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I've been trying to figure this out for a while, and it's really bugging me. Seeing Robert F. Kennedy (if I'm right) in the background there made me really curious about everyone else around Lyndon Johnson. The guy Kennedy is talking to could be Martin Luther King, Jr., but that's as far as I've gotten. No convenient Wikipedia article about this photo to help me this time.

Can anyone identify the people in the photo?

  • 1
    A copy of the newsreel footage of the signing (2:58) is at youtube.com/watch?v=ZaRUca7FyAc . The narration says that many "legislators & civil rights leaders" were present, and that about 100 pens were given as souvenirs. The recipients named in the newsreel were Robert Kennedy, Herbert Hoover, Martin Luther King, Everett Dirkson, and Hubert Humprey. Although others were not named, the additional footage should help add candidates for the photo identification.
    – bgwiehle
    Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 13:07
  • An article from the Smithsonian magazine includes another picture taken at the signing with individuals identified (mouse over the image to see the names), although I don't have the time right now to match the 2 pictures and identify the particular individuals in this shot. Commented Aug 15, 2018 at 14:08

3 Answers 3


I'm not good with facial recognition, so this is a bit of a guess and a few are quite possibly dead wrong. But I think, counting non-obscured faces from left to right, those present in this photo are:

Credit goes to Tyler Durden on identifying Jacob Javits.

There were actually a lot of people at the ceremony - Johnson handed out 72 or so pens as commemorative gifts.

  • Pretty sure you're correct about the one on the far left (mostly clipped) being Carl Albert. He was 2nd ranking democrat in the House at the time (Majority Leader), and would become speaker 7 years later. So I'm taking the liberty of removing your question mark.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 14:36
  • ... and if I had a gun to my head on your "unsure", I'd guess Robert Byrd. However, I think Byrd may have still had his dark hair color in '64.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 14:43
  • @T.E.D. That does look like an older Byrd. It's a pity there isn't more shots of the same scene; the tilt or colouring could be throwing people off.
    – Semaphore
    Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 4:26
  • Interesting. So, standing right by Lyndon Johnson during the signing was a crowd that included MLK, RFK, Al Capone's lawyer, the "Little Giant from Little Dixie", and the guy that would later lead the Nixon impeachment hearings. Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 2:04
  • Yeah, it was a pretty big party though.
    – Semaphore
    Commented Feb 18, 2016 at 8:10

I know 3 of them (not including Kennedy that you have already identified):

civil rights signing 1964

TK is Senator Thomas Kuchel.


Congressman Peter Rodino (D-NJ) is directly behind Johnson. He has a red lapel pin on.

  • 1
    To be truly valuable your answer would include a link to another picture of Rodino that could serve as corroboration. Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 2:20

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