April 26, 1967. LBJ flies home on Air Force One after attending former Chancellor Adenauer’s funeral. Sitting beside the President in the photo is Father Wunnibald Schneider, a priest in the the small town of Stonewall in the Texas Hill Country.
Father Schneider was not originally in the President’s party. The Daily Diary relates how LBJ had the idea during the flight to Germany, three days earlier, while speaking with Ambassador Knappstein:
“The President then asked the Ambassador if he were Catholic. The Ambassador replied in the affirmative, and the President told him the story of Father Schneider and the little Catholic church at Stonewall, Texas. The President explained that he even thought of sending a plane to Texas yesterday to pick up Father Schneider and bring him to Washington for the trip to Germany, but decided not to do it because he just couldn’t anticipate what would be required of him in Germany, and was sure that he would not personally be able to take the time to look after Father Schneider. The President went on to say that Stonewall and Fredericksburg were almost completely German areas and told the Ambassador that he went to a school where he spoke German for the three first years. “But all I know now,” said the President, “are the dirty words.”
Later that same night, after midnight, LBJ told aide Marvin Watson to see about having Father Schneider fly over and meet them there.
Father Schneider arrived at 8 a.m. April 25. The next day, LBJ sat with him on the return flight and this photo was taken.