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.