Nations in very effective ways. Unfortunately, Kennedy would not live beyond November, and Khrushchev was out of power by October 1964, accused by his successors of "harebrained schemes."
The United States of America wants to see the Cold War end; we want to see it end once and for all.
— President Johnson at the United Nations
December 17, 1963
It was past 11 P.M. on Friday, November 22, 1963 before President Lyndon Johnson collapsed on his bed in the Washington suburbs. The day had been surreal beginning with the first campaign event of the 1964 election season. He, President Kennedy, and Mrs. Kennedy had started the morning with a rally in front of the Texas Hotel in Fort Worth, then a breakfast with the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, followed by the Dallas motorcade, and the horrible events at Dealy Plaza. At 3:40 P.M. Washington time, aboard Air Force One, Johnson took the oath of office with Lady Bird and the slain president's widow at his side. Upon his arrival in the nation's capital, he addressed the American people and began making arrangements for the transition. As he lay on his bed, he talked to aides gathered around about his plans for his administration. He talked about new programs in education, civil rights legislation, conservation efforts, and domestic affairs in general. Foreign policy was little mentioned, Vietnam not at all. 92 This was a man of the New Deal, a leader of Congress who saw all things in domestic political terms. Like Truman, LBJ now found himself thrust into the office of the presidency. Truman's first act had been to confirm the United States would go ahead with the San Francisco Conference to organize the United Nations. Johnson's first thoughts were of ending want at home.
The thaw in the post- Cuba cold war provided an opportunity for the president. He himself noted, "It was almost as if the world had provided a breathing space within which I could concentrate on domestic affairs." 93 It would be only a few months before the growing war in____________________