October 20, 1967.  Across the US people are responding, especially on college campuses, to the escalation of protest and conflict over Vietnam. This clipping from the Austin American-Statesman newspaper was sent to LBJ by old friend—now Congressman—Jake Pickle.
It describes the efforts of eight “long-haired, casually attired” University of Texas students on motorcycles as they attempt to recruit students from Southwest Texas State College (LBJ’s alma mater. now Texas State University). The “UT peaceniks” are turned away by the SWT dean, to the delight of Cong. Pickle, and, presumably, the President. 
Note, Jake Pickle to the President, 10/20/67, Ex HU 4, WHCF, Box 60, LBJ Library.

October 20, 1967.  Across the US people are responding, especially on college campuses, to the escalation of protest and conflict over Vietnam. This clipping from the Austin American-Statesman newspaper was sent to LBJ by old friend—now Congressman—Jake Pickle.

It describes the efforts of eight “long-haired, casually attired” University of Texas students on motorcycles as they attempt to recruit students from Southwest Texas State College (LBJ’s alma mater. now Texas State University). The “UT peaceniks” are turned away by the SWT dean, to the delight of Cong. Pickle, and, presumably, the President. 

Note, Jake Pickle to the President, 10/20/67, Ex HU 4, WHCF, Box 60, LBJ Library.

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. 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. Accompanied by Texas Governor John Connally, LBJ heads to the US-Mexico border, recently stricken by severe flooding from Hurricane Beulah (map of region here). The slow-moving storm has cut a broad swath of destruction. A 14-foot surge swept across South Padre Island, in the Gulf of Mexico, and the overflowing Rio Grande flooded houses to the rooftops in Harlingen, TX. 

Both sides of the border have been devastated, and volunteers, especially medical personnel, have responded with an outpouring of assistance. The US Army has even dispatched aid helicopters to remote areas of Mexico like Comales (map). 

LBJ is on his way to visit a high school-turned-emergency hospital in Rio Grande City that (according to the President’s Daily Diary) houses 1,500 to 2,000 people, 99% of them Mexican nationals. 

LBJ photo via LBJ Library, #A4871-24, public domain. Other photos via The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Lots more in their digital archives here. More on Beulah via NOAA.


"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

"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

August 26, 1967. 
1 PM. Lady Bird leaves Kerrville, TX, where she has attended the dedication of the Butt-Holdsworth Library. 
1:30 PM. Lunch at the Ranch. Work with decorators. 
10 PM. Leave Austin for Washington, DC, with stopover in Dallas. 
3:30 AM. Land at Friendship Airport (now BWI). Travel to Mt. Vernon, then ferry to the yacht Sequoia, anchored on the Potomac. 
4:30 AM. “And with a few muffled word of greeting, I sank wearily into bed. It was 4:30 AM, and it was the morning of Lyndon’s fifty-ninth birthday.”
-A White House Diary, New York: Dell Books, 1971, pg 620-621. Photo via Boy Scouts of America, York-Adams Area Council,

August 26, 1967. 

  • 1 PM. Lady Bird leaves Kerrville, TX, where she has attended the dedication of the Butt-Holdsworth Library. 
  • 1:30 PM. Lunch at the Ranch. Work with decorators. 
  • 10 PM. Leave Austin for Washington, DC, with stopover in Dallas. 
  • 4:30 AM. “And with a few muffled word of greeting, I sank wearily into bed. It was 4:30 AM, and it was the morning of Lyndon’s fifty-ninth birthday.”

-A White House Diary, New York: Dell Books, 1971, pg 620-621. Photo via Boy Scouts of America, York-Adams Area Council,

August 22, 1967. His Imperial Majesty, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, Shahanshah of Iran, arrives for a State Visit. LBJ and the Shah exchange remarks in the arrival ceremony. According to Lady Bird: 

“Lyndon, in his speech of welcome, spoke of our several meetings with the Shah and of Iran’s economy which has been growing at about 10 percent a year and its gains against illiteracy: ‘You are winning progress without violence and without any bloodshed—a lesson that others have still to learn.’ Then the Shah, speaking without notes, in perfect English but rather hesitantly, made a brief, earnest talk, disarming in its simplicity and its complete difference from the trite lines that are often read in a monotone voice at an arrival ceremony.”

After dinner that night, the Johnsons and their guests watched The American Ballet Theater perform “Rodeo,” featuring “cowgirls and square dancers….delightfully incongruous under the East Room chandeliers.”
—Lady Bird Johnson, A White House Diary, New York: Dell Books, 1971, pg 616-8.

August 22, 1967. His Imperial Majesty, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, Shahanshah of Iran, arrives for a State Visit. LBJ and the Shah exchange remarks in the arrival ceremony. According to Lady Bird: 

“Lyndon, in his speech of welcome, spoke of our several meetings with the Shah and of Iran’s economy which has been growing at about 10 percent a year and its gains against illiteracy: ‘You are winning progress without violence and without any bloodshed—a lesson that others have still to learn.’ Then the Shah, speaking without notes, in perfect English but rather hesitantly, made a brief, earnest talk, disarming in its simplicity and its complete difference from the trite lines that are often read in a monotone voice at an arrival ceremony.”

After dinner that night, the Johnsons and their guests watched The American Ballet Theater perform “Rodeo,” featuring “cowgirls and square dancers….delightfully incongruous under the East Room chandeliers.”

—Lady Bird Johnson, A White House Diary, New York: Dell Books, 1971, pg 616-8.

July 8, 1967. LBJ makes a surprise visit to the house he grew up in. 

"At the Boyhood Home in Johnson City. Outside the President greeted the tourists, signed autographs, posed for pictures. He then went inside w/ his guests, being greeted by Mrs. Jessie Hunter. The President went through the home, pointing out various items to his guests from. Time-Life and the tourists who were in the home. Mrs. Jessie Hunter gave the President and his guests some Delaware Punch to drink.” 

President’s Daily Diary, 7/8/67. 
You can still visit the Boyhood Home yourself in Johnson City.

July 8, 1967. LBJ makes a surprise visit to the house he grew up in. 

"At the Boyhood Home in Johnson City. Outside the President greeted the tourists, signed autographs, posed for pictures. He then went inside w/ his guests, being greeted by Mrs. Jessie Hunter. The President went through the home, pointing out various items to his guests from. Time-Life and the tourists who were in the home. Mrs. Jessie Hunter gave the President and his guests some Delaware Punch to drink.” 

President’s Daily Diary, 7/8/67.

You can still visit the Boyhood Home yourself in Johnson City.

July 7, 1967. Lady Bird records a trip to Lockhart, Texas (self-proclaimed BBQ capital of the world) in her diary:

"The whole visit to Lockhart filled me with pride, that this little Texas town of of six thousand population had the spark and the get-up-and-get to make the most of its Court House square. The focal point of the square is the old white limestone Victorian-style Court House, described by Mr. Zisman, the restoration architect, as ‘a structure ugly enough to be beautiful.’ There must be at least one hundred Court Houses in Texas of this vintage, built in the 1890s—unbelievable accumulations of turrets, towers, domes, gingerbread, columns, and carvings."

Lady Bird Johnson, A White House Diary, New York: Dell Books, 1971, pg 597.  Photo via Wikimedia Commons.
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July 7, 1967. Lady Bird records a trip to Lockhart, Texas (self-proclaimed BBQ capital of the world) in her diary:

"The whole visit to Lockhart filled me with pride, that this little Texas town of of six thousand population had the spark and the get-up-and-get to make the most of its Court House square. The focal point of the square is the old white limestone Victorian-style Court House, described by Mr. Zisman, the restoration architect, as ‘a structure ugly enough to be beautiful.’ There must be at least one hundred Court Houses in Texas of this vintage, built in the 1890s—unbelievable accumulations of turrets, towers, domes, gingerbread, columns, and carvings."

Lady Bird Johnson, A White House Diary, New York: Dell Books, 1971, pg 597.  Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

July 6, 1967. Dan Rather and his family visit the Johnsons at the LBJ Ranch. 
LBJ Presidential Library photo #C5960-18, public domain. 

July 6, 1967. Dan Rather and his family visit the Johnsons at the LBJ Ranch. 

LBJ Presidential Library photo #C5960-18, public domain. 

June 30, 1967. LBJ and co. watch a movie about themselves:

"Pres., Mrs. Johnson, Lynda, [Nicaraguan] Amb. Sevilla-Sacasa  and all others to the East Room for viewing of film “El Weekend” - film made of the Latin American Ambassadors’ and wives’ visit to LBJ Ranch and San Antonio. Texas on March 31, 1967…at conclusion of remarks the President mentioned presenting each Amb. with a copy of the film to be shown.” 

From the President’s Daily Diary. 

June 9, 1967. LBJ swears in Vicente T. Ximenes to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Ximenes is the first Mexican-American on the committee, which is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting discrimination. LBJ acknowledges the significance of the appointment, which is covered extensively by the Mexican-American press and in Mexico as well. He also uses the opportunity to announce a focus on Mexican-American issues within the Great Society: 

"Today, I am releasing a special Cabinet report which tells the story of new opportunities that have been created for more than 5 million Mexican-American citizens.

It shows how far government, business, labor, and community leadership still must go to turn the slogan of opportunity into the fact of reality….

I am going to establish today the highest level committee a President can create, a Cabinet committee on Mexican-Americans…. and I am going to ask Mr. Vicente T. Ximenes to serve as the chairman of that committee.” 

Meanwhile, there is growing activism by the Chicano civil rights movement in the Southwest. In Texas strife continues between striking Mexican-American farmworkers and the Texas Rangers, who they accuse of excessive force and illegal arrests. Just six days ago the farmworkers union filed suit with the Justice Department after Governor John Connally declined to intervene. In New Mexico, ten members of the land-grant activist group La Alianza have been arrested. La Alianza’s declared mission is the return of Spanish and Mexican land grants that were lost after Mexican American War: the group staged an armed raid on the Rio Arriba County courthouse on June 5. At the time of LBJ’s speech, there is an intense manhunt ongoing for Reies Lopez Tijernia, the group’s leader.

Top: LBJ congratulates Ximenes on his appointment, LBJ Presidential Library photo C5654-12A. Bottom: Reies López Tijerina and California Brown Berets in 1969, by Mark Bralley via the High Country News

See also LBJ’s full speech, more on La Alianza in the journal Antipode, and LBJ and Mexican Americans, by Julie Leininger Pryor (Austin UT-Austin Press, 1997). The papers of Reies Tijerina are available at the University of New Mexico.

May 29, 1967. LBJ is at the Ranch. It is the calm before the storm breaks in the Middle East.  

"9:55 am. The President, mf [Marie Fehmer,secretary] and mary s [Mary Slater, secretary] departed the main house by Lincoln convertible (the top down)—went to the Cedar House to pick up Mrs. Krim.
10:00 am. The President, Mrs. Krim, mf and mary s departed the Cedar House.
10:07-10:09 am. Stopped to watch, the unloading of barley, asking how many bushels had been harvested.
10:10-10:16am.  Stopped to see Dale Malechek [ranch foreman] where he was working on the fertilizer machine. They talked about the rain which had fallen this morning, talked about the fawns, the new tanks, and stocking the tanks with fish.
10:16 am. Riding again.
10:42 am. Stopped briefly to see a little doe that was following the President’s car. She had apparently been a pet, for the little doe came up to the car and allowed the passengers to pet her.” 
 

From the Daily Diary. Photo: The Lincoln, still at the LBJ Ranch. 

May 29, 1967. LBJ is at the Ranch. It is the calm before the storm breaks in the Middle East.  

"9:55 am. The President, mf [Marie Fehmer,secretary] and mary s [Mary Slater, secretary] departed the main house by Lincoln convertible (the top down)—went to the Cedar House to pick up Mrs. Krim.

10:00 am. The President, Mrs. Krim, mf and mary s departed the Cedar House.

10:07-10:09 am. Stopped to watch, the unloading of barley, asking how many bushels had been harvested.

10:10-10:16am.  Stopped to see Dale Malechek [ranch foreman] where he was working on the fertilizer machine. They talked about the rain which had fallen this morning, talked about the fawns, the new tanks, and stocking the tanks with fish.

10:16 am. Riding again.

10:42 am. Stopped briefly to see a little doe that was following the President’s car. She had apparently been a pet, for the little doe came up to the car and allowed the passengers to pet her.” 

 

From the Daily Diary. Photo: The Lincoln, still at the LBJ Ranch. 

May 23, 1967. LBJ addresses delegates to the International Conference on Water for Peace: 

"I come from land where water is treasure. For a good many years, I have done my share of agitating to increase the water resources of my native State. I have known the frustrations of this task. A member of the Texas Legislature once recited some lines on this subject:

    ‘Oh the glamour and the clamor / That attend affairs of   state / Seem to fascinate the people / And impress some folks as great.

    ‘But the truth about the matter, / In the scale of loss and   gain: / Not one inauguration’s worth / A good, slow two-inch rain!’

As man faces the next century, one question stands above all others: How well—and how long—can the earth sustain its ever-growing population?

As much as anything, water holds the key to that simple question: water to drink; water to grow the food we must eat; water to sustain industrial growth.

Today, man is losing his race with the growing need that he has for water.”

Read the rest of the speech here

Photos: Top: LBJ delivering speech, image #C5443. Below: LBJ’s beloved Pedernales River, near the Ranch, in 1967 (#C5785-12), and then during the drought of 2011. Map shows the distance between the LBJ Ranch and the location of the photo. 2011 photo by Texas Parks and Wildlife

May 13, 1967.

“Many months ago I set March 1968 in my own mind as the time when Lyndon can make a statement that he will not be a candidate for reelection.  I was following the pattern of President Truman, and I have counted first the years and then the months until that time.  Now it is ten months away.  For the first time in my life I have felt lately that Lyndon would be a happy man retired.  I feel that there is enough at the Ranch to hold him, keep him busy, and that he can pour himself into some sort of public teaching work at the University of Texas—in the Johnson School of Public Service, perhaps, with maybe an occasional lecture at his alma mater in San Marcos. 

Lady Bird Johnson, A White House Diary, New York: Dell Books, 1971, pg 518. LBJ Presidential Library photo C5309-4a, public domain.

May 13, 1967.

“Many months ago I set March 1968 in my own mind as the time when Lyndon can make a statement that he will not be a candidate for reelection.  I was following the pattern of President Truman, and I have counted first the years and then the months until that time.  Now it is ten months away.  For the first time in my life I have felt lately that Lyndon would be a happy man retired.  I feel that there is enough at the Ranch to hold him, keep him busy, and that he can pour himself into some sort of public teaching work at the University of Texas—in the Johnson School of Public Service, perhaps, with maybe an occasional lecture at his alma mater in San Marcos.

Lady Bird Johnson, A White House Diary, New York: Dell Books, 1971, pg 518. LBJ Presidential Library photo C5309-4a, public domain.

I find myself enjoying every return to the Ranch more and more. And I do not know whether we can endure another four-year term in the Presidency.

Lady Bird Johnson in her diary, May 13, 1967. A White House Diary, New York: Dell Books, 1971, pg 569.