June 1967. While the Summer of Love takes off in Haight-Ashbury, New York’s Lower East Side becomes another center of the burgeoning “hippie” culture. One of the recent transplants is a 31-year-old organizer and civil rights worker named Abbie Hoffman, from Worcester, Massachusetts. Hoffman has just left SNCC, in part to focus more on antiwar activities in NYC. Hoffman later described the scene:
"At 31 I was older than the average runaway by some fifteen years but those who took an interest in building a youth community on the Lower East Side were all over 30. Like myself, they had run away from mainstream life and were eager to pass their insights on to younger kids, An IBM executive moved down from Westchester County and founded "Food," a commune whose purpose was to pass out free food in Tompkins Square Park. Actors created street theater groups. Lawyers volunteered time for serious busts. Medical students set up a street clinic. Careers had come to be seen as as strait jackets as the sound and smell of liberation filled the air. These were heady times."
Abbie Hofffman, Soon to be a Major Motion Picture, New York: Perigree Books, 1980, p. 93. Photo is Tompkins Square Park in 1967 from the amazing George Eastman House Collection on Flickr.
June 23, 1967. After lunch, President Johnson and Chairman Kosygin again retire to the study for a private meeting. Kosygin informs LBJ that he had contacted Hanoi prior to the meeting about what they might discuss that would bring an end to the war in Vietnam. He said that during the luncheon, he had received a reply: “In substance, it amounted to the following: Stop the bombing and they would immediately go to the conference table.”
President Johnson and Chairman Kosygin spend the remainder of the meeting discussing both the possibilities of an end to the war and the implications of a bombing halt, as well as continued discussions on arms limitations. The two leaders agree to have an additional meeting in two days, before Chairman Kosygin is scheduled to leave the United States. The two men then make a joint statement to the press on the meetings..
Afterwards, President Johnson leaves Glassboro to travel to Los Angeles for the President’s Club fundraising dinner that evening.
Read the memorandum of conversation of the afternoon meeting here. LBJ Presidential Library photo C5774-27.
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 23, 1967. Meanwhile, at the White House…
Christine Matlock and an International Order of Odd Fellows group from central Texas presents a plaque containing six pieces of stone, five pieces of wood, and one projectile point. The inscription on plaque reads “From log cabin built by Sam Ealy Johnson, Sr.”
June 23, 1967. President Johnson prepares for the Glassboro Summit Conference during a breakfast meeting with his advisers. President Johnson departs the White House at 9:51 in the morning.
LBJ Presidential Library photo 5799-12a; public domain.
June 22, 1967. Negotiations on where LBJ should meet with the head of the USSR continue. Chairman Kosygin turns down the idea of meeting at Maguire Air Force Base in New Jersey because he fears going to a U.S. military base would be misunderstood. However, the idea of a meeting in New Jersey seems agreeable.
New Jersey Governor Richard Hughes suggests the city of Glassboro as a possible meeting location, as it meets all the criteria: close to New York City (Kosygin is also attending the United Nations), small and quiet, and near an airport. The announcement of the meeting goes out this evening.
Map via Google maps.
June 21, 1967. Secretary of Defense McNamara gives President Johnson his advice regarding a proposed meeting with Soviet Chairman Kosygin. LBJ is working hard on reaching an agreement as to details of the meeting: listen to him talk with Julian Goodman. the president of NBC, about his frustrations.
Memo, McNamara to LBJ, 6/21/67, #12, “Trip to Soviet Union,” Files of Walt W. Rostow, NSF, Box 11, LBJ Presidential Library.
June 20, 1967. Congress rejects proposed major reforms of the draft, or selective service, in favor of modest changes to the existing system. Congress was required to reauthorize the induction authority of the draft law every four years, and the extensions were typically a matter of routine. However, increasing antiwar protests and complaints from Republicans in Congress about student deferments and class bias prompted LBJ to create the National Advisory Commission on Selective Service, headed by Burke Marshall, pictured.
The NACSS report was followed by a congressional report. Both commissions agreed that the draft had to be extended in 1967 and that the youngest potential draftees should be called up first. They disagreed on whether the draft boards should be centralized or locally controlled, and whether college students should be eligible for selection. LBJ ordered more study on these two issues, and finally recommended to Congress in March 1967 that they end graduate student deferments, make the local boards more representative of their areas, and reexamine draft board structure.
Despite Marshall’s plan for more sweeping reforms, Congress ultimately passes a bill that requires Congressional approval for a lottery system, ends graduate student deferments, leaves selection standards up to local boards, and requires that the Justice Department prosecute draft-dodgers and inform Congress as to the outcome of their cases. The only reforms are that women will be allowed on draft boards, and draft board membership is limited to 25 years with a forced retirement age of 75.
These minor changes do little to defuse claims that the draft is biased against black men, especially in the south, since the boards are locally run and the governors appoint the members of the appeal boards. The draft continues to be a lightening rod for dissent, and the anti-war and anti-draft and protests continue.
Reference: George Q. Flynn, The Draft, 1940-1973, Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1993.