Miller Center

The War on Poverty and Racial Tension in the Urban North

This conversation excerpt demonstrates how President Johnson viewed the War on Poverty as a direct solution to the problems and tensions that had begun to produce rebellions in inner cities across the urban north. After Philadelphia Democratic City Committee Chairman Francis "Frank" Smith recounts the story of a fatal police shooting of an unarmed African American teenager in the city, the President responds by urging Smith to lobby Republicans to support the War on Poverty legislation that would soon be voted on in the House of Representatives.

Note: the clip and transcript include two separate excerpts from the conversation.

Date:  Jul 30, 1964
Participants:  Lyndon Johnson, Francis "Frank" Smith
Conversation Number:  WH6407.13-4336

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