21 January 1968 & washington free press take 2
"Today, President Johnson will attend National City Christian Church at Thomas Circle, across the street from the Washington Free Press office. He is hereby invited to stop in to our office and have a cup of coffee & talk things over."
#OTD Sunday 21 January 1968 Lyndon B. Johnson did not attend service at the white-led National City Christian Church at 5 Thomas Circle, as he did many Sundays. However, 17 protesters did. These protesters handed out leaflets that denounced Johnson for the Vietnam War and the church pastor, Rev. George R. Davis, for his racist comments about Eartha Kitt. Three days earlier, at Lady Bird Johnson's luncheon at the White House, Kitt questioned both Johnsons on their stances on "crime" and Vietnam. Both LBJs were taken aback by her questions. They assumed that the extensive advance vetting would guarantee that she would perform a politics of respectability and not use that rare opportunity to speak out.
The protestors were escorted out by the ushers. One protestor had to be carried out after deciding to run to the front of the church and splay out on the floor. Once outside and down the stairs, perhaps the protestors turned right and walked across the street to the Washington Free Press office "to have a cup of coffee and talk things over."
Your comments are welcome below. Were you one of the 17 protesters? Do you have a copy of one of the leaflets? Were you a church member? Do you know which church member tore some of the leaflets into pieces and threw them on the floor? You may also comment privately here.
Photo source: Courtesy Library of Congress Russell Jones, photographer, n.d.
Washington Free Press, 14 January 1968.
"Protesters Ousted from LBJ's Church," Chicago Daily Defender 22 January 1968.