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Hubert H. Humphrey Digitization Project

In the sixth installment of our NHPRC funded project to digitize Hubert H. Humphrey's speech texts we focus on the 1964 Civil Rights Act and presidential campaign.

Attending the 55th annual convention of the NAACP: Joseph Rauh, Clarence Mitchell, Senator Hubert Humphrey, and Senator Thomas Kuchel, July 23, 1964



Hubert Humphrey gave this speech at Johns Hopkins University on January 17, 1964. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Convocation, January 17, 1964In it he spoke about the anger and grief he felt after President Kennedy's assassination and other acts of violence, extremism, hatred and ignorance of the previous year. These acts included the bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama, riots at the University of Mississippi, the murder of civil rights activists Medgar Evers and William Moore, and the use of dogs, high pressure hoses and cattle prods on civil rights marchers. He used this anger to explain the events that were about to take place in the Senate.

Washington, D.C.: CBS Reports: Filibuster, with Eric Sevareid, March 18, 1964 President Kennedy had introduced the civil rights bill shortly before his death. After his assassination, the House of Representatives passed the bill without a filibuster on February 10, 1964. Lyndon Johnson, promising to continue the work that Kennedy had begun, put Hubert Humphrey in charge of getting the bill passed in the Senate. Humphrey's problem was the strong opposition of the Southerners and their careful organization of a Senate filibuster.

In a CBS report broadcast on March 18, 1964 Senate Democratic Whip Humphrey, as floor manager of the civil rights bill, faced off against Democratic Senator and head of the southern opposition, Strom Thurmond. In the debate both men made their case for and against the bill's passage. Humphrey's approach went beyond a legislative exercise and insisted on the debate's moral nature: "This passage of the civil rights issue or bill to me is one of the great moral challenges of our time. This is not a partisan issue. This is not a sectional issue. This is in essence a national issue, and it is a moral issue, and it must be won by the American people" (p. 16).

President Johnson did not think the legislation would pass. The Southern Senators had repeatedly blocked civil rights legislation in the past by organizing into teams, splitting up the filibuster into manageable parts. Humphrey knew that fighting this opposition would be difficult. He therefore organized his forces in a similar way by creating teams for each part of the bill and appointing captains for each team, had frequent strategy meetings, and even issued a newsletter to clarify the nuances of the bill. He made sure that there were 51 Senators present or available at all times in case the Southerners requested a quorum call. As he organized his colleagues, he also began working on those Republicans who were initially against the legislation, but who would be needed in a bi-partisan coalition for the required 67 votes, a two-thirds majority, to close down a Senate debate. It had never before been achieved.

Senator Thomas Kuchel of California was the Republican floor leader for the bill. He and Humphrey worked together very successfully. Senator Everett Dirksen, however, was the key figure Humphrey needed on his side, and who ultimately spent much of his time working with Humphrey to revise the bill in order to attract enough Republican swing votes to end the filibuster. Although some goaded Humphrey for giving Dirksen too much of the credit, Humphrey maintained throughout that all would mean nothing if the bill were defeated, however, if the bill succeeded there would be enough praise for everyone (Education of a Public Man, p. 206).

Atlantic City, New Jersey: American Baptist Convention, May 20, 1964Senator Humphrey continuously emphasized the moral element of the civil rights struggle. Spiritual leaders from many communities were invited to come to the capital and make their presence felt during the course of the debate and many did, prompting Humphrey to say later that the bill would never have been passed without them. In this speech in May, after two months of debate, Humphrey encouraged spiritual leaders to continue their support and to keep mobilized even after the bill passed.

On June 10, 1964, after more than three months, the Senate voted. "The tension that morning was palpable. Confidence and enthusiasm were muted by a fear that, somehow, something had come unraveled... We were aglow with the electricity that charged the air in a chamber filled with a dramatic, historic tension beyond anything even the most senior senators had experienced" (Education of a Public Man, p. 210).

They won, the Senate voting 71 to 29 to end the civil rights filibuster. "For me, personally, it was the culmination of the full year's fight for the Civil Rights Act, of fifteen years' battle for civil rights in the United States Senate, and of a lifetime in politics in which equal opportunity had been the objective above all others" (p. 210).

One week after the Senate vote to impose cloture, while the final arguments were continuing, Humphrey received tragic news that his son was in the hospital with a malignant cancerous growth that would need surgery. Humphrey remained in Washington to see the bill's final passage and then raced to his son's side the next day. His son recovered fully from his ordeal.


Washington, D.C.: NAACP Annual Convention, June 23, 1964On June 23, 1964 Humphrey gave this speech before the NAACP annual convention. He thanked two people from Minnesota who worked diligently for the cause. Clarence Mitchell, director of the Washington bureau of the NAACP had been head of the Urban League in St. Paul Minnesota when Humphrey had first met him in the early 1940s. Roy Wilkins was raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, attended the University of Minnesota, and, after being the executive secretary of the NAACP became its executive director in 1964.

On July 2nd President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on national television. Humphrey and Dirksen gave this Washington Reports to the People, (AFL-CIO, Civil Rights, with Everett Dirksen), July 5radio interview a few days after and spoke about the future of the civil rights struggle.

In late July the Republicans held their national convention in California and President Johnson sent an additional 5,000 advisors to South Vietnam. Public concern began to surface about both South East Asia and who Johnson's running-mate would be in the next Presidential election that November. In this Face the Nation Face the Nation, August 2, 1964interview Humphrey was questioned about both of these issues the same day that U.S. destroyers were attacked by the North Vietnamese in the Gulf of Tonkin. Humphrey emphasized that he did not think that combat troops would be necessary in Vietnam and maintained that Lyndon Johnson was the presidential candidate who offered the most restraint where military matters were concerned.

Atlantic City: Meet the Press, August 23, 1964 Much debate that year centered on who Johnson's running mate would be, debate created mostly by Johnson himself. On the Sunday before the Democratic National Convention Humphrey and Minnesota-born Eugene McCarthy, both contenders for the position and friends, made an appearance on Meet the Press and gave this interview.

Address by Hubert H. Humphrey accepting the nomination for Vice Presidency, Atlantic City, New Jersey, August 27, 1964 Johnson offered Humphrey the vice presidency shortly before the convention, emphasizing the difficulties the position would hold and recognizing the strain it could cause on their current relationship. Humphrey felt that he was ready for the challenge and accepted privately, writing this acceptance speech with the help of his friends, including Bill Moyers who added the refrain "But not Senator Goldwater" after each important statement (The Education of a Public Man, p. 226-227). Humphrey accepted the nomination in Atlantic City, New Jersey in this speech. Due to his recognized oratory abilities, he then began doing the bulk of the campaigning for both he and President Johnson.

Paducah, Kentucky, October 21, 1964During the campaign against Barry Goldwater, Humphrey discussed the history of the vice presidency while giving this speech in Paducah, Kentucky, home of former Vice President Alben Barkley. Humphrey also related the fact that his campaign plane, leased by the Democratic National Convention, had been nick-named the "Happy Warrior," a name originally given to Al Smith in the 1928 presidential campaign, and one that he would often be called himself in the coming years.

Ray Scherer, NBC-TV news interview, November 9, 1964In November of 1964 Johnson and Humphrey defeated their opponents in a landslide victory, taking 44 of 50 states. On the 9th of November Ray Scherer of NBC News interviewed Vice President-elect Humphrey and the conversation again turned to the role of the vice president.

New York City: Martin Luther King rally and William E. Knox luncheon, December 17, 1964In December Humphrey attended a rally in New York City to pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and reflect on the past year in this speech. Both he and King had accomplished a great deal in helping to create a "coalition of consciousness" around the issue of civil rights. Little over a year after Humphrey witnessed King's speech on the Washington Mall, King had received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work and Humphrey himself had become the Vice President of the United States. Though Humphrey admitted that these titles were superficial, he recognized that both he and King were focused on a greater achievement still, one where the "United States is a community at peace with itself" (p. 7).

Unfortunately, however, the war in Vietnam was beginning to escalate, taking much needed resources and attention away from the struggle for civil rights.



These speech texts, as well as all of Humphrey's speeches from 1941-1964 are linked to the inventory of his Speech Text Files. More of Humphrey's speeches will be made available each month throughout this project. Look for the year 1965 in March!


National Historical Publications and Records Commission



This project was awarded the support of a $46,000 grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) administered by the National Archives.

Learn more about how the NHPRC helps preserve records of enduring national historical value and promotes their public access and interpretation through archival and documentary programs.


New and Updated Finding Aids - January 2013

Name/Abstract File No.
Allyn K. Ford: An Inventory of His Collection of Historical Manuscripts 01074
Microfilm featuring 1,573 letters, cards, and documents of noted politicians, authors, colonial and Revolutionary War figures, soldiers, explorers, scientists, educators, business leaders, clergymen, and others prominent in cultural and public affairs collected by Minneapolis businessman Allyn K. Ford; 158 original (microfilmed) documents; 58 scraps of paper bearing signatures (autographs); and background files about Ford and the collection. Most of the material originated with American and British personalities.
Anoka County, Minnesota : An Inventory of Telephone Directories lb00098
A collection of telephone directories for cities in Anoka County, Minnesota. Telephone directories are published by telephone companies and include alphabetical listings of residential and business phone numbers and street addresses in the white pages, and a listing of businesses arranged by subject in the yellow pages. Each entry on the inventory lists the city name, year of coverage, and the shelf number of the printed volume or microfiche set which includes that city.
Beltrami County: District Court: An Inventory of Its Civil and Criminal Case Files and Select Trial Transcripts gr00683
Civil and criminal case files, filed as an integrated set.
Chippewa County: District Court: An Inventory of Its Naturalization Records and Index SAM051
Indexes, 1873-1907, 1930-1955; declarations of intention (first papers), 1869-1952; final papers, 1873-1906; petition and record (final papers), 1907-1955; citizenship petitions granted and denied, 1929-1955; applications to take the oath of allegiance, 1940-1954; and loose naturalization papers, 1870-1952.
Chisago County, Minnesota : An Inventory of Telephone Directories lb00091
A collection of telephone directories for cities in Chisago County, Minnesota. Telephone directories are published by telephone companies and include alphabetical listings of residential and business phone numbers and street addresses in the white pages, and a listing of businesses arranged by subject in the yellow pages. Each entry on the inventory lists the city name, year of coverage, and the shelf number of the printed volume or microfiche set which includes that city.
Hennepin County: District Court: An Inventory of Its Naturalization Records and Index SAM043
Personal name index, 1853-1942; loose declarations of intention (first papers), 1853-1873; bound declarations of intention, 1867-1942; final papers (second papers), 1867-1906; petition and record (final papers), 1906-1938; depositions and related records, 1906-1930; and additional unfilmed records, relating particularly to World War I service members, 1918-1938.
Jerome Hill: An Inventory of His Papers 00565
Jerome HillCorrespondence, personal papers, and photographs belonging to this artist and philanthropist, a grandson of St. Paul railroad magnate James J. Hill. The collection is particularly strong in photography, as Hill documented his life with the camera for over 50 years.
HUBERT H. HUMPHREY: An Inventory of His Speech Text Files 00442
Copies of Humphrey's speeches, in varying formats including notes, drafts, speaking texts, printed copies, and transcripts. Also present are excerpts, sample speeches, and incomplete indexes and checklists.
Isanti County, Minnesota: An Inventory of Telephone Directories lb00122
A collection of telephone directories for cities in Isanti County, Minnesota. Telephone directories are published by telephone companies and include alphabetical listings of residential and business phone numbers and street addresses in the white pages, and a listing of businesses arranged by subject in the yellow pages. Each entry on the invathnic entory lists the city name, year of coverage, and the shelf number of the printed volume or microfiche set which includes that city.
James Ford Bell and Family: An Inventory of Their Papers 00749
Business and personal correspondence (1861-1961), newspaper clippings (1920-1961), print materials, scrapbooks, and miscellany of a Minneapolis flour-milling executive who was an active participant in public affairs, and papers of other Bell family members.
James Taylor Dunn and Family: An Inventory of Their Papers 00261
Personal and family papers created and collected by librarian and local historian James Taylor Dunn, his family, and the following collateral families: Curran, Grigg, Langford, Monfort, Sweeting, Taylor, and Bach.
Kittson County: District County: An Inventory of Its Civil and Criminal Case Files gr00684
Interfiled civil and criminal case file nos. 5-1800 (1880-1903) and criminal case file nos. A1-A226 (1932-1960).
Legislature: An Inventory of Its House and Senate Bills (Legislative Set) gr00675
Consists of the final signed copies of House files, Senate files, chapter files, and resolutions.
Lieutenant Governor: Johnson, Marlene: An Inventory of Its Miscellaneous Records of Marlene Johnson gr00686
Minutes, correspondence, and reports of the Mississippi River Parkway Commission (1981-1987); annual reports and agenda packets of the Spring Hill [conference] Center (1982-1984); agenda packets and miscellaneous correspondence of the Executive Council (1983-1986); Johnson's handwritten notebooks (1983-1990); and miscellaneous correspondence.
Marshall County: District Court: An Inventory of Its Civil and Criminal Case Files gr00185
Civil case file nos. 1-13048 (1881-1955) and criminal case file nos. 25-225 (1886-1908).
Mick Caouette: An Inventory of His Production Materials 01081
Includes a set of video interviews with individuals who personally knew Hubert Humphrey (2000-2001), an incomplete set of corresponding transcripts (circa 2003), and related pre- and post-production miscellany (2000-2004).
Mille Lacs County, Minnesota : An Inventory of Telephone Directories lb00097
A collection of telephone directories for cities in Mille Lacs County, Minnesota. Telephone directories are published by telephone companies and include alphabetical listings of residential and business phone numbers and street addresses in the white pages, and a listing of businesses arranged by subject in the yellow pages. Each entry on the inventory lists the city name, year of coverage, and the shelf number of the printed volume or microfiche set which includes that city.
Norman County: Ada: An Inventory of Its Records gr00688
Charter commission order, petition, and related papers (1906-1917), infectious disease report (1931-1932), police department lock-up registers (1936-1954), and justice dockets (1890-1906).
Norman County: Ada: Municipal Court: An Inventory of Its Civil and Criminal Dockets gr00687
Criminal dockets (1930-1948, 1959-1963), civil dockets (1930-1963), and judgment docket (1930-1945).
Otter Tail County: Juvenile Court: An Inventory of Its Case Files gr00685
Case files numbers 1-206, 1917-1928, all relating to dependent children.
Polk County: Probate Court: An Inventory of Its Probate Case Files gr00679
Case file nos. 1-38 and 181C, all related to the admission of dependent children to the State Public School in Owatonna or the Faribault State School and Hospital in Faribault. There are also papers regarding the opening of the State Hospital Farm for Inebriates in Willmar.
Red Lake County: District Court: An Inventory of Its Civil and Criminal Case Files gr00322
Civil and criminal case files; the civil records include an index, by plaintiff and defendant (1897-1975), case file numbers 1-4729 (1897-1951), and select transcripts and related documents (1906-1949). The criminal records include case file numbers 3-553 (1897-1978) and select transcripts and related documents (1932-1957).
Red Lake County: District Court: An Inventory of Its Civil and Criminal Registers of Actions gr00680
Registers of actions for civil (1897-1983) and criminal (1897-1983) cases. Each entry may include the calendar (case file) number, names of the parties in the case, papers filed, names of persons subpoenaed, date files, fees, and remarks.
Red Lake County: District Court: An Inventory of Its Torrens Register and Transcripts gr00681
Register and transcripts for case numbers 1-5; all dealing with land title cases.
SECRETARY OF STATE: An Inventory of Its Electoral College Records gr00149
Records of the Minnesota Electoral College Assemblies for the 1988, 1992, 1996, 2004, 2008, and 2012 presidential elections. Files may include elector ballots for presidential candidates, elector ballots for vice-presidential candidates, news releases, photographs of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party electors and Secretaries of State, and engraved pens of the type used for the signings.
Secretary of State: An Inventory of Its Land Resurvey Field Notes gr00682
Field notes of resurveys done on lands originally surveyed by federal government surveyors as they laid out the exterior and subdivision lines of each Minnesota township from 1847 through the 1920s.
SECRETARY OF STATE: An Inventory of Its Land Survey Field Notes gr00507
Field notebooks kept by federal government surveyors as they laid out the exterior and subdivision lines of each Minnesota township. Also an interior index.
Secretary of State: An Inventory of Its Land Survey Miscellaneous Records gr00505
Assorted records documenting activities involving various aspects of the land survey.
Secretary of State: An Inventory of Its Land Survey Plats gr00508
Plat drawings of Minnesota townships made by the U. S. surveyor general's office in St. Paul from the field notes of deputy surveyors. The records include a set of microfiche reproductions of the plats (1847-1984), including an index created in circa 1984; the official set of plats (1848-2002), which are ink on paper and linen and vary in size; and resurvey plats (2006-2011).
Secretary of State: Election Division: An Inventory of Its Election Returns gr00676
Abstracts of votes for national, state, and county candidates, including special elections, supplemented by precinct summary statements, computer printouts, and related correspondence.
Secretary of State: Election Division: An Inventory of Its Precinct Maps gr00677
Maps showing election ward and precinct boundaries throughout the state.
Secretary of State: Election Division: An Inventory of Its Subject Files gr00678
Files documenting the activities of the division.
Sherburne County, Minnesota : An Inventory of Telephone Directories lb00067
A collection of telephone directories for cities in Sherburne County, Minnesota. Telephone directories are published by telephone companies and include alphabetical listings of residential and business phone numbers and street addresses in the white pages, and a listing of businesses arranged by subject in the yellow pages. Each entry on the inventory lists the city name, year of coverage, and the shelf number of the printed volume or microfiche set which includes that city.
Statehood Sesquicentennial Commission: An Inventory of Its Commission Records gr00567
Records documenting the work of the Minnesota Statehood Sesquicentennial Commission.
Washington County, Minnesota: An Inventory of Telephone Directories lb00113
A collection of telephone directories for cities in Washington County, Minnesota. Telephone directories are published by telephone companies and include alphabetical listings of residential and business phone numbers and street addresses in the white pages, and a listing of businesses arranged by subject in the yellow pages. Each entry on the inventory lists the city name, year of coverage, and the shelf number of the printed volume or microfiche set which includes that city.
Wright County, Minnesota: An Inventory of Telephone Directories lb00103
A collection of telephone directories for cities in Wright County, Minnesota. Telephone directories are published by telephone companies and include alphabetical listings of residential and business phone numbers and street addresses in the white pages, and a listing of businesses arranged by subject in the yellow pages. Each entry on the inventory lists the city name, year of coverage, and the shelf number of the printed volume or microfiche set which includes that city.

New and Updated Catalog Records

Name/Abstract
Haynes, Asa Sylvester, 1827- . Civil War diary and miscellaneous papers, 1865.
Diary entries (January 1-August 19, 1865) of a musician with Company A, Tenth Minnesota, while he was stationed in Mississippi and Alabama and continuing through his journey to and discharge from Fort Snelling. Entries are scattered and brief, describing weather, health, and troop movements. Also includes a receipt for music purchases at the St. Paul firm of Root & Cady, and a letter from an individual named Jonathan to his wife.
May, Alvin R., 1894 or 5-1959. Diary, July 17, 1917-October 27, 1917.
Diary of Alvin R. May of St. Paul detailing his experiences as an ambulance driver with Sanitary Section 71 of the American Ambulance Field Service supporting the French Army during World War I.
Ruger, Thomas Howard, 1833-1907. Letters received, 1854-1855.
Five letters received by Ruger: one from his brother Edward who details a military surveying expedition (1855) from Fort Snelsecretary of stateling into the disputed territory between the Dakota and Ojibwe, commenting on alcohol sales to Indians and on the murders of two white men by Indians who had consumed this alcohol; two letters from an individual named Pat describing life in Hudson, Wisconsin (1854); and one letter from Pat and another from E. A. Connor (or E. O'Connor) discussing life at Fort Gibson, Cherokee Nation (1854-1855).
Scott County: Eagle Creek Township: Justice of the Peace. Civil and criminal docket, 1944-1946.
Towner, Harold E., 1917-2008. World War II diary and papers, 1943-1945.
Photographs, photocopies of pages from a navigation school yearbook, an army separation notice, and a diary kept by Harold Ellsworth Towner of St. Paul while serving as a navigator bombardier on an American bomber in the Pacific theatre during World War II.
Wilkinson, Chauncey B., 1835-1904. Civil War diaries, 1863-1865.
Three diaries of Chauncey B. Wilkinson of Company H, 7th Minnesota Regiment, documenting his participation in General H. H. Sibley's expedition against the Dakota (June-August 1863); containing religious thoughts and sayings while he was serving in the South (September 1864-February 1865); and commenting on the post-war situation, primarily while he was stationed in Selma, Alabama (May-October 1865).

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