Jan 25 2013

 

 

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Forty years ago this week President Lyndon Baines Johnson passed away from a heart attack at his ranch in Johnson City, Texas on January 22nd. The highlight of his Presidency was the passage of a huge numbers of programs to fight poverty. He also was responsible for the passage of the 1963 Public Accommodation Civil Rights Bill and the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Unfortunately the horror of the Vietnam War overshadowed those remarkable accomplishments.

Johnson was honored at a State Funeral. His casket laid under the Capitol Rotunda. Afterwards there was a funeral procession down Pennsylvania Ave to the National City Christian Church on Thomas Circle. President Nixon attended the services but did not speak. The President was buried at his family cemetery close to the LBJ Ranch in Stonewall, Texas.

 

One of the interesting parts of the story is that the nation first learn of the President's death when a Johnson friend called Walter Cronkite of CBS News while he was on the air. It was the first time Cronkite ever interrupted an on the air newscast to take a call with a breaking story. The first video below is Cronkite taking the call and the second is a portion of LBJ's service in Washington, DC.