Interview with Rev. Joseph Ellwanger
QUESTION 23
INTERVIEWER:

SKIPPING FURTHER ALONG, UM, HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT UH LYNDON JOHNSON'S UH SAYING "WE SHALL OVERCOME" AND THE, AND EXPRESSING A NEED FOR THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT?

Rev. Joseph Ellwanger:

Uh, well of course, he came on after Bloody Sunday, uh, and uh made this rather impassioned plea for support for uh the voting rights cause and uh, and then quoting the song "We Shall Overcome," that was uh, a nationally televised speech uh, um speech of his, of course, and uh, anybody who was watching television would see this and hear this but uhm, many of us who were uh, very committed to the cause wondered whether this was lip service and especially for somebody like uh Lyndon Johnson to quote "We Shall Overcome," uh when he had not taken a whole lot of leadership up to this point. Uh, we had a sinking feeling in our stomachs that this may have been just a cosmetic thing that he was trying to show that he was sympathetic but uh, until he was going to, until he came through with support for the Voting Rights Act we were not going to accept this as any kind of a victory.