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  Lyndon Johnson - Speech to the Nation on Civil Disorders (July 27, 1967)
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ContributorThomas Walker 
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DescriptionMy fellow Americans:

We have endured a week such as no nation should live through: a time of violence and tragedy.

For a few minutes tonight, I want to talk about that tragedy—and I want to talk about the deeper questions it raises for us all.

I am tonight appointing a special Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders.

Governor Otto Kerner of Illinois has agreed to serve as Chairman. Mayor John Lindsay of New York will serve as Vice Chairman. Its other members will include Fred R. Harris, Senator from Oklahoma; Edward W. Brooke, United States Senator from Massachusetts; James C. Corman, U.S. Representative from California, 22d District, Los Angeles; William M. McCulloch, the U.S. Representative from the State of Ohio, the 4th District; I. W. Abel, the president of the United Steel Workers; Charles B. Thornton, the president, director, and chairman of the board of Litton Industries, Inc.; Roy Wilkins, the executive director of the NAACP; Katherine Graham Peden, the Commissioner of Commerce of the State of Kentucky; Herbert Jenkins, the chief of police, Atlanta, Georgia.

The Commission will investigate the origins of the recent disorders in our cities. It will make recommendations—to me, to the Congress, to the State Governors, and to the mayors—for measures to prevent or contain such disasters in the future.

In their work, the Commission members will have access to the facts that are gathered by Director Edgar Hoover and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI will continue to exercise its full authority to investigate these riots, in accordance with my standing instructions, and continue to search for evidence of conspiracy.
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