Staff Person: Dale Sauter
Today, April 4th, 2008, marks the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. In memory of King and his accomplishments, my pick today relates to Civil Rights history. Featured below is a telegram from President Lyndon B. Johnson to Capus M. Waynick. Johnson is asking Waynick to serve on the Community Relations Service, a committee created to help resolve racial disputes following the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. At the time, Waynick was serving as Race Relations “Troubleshooter” for North Carolina Governor Terry Sanford.
I have to admit I was not familiar with this committee. However, according to the following quote from Resolving Racial Conflict by Bertram J. Levine, the first written history of the Community Relations Service, this committee is not remembered by most of the general public today for good reason. “In 1964, when the Civil Rights Act was passed, Congress wisely created an agency based in the U.S. Department of Justice to help forestall or resolve racial or ethnic disputes evolving from the act. Mandated by law and by its own methodology to shun publicity, Community Relations Service developed self-effacement to a fine art. Thus the accomplishments, as well as the shortcomings, of this federal venture into conflict resolution are barely known in official Washington, and even less so by the American public”. For more on Bertram’s book, including some “sneak-preview” pages, follow this link. http://books.google.com/books?id=iYMOU0enPNEC&dg=%22national+citizens+committee+for+community+relations%22&source=gbs_summary_s&cad=0
For more information on the Waynick Papers or any other collections we hold, please contact us for further details.
To view an enlarged version of the images, click on the images.