On This Day in History: September


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September 1st

On this day in 1966, President Johnson signed the Bill Authorizing Veterans of Vietnam to become members of the American Legion.

“The Congress of the United States and the American Legion have made me very happy by sending me this bill today to sign. This measure will allow the veterans of Vietnam to become members of the American Legion.”

On this day in 1966, President Johnson had a telephone conversation with Congressman Wayne Aspinall. Secretary of the Interior, Stuart Udall, was meeting with the President during the telephone call.

The President and Aspinall discussed an emergency bill to suspend tree-cutting for one year in an area that Congress was considering for a new Redwoods National Park. The President expressed appreciation for Aspinall’s support and promised to help him in the future.

Listen to Audio…

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September 2nd

On this day in 1964, President Johnson signed the Housing Act. LBJ stated,

“I am pleased today to approve the Housing Act of 1964. I believe that we have a commitment to assure every American an opportunity to live in a decent home, in a safe and a decent neighborhood.”

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September 3rd

On this day in 1964, President Johnson signed the Wilderness Bill and the Land and Water Conservation Fund Bill.

“This is a very happy and historic occasion for all who love the great American outdoors, and that, needless to say, includes me. The two bills that I am signing this morning are in the highest tradition of our heritage as conservators as well as users of America’s bountiful natural endowments.

“The wilderness bill preserves for our posterity, for all time to come, 9 million acres of this vast continent in their original and unchanging beauty and wonder.

“The land and water conservation bill assures our growing population that we will begin, as of this day, to acquire on a pay-as-you-go basis the outdoor recreation lands that tomorrow's Americans will require. I believe the significance of this occasion goes far beyond these bills alone.

“In this century, Americans have wisely and have courageously kept a faithful trust to the conservation of our natural resources and beauty. But the long strides forward have tended to come in periods of concerted effort.”

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September 4th

Glassboro Summit Conference Glassboro Summit Conference
credit: Yoichi Okamoto

On this day in 1964, President Johnson had a telephone conversation with Anatoly Dobrynin, the Soviet Ambassador to the United States.

In the conversation, Dobrynin passed on a personal message from Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschchev in which he sent his regards to the President. Dobrynin also talked about Khruschchev’s views on U.S. foreign policy, including the Tonkin Gulf incident, Cypress, and the Congo. Dobrynin discussed the U.S. presidential election, telling President Johnson that Khruschchev “will vote for LBJ.”

On this day in 1965, President Johnson had a telephone conversation with Katharine Graham. Mrs. Graham congratulated the President on signing of the Washington, D.C., home rule discharge petition. They discussed opposition to financial provisions of the Bill.

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On this day in 1964, President Johnson signed the Nurse Training Act of 1964.

“Nurses today are essential members of our Nation’s health team. The health needs of a growing population cannot be met without their help. Blessed with the gifts of healing and with a wise and understanding heart, nurses perform a vital role in maintaining and strengthening America's health services and our national well-being. Yet we are critically short of the nurses that we need.

“The Nurse Training Act of 1964, which we have met this morning to finally sign and complete, represents the response of an enlightened Congress to the urgent need. The act contains four principal elements. It authorizes a program of grants to build and renovate nursing schools; it establishes a program to help schools of nursing strengthen and improve their training programs and to help diploma schools of nursing meet the costs which will come with increased enrollment; it expands the existing program of advanced training of professional nurses; it establishes a loan program which will enable many talented but needy students to undertake the professional training for a nursing career.”

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September 5th

On this day in 1960, LBJ and John Connally went dove hunting in Brackettville, Texas, with Herman and George Brown.

On this day in 1964, President Johnson issued Proclamation 3614: College Students Registration Week, 1964.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, LYNDON B. JOHNSON, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate the week beginning September 6, 1964, as College Students Registration Week, 1964; and I urge that a special effort be made during this week to ensure maximum registration of qualified students.

I also invite and urge all local election officials throughout the United States to join with private citizens and citizen organizations, as well as newspapers, radio and television stations, to publicize registration arrangements during that week to bring the greatest possible number of our college students to the polls on November 3.

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September 6th

On this day in 1965, President Johnson wrote a letter to the nation’s first social security beneficiary informing her of increased benefits.

The White House announced that Raymond E. Bender, Social Security District Manager in Rutland, Vermont, had that day delivered to Miss Ida Fuller a check for the retroactive increase in her social security benefits. The release stated that retroactive checks would be mailed to 20 million other social security beneficiaries beginning September 15, and that the amount paid out would total $885 million.

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September 7th

On this day in 1964, President Johnson had a telephone conversation with William Scranton, Governor of Pennsylvania.

The President told Scranton that the Appalachia Bill was 25 votes short of passage in the House and they talked about strategy of passing the Bill in the Senate first.

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On this day in 1967, President Johnson signed a bill to strengthen the College Work-Study Program.

“This act improves the work-study program in two important ways:

“First: The new legislation provides that a student employee shall work an average of 15 hours per week each semester—rather than specifically requiring 15 hours of work each week. This allows a student to reduce his time on the job during testing or examination periods, and make up the loss later.

“Second: The original act specified that the Federal share in the program—90 percent—would be reduced in one step this year, to 75 percent. The new legislation in order to reduce the financial impact of the reduction on the employers of these students, phases the reduction in three steps: to 85 percent this year, 80 percent in 1968, and 75 percent in 1969.

“In the past few years, we have embarked on an historic campaign to give every citizen an equal chance in America—regardless of his birth or his race or his financial status. This law is one way of moving that great effort forward. Its influence in America will be a lasting tribute to the 90th Congress.”

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September 8th

On this day in 1965, President Johnson signed the National Capital Transportation Act.

“Our most acute transportation problem—one that costs us billions of dollars each year now—is that of local traffic. In a day when our astronauts can circle the globe in less time than many Americans spend driving to and from work, our challenge is real, and it is serious, and it is urgent.”

On this day in 1966, President Johnson met with General Ne Win, Chairman of the Revolutionary Council of the Union of Burma.

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September 9th

Signing of bill establishing the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) also referred to as the Housing and Urban Development Act Signing of bill establishing the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) also referred to as the Housing and Urban Development Act
credit: Donald Stoderl

On this day in 1965, President Johnson signed the act establishing the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and appointed Robert Weaver as the first secretary of HUD. Weaver was the first African-American appointed to the Cabinet.

On this day in 1966, President Johnson signed the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act and the Highway Safety Act.

“In this century, more than 1,500,000 of our fellow citizens have died on our streets and highways: nearly three times as many Americans as we have lost in all our wars.

“Every 11 minutes a citizen is killed on the road. Every day 9,000 are killed or injured—9,000! Last year 50,000 were killed.

“We are going to cut down this senseless loss of lives. We are going to cut down the pointless injury. We are going to cut down the heartbreak.

“Today, I will sign two bills into law:

“First, to protect the driver—the Traffic Safety Act will ensure safer, better-protected cars in the event of an accident.

“Second, to achieve safer driving—the Highway Safety Act will set up a national framework for the State safety programs.

“The first act we sign into law is the Traffic Safety Act. It calls for nationwide Federal vehicle safety standards to be developed, first under the direction of the Secretary of Commerce, and, soon, I hope, under the Secretary of Transportation

“Starting with our 1968 models, American and foreign,

“—We are going to assure our citizens that every new car they buy is as safe as modern knowledge knows how to build it.

“—We are going to protect drivers against confusing and misleading tire standards.

“—We are going to establish Federal research and testing centers to probe the causes of traffic accidents.

“Through the Highway Safety Act, we are going to find out more about highway disease—and we are going to find out how to cure it.

“Local and State information has been too meager. The Highway Safety Act will create a Federal-State partnership for learning these facts.

“—We are going to establish a National Driver Register to protect all of our citizens against drivers whose licenses have been suspended or revoked.

“—We are going to support better programs of driver education and better programs for licensing and auto inspection.

“—We are going to ask every State to participate in safety programs and to conform to uniform driver and pedestrian safety performance standards.

“The automobile industry has been one of our Nation’s most dynamic and inventive industries. I hope, and I believe, that its skill and imagination will somehow be able to build in more safety—without building on more costs.”

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September 10th

President Lyndon B. Johnson surveys damage to Louisiana following Hurricane Betsy President Lyndon B. Johnson surveys damage to Louisiana following Hurricane Betsy
credit: Yoichi Okamoto

On this day in 1965, President Johnson spoke with officials on what to do about the disaster caused by Hurricane Betsy in New Orleans.

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September 11th

On this day in 1968, President Johnson wrote a letter to presidential candidates concerning plans for an orderly transfer of executive power.

In accordance with the purpose of the Presidential Transition Act of 1963, I wish to take all reasonable steps to promote the orderly transfer of the Executive power in connection with the inauguration of a new President on January 20, 1969. To this end, I am asking Executive departments and agencies to make plans to facilitate an orderly transition.

These letters were addressed to presidential candidates Hubert H. Humphrey, Richard M. Nixon, and George C. Wallace.

On this day in 1967, President Johnson met with King Constantine of Greece at the White House.

On this day in 1968, President Johnson met with Prime Minister Errol Walton Barrow of Barbados at the White House.

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September 12th

On this day in 1960, Lyndon Johnson and John F. Kennedy addressed a rally in the City Square in front of the Hotel Cortez in Galveston, Texas. Johnson and Mrs. Johnson then flew on the Kennedy plane to the Lubbock airport where Kennedy and Johnson addressed an airport rally in Lubbock, and Paul Kilday joined group. The next stop was San Antonio where Johnson introduced Kennedy at a rally in Alamo Square.

Then, they flew to Houston where the Johnsons visited with Mr. & Mrs. Wesley West, Mr. & Mrs. Gus Wortham, and Mr. Arthur Sandlin. Johnson addressed a rally in the Houston Coliseum and then listened in a hotel suite to Kennedy’s speech to the Houston Ministerial Association. There, Kennedy reiterated his support for separation of church and state and denied church pressures on him. Johnson and Kennedy flew to Austin where they spent the night at Governor’s Mansion.

On this day in 1966, President Johnson vetoed the Federal Employees Life Insurance Bill.

“For the second time in less than eight weeks, I am forced to return a bill without my approval because it is inflationary.

“The bill I am now returning—H.R. 6926—would increase life insurance coverage for Federal employees by over 30%—at an annual cost to the taxpayer of $90 million. If we were to extend equivalent increases in fringe benefits to all American workers, we would be fueling the fires of inflation by nearly $3 billion.”

On this day in 1964, President Johnson made a statement following inspection of hurricane damage in Florida and Georgia.

“As soon as accurate damage data has been assembled Mr. McDermott will request a specific allocation of funds from the President's disaster fund. I am prepared to make that allocation promptly and funds for that purpose are available.

“I am confident full recovery from the effects of Hurricane Dora will be accomplished, with close cooperation between Federal, State, and local authorities. I was impressed yesterday with the debris clearance and other recovery activities already in progress. I was impressed too with the outstanding leadership demonstrated in this emergency by Governor Bryant and Governor Sanders and I expect to keep in close touch with both of them as recovery work proceeds.”

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September 13th

On this day in 1965, President Johnson wrote a letter to the recipient of the first home improvement grant under the New Housing Act.

You are the first in the Nation to receive one of the new housing rehabilitation grants, authorized for urban renewal areas only a month ago when I signed the landmark Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965.

Our urban renewal program is a cooperative effort by the city and the national government, and by the citizen and the private enterprise contractor, to renew and rehabilitate our urban environment. Because of the new law, the Congress has made it possible for many more residents of urban renewal areas to pay for necessary home improvements without having to move.

On this day in 1966, President Johnson signed a bill at Georgetown University extending the Peace Corps Act.

“So I take double pleasure this morning in signing this bill: pleasure in what the Peace Corps has done; pleasure in the accomplishments that I can see ahead.”

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September 14th

On this day in 1964, President Johnson presented the Harmon International Aviation Trophies. LBJ stated,

“It gives me a great deal of pleasure—and I am very proud this afternoon—to join in this presentation of these awards of the Harmon Trophy for the most outstanding performances by aviators and aviatrixes in 1962 and 1963.

“For 1962 the Aviator Award goes to Maj. Fritzhugh L. Fulton, Jr., of the United States Air Force Major Fulton in 1962 piloted a B-58 Hustler bomber beyond its designed performance to set new world altitude and payload records.

“For 1963 the Aviatrix Award goes to Mrs. Betty Miller of Santa Monica, Calif. In 1963 she became the first woman in history to fly solo across the Pacific—7,400 miles from Oakland, Calif., to Sydney, Australia.

“For 1963 the Aviator Award goes, for the first time, to a member of America's astronaut team, Maj. Leroy Gordon Cooper. Every American knows the story of his flight. We lived it with him as he orbited the earth 22 times, traveling 593,885 miles. As we all remember so well, when the mechanisms failed, it was his pilot's skill that meant so much to the success of that great flight.

“So, speaking for all of you here this afternoon, and the millions of other Americans who share the pride that we have, I say to those I have specifically mentioned, heartiest congratulations to all of you from all of us.”

On this day in 1966, President Johnson met with President Ferdinand E. Marcos of the Philippines at the White House.

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September 15th

On this day in 1966, President Johnson held a National Security Council meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House regarding Vietnam.

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September 16th

On this day in 1964, President Johnson made remarks in Seattle on the control of Nuclear Weapons. LBJ stated,

“It means, I think, that we have a unique responsibility, unique in history, for the defense of freedom. Our nuclear power alone has deterred Soviet aggression. Under the shadow of our strength, our friends have kept their freedom and have built their nations.

“The American people and all the world can rest assured that we have taken every step that man can devise to insure that neither a madman nor a malfunction could ever trigger nuclear war.”

On this day in 1964, President Johnson signed Executive Order 11177—Providing for certain arrangements under the Columbia River Treaty.

WHEREAS the treaty between the United States and Canada relating to cooperative development of the water resources of the Columbia River Basin (signed at Washington, D.C., on January 17, 1961; Executive C, 87th Congress, 1st Session) has come into force; and

WHEREAS Article XIV of such treaty (hereinafter referred to as the Treaty) provides for the designation of certain entities which are empowered and charged with the duty to formulate and carry out the operating arrangements necessary to implement the Treaty, and authorizes the United States of America to designate one or more of such entities.

On this day in 1964, President Johnson met with Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson of Canada at the White House.

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September 17th

On this day in 1968, President Johnson sent a telegram to the Texas Democratic Party Convention.

As an absentee member of the Texas Democratic Party, I greet you and wish you well in this year’s campaign—the local, State, and national contests that we will win by working together.

Eight years ago, in a closely fought presidential campaign, I asked you to give your undivided support to the Democratic ticket. Your magnificent response spelled the difference between victory and defeat. This year, in another crucial election, I again ask you to close ranks behind our candidates.

I ask you to give the same loyalty to Hubert Humphrey that he has given to the Democratic Party all his life.

On this day in 1965, President Johnson had a telephone conversation with Congressman George Fallon.

Fallon told the President that the House committee cannot act on the Senate amendments to the Highway Beautification bill until the Senate sends the bill to the House. President Johnson expressed shock over their positions and the delays, talked about parliamentary procedures, and the lobbying tactics of the billboard industry.

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On this day in 1968, President Johnson made a statement on prices of new automobiles.

“Yesterday the Nation’s effort to fight inflation received a sharp blow when one of the major automobile manufacturers announced an excessive price increase on its 1969 models. If this price increase prevails throughout the industry, it would take three-quarters of a billion dollars out of the pockets of American families when they buy new cars. This is an onerous and unfair burden on the consumer.

“The Cabinet Committee on Price Stability has informed me that there is absolutely no excuse for the Chrysler action and that this price increase should not stand.

“No major industry has benefited more from the prosperity of recent years than the automobile industry. No major industry has a greater stake in protecting that prosperity.

“So today, I urge the auto manufacturers to recognize the public interest and exercise restraint and responsibility at this critical hour in the Nation’s battle against inflation.”

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September 18th

On this day in 1964, President Johnson had two telephone conversations with Defense Secretary Robert McNamara.

McNamara told President Johnson that the latest information indicated that 4 PT boats were attacking 2 U.S. destroyers in the Tonkin Gulf and that the attacks appeared to be intentional. McNamara told the president that the Joint Chiefs of Staff were discussing possible retaliatory action for his consideration. In addition, the two men discuss making a statement to the news media. President Johnson urged caution about acting hastily without adequate proof of an attack.

Listen to Audio: Conversation 2…

Listen to Audio: Conversation 1…

Meeting Meeting
credit: Frank Wolfe

On this day in 1964, President Johnson had a telephone conversation with Senator Richard Russell.

The two men discussed the findings of the Warren Commission on the John F. Kennedy assassination regarding the bullet that hit John Connally, and they talked about Lee Harvey Oswald. In addition, President Johnson and Senator Russell discussed the alleged attack in the Tonkin Gulf.

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On this day in 1964, President Johnson issued Proclamation 3616—National Forest Products Week, 1964.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, LYNDON B. JOHNSON, President of the United States of America, do hereby call upon the people of the United States to observe the week beginning October 18, 1964, as National Forest Products Week, with activities and ceremonies designed to direct public attention to the prominent role of our forest resources and our forest resources industry in contributing to the economic growth of our Nation, and to the significance of those resources as a base for the continued progress of rural America.

On this day in 1967, President Johnson met at the White House with President Giuseppe Saragat of Italy.

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September 19th

On this day in 1968, President Johnson presented the “Salute to Eisenhower Week” proclamation to John Eisenhower. LBJ stated,

“Dwight David Eisenhower led us bravely in war. He served us devotedly and well in peace. Always he committed the gifts of his heart and the wisdom of his leadership to the strength of America’s unity. Throughout his lifetime of duty, he has shown us the qualities that we admire most in our fellow man, the qualities of greatness that run deep in the spirit and the history of America: honor, courage, compassion, integrity. Now we are proud to show him our gratitude and our esteem.

“It gives me great pleasure to present this morning to his son, John Eisenhower, the proclamation which sets aside the week of October 13 as America’s Salute to Eisenhower Week.”

On this day in 1967, Richard Kiley and Harvey Lembeck performed Man of La Mancha at a dinner honoring the President of Italy, Giuseppe Saragat.

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September 20th

On this day in 1960, LBJ attended the Democratic State Convention in Dallas.

On this day in 1966, President Johnson gave remarks at a ceremony in connection with the School Savings Stamp Program.

“Now we will go to our people to borrow that money. As you can see, interest rates are going up. We have no national usury law in this country. There is no limit to what they can charge you, if we have to have the money.

“But we can appeal to all of our citizens to help their country in this period. We can ask the boys and girls to buy stamps. We can ask the men and women to authorize a deduction from their payroll.

“We can ask them to lend to their country, to their Government, to support the objectives of this society of ours. And to let us do the good things that we are doing to protect our freedom and our liberty, to help out with our health and our education, and to move forward at the cheapest rate possible.”

On this day in 1966, President Johnson signed the Parcel Post Bill and the ZIP Code Week Proclamation.

“The first is a bill that very few people ever thought would really pass. It revises our archaic weight and size limitations on packages that we send through our mails. It provides a very modest rate increase to put the entire parcel post system on a sound financial footing.

“The second document before me concerns the ‘spontaneous cooperation of a free people.’ It is a proclamation designating the period of October 10 through October 15 as ‘National ZIP Code Week.’

I am convinced that the ZIP Code has done more than any other recent innovation to move our postal service out of the age of the horse and buggy.”

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September 21st

On this day in 1965, President Johnson wrote a message to the Ninth General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The United States Government is pledged to do all in its power to assure the success of the Agency's system. I urge every member state to give its support to the Agency system in principle and in practice.

There must be no resting. The work which you have been doing must be carried on with increasing effort and support. There is no standing still in your twofold task of keeping the peaceful atom peaceful and directing its enormous energy toward productive uses.

I take this opportunity to renew my country’s pledge to assist the International Atomic Energy Agency in the full pursuit of those benefits which the peaceful atom can bestow.

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September 22nd

Meeting Meeting
credit: Yoichi Okamoto

On this day in 1966, President Johnson had a conversation with Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas.

The two men talked about Nicholas Katzenbach’s appointment as Undersecretary of State, Stokely Carmichael and defeat of a civil rights bill, and Thurgood Marshall’s appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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On this day in 1967, President Johnson made remarks at a luncheon honoring the Foreign Ministers attending a meeting of the Organization of American States. LBJ concluded the remarks by saying,

“As members of a community that is richly blessed in spiritual heritage and material potential—that is blessed with unity and blessed with strength—I invite you to join me in a toast to the security and to the welfare of our own hemisphere, as well as to the defense of freedom everywhere in the world.”

On this day in 1964, President Johnson approved the bill (S.2701)providing for the site studies to build a Sea Level Canal connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans somewhere in Central America.

On this day in 1967, President Johnson met with Prime Minister Leabua Jonathan of the Kingdom of Lesotho.

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September 23rd

On this day in 1965, President Johnson signed the Bill providing funds for programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

On December 30, 1965, the White House made public an interim report to the President from Commissioner Francis Keppel on the first 100 projects established under title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, designed to improve the schooling of children of low-income families. The report stated that these projects were benefiting 347,047 children in 12 States and that these were only the first of thousands of educational projects which would be established as a result of the legislation. The report summarized details of projects in Kayenta, Arizona; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Hatch Valley, New Mexico; Alton, Maine; and Houston, Texas. The text of the report is printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. I, p. 628).

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September 24th

On this day in 1965, President Johnson signed Executive Order 11246 confirming equal employment opportunity.

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September 25th

On this day in 1964, President Johnson made remarks at the dedication of the John F. Kennedy Square in Texarkana, Texas.

On this day in 1964, President Johnson met with President Lopez-Mateos of Mexico at the White House.

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September 26th

On this day in 1960, LBJ attended a luncheon at the Driskill Hotel in Austin with Mrs. Johnson and other ladies who were planning Texas teas.

On this day in 1966, President Johnson signed the bill for the control of pollution in the Hudson River Basin.

“Nature isn’t doing this. We are. By our carelessness, by our neglect, and by our blind rush of progress, we are fouling one of the most precious resources we possess: our rivers.

“Neither Federal nor State action alone would be adequate to this task. It will require the best efforts of all of us—including the towns and industries along the shores.

“I believe we are up to the challenge. This bill gives us the tools to meet it.

“I believe it begins a new day for one of America’s great rivers. I hope it points the way for all our rivers.”

On this day in 1966, President Johnson met with Chancellor Ludwig Erhard of Germany at the White House. The Washington Classical Symphony and the National Symphony Orchestra, Howard Mitchell, and William Kroll performed at a dinner honoring Chancellor and Mrs. Erhard.

On this day in 1967, President Johnson met with President Diori Hamani of Niger at the White House. That evening, Jaime Laredo, Violinist, and Ruth Laredo, Pianist, performed at a dinner.

On this day in 1968, President Johnson gave a message to the Congress transmitting National Science Foundation Report entitled “Weather Modification.”

“This program is a pioneering effort in man’s struggle to control his environment. In the coming years we must work with other nations to apply our whole range of technological skills to the problems of weather modification.

I commend this report to your attention.”

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September 27th

On this day in 1966, President Johnson signed Executive Order 11306 establishing the President’s Committee on Rural Poverty and the National Advisory Commission on Rural Poverty.

On this day in 1967, President Johnson made remarks upon signing a bill to extend the Food Stamp Act of 1964.

“We have nearly 20 million schoolchildren—more than ever before—receiving low cost or free meals under the school lunch program. That program today is in its 21st year.

“More than 100,000 children have a better chance to learn because they began their day with a decent breakfast because of the Child Nutrition Act that we passed in 1966.

“Three million needy Americans in family units are receiving better diets in the commodity donation program of the Department of Agriculture.

“As I sign this act, I am asking the Secretary to help America’s 300 poorest counties which do not now have food assistance to start a community distribution program to be available for the low-income families.”

On this day in 1967, President Johnson met with Prime Minister Jens Otto Krag of Denmark at the White House.

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September 28th

On this day in 1965, President Johnson signed the United Nations Participation Act Amendments.

“I am happy to sign into law today a measure that will enhance the effectiveness of our delegation to the U.N. In the past, only the chief representative of the United States and his deputy could represent this country before the Security Council and certain other major agencies of the U.N. This has proved unduly restrictive on the work of our delegation.

“Under the new law, other members of our U.N. team may represent this country before any organ or commission of the United Nations. This will provide Ambassador Goldberg with the flexibility he needs to make use of the rich and diverse talents of those who now serve on the American delegation-Representative James Roosevelt, Ambassador Eugenie Anderson, and Dr. James Nabrit.”

On this day in 1966, President Johnson met with President Leopold Senghor of Senegal at the White House.

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September 29th

On this day in 1965, President Johnson signed the Arts and Humanities Bill.

“What this bill really does is to bring active support to this great national asset, to make fresher the winds of art in this great land of ours.

“The arts and the humanities belong to the people, for it is, after all, the people who create them.”

On this day in 1966, President Johnson had a telephone conversation with Adam Clayton Powell.

The two men discussed the House vote on poverty appropriations, efforts to restrict Powell’s power as committee chairman, and President Johnson emphasized the need to hold down spending on poverty and education.

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On this day in 1967, President Johnson gave an address on Vietnam before the National Legislative Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

“The late President Kennedy put it precisely in November 1961, when he said: ‘We are neither warmongers nor appeasers, neither hard nor soft. We are Americans determined to defend the frontiers of freedom by an honorable peace if peace is possible but by arms if arms are used against us.’

“The true peace-keepers in the world tonight are not those who urge us to retire from the field in Vietnam—who tell us to try to find the quickest, cheapest exit from that tormented land, no matter what the consequences to us may be.

“The true peace-keepers are those men who stand out there on the DMZ at this very hour, taking the worst that the enemy can give. The true peace-keepers are the soldiers who are breaking the terrorist’s grip around the villages of Vietnam—the civilians who are bringing medical care and food and education to people who have already suffered a generation of war.

“And so I report to you that we are going to continue to press forward. Two things we must do. Two things we shall do.

“First, we must not mislead the enemy. Let him not think that debate and dissent will produce wavering and withdrawal. For I can assure you they won’t. Let him not think that protests will produce surrender. Because they won’t. Let him not think that he will wait us out. For he won’t.

Second, we will provide all that our brave men require to do the job that must be done. And that job is going to be done.

“These gallant men have our prayers—have our thanks—have our heart-felt praise—and our deepest gratitude.

“Let the world know that the keepers of peace will endure through every trial—and that with the full backing of their countrymen, they are going to prevail.”

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September 30th

On this day in 1968, President Johnson signed the Handicapped Children’s Early Education Assistance Act (PL 90-538) which authorized experimental programs for handicapped children of pre-school age.

On this day in 1968, President Johnson made remarks upon signing the Colorado River Basin Project Act.

“It is a landmark bill, a proud companion to the other 250 separate conservation measures that I have signed in the White House since I became President. For the millions of Americans west of the Continental Divide, it will provide more water for growing cities; it will provide more water for expanding industries, for the farmers’ crops, and for the ranchers’ cattle.

“It will let us build aqueducts and powerplants and a network of projects for irrigation, for community water supplies, for flood control, for electricity, and finally for recreation.

“We will do all of this without defiling or without despoiling the ancient and the spectacular landscapes along the Colorado. That will make it easier, too, for me to live at home. These beautiful canyons and gorges are among the great natural wonders of the world. We will preserve these priceless legacies for the enjoyment of all of our children, and their children—and very much to the pleasure and satisfaction of some of our great men of our time.”

On this day in 1965, the Harkness Ballet performed at the White House.