The President: October 1968. MP901.


Uploaded by TheLBJLibrary on 07.12.2012

Transcript:
good evening my fellow Americans
i speak to you this evening
about
very important developments
in our search for peace in vietnam
on the final day in october nineteen sixty eight if the president johnson
went on this in one television to announce a breakthrough in the paris
peace talks
that would signal a new phase in the quest for a peaceful settlement in
southeast asia
responding to a change in hanoi is negotiating stance
the president with the concurrence of his top-level advisers
ordered a complete halt
to all air
naval and artillery bombardment
of north vietnam
this decision the result of hard days and long nights of careful deliberation
constitutes one of the most intense in intricate chapters in american
diplomatic history
and was that that little concern during the thirty one days of this drama filled
month
the
and i
out tolbert amount that would close with a major accomplishment
began for president johnson with a major setback
the senate in a precedent-setting filibuster refused to consider the
president's nomination
of associate justice paid four does
to be chief justice of the united states
back in june when the president had announced that chief justice one was
retiring
most observers expected swift approval for his nominations have just to support
us
and judge homer thornbury
but during the long summer opposition to these appointments mounted
on capitol hill
senators who wanted to block the nominations
charge cronyism in lame duck maneuver
these along with republicans hopeful of naming their own chief justice after
january
and conservatives uneasy over the many liberalizing decisions of the one court
form a coalition powerful enough to beat a motion for cloture on the five day
today
at the request of justice for dust on october second
president johnson withdrew the nomination
at ten a_m_
on october seventh
the court began a new session
one hundred and seventy nine
its membership remained unchanged
earl warren at the center
and justice for this to the right of his colleagues
however not all congressional action in october was negative
a flurry of activity in the closing days of the session sent more than two dozen
bills for the white house
this month the president clinton's along important new legislation and for
diverse areas
conservation education consumer protection
and farms control
among the various conservation measures
the most significant was the fifty eight thousand acre redwood national park act
i believe that this act establishing redwood national park in california
of strength for all time
as a monument to the wisdom our generation
that will surely be remembered i think
as one of the great
conservation
united com
it is a great victory for
every american and every state
calls we have a rescue the magnificent
in treasure
from chainsaw
yes the redwoods whilst i have
so long as they do
alluded to life
give instruction
they will declare for all over here
and other great conservation battles with rainfall
we stand
because our nation found its greatest profit
and preserving
for its heritage it's great it's racial
that is
beauty
and the splendor
of its life
the president returned to the
trying with great pride
far reaching education bills
and sixty eight
of the johnson administration
the higher education and vocational education amendments of nineteen sixty
eight were broad measures
extend existing education programs
and create several new ones
kal myself when i became president
in this office
i wanted to do
warned
and that was too
advance
education
grand coulee mikey
so here we are
sixty
walls later
we can count the law
but no one can count relax
that these laws
heaven will change
how many bright youngsters have been discovered inspired who might otherwise
have been ignored
how many families have fulfill the dream of college
their children
the answers to those questions i think he explained to you
why i feel
as i do about education
at a cabinet room ceremony the president signed the twentieth consumer protection
measure of his administration
hazardous radiation act
it establishes health and safety standards to protect the public from
harmful radiation emissions all the elec tronic products
the last significant measure the president signed into law in october
was the gun control act of nineteen sixty eight
a stronger bill than had been considered possible at the beginning of the year
it strengthened and extended too long guns and ammunition
restrictions that had been placed on handguns by the previously passed
omnibus crime control act
coupled with the crime bill the gun control act made nineteen sixty eight
the most important year for firearms legislation
since nineteen thirty eight
the second session of the ninetieth congress the last under the johnson
administration adjourned in mid-october
it had been marked by some clear decrease for the president and some
compromises
congress had enacted a landmark housing bill
strong civil rights act
an important truth in lending law
several major conservation measures
and a number of health and education programs
it also passed the president's ten-percent surtax in exchange for a six
billion dollar cut in federal spending
and a sweeping crime bill
with which the president had a few reservations
something not accomplished this session which gave the president cause for
concern
was the ratification of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty
just before final adjournment the president made one last appeal
urging senate acceptance of this very important to green
to see what further areas might need attention into better evaluate what had
already been accomplished
the president continue the policy begun in september
of having tabloid members present summaries of the current status of their
departments
this series of intense searching meetings concentrated on problems of the
future to define issues and help the president shape is remaining decisions
in office
facing the president and several of his advisors this month
where secretary of the interior stewart udall
secretary of defense clark clifford
the secretary of transportation
alan board
c_r_ smith secretary of commerce
although freemen secretary of agriculture
attorney general ramsey clark
and the secretary of housing and urban development robert lieber
is there anything that you can give me one can prove has issued a village voice
but i would say that the first one of the largest alluded to
and that is the matter broke at airline pilots the second in a big problem is
going to be how we organize
are local governmental units
when you get issues like air pollution platinum effort to be you gotta have a
wide area while cover
how do we reconcile piece to require
because therefore perfect apart
and of course there is also the problem which has been very very present
uh... which we have not been able to make much progress and despite what
we've tried to do and that is a problem of a pet free home trained people
at their level
we just don't have enough botanist resident to build new jobs that we're
not doing and that we expanded it's going to get to be much much more proof
approval
but isn't there
there were two official state
visits in october
early in the month president johnson welcomed president francois optoma
bhaiyya from chad
as a leader of courage in revision
who has worked hard and long for peace on his cotton
that evening a steak dinner was held for president on bob i a m in the white
house
on october ninth president johnson created the trusted friend and ally in
the struggle against aggression in southeast asia
prime minister key for you
of new zealand
this visit would give president johnson the chance to reciprocate the warm
welcome he received in new zealand two years before
file on route to the manila summit conference
the president took this occasion to restate america's purpose in vietnam
to reaffirm the long-standing commitment to freedom in that troubled part of the
globe
but even as the president spoke
dramatic new developments were unfolding
at the paris peace dot
on the very day of the prime minister's visit
north vietnamese negotiators change the course of the discussions
and of history
after five months of skirting issues
the communist representatives began asking direct questions concerning what
steps could be taken
to bring about a bombing halt
in his talks with the prime minister later in the day
president johnson stressed the preconditions that had to be agreed upon
before a bombing halt could begin
first and foremost productive discussions but not take place
without participation by the government of south vietnam itself
second
there had to be no violations by either side
of the demilitarized zone
last there could be no more attacks on south vietnam cities or major population
areas
this in essence
was the san antonio formula the president had stated one year earlier
these requirements for cable to the american ago shooters in paris for
relate to the north vietnamese
exactly what the communist questioning signified at this stage was uncertain
nevertheless it was something
a beginning perhaps
that evening president and missus johnson received the holy oaks prior to
a state dinner given in their honor
there was a third visitor in october receives your hair
because of our customers
but one that had been expected clenwar
white house this month
while control
broadview stn to share
cd-r
with the yellow blue ribbon in my hand
through the home of her grandparents
but this home
would be only a temporary
the executive mansion was preparing itself for a new occupant
and in october the seekers of this residents began heating up the
presidential campaign has the contest near the water
helping to keep a democrat in the white house would be one reason president
johnson spoke out on several different occasions
for the man he felt
best qualified to serve america
what i have observed a bash president humphrey over more than twenty years
i believe that he
has been a unique measure
the understanding
the imagination
the commitment
to print
that this responsibility require
in his first major political speech to the campaign
the president vigorously endorsed the humphrey muskie ticket
over nationwide radio with the broadcast sponsored by the international ladies
garment workers union
a few days later the president travel to new york
on the ground ballroom of the waldorf-astoria
where he was the surprise guest at a benefit dinner for the operative smith
memorial foundation
also present with the two major party can't
the president
filled with mister nixon vice president humphrey
for their endeavors to become a prison
of the big quite jailhouse
the president began a series of partisan speech is outside of washington
when he arrived at the huntington west virginia airport
on the way to a reservoir dedication
here the president recall some of the prominent achievements of his party
and hurts the audience to remember this progress on election day
and both democrat
the president of the short hop to nearby pike bill kentucky for the dedication of
fish trap dam
appearing sample of the prosperous and progressive spirit
in this state today
pointing to the regeneration of the entire appalachian area
the president emphasized that it was a joint effort
produced by democrats working in concert
wherever they work together they are probably air gerardo compressible
all the democratic party
the democratic party at the party accelerator problems instead of the
front of your problem
and i walked their regarding your career
you go to the poor and go back to the pool ibook that frank democratic ticket
from the white house the cleanup
the president continued his comp store with a shortage of the morgantown west
virginia report
and reiterated that the more progress from democrats working together
had a dinner honoring congressman harley staggers
the following day the president returned to new york for a luncheon of the all
americans council of the democratic national committee
this time the president brought along abutting a practice on the political
scene
his grandson patrick burland
gained valuable training and such basic techniques as
arm waving
and handshake
on a serious note the president to sail the republican party for postponing
solutions to america's problems
however the president was not the only member of the johnson family
who took to the campaign trail for humphrey muskie
in october the first lady travel to louisville to address a gathering of the
democratic women's clubs of kentucky
in one of her most pointed political speeches of the year
missus johnson praised vice president humphrey for being a strong and
compassionate man
of deep convictions
he has a built here
eight unified
who does not try two-step american against american
he does not panda to the isn't sold so that people
he called on the best that isn't going to pass at first
he comes on defining spirit
of hope
accompanied by missus humphrey missus johnson traveled to philadelphia
for an appearance on the mike douglas television show
to boost the campaign of the first and second ladies favorite candidate
missus johnson gave a further endorsement of the vice president
at a performance in washington of alexis we love you
a musical fashion show put on by the women's national democratic club
it featured clothing worn by white house occupants from the johnson daughters
back to the days of dolly madison
there
when and are
you know i have to be a
italic you and a dialing hello on friended created
mind
alone
that that mark that carl
uh...
command
plant that had been
right now
anyone will be there
and and and and uh... elegant and about and then i think that night and
health net
well then
that bad
backpack
will and at the end i a
uh... at an all-white online
and
this show was repeated later in the month have been approved for the
hartford must be campaign in austin
where missus johnson introduced missus humphrey to the women of texas
uh... l
but the first lady's busy agenda is not limited to campaign in the world
there were a variety of white house social events in october
including reception for officers of the future homemakers of america
t four wives and daughters of international bankers
and a gathering of national women legislators
the first lady was also hostess to a restoration luncheon
attended by a number of people active in historical preservation projects around
the country
after the luncheon
specialist spoke on the importance of restoration projects
in terms of the nation's forthcoming two hundredth birthday
on october eleventh
president johnson boarded air force one
to visit another president will face communist intransigence at the
bargaining table
harry truman
but on this day the current peace talks took another optimistic term
in paris the north vietnamese asked whether a bombing halt would in fact
follow their agreement to permit south vietnam into the discussions
the american negotiators repeated that the d_m_z_ had to be honored
and that there could be no attacks on south vietnam cities
what the communists agree to this
no one knew
arriving at the truman home in independence missouri
the president signed two proclamations
one mocking united nation state
and the other praising the former president's pioneering support public
u_n_
cherry creek ignition sequence was started eight point nine seconds will be
looking to lift up it's a role
in october of president johnson like millions of others
tuned in on the apollo seven space launch from cape kennedy
the drama of this attempt was heightened by the knowledge that it was america's
first manned flight since the tragic death
of three astronauts twenty one months before
in time
ignition sequence start
we have a question
knowledge and learning
hot pan in
man
dream
as the tolerance saturn one-b_ rocket rose into the sky is
america's hopes for placing man on the moon rose witty
to the president for many years had worked diligently to build and expand
the nation's space potential
the successful launch of apollo seven
was a moment of every product excitement
i don't work well in the next ten days of portion of the world's consciousness
centered on the orbiting module as a performance assigned duties and a few
additional ones
he pull the world over you the first live telecast from outer space
they follow the progress of calls the freemen developed
and sympathized with mounting complaints about space queasy
finally after a textbook perfect mission that circle the globe one hundred sixty
three times in two hundred sixty four hours
apollo seven re-entered the earth's atmosphere
true to its performance in space
unit splashed down in the atlantic ocean less than half a mile
from the point it heading for
the unqualified success of this flight brought into the realm of very real
possibility
what once seemed like a far-out dream
placing american on the moon
before the end of this decade
when astronauts she rosalynn cunningham were safely aboard the carrier essex
president johnson congratulated them on behalf of their countrymen
he also extended an invitation to receive the three at the l_b_j_ ranch
by the time the astronauts returned to work
the president's attention had already become almost exclusively engaged
in what some of servers would call the most concentrated diplomatic activity
white house
since the cuban missile crisis
this activity which would culminate on the final day in october
really began
back in march
in the interests of peace a national unity
the president had decided to remove himself from the political arena
dedicate all of his energies to solving the vietnam problem
at the same time he ordered a partial cessation of the bombing
with the hope that this gesture would lead to peace negotiations
it did
the president chose a broad harriman and cyrus vance to head the american
delegation
harus was finally agreed on as the site
here for the first time since the beginning of the war
united states and north vietnamese representatives met in face-to-face
discussions
but it soon became apparent that the communists were unwilling to address
themselves
substantive matters
for all intents and purposes the talks were deadlock
this is what the u_s_ negotiators reported to the president went back in
washington
the stalemate continued for five-and-a-half months
then suddenly the american persistence appeared to pay off
the change in bargaining at the october ninth in october eleventh meetings in
paris
at comet lands
on october fourteenth the president met with top-level advisers to contemplate
the turn of events
before they were cables from ambassador bunker and general abrams in saigon
which stated that in their opinion
hanoi was ready for a tactical shift from the battlefield
to the conference table
the president's advisors unanimously agreed that the questions asked in paris
should be interpreted
as a change in north vietnam's position
and represented a serious move toward peace
the same day the president told members of the joint chiefs of staff on their
attitude toward a bombing halt
each man agree
at the risks of a bombing pause under the new conditions
were low
and from a military standpoint
sustainable
from south vietnam came president cues concurrence
the problem is not to stop the bombing he said
but to stop the war
we must try this plan to see if the enemy's intentions are serious
the president then directed that all countries supplying troops to vietnam be
consulted
their response is fully supported the president's instructions to his paris
representatives
these countries favored a bombing halt gifts hanoi was sent to the three facts
of life the president had established
saigon at the bargaining table
no violations of the d_m_z_
and no attacks on the city's
the groundwork had been laid
and now the tension would begin
or their followed thirteen days of on again off again uncertainty from paris
panel i was balking at several points
first they withheld their promise to me promptly for talks after a bombing halt
went into operation
then they one of the bombing halt labeled an unconditional stoppage
they also one of the expanded discussions described as a four power
conference
which in effect
was a demand for recognition of the viet cong split along
the national liberation front
while these points were being argued
the president wanted more individual discussions with informed advisers
on october twenty thirty called in general william o_ minor chief of the
air force tactical air command
and a former commander in vietnam
to investigate the problems involved in a bombing halt
at one point in the conference the president asked bluntly
if you were president
what would you do
the general replied in my judgment a bombing halt now
would not involve a substantial risk
if it will help bring peace item for it
later that day the president met again with his chief foreign policy advisers
they went over reports from saigon indicating that a slowdown in
hostilities seem to be occurring
american casualties during the previous week with the lowest in a number of
months
but the president cautioned against the allies being lulled into a false sense
of security
the way for hanoi to show its good faith was at the bargaining table
in serious discussions
that included the government of south vietnam
at a news conference on october twenty fourth
the president hinted that while no breakthrough had taken place in the
senate he was encouraged by the direction
activity on the diplomatic front had taken in recent weeks
you know i want to
make news until there is news
and uh...
we realized that
many times diplomacy can be more fat people
and private and
to have all year
discussions in recommendations
prophecies carried it
and the press
opposition range set forth the president sector straight
when there is anything too
report to the informers
select one today
the next afternoon the president again conferred with close aides
this time the discussion centered around standing orders to be issued the general
abrams
if north vietnam violated the d_m_z_ or attacked the major population areas
after a bombing halt
general maxwell taylor stressed that when the president announces the bombing
halt
he must make it clear that this is just another step
on the arduous road toward peace
and is not peace itself
secretary rusk urge that the three presidential candidates who have been
briefed previously
be given word of the decision shortly before the public announcement
here it was then agreed that the presidential contenders and the
congressional leadership
would be given separate briefings
but still north vietnam was holding out
two weeks of exhaustive negotiating that produced
no commitments
after all this
would an ally back down
that uncomfortable thought became more of a possibility
as the days war on
then on the afternoon of october twenty seventh
and the predictably unexpected fashion of historic events
word came from paris that hanoi would accept the terms for a bombing halt
at last the breakthrough arrived
long hours of patients and insistence had paid dividends
north vietnam dropped its demand double for power designation for the conference
the hold was not labeled unconditional
an expanded talks on your side our side basis
would start as soon as the new delegations from saigon and the nl f
were assembled
late into the night the president reviewed cables from saigon in paris
he already had the accord of his personal advisers the joint chiefs of
staff and all the allied countries
yet before taking the final step
he wanted to look his commanding general in the high
and ask it this decision would jeopardize the man in the field
at two thirty a_m_ on the morning of october twenty ninth
president johnson summoned the top foreign policy advisers to the white
house
with his departure from vietnam cloaked in secrecy to avoid premature
speculation
general abrams had arrived in washington who only moments before
dressed in civilian clothes
the president began quizzing his field commander immediately
generally brooms reported that critical changes in the military situation had
recently taken place
heavy defeats were imposed on the communists
the strengthen allies had forced many enemy units to withdraw above the d_m_z_
or into laos and cambodia
and the monsoon weather had begun
limiting the flow of men and supplies into the south
on hearing this information the president turned a general abrams and i
asked
can we proceed with the bombing halt
without taking additional casualties
degenerate blood
in my opinion we can
then the president put the same question to general abrams he had as general more
meyer six days earlier
if you were president
what would you do
while the others at the table listened intently
the general answered
mr president
i really know judge if your responsibilities in that office
but i can say that i have absolutely no reservations about doing this
i think the war is at the stage where it is the right and proper thing to do
and so the president had the answer
he had been seeking
but there still was a great deal have to be done
while he awaited confirmation of a joint announcement from saigon
the president's set in motion action to inform the nation and the world of the
decision
general abrams rested in a guest room of the executive mansion as the president
and several aids began working on the first drafts of the speech
by now however
rumblings of discontent from south vietnam over the arrangements in paris
at coming
returning to the cabinet room which he had left only in our before
the president continued dictating portions of the text
but the other affairs of state still had to be attended to
and the president signed a few minor bills and letters
before re-opening further discussions with his consultants
outside
dawn was just breaking over the nation's capital
had been a long night for president johnson
he had gotten practically no sleep
but sleep was the least concern of those involved in this momentous decision
president ordered breakfast for the second meeting which would cover the
difficult problems of timing announcement
and informing america's allies
after the second cabinet room meeting ended
the president returned to the executive mansion
where he'd caught up on developments elsewhere in the world
but short time later he rejoined general abrams and other advisors in the west
hall sitting room
for the latest intelligence data from vietnam was review
this evidence reinforce the president's decision for a bombing halt
it was not time for general abrams to return to his command
but before he did
the president took him aside and presented him
the distinguished service medal
by the following morningside hons dissatisfaction had been established
fearful that the outcome would be a coalition government including the
communists
presidents you was now unwilling to send a delegation to paris
the president instructed american ambassador bunker to present the saigon
government
with a concise picture of what the allies were receiving
in return for the bombing halt q had previously supported
emphasizing that the united states was committed going through with its
agreements
in his office the president continued work on the speech with private
secretary marie favor
special assistant harry mcpherson
and press secretary george christian
each sentence each phrase each word
had to be precise and to the point
the reasons for the decision unmistakably clear
late in the day the president again met with advisors to go over the final draft
of the speech
the president continued polishing and read polishing this last version right
up until the time it was recorded on film
for the late broadcast
on october thirty first american ambassadors informed the
troop-contributing countries on the text of the president's announcement
it remained naal for president johnson to notify the major presidential
contenders
that the decision had been made
using the white house speaker phone the president talked simultaneously to
richard nixon hubert humphrey and george wallace
the three candidates told the president
that they would back his decision
general clear then called the pentagon to relay orders of the bombing halt to
american command centers in the pacific
back in the cabinet room president johnson met with the national security
council
the service secretaries
and other foreign policy advisers just before the speech was to be here
each man in the room voiced his support other decision
thinking pressures for the moment at somewhat east
the president was a bit surprised to find a young halloween ur
in his outer office demanding
trick-or-treat
the rest of the first family joined the president as the nationwide broadcast
was about to start
meanwhile special presidential assistant waldron style briefed members of the
press on the contents of the speech that we are in the background of events that
led up to the decision
last after three weeks of endless consultations and seesaw and diplomatic
intrigues
the moment for the announcement
good evening my fellow americans
i speak to you this evening
about
very important developments
in our search for peace in vietnam
when i representatives ambassador harriman and pam baxter bands were sent
to paris
they were instructed to insist throughout the discussion
at the what gentleman
the elected government of south vietnam
marsh take its place
in any serious negotiations
apec and
the future of south vietnam
therefore are m bashers permanent banff
maybe at abundantly clear to the representative of north vietnam in the
beginning
that as i have indicated only evening on march thirty first
we
would stop the bombing of north vietnamese territory entirely
plan
that would lead to prompt
and productive talks
for goodman who each there was no movement in the culture all
talks appeared to really being
then a few weeks ago
they entered a new and a very much more hopeful page
last sunday evening
and threw out monday
we began to
get confirmation
of the essential understanding
that we had been shaking with the north vietnamese
on the critical issues between us
for some time
now
as a result uh... all of these developments
i have
now ordered
that or their naval an art gallery bombardment of north vietnam
as of eight a_t_m_ washington time
friday morning
i have reached this decision on the basis for the developments in the parish
talks
and i reached it in the movie
that this action can we need to
progress
toward a peaceful settlement
of the vietnamese war
i have already and so the decision had been announced to the world
soon the long days and heart months of even tougher negotiating
would begin