Q. Mr. President, have you had any message from anyone in the Far East since your speech last night?

THE PRESIDENT. I don’t understand the full import of your question.

Q. Well, I wondered had there been any diplomatic response from Southeast Asia as a result of what you said last night?

THE PRESIDENT. Are you asking if I have heard from the North Vietnamese?

Q. Among other people, yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I haven’t read everything that has come in. To my knowledge, we haven’t heard from them.

But if some rancher from Australia had wired me congratulations, I wouldn’t want to be caught in a credibility gap by saying I hadn’t heard from that part of the world.

If you are asking about North Vietnam, the answer is, to my knowledge, no.

The President’s News Conference at the LBJ Ranch, September 30, 1967

September 30, 1967.

"We were due to have a family picture made at 11 A.M. today—an event I always approach as an ordeal because it falls to my lot to try to get everybody in the humor…
"We took our seats on the orange sofa in the den….Patrick Lyndon screwed up his face and let out a yell. Everybody went into gyrations trying to amuse him. Luci went for a bottle of milk, and then there followed one of the most hilarious scenes of my lifetime. Lyndon gave Okie instructions on how to shoot the picture, then he stuck the bottle of milk in Lyn’s mouth for a long suck, snatched it out and put it quickly behind my back while we all composed our faces into hopefully appropriate expressions and Okie snapped. This went on time after time, with little Lyn getting madder and madder, hollering louder and louder, and I melting into laughter between snaps until the tears rolled down my cheeks…. And Lyndon looked like the frustrated captain who can’t make his team play right.”

 Lady Bird Johnson  A White House Diary, New York: Dell Books, 1971, pg 571-572. LBJ Presidential Library contact sheet 1967-09-30-C6787, public domain.

September 30, 1967.

"We were due to have a family picture made at 11 A.M. today—an event I always approach as an ordeal because it falls to my lot to try to get everybody in the humor…

"We took our seats on the orange sofa in the den….Patrick Lyndon screwed up his face and let out a yell. Everybody went into gyrations trying to amuse him. Luci went for a bottle of milk, and then there followed one of the most hilarious scenes of my lifetime. Lyndon gave Okie instructions on how to shoot the picture, then he stuck the bottle of milk in Lyn’s mouth for a long suck, snatched it out and put it quickly behind my back while we all composed our faces into hopefully appropriate expressions and Okie snapped. This went on time after time, with little Lyn getting madder and madder, hollering louder and louder, and I melting into laughter between snaps until the tears rolled down my cheeks…. And Lyndon looked like the frustrated captain who can’t make his team play right.”

 Lady Bird Johnson  A White House Diary, New York: Dell Books, 1971, pg 571-572. LBJ Presidential Library contact sheet 1967-09-30-C6787, public domain.

Sept. 28, 1967. 9:54 AM. On a phone call with Republican Minority Leader Everett Dirksen, LBJ complains about public criticism about Vietnam from Senators Thruston MortonWilliam Fulbright, and Clifford Case

At about 8:38, the President says: 

"Now, we don’t have a single military man or a single civilian man who thinks that these people are ready to talk now. We think they’re relying on the Senate—these speeches up there. And I think somebody’s just got to tell these Senators, ‘If you want to have some influence, come down here and we’ll expose you and debate with you right in the Cabinet Room. But for God’s sake, don’t tell Ho Chi Minh that if he holds out another month we may stop hitting him, because that what he’s hoping he can do.’”

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. 

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. 

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. 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 12, 1967. Lady Bird hosts a Country Fair at the White House for the children and grandchildren of Members of Congress, Cabinet Members, and government officials. The Fair included cotton candy, hot dogs, pony rides, a carousel, a fortune-teller, and carnival games with prizes. 
LBJ Presidential Library photo C5639-22; image is in the public domain.

September 12, 1967. Lady Bird hosts a Country Fair at the White House for the children and grandchildren of Members of Congress, Cabinet Members, and government officials. The Fair included cotton candy, hot dogs, pony rides, a carousel, a fortune-teller, and carnival games with prizes.

LBJ Presidential Library photo C5639-22; image is in the public domain.

September 11, 1967, On his way to the ‘67 Expo in Canada, King Constantine of Greece (pictured above between aide Mike Manatos and LBJ) stops for a private visit with the President. In a background paper, LBJ has been briefed on the visit’s importance:.

“The coup of April 21, 1967 took King Constantine completely by surprise. Although he made an initial effort to contact his key military commanders to resist the coup, when it became apparent that the coup leaders had won over or effectively neutralized all major military commands, and that resistance on his part might plunge the nation into a civil war, the King reluctantly accepted the coup as a fait accompli. However, although he agreed to preside over the first Cabinet meeting of the new government, he refused to sign the royal decree suspending certain articles of the Constitution which therefore went into effect without his signature.”

This background paper, along with others prepared for the visit, illustrate the tenuous relationship that King Constantine has with the new military junta, King Constantine’s efforts to push towards a return to constitutionalism, and his hope that the U.S. will support him in this effort.
More about the coup in our earlier posts. 
—Paper, background paper for visit of King Constantine, 9/6/67, #43, “Greece, Visit of King Constantine,” Country File, NSF, Box 127, LBJ Presidential Library. Photo #A4751-15; public domain.

September 11, 1967, On his way to the ‘67 Expo in Canada, King Constantine of Greece (pictured above between aide Mike Manatos and LBJ) stops for a private visit with the President. In a background paper, LBJ has been briefed on the visit’s importance:.

“The coup of April 21, 1967 took King Constantine completely by surprise. Although he made an initial effort to contact his key military commanders to resist the coup, when it became apparent that the coup leaders had won over or effectively neutralized all major military commands, and that resistance on his part might plunge the nation into a civil war, the King reluctantly accepted the coup as a fait accompli. However, although he agreed to preside over the first Cabinet meeting of the new government, he refused to sign the royal decree suspending certain articles of the Constitution which therefore went into effect without his signature.”

This background paper, along with others prepared for the visit, illustrate the tenuous relationship that King Constantine has with the new military junta, King Constantine’s efforts to push towards a return to constitutionalism, and his hope that the U.S. will support him in this effort.

More about the coup in our earlier posts

—Paper, background paper for visit of King Constantine, 9/6/67, #43, “Greece, Visit of King Constantine,” Country File, NSF, Box 127, LBJ Presidential Library. Photo #A4751-15; public domain.

September 3, 1967. Nguyen Van Thieu is elected President of South Vietnam. In an attempt to counteract criticisms that the U.S. government was manipulating the vote, President Johnson sent a mission comprised of Governors, Senators, labor and business leaders, and journalists to South Vietnam to observe the general elections.
Governor Bill Guy of North Dakota reported:

“Too much attention has been placed on the possibility of irregularities, and not enough on the other aspects. These people with great courage came out with a moving and profound example of desire for self determination as much as I have seen anywhere. We visited a precinct at which a bomb went off and killed three and wounded six during the voting. They closed it for 45 minutes and then reopened it for more voting. I was very impressed.”

—Memo, Jim Jones to the President, 9/6/67, #3, “[September 6, 1967 - 11:09 a.m. Meeting with Vietnam Election Observers],” Meeting Notes File, Box 2, LBJ Presidential Library.
More about the elections in the Foreign Relations of the United States Series here. Photo: LBJ with Nguyen Van Thieu in 1966, # A1906-15; public domain.

September 3, 1967. Nguyen Van Thieu is elected President of South Vietnam. In an attempt to counteract criticisms that the U.S. government was manipulating the vote, President Johnson sent a mission comprised of Governors, Senators, labor and business leaders, and journalists to South Vietnam to observe the general elections.

Governor Bill Guy of North Dakota reported:

“Too much attention has been placed on the possibility of irregularities, and not enough on the other aspects. These people with great courage came out with a moving and profound example of desire for self determination as much as I have seen anywhere. We visited a precinct at which a bomb went off and killed three and wounded six during the voting. They closed it for 45 minutes and then reopened it for more voting. I was very impressed.”

—Memo, Jim Jones to the President, 9/6/67, #3, “[September 6, 1967 - 11:09 a.m. Meeting with Vietnam Election Observers],” Meeting Notes File, Box 2, LBJ Presidential Library.

More about the elections in the Foreign Relations of the United States Series here. Photo: LBJ with Nguyen Van Thieu in 1966, # A1906-15; public domain.

August 31, 1967. The Senate Preparedness Investigating Subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee issues a summary report on aerial war against North Vietnam.
 In its report, the Subcommittee discusses the limitation of air bombing target lists and the difficulty involved in getting targets approved. The Subcommittee argues that the “air campaign has been crucial and vital in saving many American and allied lives in South Vietnam.” In addition, the summary report also points a division between opinions of civilian authorities and military authorities regarding air bombing.
In its conclusion, the report states, “It is high time, we believe, to allow the military voice to be heard in connection with the tactical details of military operations.”
The document above is an example of a request for approval of Arc Light Strike Targets dated August 13, 1967.
—Congressional Record, Volume 113, part 19, page 25179-25182. Document: Message, Request for target approval, 8/13/67, #64b, “ 3 I Targets, 7/67 - 3/68,” Vietnam Country File, National Security File, Box 84.

August 31, 1967. The Senate Preparedness Investigating Subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee issues a summary report on aerial war against North Vietnam.

In its report, the Subcommittee discusses the limitation of air bombing target lists and the difficulty involved in getting targets approved. The Subcommittee argues that the “air campaign has been crucial and vital in saving many American and allied lives in South Vietnam.” In addition, the summary report also points a division between opinions of civilian authorities and military authorities regarding air bombing.

In its conclusion, the report states, “It is high time, we believe, to allow the military voice to be heard in connection with the tactical details of military operations.”

The document above is an example of a request for approval of Arc Light Strike Targets dated August 13, 1967.

—Congressional Record, Volume 113, part 19, page 25179-25182. Document: Message, Request for target approval, 8/13/67, #64b, “ 3 I Targets, 7/67 - 3/68,” Vietnam Country File, National Security File, Box 84.

With twelve days still remaining in presidential and senate campaign, public interest and candidate activity are mounting, and there is every prospect of high voter turnout in an election which we can fairly regard as a good step forward in the development of democratic institutions in South Viet-Nam.

Excerpt from a summary report, dated 8/23/67, of Ambassador Bunker’s observations regarding the upcoming elections in South Vietnam. (Memo, Elections in Viet-Nam, #13a, “Vietnam, Memos to the President, 8/3-27/67,” Vietnam Country File, National Security File, Box 56.)

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.

August 22, 1967. LBJ meets with Walter Washington, Chairman of the New York City Housing Authority, and LBJ’s pick for the new Mayor-Commissioner of Washington, DC. Washington will be the very first African-American Mayor of a large U.S. city. The President calls upon the Mayor of New York—and the First Lady—to help make Washington a success. According to the Daily Diary, LBJ tells Lady Bird:

 “”We talked to Walter and he says he wants to try the job, and now we’re going to see [New York] Mayor Lindsay and see if he can help make the transition easier. And then we’ll depend on you to help Walter to do it. I don’t want him on my neck. You get his wife and you all get on that crime thing.’” 

Top: Walter Washington, via Wikipedia: Bottom. Mayor Lindsay—check out his body language!—and LBJ in their meeting that day. LBJ Library photo # 6380-7, public domain. 


"Man’s greatest hope for world peace lies in understanding his fellow man. Nations, like individuals, fear that which is strange and unfamiliar. The more we see and hear of those things which are common to all people, the less likely we are to fight over those issues which set us apart.
"So the challenge is to communicate.
"No technological advance offers a greater opportunity for meeting this challenge than the alliance of space exploration and communications. Since the advent of the communications satellite, the linking of one nation to another is no longer dependent on telephone lines, microwaves or cables under the sea. Just as man has orbited the earth to explore the universe beyond, we can orbit satellites to send our voices or televise our activities to all peoples of this globe."

President Johnson’s Special Message to the Congress on Communications Policy, August 14, 1967. The satellites pictured are replicas of those used to broadcast the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City to the U.S and Japan. (Via NASA.)

"Man’s greatest hope for world peace lies in understanding his fellow man. Nations, like individuals, fear that which is strange and unfamiliar. The more we see and hear of those things which are common to all people, the less likely we are to fight over those issues which set us apart.

"So the challenge is to communicate.

"No technological advance offers a greater opportunity for meeting this challenge than the alliance of space exploration and communications. Since the advent of the communications satellite, the linking of one nation to another is no longer dependent on telephone lines, microwaves or cables under the sea. Just as man has orbited the earth to explore the universe beyond, we can orbit satellites to send our voices or televise our activities to all peoples of this globe."

President Johnson’s Special Message to the Congress on Communications Policy, August 14, 1967. The satellites pictured are replicas of those used to broadcast the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City to the U.S and Japan. (Via NASA.)

“Most of your grandmothers can remember when women did not even have the right in this country to vote. One of the arguments against extending this suffrage, believe it or not, was that wives would simply vote the way their husband voted, and this would give husbands an unfair advantage over bachelors at the polls.

“I am one who has lived in a family with very strong-minded women. I know better. The democratic principle in our house has often left me on the short end of a three to one vote. …

“I remember one occasion when I was trying to exercise my right that I thought belonged to all people, the right of free speech. I tried for weeks to convince my ladies of the wisdom of a project that I had in mind and they wouldn’t buy it. They wouldn’t go along with me. They wouldn’t get with it.

“I became a bit annoyed and, rather exasperated, one day said to Luci, ‘There is a conspiracy of silence against me.’ She looked at me very calmly and said, ‘Daddy, why don’t you join it?’”

President Johnson, Remarks to the Delegates to Girls Nation, August 4, 1967