Richard B. Russell, Jr., Senator from Georgia

By Gilbert C. Fite | Go to book overview
Save to active project

18
Johnson and the Great Society

It was reported that Lyndon Johnson was keenly disappointed when his old friend Dick Russell was not at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington to welcome him when he returned from Dallas as president on the evening of November 22. Later that night, however, Johnson called Russell at his apartment, and they talked for ten minutes about the tragic events in Dallas. Russell was one of the first persons to visit the White House the next day. As the two men sat talking over lunch, Russell kept referring to Johnson as "Mr. President." Finally, somewhat impatiently, Johnson said, "call me Lyndon as you used to. After all we've been together all these years.""No, Mr. President," Russell responded, "now you're the President of the United States. You to me are Mr. President." Such was Russell's abiding respect for the office of the presidency. 1

Dick Russell was happy to see his old friend in the White House. Indeed, he had worked quietly toward that end since the mid-1950s. He believed that Johnson had all of the talents and abilities to be a strong president, and he told Earl T. Leonard, his press secretary, that "old Lyndon is going to enjoy being president, he'll enjoy every minute of it, every hour of it."

At the same time, a Johnson presidency left Russell with mixed feelings and some obvious concerns. One thing that Russell understood perhaps better than anyone else was Johnson's skill and effectiveness as a political leader. Would Congress, which had failed to pass much of Kennedy's liberal agenda, now respond to Johnson's leadership and enact a host of social and economic measures, including civil rights legislation? Unhappily, Russell believed that would be the case. He wrote a friend on November 26, 1963, that Johnson had recently "gone all out, even further in some respects than President Kennedy, on the racial issue" and intended to press for passage of the "iniquitous" civil rights bill. He warned that the shock over Kennedy's death was no reason to

-404-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Richard B. Russell, Jr., Senator from Georgia
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 570

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?