department of Transportation Act of 1966 – which created the Department of Transportation and a pen that was used to sign Medicare into law on July 30, 1965.

• A pair of neckties given to President-elect Nixon by LBJ for Christmas in 1968.

• A license plate from one of the farm vehicles on the LBJ Ranch

The entire collection can be viewed at: www.lyndonbjohnson.org

The keynote speaker at the 5th Annual Freedom Trail Luncheon this year will be Dr. Dorothy Cotton; former Educational Director for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and top female aide to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

While developing local leadership in the deep south and promoting nonviolent social change, Dr. Cotton directed the Citizen Education Program. She was in Oslo, Norway with an entourage that accompanied Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to receive his Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.

Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News archive photograph

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