Because of the experiences we just talked about, I really got very interested in civil rights when I got out of the Army and went back to work for a U.S. senator from California, Tom Kuchel, who was a kind of progressive Republican. He came out of what we call the Hiram Johnson tradition, which was a progressive Republicanism reflected in people like Kuchel and Earl Warren and many others. And that’s what I was. I was basically a kind of progressive Republican. So I went back, and Kuchel was working with a lot of other progressive Republicans, people like (Jacob) Javits from New York, and (Clifford) Case from New Jersey, and a number of others. And they were working with Lyndon Johnson and Democrats on civil rights legislation. And I was asked by the senator to kind of staff him on that issue. So I worked on civil rights legislation, and we were able to pass some landmark bills as a result of that.
So when Kuchel was defeated in a primary, and I’m looking for a job or deciding whether to come back to Monterey, I was offered a job in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare by Bob Finch, who was another moderate Republican, who became secretary of HEW in the Nixon administration. Because of my work on civil rights, I ultimately became director of the Office for Civil Rights, enforcing civil rights laws, particularly with regards to education, equal education. And a big focus of that obviously was on the South because children had been divided by race for almost 200 years. Black kids went to black schools, and white kids went to white schools, and that’s what Brown vs. the Board of Education was all about, was the decision that a separate education is inherently unequal.