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If you live in one of this state’s major cities, it’s likely there are celebrations or parades today. Students who are off may be giving their time in service to their communities, all to honor to the life and achievements of one of America’s most influential civil rights leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

One of Martin Luther King’s greatest partners in the fight for civil rights was a white Texan endowed with both privilege and power – Lyndon Baines Johnson, then President of the United States. Today, the LBJ Presidential Library is showing off, for the first time, a condolence letter from President Johnson to King’s wife, Coretta Scott King, following her husband’s assassination.

Mark Updegrove, who directs the LBJ Library and Museum in Austin, wrote that the partnership between LBJ and MLK on civil rights is “one of the most productive and consequential in American history.” He says their work together on passing the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and voting rights legislation the following year were pivotal in transforming Jim Crow laws that pervaded the South.

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