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November 23, 1963 - Image 3

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1963-11-23

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Kennedy
(Continued from Page 1)

Battled

Cold

War,

Racial

Issue

'

since the end of World War II.
Khrushchev called West Berlin-
showplace of the Free World and
surrounded by Communism-a
bone that must come out of the
Russian throat.
He threatened to sign a separ-
ate peace treaty with East Ger-
many and turn over access to West
Berlin to the East German Com-
munist government. The East
Germans whom the Western pow-
ers did not recognize, said the
city should be theirs.
Questions Air Access
Khrushchev stepped up his of-
fensive by questioning the invi-
olability of Western air access to
Berlin. The West insisted on its
right to unrestricted use of the
air corridors between West Ger-
many and West Berlin.
The Soviets charged the United
States with airlifting saboteurs
and spies into West Berlin for
action against East Germany and
other Soviet bloc nations. In re-
plying to this charge, the White
House said in a statement:
"The United States must serve
a solemn warning to the Soviet
Union that any interference by
the Soviet government or its East
German regime with free access to
West Berlin would be an aggres-
sive act for the consequences of
which the Soviet government
would bear full responsibility."
Alies Hold Territory
Throughout the spring and
summer of 1962 Kennedy issued
warnings to Khrushchev that the
Western Allies intended to remain
in West Berlin. He repeatedly as-
serted that the United States
would stand by its pledge to de-
fend West Berlin. In June of 1963
he reemphasized this in a visit to
West Germany, where he was
greeted enthusiastically.
West Berlin was not Kennedy's'
only worry. The United States was
crucially involved with the Com-
munists in such far off places as
Laos and South Viet Nam in
Southeast Asia.
In May of 1962 Kennedy dis-
patched United- States naval, air
and land forces to the Thailand-
Laos border because of the pro-
Communist seizure of control of
most of northern Laos. The ma-
neuver was intended to demon-
strate United States commitment
in Thailand's defense and to place
more troops closer to landlocked
Laos.

CABINET-The late President John F. Kennedy often conferred with his cabinet on vital matters.
The cabinet at the time of the President's death included (left to right): Postmaster Gen. J. Edward
Day, the then Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, Asst. Atty.
Gen. Nicholas deB. Katzenbach (sitting in for Atty. Gen. Robert F. Kennedy), Labor Secretary W.
Willard Wirtz, Health, Education and Welfare Secretary Anthony Celebrezze, Commerce Secretary
Luther Hodges, Undersecretary of Agriculture Charles Murphy (sitting in for Agriculture Secretary

Orville Freeman), State Secretary Dean Rusk, Kennedy, Treasury
Interior Secretary Steward Udall.

Secretary Douglas Dillon and

I

Two moths later a treaty es-
tablishing the neutrality of Laos
was signed in Geneva by a 14-
nation conference. The treaty car-
ried a protocol providing for with-
drawal of foreign troops.
As time went on, however, there
were indications that Laos' coali-
tion government of neutralist,
right-wing and left-wing was frail
and insecure. There actually was
no peace.
Meanwhile, fighting raged in
South Viet Nam where the Com-
munist Viet Cong from the North
fought to overrun the country and
place it in Communist hands.
United State military advisers
tried to help the government of
President Ngo Dinh Diem, but
they spoke of the Viet Nam in-
volvement with the infiltrated
Communist guerrillas in terms of
years and millions of dollars.
The- situation became further
complicated in 1963 by a political-
religious outbreak involving Budd-
hists-a majority in the country-
and the Roman Catholic Diem
family. The Buddhists, charging

repressions, demonstrated. The
Diem government raided pagodas
and jailed Buddhists last August.
S o m e Buddhists subsequently
burned themselves to death pub-
licly in protest.
The United States blamed Ngo
Dinh Nhu, the President's brother,
who was considered the second
most powerful, if not the most
powerful, man in the country.
The drama came to a climax
Nov. 1, 1963. Vietnamese military
leaders captured key points in
Saigon and attacked the Presi-
dential palace. Soon after dawn
Nov. 2 the palace fell. Diem and
his brother were dead.
Big Investment
The United States, which con-
sidered the country vital to the
Western defense position in
Southeast Asia and had invested
$2.5 billion in aid and 16,500
troops, watched closely.
In an assessment of his first
year in office Kennedy told a
news conference that failure to
reach agreement with the Soviet
Union one a nuclear test ban had

been his greatest disappointment.
He achieved a limited test ban in
1963, his third year in the White
House.
Nuclear testing had been a con-
stant problem. In September 1961
Russia had junked a three-year
moratorium in atomic weapons,
attributing its decision to pressure
from "imperialistic countries."
Disregard Mankind
Kennedy called the decision
"utter disregard of the desire of
mankind for a decrease in the
arms race."
Russia proceeded with the tests
in Central Asia between Septem-
ber and November. Khrushchev
said one blast in the series was on
the plus side of 50 megatons (a
50-megaton blast is equivalent to
50 million tons of TNT).
A United States spokesman re-
ported that this country had the
capacity and know-how to develop
a 50-megaton bomb but had con-
cluded it was of questionable mili-
tary value. He said Khrushchev's
primary purpose was to create
terror.

After Russia's renewal of nu-
clear detonations, Kennedy an-
nounced resumption of under-
ground and laboratory tests by
the United States. Such tests do
not create the hazard of fallout.
"We have no other choice in
fulfillment of the responsibilities
of the United States to its own
citizens and to the security of
other free nations," he said.
Meanwhile, Russia announced
it would hold more tests if the
United States continued under-
ground .blasts or started atmos-
pheric explosions.
Atmospheric Too
The United States resumed at-
mospheric tests in April 1962 but
only after Russia rejected a treaty
prohibiting all tests. R u s s i a
promptly resumed tests in mid-
summer and the United States
follbwed with more tests in the
autumn.
Finally in June 1963 Kennedy
proposed a "strategy of peace" to
lead the United States and the
Soviet Union out of the "vicious
and dangerous cycle" of the cold
war. As a first step, he said, high
ranking representatives of the
United States, Great Britain and
Soviet Russia would meet in Mos-
cow in'a renewed effort to agree
on a nuclear test ban.
As a demonstration of its good
faith, he said the United States
would refrain from atmospheric
tests so long as others did like-
wise.
Sign Treaty
A treaty banning nuclear weap-
ons tests in space, In the atmos-
phere and under water was ini-
tialed in Moscow in September.
The three nations formally ac-
cepted it and other nations fol-
lowed suit.
Kennedy said the treaty "re-
flects no concessions either to or
by the Soviet Union. It reflects
our common recognition of the
dangers in further testing."
The treaty caused Kennedy to
comment on the "pause in the
cold war" in a speech before the
United Nations in September.
More Thaws
A further thaw appeared in
October when Kennedy approved
the sale of some four million tons
of wheat to Russia and other
Soviet bloc nations which had
been hit by drought.
Past American policy had dis-
couraged United States-Soviet
trade but Kennedy saw benefits in
the deal such as improvement of
the balance of payments, increase
in gold supplies, strengthening of
the farm economy and a reduction
in the United States wheat sur-
plus.
'This transaction advertises to
the world as nothing else could
the success of free American agri-
culture," he claimed.
Racial Revolt
At home Kennedy found him-
self deep in the Civil Rights prob-
lem from the very start of his
administration.
In the spring of 1961, his first
year in office, Negro and white
groups, calling themselves Free-
dom Riders, sought to break down
bus station racial barriers and
ran into violence in Alabama.
There were incidents at Anniston,
Birmingham and Montgomery,
among others. The worst was at
Montgomery.
At least 20 persons were beaten
with fists and clubs in a bloody
riot there. The rioting around the
Greyhound bus station continued
for nearly two hours before the
white mob-numbering close to
1000 at times-was broken up with
tear gas by state and city police.
U.S. Marshals
President Kennedy's brother,
Attorney General Robert F. Ken-
nedy, ordered several hundred
United States marshals to Mont-
gomery. The Guardsmen. with fix-
ed bayonets scattered a mob that
tried to overwhelm federal mar-
shals protecting a Negro church
mass meeting..

The governor particularly blam-
ed the marshals for causing the
outbreak at the church, said he
still admired the Kennedy admin-
istration but added that "the
President and the United States

Attorney General made a mistake
in this matter."
Attorney General Kennedy de-
clared, however, there would have
been "an extremely bloody and
costly riot" in Montgomery if
not for the presence of marshals.
The biggest clash of state versus
federal power since the Civil War'
occurred on Sept. 30, 1962. Two
persons were killed when Negro
James H. Meredith sought to reg-
ister at the all-white University'
of Mississippi in Oxford. He finally
registered with the aid of United
States marshals and federal troops
but not before a nightmare of
tear gas and buckshot, rifle bul-
lets and flying bricks and scream-
ing hordes of people.
The nation and the world
watched tensely as Mississippi's
Governor Ross Barnett sought to
defy the federal government which
was determined to uphold federal
court orders admitting, Meredith
to the university.
When federal marshals finally
escorted Meredith to an apart-
ment on the campus on Sunday,
Sept. 30, an unruly mob of 2500
students, townspeople and out-of-
towners opened up with a barrage
of rifle bullets, rocks, bottles and
acid. The marshals fought back
with tear gas. Meanwhile, Ken-
nedy, who had made a fruitless
appeal for order, dispatched fed-

the Civil Rights bill.
N U

eralized Mississippi National
Guardsmen and troops to the col-
lege town.
Go To Classes
Meredith registered the next day'
and began classes under the pro-
tection of marshals. They remain-
ed with him until he graduated
in August 1963.
Racial strife boiled anew in the
spring and summer of 1963,
spreading to other Southern states
and some northern cities, as Ne-
groes demonstrated for equal
rights. Birmingham took the spot-
light when Negro mass demonstra-
tions in April and May were coun-
tered by fire hoses and police
dogs.
More than 2400 Negroes and
whites were jailed and two Negro
residences were bombed at the
heighth of the fury. Federal troops
were sent to bases near Birming-
ham for possible use.
Peace Shattered
The situation simmered as pro-
gress was sought through bi-racial
talks. But the peace was shattered
on Sept. 17 when a bomb ex-
ploded in the Sixteenth Street
Baptist Church during a Sunday
School session. Four Negro girls:
were killed and 23 other persons
were injured. The bombing climax-
ed the first week of token integra-
tion of three white schools.
In the midst of the Birming-

ham trouble, the Kennedy ad-
ministration also tangled with
Alabama's Gov. George C. Wal-
lace over the admission of two
Negro students to the University
of Alabama. Although Wallace
made good a threat to stand on
the school house steps and forbid
to federalized Alabama National
the students entrance, he bowed
Guardsmen and the students en-
tered the university.
The unrest spurred the President
dent to send a special message to
Congress in June asking it to help
end "rancor, violence, disunity
and national shame" by passing
what was described as the most
sweeping civil rights bill since
Reconstruction days.
New Weapons
The billbrimmed with weapons
against racial 'discrimination in
stores, hotels and other public
places, in schools, in jobs and
polling booths. The President call-
ed its enactment "imperative."
In a move to impress Congress,
Negro leaders called for a "March
on Washington." On Aug. 28 more
than 200,000 Negroes and whites
arrived in the capital by plane,
train, bus, car and on foot. Ken-
nedy asserted "the cause of 20
million Negroes has been advanc-
ed" by the assembly. But Con-
gress did not hurry enactment of
the Civil Rights bill.

i.,..,

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.-

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - In the sum-
mer of 1960, Lyndon B. Johnson,
now the 36th President, had just
been beaten by John F. Kennedy
for the Democratic presidential
nomination.
Kennedy summoned Johnson
for a conference and asked him to
run for vice-president. Johnson
agreed.;
Many of his followers thought
it was a mistake for Johnson to
surrender his vast powers as Sen-
ate majority leader. Some called
Johnson the second most powerful
man in Washington.
As vice-president he had little
to do. In power-conscious Wash-
ington, the vice-president is a
relatively obscure figure.
Close to Presidency
But, he was just a hearbeat
from the presidency. And that
heartbeat was stilled when Presi-
dent John F. Kennedy was assas-
sinated by a hidden sniper in
Dallas.
Now Johnson had the job he
had prepared for all his. life. He
was groomed for the presidency
by both his father and the late
House speaker, Sam Rayburn, a
fellow Texan. The Rayburn-John-
son team led a Democratically
controlled Congress during most
of the administration of former
President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
As a young man, Johnson went
to Washington as a congressman's
secretary. He returned as a rep-
resentative, as a senator..as Sen-
ate majority leader, as vice-presi-
dent, and, now, as President.
Much Energy
At 6.foot-3, weighing close to
200 pounds-since his 1955 heart
attack he has tried to hold his
weight down-Johnson is super-
charged with restless energy.'
Former Vice-President Richard
M. Nixon, 1960 Republican presi-
dential nominee who could be a
Johnson rival for the presidency
next year, once described John-
son as "one of the ablest political
craftsmen of our time."
Johnson turned loose this po-
itical know-how and restless en-
crgy on a myriad of tasks for
Kennedy.
Goodwill Tours
lie has been a goodwill am-
bassador to foreign lands.
In September, Johnson made a
two-week, 15,000-mile tour of five

J

Scandinavian nations. He flew to
Belgium and Holland in early No-
vember to represent the United
States at an agricultural exposi-
tion in Rotterdam and a banquet
in Brussels sponsored by Belgian
and American groups supporting
the North Atlantic Treaty Organ-
ization.
Before Kennedy's sudden death,
Johnson was happily preparing to
return to the political wars with
him in 1964. He brushed aside
rumors Kennedy might ditch him
for another vice-presidential can-
didate.
Kennedy Campaigner
Johnson campaigned for Ken-
nedy in 43 states in 1960 and was
a key factor in the narrow Demo-
cratic victory over Nixon. John-
son's home state of Texas went
Democratic in 1960-a crucial 25
electroral votes-after twice going
for Eisenhower.
In his tasks as vice-president,
Johnson has tried to erase the
image of a Southern, or even a
Western politician.
He has become a special pleader
for conciliation in solving racial
problems. "Issues which are not
settled by justice and fair play
will sooner or later be settled by
force and violence" he has said.
Law Restrains
In another speech, Johnson
said, "The law cannot bring rea-
sonable men and women together
'to work out their differences. But
it can restrain unreasonable men
and women from imposing their
will on a community-and then
the reasonable people can and will
get together and work out their
problems themselves."
Johnson has served as chair-
man of the President's Committee
on Equal- Employment Opportun-

ity and his civil rights speeches
won him a distinguished service
award from the Capital Press
Club, an organization of Negro
newspapermen.
In other major assignments
given him by Kennedy, Johnson
has been deeply involved in the
space program as chairman of the
National Aeronautics and Space
Council. Last summer he com-
pleted a survey for the President
on the proposed supersonic com-
mercial airliner.
Got Along Well
Johnson and Kennedy - who
had some nasty things to say
about each other when they were
battling for the Democratic nom-
ination in 1960-surprised many
people by getting along remark-
ably well.
This is attributed partly to a
decision by Johnson not to hold
news conferences where reporters
might jockey him' into positions
at cross purposes with Kennedy.'
The President was boss and John-
son never questioned this.
Also, the drawling Texan dem-
onstrated a willingness to take on
any assignment.
He had such varied ones as his
trip to Berlin to bolster Western
morale after the Communists
built the wall, and his flight to
Rome to represent the President
at the funeral of Pope John.
And Kennedy, in turn, reward-
ed Johnson the loyal team player
by counting him in on such deci-
sions as that of the Cuban missile
blockade. He has been a partici-
pant in many key phases of the
Kennedy administration.
In fact, the 55-year-old John-
son has political -and govern
mental know-how that few men
ever acquire.

Elected to the House of Repre-
sentatives in 1937 at 29, he became
a Senator at 40 in 1948.
Four years later, Johnson was
elected Senate minority leader,
and from 1954 until 1960 he was
majority leader.
What direction may the John-
son administration take? In a
speech he made in Washington
April 26, Johnson offered a broad
view of what he thought the
Democrats should attempt in next
year's presidential campaign and
thereafter.
Party of Action
He said the Democrats must
demonstrate that they are a party
of action offering solutions for
the new kinds -of problems
brought about by population in-
creases and concentration, and by
the lengthening of life expectancy.
"We have new capacities," he
said. "We have new potentials.
We stand at the edge of a new
era of human progress in our own
country and in the world.
He called for a full and en-
thusiastic support of Democrats
everywhere for Kennedy's foreign
and domestic programs. "The
American majority is constructive
-and our party today is serving
that constructiveness," he said.
Johnson has ben called one of
the most vigorous politicans ever
on the Washington scene.
As Senate majority leader, he
was all over the political scene,
but some thought he would have
to slow down when he became
vice-president--ordinarily just a
ceremonial job.
But he took on so many chores
he needed three offices from
which to operate-in the Capitol,
in the New Senate Office Bldg.
and in the White House.

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