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The President, January 1968

LBJ Library & Museum

Sound | 1968

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    This film, produced by The White House Naval Photographic Unit, presents the activities of President Johnson in January, 1968. The first part of the month was dominated by preparation for the State of the Union address, with President Johnson and his aides toiling over the speech, writing and rewriting segments to ensure that they would convey the desired message. On the heels of the State of the Union, President Johnson was presented with a further challenge when North Korea captured the naval vessel USS Pueblo. Beyond these events, the month also saw President Johnson meeting with members of his cabinet, meeting with the Prime Minister of Israel Levi Eshkol, and signing off on the 1968 budget.

    The films created by The White House Naval Photographic Unit documented the life of the President and first family in both an official and unofficial capacity. During the early years of the Johnson administration the films primarily documented ceremonial events, but in June 1966 monthly reports concerning the President began being produced. The monthly reports provide insight into a range of the President's activities by documenting and presenting a clear portrayal of what the President did in that month. The monthly reports also captured happenings in the life of the first family.

    Courtesy of the LBJ Library, film by the White House Naval Photographic Center, Serial # MP892.

    Thirty-sixth president of the United States, Lyndon Baines Johnson, was born on a hill country farm near Stonewall, Texas on August 27, 1908, to Samuel Ealy Johnson, a former Texas legislator, and Rebekah Baines Johnson. He attended Southwest Teachers College, now Texas State University, graduating with a degree in history and social science in 1930. LBJ spent one year as principal and teacher in Cotulla, educating impoverished Hispanic elementary school students. LBJ became the secretary to Texas Congressman Richard M. Kleberg in 1931; the four-year position helped him gain influential contacts in Washington. Johnson married Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Taylor on November 17, 1934.
    LBJ acted as Director of the National Youth Administration in Texas from 1935 to 1937. Johnson won his first legislative election in 1937 for the Tenth Congressional District, a position he held for 11 years. He was a firm supporter of President Roosevelt’s New Deal and in 1940 acted as Chairman of the Democratic Campaign Committee. In 1948, following his service as a Lieutenant Naval Commander during World War II, LBJ ran as the Democratic nominee for Senate. In a cloud of controversy, he narrowly defeated former Texas Governor Coke Stevens and easily beat his Republican opponent in the general election. Before winning his second senate term, LBJ was elected Majority Whip in 1951, became the youngest ever Minority Senate Leader in 1953, and was voted Majority Leader in 1954. Johnson unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1960 but was selected to be Vice President under John F. Kennedy. 
    Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as Commander and Chief aboard Air Force One following President Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963, and won reelection in 1964. President Johnson passed landmark legislation with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Debate over military efforts in Vietnam intensified in late 1963 when the President stated that the United States would not withdraw from Southeast Asia. Escalation of the war against North Vietnam brought disapproval from Democrats, claiming the efforts were misguided, and from Republicans who criticized the administration for not executing sufficient military vigor. Antiwar protests, urban riots, and racial tension eroded Johnson’s political base by 1967, which further dissolved following the Tet Offensive in January 1968. On March 31, 1968, President Johnson announced that we would not seek a second presidential term.
    After returning to Texas, Johnson oversaw the construction of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum on the University of Texas campus in Austin. Throughout his political career, LBJ was an influential figure in Texas affairs; his policies brought military bases, crop subsidies, government facilities, and federal jobs to the state. After suffering a massive heart attack, former President Johnson died at his ranch on January 22, 1973. In February of the same year, NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston was renamed the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, in honor of one of the country’s most influential Texans. 
    The LB J Ranch
    President Johnson
    Lyndon Baines Johnson
    William Martin
    Secretary of the Treasury
    Henry H. Fowler
    Dean Rusk
    Secretary of State
    Secretary of Commerce
    Alexander Trowbridge
    Charles Schultz
    Wilbur Mills
    Hale Boggs
    Russell B. Long
    news conference
    Lady Bird Johnson
    First Lady Johnson
    Dan Rather
    press corps
    the capitol
    The President January 1968
    "The State of the Union
    " State of the Union
    Luci Baines Johnson
    twelfth Air Force at Bergstrom
    Minuteman flag
    Bergstrom Air Force Base
    San Antonio
    Randolph Air Force Base
    Levi Eshkol
    Prime Minister of Israel
    Israeli flag
    American flag
    Mrs. Eshkol
    Elisheva Kaplan
    Oval Office
    Robert McNamara
    Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare
    John W. Gardner
    Secretary of Agriculture
    Orville Freeman
    cabinet meeting
    cabinet briefing
    Vice President Humphrey
    Hubert Humphrey
    Democratic leadership
    Republican Leadership
    Everett Dirksen
    Gerald Ford
    tie clasp
    Speaker of the House
    John W. McCormack
    war on poverty
    hardcore unemployed
    Labor Committee
    Mrs. Johnson
    Mrs. Charles Coe
    VISTA: Margaret Moore
    Woman's Anti Crime Crusade
    Katherine Peden
    National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders
    Doers luncheon
    Eartha Kitt
    Republic of Gabon
    Sierra Leone
    Maldives Islands
    North Korea
    Foreign Affairs Committee
    Appropriation Committee
    Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff
    General Earle Wheeler
    USS Pueblo
    Ambassador Arthur Goldberg
    Special Assistant for National Security Affairs
    Walt Whitman Rostow
    Secretary of Defense
    Clark M. Clifford
    Nuclear Carrier Enterprise
    air craft carrier
    fighter planes
    air force
    air reserves
    state dinner
    John W. McCormack
    Mrs. McCormack
    Harriet McCormack
    Mrs. Warren
    Nina Elisabeth Meyers
    Chief Justice
    Earl Warren
    Mrs. Humphrey
    Muriel Buck Humphrey
    baseball bat
    annual budget
    signing of the budget
    Charles Zwick
    Office of Management and Budget
    combat footage
    CIA Director
    Richard M. Helms
    Secretary of Defense
    Naval Photographic Center