Skip to content

Prof. Boerner's Explorations

Thoughts and Essays that explore the world of Technology, Computers, Photography, History and Family.

Archive

Tag: Lyndon B. Johnson

Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Introductory Comments:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumbThere were a number of significant international and domestic events that are associated with this day. We will emphasize one international and three domestic events in this post. The major international event occurred in the mid-20th century India after the partitioning of the former British Colony of India, the Crown of the British Empire, into a Muslim country, Pakistan, and a traditional Indian (Hindu) one. In fact, Pakistan started out as a divided country — East Pakistan (Bangladesh) and West Pakistan. When the country was partitioned under U.N. supervision starting in 1948, a great deal of turmoil and interracial conflict occurred. If a family’s home was in the wrong religious section, the family was forced to yield their homes and move to the other country. This happened both ways — Muslims left the new India for one of the sections of Pakistan and the Hindus left the new Pakistan for India. Much conflict flared on the roads as both groups, upset at leaving their homes, attacked those of the other religion along the roads. It was a mess. In 1950, Rajendra Prasad was elected as the first president of the new Indian state. He faced the task of bringing the new transplants into a very structured, caste-defined society. He was able to accomplish this pretty successfully to bring modern, post-colonial India into the family of nations.

Nehru_Gandhi_1937There were also two less attention-grabbing, but historically-important events on this day in the international scope. In 1788, a small convoy of ships landed in Sydney Harbor in Australia under the oversight of Captain Arthur Phillips. His entourage included several ships that carried 700 British prisoners who would be house in a new penal colony in New South Wales; Australia was considered to be an optimal location for housing difficult prisoners due to its isolated location and difficulty in returning to the U.K. This day continues to be celebrated as “Australia Day” down under in commemoration of this initial landing of British citizens.

A second international event to be considered occurred in 1970 when a Navy pilot, Lt. Everett Alvarez, Jr., was shot down over North Vietnam during the bombing campaign against Hanoi and Haiphong harbor. Alvarez was put into a North Vietnamese Prisoner of War camp, becoming the first POW captured over North Vietnam. He would remain a POW for over 2000 days before being released after the signing of the Paris Peace Accords.

American_tank_firing

On the domestic front, with a tie-in to the international scene, was the recognition of the heroism of a regular soldier, Audie Murphy, for his feats during World War II in Europe. Murphy was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1945 for his defense of the men of his unit against a strong force of German infantry supported by five tanks. Audie Murphy became the the most decorated soldier from World War II. He fought in the Operation Torch landings in North Africa, the landings on the beaches of Anzio in Italy, and in the southern campaign in France. It was in the latter he exhibited his heroic behavior in the face of an overwhelming enemy in defense of the other men in his unit. Murphy also fought in the Korean War. After his wartime feats, he starred in movies among other activities.

On this day we also saw the premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, The Phantom of the Opera, opened in the Majestic Theater on Broadway. I remember watching the performance of this play in Los Angeles with awe of the staging, songs, and performance of the actors. The original production, in 1988, starred the vocal talents of Sarah Brightman (one of my favorite songstresses) and Michael Crawford as the Phantom. I went away from it totally overwhelmed, as I’m sure that the original Broadway crowds did at its opening. It has been performed on Broadway nearly 10,000 times, becoming the longest-running play in Broadway history. Believe me, it deserves all the honors that it has received. I still love to listen to the CDs of the cast of that original ensemble and never tire of it — it lifts up one’s soul!

Also on this day, we saw the appointment of Dr. Janet G. Travell as the personal physician by John F. Kennedy in 1961. After JFKs assassination, Travell stayed on as the personal physician for Lyndon Johnson during his tenure as President. Finally, on a downbeat note, this was the day in 1998 on which President Bill Clinton denied having an affair with former White House intern, Monica Lewinsky, at a White House press conference. His denial statement, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky,” was much discussed when he posed the question, at a later time, “What is Sex?” That was not a highlight of the U.S. Presidency!

Well, that sort of sums things up on this day. As you will see on the timeline of the events on this day, there were some other events associated with this day, but we’ve used up our space for this post. All in all, today bore witness to many notable events that played themselves out on the pages of history. To fully understand them, one needs to read and learn more about the context of these happenings to fully appreciate their importance since the events of today really represent the veritable “tip of the iceberg.” Come back again to catch a small window on the events of another day!

We now will proceed to examine some of the events that are associated with day in history... GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1513 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Audie Murphy:

[ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/a/audie_murphy.html ]

    

“And freedom is what America means to the world.”
— Audie Murphy

“They were singing in French, but the melody was freedom and any American could understand that.”
— Audie Murphy

“I Knew why I felt at home. The spirit of freedom was hovering over that play yard as it did all over France at that time. A country was free again.”
— Audie Murphy

“I’m glad that it didn’t take as long to get Shepard off the ground as it’s taken this series. I’d begun to think the Congo would be ahead of us in the space race before Whispering Smith ever got on the air.”
— Audie Murphy

“The true meaning of America, you ask? It’s in a Texas rodeo, in a policeman’s badge, in the sound of laughing children, in a political rally, in a newspaper… In all these things, and many more, you’ll find America. In all these things, you’ll find freedom. And freedom is what America means to the world. And to me.”
— Audie Murphy

continue reading…

Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumbThe 1960s was a groundbreaking era on many fronts. It saw a major push for women’s rights in all areas of life, especially the workplace and in the control of their bodies. Students were pushing for more say in their college education, especially curriculum. The United States was fighting an unpopular war in Southeast Asia — Vietnam. And, of course, there was the demand of African Americans and Hispanics for equal rights in fact, not just in theory. Martin Luther King, Jr. led marches throughout the South against the KKK and Jim Crow Laws. In California, Caesar Chavez was leading Hispanic marchers in the Table Grape Boycott to win better working conditions for California’s migrant field workers..

Kennedy_Giving_Historic_Speech_to_Congress_-_GPN-2000-001658

A new, young president, John F. Kennedy, came on the scene with a new vision for our country. He called for our people to contribute to the betterment of the needy in other countries through Service by Peace Corp volunteers. He called on our science and engineering community to put a man on the moon, and return him safely to earth, by the end of the decade of the 1960s. But he also wanted to help improve the lot of those living in the oft-neglected urban areas of our country. To this end, he proposed a new, cabinet-level Department of Housing and Urban Development. But the Congress dominated by Republicans and conservative Southern Democrats blocked him on this move.

The idea of a separate department to provide better housing to urban dwellers was not dead. The torch was picked up and carried by President Lyndon B. Johnson following the assassination of JFK. Johnson pushed multiple pieces of Civil Rights legislation through the Congress, including the Voting Rights Act. In 1965, he was able to achieve passage of a bill to create the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). As the new cabinet-level Secretary of the department, he appointed the long time urban affairs expert and administrator — Robert C. Weaver. Weaver was confirmed by the Senate and became the first African American Cabinet Member. He paved the way for other African Americans and Hispanics to make their rightful contributions to the government of this great country.

P091009CK-0040.jpg

But now, let’s get started with our exploration of the first Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, who, by the way, was an African American. Weaver was well qualified for the post by his education and experience in government from the time of the Black Cabinet created by FDR during the years of the New Deal. So, let us begin… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 2670 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Urban:

[ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/urban.html ]

    

“Companies operating in urban communities have a tremendous ripple effect.”
— Michael Porter

“Everyone’s looking to the urban scene for inspiration now.”
— Robin Gibb

“How does he support Clinton’s urban agenda? He doesn’t know what it is.”
— Maxine Waters

continue reading…

Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Introductory Comments:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumbMany of our featured postings for today focus upon the subject of war. These battles range from the needless, to the unjust, to the idealistic. And the final one is the one that actually brought Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation a reality of a huge portion of our citizens. We have been fighting these wars ever since we won our independence from the British in 1783 when we signed the Treaty of Paris.

CrazyHFight

In most of these cases, these battles created American heroes. General Andrew Jackson became an instant folk hero following his heroics during the Battle of New Orleans; this battle, ironically, was unnecessary since it occurred after the Treaty of Trent had been signed that ended the War of 1812. One of the sad points in American history was our treatment of the Native American tribes, as exemplified by the defeat of Crazy Horse at the Battle of Wolf Mountain. But we do not remember the leaders of that U.S. Cavalry unit, but we do remember Crazy Horse as a hero of Native American rights!

More recently, we have to remember the attempt of Woodrow Wilson to create a new world order following World War I through his Fourteen Points. These points created a framework for a just peace that remove the need for more wars — the War to End Wars. As a result of the isolationist mood of the U.S. Congress and the imperial ambitions of the British and French leadership, these Fourteen Points were bypassed to impose a vindictive, punitive settlement upon Germany in the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. This treaty called for the creation of the League of Nations, as a forum for the peaceful settlement of disputes; our own Senate failed to ratify this treaty and therefore did not join the League of Nations. Win a little, lose a lot!

The event that is the high point of these posts is the “War on Poverty” program proposed by President Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) in his State of the Union speech in 1964. This proposal created the Great Society set of programs that brought about the realization of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 100 years ago. This program would provide rights to all Americans, including Voting Rights, Equal Treatment under the Law, the Ending of Segregation in the South, etc. It was probably one of the most significant programs since the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Fair Deal of Harry S. Truman.

NAACP Turns 100

So let us take a look at these notable events that occurred on this day, including some that we have not highlighted… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 961 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Lyndon B. Johnson:

[ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/l/lyndon_b_johnson.html ]

    

“A man without a vote is man without protection.”
— Lyndon B. Johnson

“A President’s hardest task is not to do what is right, but to know what is right.”
— Lyndon B. Johnson

“Education is not a problem. Education is an opportunity.”
— Lyndon B. Johnson

“I am a freeman, an American, a United States Senator, and a Democrat, in that order.”
— Lyndon B. Johnson

“I am concerned about the whole man. I am concerned about what the people, using their government as an instrument and a tool, can do toward building the whole man, which will mean a better society and a better world.”
— Lyndon B. Johnson

continue reading…

Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumbTruman was well-known for his desk sign, “The Buck Stops Here.” But the relatively inexperienced haberdasher turned politician from Missouri. He was elected as vice-president in the 1944 election with FDR. With the war approaching completion in Europe, FDR left Truman out of the “loop.” When FDR died suddenly, Truman was thrust upon the world scene to negotiate with the experienced world leader, Churchill and Stalin. He is outmatched, but being from Missouri, he rises to the occasion to hold his own.

In the post-war turmoil with Stalin occupying eastern Europe and spreading his communist doctrine, Truman put forward a number of diplomatic initiatives to help Europe get through those trying times. He put forward the Marshall Plan, the Truman Doctrine, implemented the Berlin Airlift to help the West Berliners survive Stalin’s blockade, and supported the United Nations. But it was on the home from where he probably made the greatest difference.

Medicare

Truman put forth his 21 Points for the reshaping America to become more equitable and provide civil rights to all. While he could not get most of these points through the very conservative, contrary Congress, he created the Marines and Air Force as separate services within the military. More importantly, he ordered the desegregation of the military; the entire country would not realize the benefits of desegregation until the mid-1960s under LBJ’s Great Society. His Fair Deal program of social reforms was an attempt to carry on the New Deal started by FDR and would reach realization under the Great Society of LBJ.

This post is an attempt to tie together these programs of social reform over the span of three democratic administrations. These programs obtained some success that survived the attack of conservative republican administrations that worked to undo those changes that did not require changes in major laws. They were more or less picked apart. Once again, the Obama administration is attempting to finish the reform job, at least on universal health care. This is a goal that has eluded many, many administrations over the last century!

So, let’s get on with our exploration of Harry Truman’s “Fair Deal” program of social reforms. It will be up to the reader to read the details of these reforms due to space limitations… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 4215 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Harry S. Truman:

    

“A President cannot always be popular.”
— Harry S. Truman

“The President is always abused. If he isn’t, he isn’t doing anything.”
— Harry S. Truman

“There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.”
— Harry S. Truman

continue reading…

Edited by Gerald Boerner

 

Commentary:

JerryPhotoIn 1968 our country was in the middle the civil rights movement, protests against the Vietnam War, the Hippie movement. Robert Kennedy was a ray of hope against the backdrop of politics as usual from the Democratic and Republican establishments. President Johnson, who called up 500K troops during the summer of 1965 for Vietnam, had just dropped out of the quest for reelection. Hubert Humphrey became the traditional Demo candidate, Eugene McCarthy was an old-school, anti-war candidate, but the young, anti-war, pro-equality candidate was Robert Kennedy.

Kennedy_bros

Kennedy had performed well as Attorney General under both JFK and LBJ as well as Senator for New York was raising in the polls. On that fateful night in June, Kennedy had just been victorious in the California primary and was headed for the Democratic Convention with enough votes to wrap up the nomination. And then disaster hit in terms of an assassin’s bullet. Kennedy lie dead on the floor of the Ambassador Hotel. His assassin was taken down by one of the Rafer Johnson, Decathlon Winner in Olympics. Many of our hopes were dashed that night.

In just five years, we lost two members of the Kennedy clan to assassins. These Kennedys has been young, enthusiastic, visionaries, and dedicated to the people. From JFK, we received the challenge to place a man on the moon; we did. From RFK, we had the support for the civil rights movement and racial equality; we moved towards that goal. While JFK looked to the heavens, Robert Kennedy looked at his fellow mankind. In fact, RFK was asked to project when the U.S. would have its first African American President, he replied, “…in forty years.” Barach Obama was elected President exactly forty years after RFK’s death!

So, let’s get this exploration underway. We will look into RFK’s Political ascension and his key positions on critical issues…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 3997 Words ]
    

   

Quotations Related to ROBERT KENNEDY:

    

“I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil.”
— Robert Kennedy

“Now I can go back to being ruthless again.”
— Robert Kennedy

“One-fifth of the people are against everything all the time.”
— Robert Kennedy

continue reading…

Edited by Gerald Boerner

 

Commentary:

JerryPhotoThe mid-1960s were a time when much activity and change was sweeping our land. A popular, young President (John F. Kennedy) had been assassinated and a new President with a vision (Lyndon B. Johnson) succeeded to the office unexpectedly. What was this vision? Johnson foresaw a “Great Society” in which Poverty would be reduced, all citizens would Vote, Civil Rights would be extended to the African Americans, all children would have equal access to an Education. And, lest we forget it, we would fight a war in the jungles of Southeast (Vietnam), and deal with riots and anti-war protests in our urban areas.

Is that enough for a one & one-half term President? Indeed it was! But he was prepared to handle it after all the years in the Senate. He was successful in getting this substantial legislative agenda passed. He was true to his vision and delivered. It would have been interesting to see what he could have accomplished domestically without the Vietnam War. But even with it he made huge strides towards his vision of “The Great Society.”

So, lets get this exploration on the road…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2010 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 4083 Words ]

   

Quotations Related to LYNDON B. JOHNSON:

    

“A man without a vote is man without protection.”
— Lyndon B. Johnson

“Doing what’s right isn’t the problem. It is knowing what’s right.”
— Lyndon B. Johnson

“Education is not a problem. Education is an opportunity.”
— Lyndon B. Johnson

continue reading…

Edited by Gerald Boerner

 

Commentary

JerryPhotoWe explore today the first “Clean Air Act” signed in 1963 by Lyndon Johnson shortly after assuming the presidency following the assassination of John F. Kennedy. This would be one of many major pieces of landmark legislation enacted to implement his “Great Society.” Voting Rights and ivil Rights laws would soon be passed. For these Johnson should be remembered rather than his escalation of the Vietnam War.

The Clean Air Act was the first attempt to enact a program of reforms to start cleaning up our smoggy air,especially in large urban areas. I can remember so many days when the smog (ozone) in the air was almost as thick as fog. What’s more it hurt our eyes. No longer did we have the nice, pristine day where you could almost see forever.

Following this legislation along with follow-up bills in 1966 and 1970, and the creation of the Environmental Agency (EPA), we now have air in the Los Angeles basin that has far fewer smoggy days than nice ones. All in all, a change for the better, I think.

So, let’s get started with our exploration of the Clean Air Act of 1963…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2010 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 2766 Words ]

   

Quotations Related to AIR

“Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”
— John F. Kennedy

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
— Henry David Thoreau

“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.”
— Franklin D. Roosevelt

continue reading…