On This Day in History: Today

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December 9th, 1941

Portrait of Lyndon B. Johnson in Navy Uniform Portrait of Lyndon B. Johnson in Navy Uniform
credit: Unknown

On this day in 1941, Johnson reported for active duty in the U.S. Navy. While he served overseas, Lady Bird Johnson ran the Congressional office. Johnson was later awarded the Silver Star for his service during World War II.

December 9th, 1968

On this day in 1968, President Johnson made a toast and gave responses at a dinner honoring members of the Space Program.

Attending the program were: James E. Webb, former National Aeronautics and Space Administrator, who retired in October 1968; Mrs. Webb; the 23 Apollo astronauts; Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey; Mrs. Humphrey; Clark M. Clifford, Secretary of Defense; Mrs. Clifford; and Representative Olin E. Teague of Texas, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and member of the House Committee on Science and Astronautics.

During this toast, Johnson stated,

“Among you, you hold records that have now become legends—most missions in space, most man-hours in space, flights that are the highest, the longest, and the toughest that any men have ever made. And these are all testimony to your courage and to your professional skill, to your Nation’s vision, and to its technology and its determination. And they are a testament to the ability of the man who has directed your efforts so long and so well.”

He also awarded Mr. Webb the Presidential Medal of Freedom—the highest civilian honor that a President can bestow on any individual whose work advances a great cause.