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The President's Daily Diary: March 11, 1965

On March 11, 1965, President Johnson devoted much of the day to discussing the civil rights demonstrations in Selma, Alabama. Just after noon, the President met with the National Newspaper Publishers Association, a group of Negro publishers, in the Cabinet Room and talked with them about the situation in Selma. Late in the morning a small group of civil rights demonstrators staged a sit-in in the East Wing of the White House. Several hours later policemen removed the demonstrators. At a White House reception that evening for members of Congress, the President spoke on the situation in Selma and asked Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach to brief the Congressmen. Bureau of the Budget Director Kermit Gordon also briefed the Congressmen on the budget, and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara spoke on the Defense budget and the situation in Vietnam. During the reception an aide handed the President a note informing him that Reverend James Reeb, a white minister from Boston who had been beaten the previous day in Selma by four white men, had died in a Birmingham hospital. Johnson left the reception to telephone Reeb's wife and father and returned after talking to them.

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