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Vice President Johnson Speaks at Gettysburg

May 30, 1963 - Vice President Johnson declared today that whites and Negroes must work together “to lead the way through this moment of challenge and decision.” He told a Memorial Day audience in Gettysburg, Pa., made legendary as a Civil War battleground (pictured in July 1863), that “in this hour, it is not our respective races which are at stake, it is our nation.” The Texan urged white and Negro to work within the law. There is no other way out of the present crisis than for both sides to cooperate, he cautioned. Mr. Johnson emphasized in his speech: “One hundred years ago, the slave was freed. One hundred years later, the Negro remains in bondage to the color of his skin. The Negro today asks justice. We do not answer him, and we do not answer those who lie beneath this soil when we reply to the Negro by asking, ‘Patience.’ Our nation found its soul in honor on these fields of Gettysburg 100 years ago. We must not lose that soul in dishonor now on the fields of hate.”

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