May 19, 1967. President Johnson sends a letter to Chairman Kosygin of the Soviet Union in an attempt to ease Cold War rising tensions. LBj later recalled:
“The spring of 1967 was an ominous season. I seemed to wake up almost every morning with a new crisis staring me in the face. Tensions were rising in the Middle East as a result of increased Syrian harassment of Israel. Castro’s illegal supply line of men and arms into Venezuela had been exposed to the world. The North Vietnamese were sending larger forces into South Vietnam.
I underlined these ‘situations’ in a letter to Kosygin on May 19, 1967. Each problem was dangerous in itself, I wrote, but taken together they ‘could seriously impair the interests of our two countries and the attempts which have been made on both sides to improve our relations.’ I urged that we act, together or separately, ‘to bring these situations under control.’”
Read the whole letter here. LBJ quote from Lyndon Baines Johnson, The Vantage Point: Perspectives on the Presidency 1963-1969. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971. P. 480. LBJ Presidential Library photo A2981-12 [8/11/66], public domain. Draft letter, LBJ to Kosygin, #30c, “Kosygin,” Files of Walt W. Rostow, NSF, Box 10, LBJ Presidential Library.
Today is the anniversary of the 1964 Nurse Training Act — There was a severe shortage of nurses in the early 1960s, and the Act created new training and financial aid opportunities for nursing students.
To commemorate the anniversary, the LBJ Presidential Library is offering free admission all month for nurses and nursing students.
The 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act
Today in 1964, LBJ signed the Wilderness Act, protecting more than 9 million acres of land.
In his signing speech the President praised the bipartisan work in getting the bill passed:
"I think it is significant that these steps have broad support not just from the Democratic Party, but the Republican Party, both parties in the Congress. For example, the wilderness bill has been before the Congress since 1957, but it passed this year 73 to 12 in the Senate, and 373 to 1 in the House. So it seems to me that this reflects a new and a strong national consensus to look ahead, and, more than that, to plan ahead; better still, to move ahead.”
Attendees at the ceremony included some of those Congressional leaders, and many leaders of nonprofit groups who had worked alongside them. LBJ signed the bill outdoors, in the Rose Garden—naturally!
LBJ Signs the Nurse Training Act — This Week in 1964
For all they do for us, the LBJ Library is offering free admission throughout September for nurses and nursing students, in honor of the anniversary of the 1964 Nurse Training Act, signed on Sept. 4, 1964.
Photo # A4357-7, 06/24/1967. First Grandchild of President & Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson, Partick Lyndon Nugent, born June 21, 1967.
-from the LBJ Library
LBJ signs the Economic Opportunity Act, 50 years ago today.
"Today for the first time in all the history of the human race, a great nation is able to make and is willing to make a commitment to eradicate poverty among its people."
-President Lyndon B. Johnson
The Act was designed to provide education, job training, health and employment counseling, and neighborhood improvements. Programs included Job Corps, Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), Legal Services, Upward Bound, and Head Start.
Photo: LBJ visits a Job Corps Center. 11/8/65.
-from the LBJ Library
Today in 1965, The Voting Rights Act was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson.
The Act applied a nationwide prohibition of the denial or abridgment of the right to vote on account of race or color. It outlawed discriminatory literacy tests, expanded voting rights for non-English speaking Americans, and appointed Federal examiners to oversee voter registration and elections. Read More
The law had an immediate impact. By the end of 1965, a quarter of a million new African American voters had been registered, one-third by Federal examiners.
In this photo, LBJ signs the Voting Rights Act in the Capitol Rotunda, Washington, DC. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights leaders stand behind him.
President Lyndon B. Johnson at the speaker’s podium addressing a Joint Session of Congress urging the passage of the Voting Rights Act.
LBJ handing a signing pen to Senator Robert F. Kennedy.
LBJ signs the Voting Rights Act as Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders look on.
LBJ delivering remarks in the Capitol Rotunda. A statue of Abraham Lincoln is in background.
August 6, 1965.