The Kennedy Assassination--24 Hours After: Lyndon B. Johnson’s Pivotal First Day as President

By Steven M. Gillon

Riding in an open-topped convertible via Dallas on November 22, 1963, Lyndon B. Johnson heard a surprising explosive sound at 12:30 PM. the key carrier sped him away to defense, yet now not till 1:20 PM did he research that John F. Kennedy were assassinated. Sworn in subsequent to a bloodstained Jackie Kennedy at 2:40 PM, Johnson labored feverishly until eventually 3:00 within the morning, agonizing concerning the way forward for either his state and his celebration. Unbeknownst to him, his activities had already made up our minds the tragic consequence of his presidency.

In November 22, 1963, historian Steven Gillon tells the tale of the way Johnson consolidated strength within the twenty-four hours following the assassination. according to scrupulous study and new archival assets, this gripping narrative sheds new and mind-blowing gentle on essentially the most written-about occasions of the 20th century.

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Their daughters, Lucy and Lynda, referred to as him Uncle Edgar. Privately, Johnson disregarded Hoover, who lived by myself in a home together with his male deputy, as a “queer. ” yet he understood that the FBI head can be a solid resource of knowledge, and he preferred his public snapshot as a difficult cop. Hoover appeared ahead to having a more robust courting with Johnson than he had with Kennedy. He used to be really wanting to ingratiate himself to the recent president, hoping to be allowed to stick on in his activity past the necessary federal retirement age. 10 That night at the mobilephone, Johnson inspired upon Hoover the significance of a whole research of the assassination and expert him that he sought after the FBI to go up the inquiry. Hoover referred to as FBI headquarters and despatched 40 brokers to Dallas that evening. a bit after 7:30 p. m. , the foodstuff that Lem Johns had ordered from the White condo kitchen arrived. because the assassination, Johnson had eaten just a small bowl of vegetable soup. He was once infamous for devouring huge amounts of nutrition in very brief classes of time, and this night will be no exception. in accordance with his reputable agenda, he committed 4 mins to dinner—from 7:36 to 7:40 p. m. whilst he was once performed, he bought up from his table, walked into the outer room, and greeted a bipartisan congressional delegation. between these in attendance have been Everett Dirksen (R-Illinois), Mike Mansfield (D-Montana), Carl Albert (D-Oklahoma), Hale Boggs (D-Louisiana), George Smathers (D-Florida), Thomas Kuchel (R-California), Charles Halleck (R-Indiana), Hubert Humphrey (D-Minnesota), and Les Arends (R-Illinois). He shook fingers with each, giving them the vintage Johnson therapy, leaning in shut in order that just a couple of inches separated them. Johnson had referred to as them jointly to invite for his or her aid. those males have been his neighbors and co-workers. they'd labored jointly for years on Capitol Hill. a number of the Democrats within the room had supported LBJ over Kennedy in 1960. He informed them that he was once chatting with them now not as president, yet as “friend to buddy. ” now not unusually, they provided him their complete aid and cooperation. “Very intimate and personal” was once how Hubert Humphrey defined the assembly. “We mentioned no legislation,” he famous in a memo dictated the following day. “The President requested for our aid. He spoke to us as one buddy to a different. And we, each one folks in flip, pledged our cooperation, our guidance, our guidance. ”11 LBJ instructed the assembled lawmakers there have been 3 priorities, and 3 audiences, they need to take into account over the following few days and months. First, it used to be vital to ship a transparent sign to the Soviets that the govt. used to be no longer disintegrating. There has to be no signal of weak spot that may motivate the Soviets to use the tragedy. moment, the management had to take into consideration their very own legacy and the way heritage might list how they spoke back during this time of drawback. eventually, it was once crucial for them to assist the yank humans care for the challenge. It was once very important to emphasize continuity, balance, and order.

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