Sept. 28, 1967. LBJ is in South Texas, visiting the US-Mexico border area stricken by Hurricane Beulah:
“The thing I want to stress particularly by coming here this afternoon and visiting some of the hospital centers and the food centers, and flying over the area, was to let these people know that their Government cares for them, and let our neighbors who are the unfortunate victims of distress across the river know that we care for them, and that we are a compassionate and understanding Government. And in the hour of need, we are there.”
—Lyndon Johnson, The President’s News Conference at Harlingen, Texas, Following an Inspection of Hurricane Damage. LBJ Library photo # A4863-30a, public domain.
Sept. 28, 1967. 1:15 PM. LBJ and Lady Bird head to Texas, with Yuki leading the way!
LBJ Library photo #A4872-6, public domain.
Sept. 26, 1967. Lady Bird greets Aissa Diori, wife of Niger President Hamani Diori, on their State visit to the White House. President Diori has been in power since 1960: he will be deposed in 1974, seven years after this photo was taken. According to this article in the U.S. paper The Times-News, Mrs. Diori will die in the coup.
LBJ Library photo C6729-12, public domain. The man between Lady Bird and Aissa Diori is Under Secretary of State Nicholas Katzenbach.
Monday, Sept. 25, 1967. Last night was one of those bleak nights when the shadows take over. We both woke up about 3:30 AM and talked and talked and talked about when and how to make the statement that Lyndon is not going to be a candidate again. — Lady Bird Johnson, A White House Diary, New York: Dell Books, 1971, pg 627.
Sept. 22, 1967. LBJ and assistant Marvin Watson.
LBJ Library photo #A4821-10, public domain.
September 20, 1967. Lady Bird stops in Montevideo, Minnesota on her four-day Crossroads USA tour. She visits South Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Watch a video of highlights from her trip here.
September 20, 1967. Greece and Turkey are in discussions regarding the future of the island nation of Cyprus. Both nations are arguing for an increase in their military and political power in the nation. Greece is in favor of Enosis, a term used to describe a future in which Cyprus would become incorporated with Greece. Turkey, however, is in favor of partition, where Cyprus would be divided between Greece and Turkey.
Cyprus was established as an independent nation as part of the London-Zurich agreements in 1960. Since that time, the responsibility for defense and governance of the nation has been split between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots because the citizens of the nation are split between a Greek and Turkish ethnic background.
The discussions between Greece and Turkey are resulting in little success. In a telegram to the Department of State, Ambassador to Greece Phillips Talbot states:
“King Constantine last night expressed to me his “fed-upness” with hardened Turkish position which had brought to naught Prime Ministerial meeting on which he had pinned strong hopes.”
—Map, Cyprus: A Status Report, 5/27/66, #98, “Cyprus, Volume 17,” Country File, NSF, Box 123, LBJ Presidential Library.
Read the full telegram in the Foreign Relations of the United States.
September 29, 1967. In the midst of the ongoing attempts at peace negotiations, President Johnson delivers a speech before the National Legislative Conference in San Antonio, Texas.
"I am ready to talk with Ho Chi Minh, and other chiefs of state concerned, tomorrow.
I am ready to have Secretary Rusk meet with their foreign minister tomorrow.
I am ready to send a trusted representative of America to any spot on this earth to talk in public or private with a spokesman of Hanoi.
We have twice sought to have the issue of Vietnam dealt with by the United Nations—and twice Hanoi has refused.
Our desire to negotiate peace—through the United Nations or out—has been made very, very clear to Hanoi—directly and many times through third parties.
As we have told Hanoi time and time and time again, the heart of the matter is really this: The United States is willing to stop all aerial and naval bombardment of North Vietnam when this will lead promptly to productive discussions. We, of course, assume that while discussions proceed, North Vietnam would not take advantage of the bombing cessation or limitation.”
—Read the full speech at the American Presidency Project.
Photo from CPS Energy.
"In August of last year, a demented sniper sat with an arsenal of weapons at the top of a University tower and coldly and systematically killed and maimed 44 Americans.
"The horror of that senseless slaughter shocked the entire Nation. Yet, today, 13 months later, Congress has failed to enact a gun control law. In those intervening 13 months, guns were involved in more than:
- 6,500 murders
- 10,000 suicides
- 2,600 accidental deaths
- 43,500 aggravated assaults
- 50,000 robberies.
"FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover has just reported that the use of firearms in dangerous crimes is on the upswing. For the first six months of 1967 there was a:
- 24 percent rise in the use of guns in aggravated assaults.
- 37 percent rise in the use of weapons in robberies.
"A civilized nation cannot allow this armed terror to continue."
-Lyndon B. Johnson: "Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House of Representatives Urging Enactment of Gun Control Legislation," September 15, 1967.
Photo of UT Tower by daleexpress
September 16, 1967. Marcovich and Aubrac deliver the US response to the previous communication from Hanoi on September 11th. The response had actually been ready since September 13th, but Kissinger had been holding onto the message in hopes of delivering it to Mai Van Bo, the Delegate General and Commercial Representative in France of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, personally.
The message reiterates the message from August 25th and claims that the US proposal did not contain conditions and that the US has since ceased the bombing of Hanoi, while waiting for a response from the DRV. In addition, the message leaves the proposal from August 25th open.
—Read a draft of the text of the September 13th message here.
Q. Mr. President, there seems to be, at least in public, some dispute going on within the administration on bombing policy in North Vietnam, with Secretary McNamara’s representatives taking one position and the military another…
THE PRESIDENT. The President is the Commander in Chief under the Constitution. His principal deputy in military matters is the Secretary of Defense. The Joint Chiefs are his military advisers.
The Joint Chiefs are a group of very able men. They are the finest in character and the best trained soldiers and sailors that we have. Their judgment is requested and respected, and certainly always carefully considered.
No two men ever see everything alike. Throughout our history there have been differences among Army leaders and naval leaders, between members of the Joint Chiefs and the civilians, between the civilians and the Congress. That is really the strength of our system….
Very frequently you find that men of strong minds do not always agree. When they do, you have to consider their individual viewpoints and then act in the way you think is in the best interest of the Nation. That is what we have done.
But six out of every seven targets recommended have been authorized. As of now, I think that we are operating effectively, efficiently, and in the national interest.
Q. Has Secretary McNamara recommended to you that the rate of bombing in the North be reduced?
THE PRESIDENT. The recommendations that we get from time to time are to authorize specific targets. When those meetings conclude, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and the President have as of now been in agreement with each other. — The President’s News Conference, September 1, 1967.
“Dick Helms’s secret memo shows that, in the fall of 1967, the CIA;s most senior analysts believed we could have withdrawn from Vietnam without any permanent damage to U.S. or Western security. At the same time they were expressing that view, I was stating to the Stennis subcommittee the judgment—supported by CIA/DIA analyses—that we could not win the war by bombing the North. And my May 19 memo had reported that we would continue suffering heavy casualties in South Vietnam with no assurance of winning their either.
"How, in the face of such factors, does one explain the administration’s failure to push harder for negotiations and contemplate withdrawal? The answer is that the Joint Chiefs and many others in the government took an entirely different view of the war’s progress, that influential members of Congress and the public, and that the President was heavily swayed by their opinion."
Robert S. McNamara with Brian VanDeMark, In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam, New York: Random House, 1995, p. 294-295. Photo from 2/7/1968, LBJ Library.