The Congress: The Education Bill

To buttress his education program, Lyndon Johnson reached all the way back to the Continental Congress, which in 1787 proclaimed that schools "shall forever be encouraged," and to Mirabeau B. Lamar, second president of the Republic of Texas and "the father of Texas education," who remarked in 1838 that "the cultivated mind is the guardian genius of democracy." The President also reached back to his own experience in Congress.

John Kennedy's 1961 education bill, which demanded federal money for public school construction, had died between two opposing forces: Roman Catholic demands for...

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