April 28, 1965. 4:40 PM. Ambassador Bennett sends this cable from Santo Domingo to the White House less than two hours after the previous one. It begins: “Regret report situation deteriorating rapidly.”
LBJ’s secretary Juanita Roberts (foreground at her desk, in 1968) hand-delivers it to the President seven minutes after it is received, interrupting a meeting with foreign policy advisors.LBJ Library, National Security File, Country File Dominican Republic, Bennett “HELP,” Box 48, #7c.
A #NationalParksWeek submission for Yellowstone National Park from our colleagues at Kansas City:
— Kansas City Archives (@KCArchives)
“Operation ‘Oregon,’ a search and destroy mission conducted by an infantry platoon of Troop B, 1st Reconnaissance Squadron, 9th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), three kilometers west of Duc Pho, Quang Ngai Province. An infantryman is lowered into a tunnel by members of the reconnaissance platoon.” 04/24/1967
On April 17, 1961, 1400 Cuban exiles launched what became a botched invasion at the Bay of Pigs on the south coast of Cuba.
The Cuban-exile invasion force, known as Brigade 2506, landed at beaches along the Bay of Pigs and immediately came under heavy fire.
Cuban planes strafed the invaders, sank two escort ships, and destroyed half of the exile’s air support. Bad weather hampered the ground force, which had to work with soggy equipment and insufficient ammunition. Read More
The declassified Top Secret pages shown here are from the Cuba Security Folder, 1961. It contains material collected by the office of President John F. Kennedy’s secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, concerning Cuba. All 124 pages can be viewed in the digital archive from the JFK Library.
April 11, 1965. LBJ signs the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, at the Junction School in Johnson City, TX. Among the guests at the bill signing are Kate Deadrich Loney (LBJ’s first school teacher), Sen. Eugene McCarthy, and Adm. William Raborn, along with Lady Bird and Lynda.
“As a son of a tenant farmer, I know that education is the only valid passport from poverty.
“As a former teacher—and, I hope, a future one—I have great expectations of what this law will mean for all of our young people.
“As President of the United States, I believe deeply no law I have signed or will ever sign means more to the future of America.”
Today the schoolhouse is part of the LBJ National Historic Park.
Forty years ago on March 29, 1973, American combat troops withdrew from Vietnam (although this did not include all American military personnel). After more than a decade of fighting, the U.S. had signed the Paris Peace Treaty two months earlier, ending direct U.S. military involvement in Vietnam. This film (excerpted here) documents the buildup to the Vietnam War, from the withdrawal of French troops to the bombings of the U.S. Embassy and the intense fighting American troops engaged in to combat Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Cong. The footage features President Lyndon Johnson, Secretary of State Dean Rusk and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.
Photograph of Raccoon in Tree, 05/1967
Another raccoon grateful for this year’s National Wildlife Week theme: “Branching Out for Wildlife.”
Plan of Alcatraz Prison Towers at the Dock and Power House, 1940
Fifty years ago today, the Federal penitentiary on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay closed on March 21, 1963. Acquired by the Department of Justice in 1933, the federal prison opened in 1934. Over the course of its years in operation, the prison hosted such infamous figures as Al Capone, Robert Stroud (aka The Birdman), George “Machine Gun” Kelly, James “Whitey” Bulger, and Rafael Cancel Miranda. These plans for prison towers at the dock and power house were part of the overall modernization of the prison facilities undertaken in 1940.
February 16, 1967. Lady Bird Johnson and Mary Lasker accept on behalf of their beautification program a surprise donation of flower seeds to be used in Washington, DC school grounds, in a presentation at the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden of the White House.
LBJ Presidential Library photo #C4560-20a, public domain.
That’s one classy wheelbarrow!
On March 20, 1965, Mrs. Bertram Jeffrey sent this letter to Representative Emanuel Cellar, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, advocating for the passage of the Voting Rights Act for the continuance of a true democratic system.
Letter from Mrs. Bertram Jeffert in Favor of the Voting Rights Act, 3/20/1965, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives (ARC 593573)
March 20, 1965. LBJ holds a news conference from the LBJ Ranch to announce that he has federalized the Alabama National Guard at Governor Wallace’s request.
“I have called selected elements of the Alabama National Guard into Federal Service. Additionally, I have military police put in position at both Selma and Montgomery, Alabama. In addition, we have Federal marshals, FBI agents on duty in that area at this time….
“Over the next several days the eyes of the Nation will be upon Alabama, and the eyes of the world will be upon America. It is my prayer, a prayer in which I hope all Americans will join me earnestly today, that the march in Alabama may proceed in a manner honoring our heritage and honoring all for which America stands.”
Read the full text here.
It’s National Wildlife Week! This year’s theme is “Branching Out for Wildlife” — celebrating trees and their importance to wildlife and people.
Raccoon in tree (French Creek Game Farm). Taken by Paul Steucke, June 1968. Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia.
From the series: Photographs Relating to National Forests, Resource Management Practices, Personnel, and Cultural and Economic History, compiled ca. 1897 - ca. 1980; From the Records of the National Forest Service.
Gideon v. Wainwright
Petition for a Writ of Certiorari from Clarence Gideon to the Supreme Court of the United States, 06/05/1962
From the Appellate Jurisdiction Case File Gideon v. Wainright, of the Records of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Convicted on breaking and entering and larceny charges after he was denied a court-appointed attorney and forced to defend himself in court, Clarence Earl Gideon appealed to the Supreme Court on the grounds that his constitutional right to counsel was violated. On March 18, 1963, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Gideon’s favor and he was granted a new trial in which he was acquitted.
Plaintiffs’ Proposed Plan for March from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, 1965
This plan submitted to the court pertains to the march from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, Alabama in support of voting rights in 1965. In association with this lawsuit, the marchers submitted a plan for the court’s approval defining their proposed route, number of participants, distance covered per day, and other details.