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The President, November 1966

LBJ Library & Museum

Sound | 1966

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  •  President Johnson arriving in Anchorage, Alaska, after his trip through Southeast Asia 
  •  Announcement of impending surgery 
  •  Meeting with Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara 
  •  Visit to Cotulla, Texas, with UN ambassador Arthur Goldberg for National Education Week 
  •  President Johnson at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas 
  •  President Johnson and Mrs. Johnson voting 
  •  Watching election results 
  •  Meeting with ambassador at large, Averell Harriman 
  •  Attending church at St. Barnabas Episcopal in Fredricksburg, Texas 
  •  Press conference at the Fredricksburg, Texas, Municipal Building regarding upcoming surgery 
  •  President Johnson in the hospital for surgery 
  •  Meeting with Dwight D. Eisenhower at the hospital 
  •  President and Mrs. Johnson celebrate their 32nd wedding anniversary in the hospital 
  •  President Johnson welcomes Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, Presidential assistant Walter Rostow, and John McCloy US representative to NATO to the LBJ Ranch 
  •  NASA officials, including astronauts Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and James Lovell , arrive at the LBJ ranch for a ceremony honoring the success of the Gemini program 
  •  Presentation of Exceptional Service medals to Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and James Lovell 
  •  President Johnson welcomes members of the house of representatives including House Majority Leader Carl Albert, House Majority Whip Hale Boggs, and, House Minority Leader Gerald Ford, to the LBJ Ranch 
  •  President Johnson welcomes Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Mrs. Humphrey, Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield and Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen to the LBJ Ranch 
Teach Texas
  •  The Sky is Not the Limit: Aerospace in Texas segment - LBJ Honors Buzz Aldrin and James Lovell 
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Elmendorf Air Force Base, AK Anchorage, AK LBJ Ranch Cotulla Brooke Army Medical Center Pedernales Electric Coop LBJ Ranch St. Barnabas Episcopal Church Fredricksburg Municipal Building Randolph Air Force Base Bethesda Naval Hospital Bergstrom Air Force Base LBJ Ranch The White House
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This footage, a monthly report produced by The White House Naval Photographic Unit, captures the activities of President Johnson in November 1966. Upon returning from an international tour at the start of the month President Johnson prepared himself to undergo surgery, and therefore spent much of the month at the LBJ Ranch, resting and conducting official business. Highlights of Johnson's presidency captured in this monthly report include: a meeting with important US officials including Robert McNamara, UN Ambassador Arthur Goldberg, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, former President Dwight Eisenhower, as well as Gerald Ford; press conferences and awards ceremonies held at the LBJ ranch, including an award ceremony at which astronauts Edwin Aldrin and James Lovell are presented with Exceptional Service Medals; the first family also features into the footage including images of President Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson celebrating their 32nd wedding anniversary. As President Johnson spent much of November 1966 preparing for, and then recovering from, surgery there are many images in this footage of Texas, including: the LBJ Ranch, the Municipal City Hall and Saint Barnabas Episcopal Church in Fredricksburg Texas, Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, and the Welhausen School in Cotulla Texas where President Johnson had taught.

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 # MP879.

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. 
Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Taylor was born in Karnack, Texas on December 22, 1912. Lady Bird, the nickname given by nursemaid Alice Tittle, attended high school in Marshall and junior college at Dallas’ St. Mary’s Episcopal College for Women. In 1933 through 1934, she received a Bachelor of Arts in history and a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. 
Mutual friends introduced Lady Bird to congressional aide and rising political star, Lyndon Baines Johnson. LBJ proposed on the couple’s first date and the two were married a month later on November 17, 1934. Lady Bird financed her husband’s first congressional campaign for Austin’s Tenth District using a portion of her maternal inheritance. During World War II, Lady Bird ran the congressional office while LBJ served in the US Navy.  In 1943, Lady Bird purchased Austin Radio station KTBC. The station proved an integral part of the LBJ Holding Company and became the main source of the Johnson family’s fortune. 
LBJ’s political career gained momentum in the post war years, and in 1960, he became Vice President to 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. As first lady, Lady Bird initiated the Society for a More Beautiful National Capitol and worked with the American Association of Nurserymen to promote the planting of wildflowers along highways. In 1964, the first lady traveled through eight southern states aboard her train, “The Lady Bird Special,” to foster support for LBJ’s presidential re-election and the Civil Rights Act. She was influential in promoting the Highway Beautification Act of 1965, referred to as “Lady Bird’s Bill,” and the Head Start program .
Following the death of LBJ in 1973, Lady Bird turned her attention to Austin. The Town Lake Beautification Project transformed Austin’s downtown lake, renamed Lady Bird Lake in 2007, into a useable recreation area. On December 22, 1982, Lady Bird and Helen Hays founded the National Wildflower Research Center outside of Austin. The Wildflower Center was established to increase awareness and research for North American flora.  During her lifetime, the former first lady received the highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 1977 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1988. Lady Bird died of natural causes on July 11, 2007, survived by two daughters, seven grandchildren, and  ten great-grandchildren.