The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 17
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The Passage of the Civil Rights Act of 19 64
Luci Johnson, left, speaks to Zephyr Wright, standing at bar, while others look on at a
birthday party for Wright in 1965. President Johnson used the difficulties Wright, the
Johnsons' cook, encountered in the South as his argument in favor of the public accom-
modations section of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964. LBJLibrary Photo by Donald Stoderl.
couldn't stay there, she didn't stay there. One time we stopped at a place,
and Mrs. Johnson asked them about a place to stay. The woman said,
'Yes, we have a place for you.' [Mrs. Johnson] said, 'Well. I have these two
other people with me. [The hotel desk clerk] said, 'No, We work 'em but
we don't sleep 'em.' and Mrs. Johnson said, 'That's a nasty way to be,'
and we drove away.4"" Wright said she finally reached the point where for
ten years she refused to leave Washington to go South. She told her inter-
viewer that the humiliating experiences she suffered each time she went
home had a profound effect on the president and first lady. "I know that
from the things that I had told him earlier about our trips to Texas, he
remembered it. He told me, 'Things are different now, so you can start
going back to Texas with us.' And I did."42
One has only to read Lady Bird Johnson's White House Diary, with its
many affectionate references to Zephyr Wright, to realize that her com-
fort and welfare were a concern to the Johnson family. The fact that
" Wright to Gillette, December 1974, interview, Tape 1 transcript, 5.
"'Ibid., Tape 1 transcript, 7.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003, periodical, 2003; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/m1/45/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.