Yet race relations seem more poisonous now than then, when the good will of America's majority was driving legislation.
Today's issue, however, is not voting rights, open housing or school busing. It is black vs. blue: African-Americans inflamed at what they see as chronic police brutality and police forces feeling besieged in a demagogic "war on cops."
And the media are obsessed with it, and determined to make us equally so.
Consider. On June 9, America's "newspaper of record" ran four stories in the first section about police violence against blacks.
Page one of The New York Times told of black leaders in Cleveland, "distrustful of the criminal justice system," invoking a "seldom-used Ohio law," by going "directly to a judge to request murder charges" against the cops involved in the death of Tamir Rice.
Responding to reports of a man with a gun, a cop, two seconds out of his car, shot Tamir, 12. The gun was a toy.
Yet, though this happened six months ago, the Times went into loving detail again on how Tamir died. It then regurgitated the deaths, also last year, of Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner on Staten Island.
On page A11 was a story with three color photos, covering almost the whole page, about a cop who, called to a raucous pool party in McKinney, Texas, drew his gun and wrestled to the ground a 14-year-old black girl in a bathing suit.
"A Party at a Pool, a Jarring Image of Police Force" was the banner over the Times' tale of "powerful and disturbing" images, from video showing "a police officer pointing a gun at teenagers in bathing suits and shoving a young black girl's face into the ground."
Had the girl been white, would the Times have splashed it?
Page A12 was given over entirely to cops vs. blacks, with two fresh stories, plus continuations of the Tamir Rice and pool stories.
The story across the top of A12 told of how a North Charleston, South Carolina, cop, held since April on murder charges, has now been indicted by a grand jury for murder.
There was also a fresh story on terrorism suspect Usaamah Rahim, shot dead after being confronted by FBI and a Boston cop. Rahim was allegedly wielding a large knife. Blurry video from a Burger King camera shows the cops backing away from Rahim, but not the knife.
Seven Times reporters got bylines for these four stories.
What does the Times' investment of all this journalistic talent and news space tell us? The Times does not want this issue to die.
The Times editors and writers see "blacks being victimized by white racist cops" as a representative truth about America 2015 that we all must address.
But what is the larger reality? First, the vast majority of black males killed violently are killed by black males, and interracial crime in America is overwhelmingly black-on-white, not the reverse.
While not the media truth, that is the statistical truth.
But the preferred story of the Times and mainstream media, of most cable channels and social media, is white cops victimizing black folks.
The press is not interested in ferreting out those statistics.
Why? Such stats would muddy the message the media seek to send and reinforce: I.e., America must confront the crisis of rogue cops.
What is coming is not difficult to predict.
As, invariably, white cops clash with black suspects, the media will seize upon and pump up every episode that fits and advances their scripted narrative. Angry and violent protests will occur. There will be judicial proceedings and trials, like that of the West Baltimore cops coming up.
America will divide and take sides. And the rival "war on cops" and "Black lives matter!" claims will be adjudicated in the election of 2016.
Patrick J. Buchanan needs no introduction to VDARE.COM readers; his books State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America, and Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? are available from Amazon.com. Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.