Apologies for the stalling out of the LBJ Time Machine lately. We have been working hard since the end of the government shutdown on digitizing video, photos, documents and audio recordings for our new web site, "Nov. 22: Tragedy and Transition," in honor of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy. Take a look and tell us what you think. We will also be sharing some of the items via Twitter over the next coming weeks, if you want to follow us there.
The Time Machine will creak back in to motion again on Dec. 1, as we head into the all-too-eventful summer of 1967. Look for more LBJ, beagles, hippies, Black Panthers, and Texas on your dashboard then.
Due to the Federal Government shutdown, the National Archives—including the LBJ Presidential Library—is closed. We are unable to post or participate in any of our social media channels during this closure. All National Archives facilities are closed, with the exception of the Federal Records Centers and the Federal Register until the Federal government reopens.
"Mental illness is not something which strikes some other person in some other family. It strikes one American in ten.
—It fills nearly half our Nation’s hospital beds.
—It costs States and communities more than $3 billion each year—often for inadequate care.
—It costs the Nation $20 billion each year in lost wages and taxes.
And the cost in anguish and sorrow is far beyond counting.
Three and a half years ago our country decided to face, boldly and frankly, this major health problem—to face it with a major health program: Community Mental Health Centers.
All of us can remember when the problem of mental illness was veiled in ignorance and shame and superstition. Not long ago, a sick or deeply troubled person was hidden away—treated more as a prisoner than as a patient; locked in a faraway place whose very name struck fear, the insane asylum.…
But there are still many items of unfinished business, many problems yet to be solved:
—The total number of patients in mental hospitals is down. But the number of young patients is going up.
—Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in our society. But among college students, it is the third leading cause.
—Dependence upon drugs is a growing problem. And more than half the Nation’s narcotics addicts are under 30.
I see this bill as one way to prevent such tragedies. I see this bill not as an isolated effort, but as part of our total health strategy. I see it as a sign that marks the distance we have come away from superstition, toward enlightenment….
We are taking another step toward a better life for every family. We renew our pledge to the poor, to the sick, to every citizen. We will meet our commitments abroad. But nothing will keep us from meeting them at home.”
The middle-class community epitomizes the manner in which people resist change. Suburbia is particularly complacent when faced with rising expectations of the Negro ghetto and the riots only serve to shatter that complacency and therefore to frighten the MCS [middle-class suburbanite]. To a certain extent this violence will serve a healthy purpose in suburbia in that it will enable them to see clearly that changes is needed for the future to be more secure.
…We must keep in mind that we are not out to change attitudes but to minimize the effect of the backlash reaction, this is different from opinion molding: it is ‘fear-removing’ and ‘anxiety-smothering’ rather than ‘opinion-forming.’
Memo, Albert Mark to Sherwin Markman, 6/5/67, HU 6/16/67-6/30/67 EX, White House Central File, Subject File, Box 5, LBJ Library.
At the luncheon, I was seated behind and between, which is a miserable situation for an interpreter to be in, but probably the most effective, in terms of a free flow of conversation. Every interpreter hates that….The waiters come in, and over your head they start serving people, and so on. However, you can keep a conversation going in both directions, very effectively…
And the only ones who indulge in that are the Americans. No one else does. In fact, the Soviets never failed to point out that whenever I interpreted in one of their facilities in Moscow or one of their embassies, they said, ‘You see? Our interpreters are seated at the table. We treat them like human beings.’
”—William Krimer, LBJ’s interpreter at the Glassboro summit; Oral History Interview I, 3/2/84, by Michael L. Gillette, pages 9-12. LBJ Presidential Library.
June 17, 1967. A few members of the Defense Department begin compiling what will become known as The Pentagon Papers, documentation on US involvement in Vietnam dating back more than 20 years.
Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara described the project, which he put in the hands of his assistant secretary of international security affairs, John McNaughton:
"I told him to cast his net wide, including relevant papers not just from our department but also from the State Department, the CIA, and the White House. Because I wanted the work to be done as objectively as possible, I said to John that I would not be personally involved. ‘Tell your researchers not to hold back,’ I instructed. ‘Let the chips fall where they may.’ …I never though to mention the project to the President or the Secretary of State. It was hardly a secret, however, nor could it have been with thirty-six researchers and analysts ultimately involved.:"
Robert S. McNamara with Brian VanDeMark, In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam, New York: Random House, 1995, p. 280.