It’s fair to say that Bobby and Lyndon Johnson had a complicated relationship. Bobby was not initially in favor pf having LBJ as Jack’s running mate —he worried about whether anyone had been running so hard for the seat himself could suppress his own presidential ambitions so quickly. And I don’t think either of them ever felt warmth or trust toward each other. Truth was, Bobby’s close relationship with Jack prevented Johnson from ever really getting close to Jack as he would have been had Bobby not been in the picture. It was, in my opinion, a classic “three’s a crowd” scenario. But even though there was no love lost between Bobby and LBJ, I wouldn’t go as far as to call them bitter and implacable enemies, as some have suggested. Johnson was capable of kindness toward my brother, and courtesy, and political support. Toward me, Johnson was consistently solicitous and friendly. I liked him and always got along with him very well.
Still, I know that there were times that Johnson tried to play Bobby off against me, which is bizarre, since there was no way that a Kennedy would side with an outsider against another Kennedy. With all of his political acuity, I would have thought he’d understand that. Nevertheless, Johnson never learned it and never gave up trying. “I love Teddy and Sarge is great,” he used to say. “Now what is with this strange fellow Bobby? Why is he so difficult?” Bobby cut right to the heart of the matter. “Why does Lyndon fear me so much, for chrissakes?” he said once. “He’s the president of the United States and I’m the junior senator from New York!”
-Edward M. Kennedy (True Compass)
Wonderful shot of two women outside of a polling place in Kentucky during the 1920 presidential election, flanked by Warren Harding posters.
It’s unclear from the photo if the women were actually voting (or indeed if this was November 2, the day of the election), but they could have, as 1920 was the first year in which women had the right to vote in every state (of which there were 48 at the time). The Nineteenth Amendment had been ratified in August.
- Teddy Roosevelt: I know I appointed Taft as my successor...but instead I'm going to run against him in my own party.
- William Taft: ...
- Teddy Roosevelt: ...
- William Taft: ...
- Teddy Roosevelt: ...
- William Taft: I became president to have a good time and I'm honestly feeling so attacked right now.
Fire up the flux capacitor and take me back to 1976, please.
Fraga, Angel Z.. [Flyer advertising Jimmy Carter at the Alamo - 1976], Poster, 1976; digital images: accessed July 13, 2014), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, Houston Metropolitan Research Center at Houston Public Library, Houston, Texas.
President Wilson’s Message to Congress in booklet form, delivered on April 2, 1917:
“It is a distressing and oppressive duty, gentlemen of the Congress, which I have performed in thus addressing you. There are, it may be, many months of fiery trial and sacrifice ahead of us. It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war, into the most terrible and disastrous of all wars, civilization itself seeming to be in the balance. But the right is more precious than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried nearest our hearts — for democracy, for the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own governments, for the rights and liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free. To such a task we can dedicate our lives and our fortunes, everything that we are and everything that we have, with the pride of those who know that the day has come when America is privileged to spend her blood and her might for the principles that gave her birth and happiness and the peace which she has treasured. God helping her, she can do no other.”
The American public was not too keen on entering a war that was thousands of miles away, which is why Wilson held his position of neutrality for as long as he could. In due time, Wilson would be recognized as the author of the “Fourteen Points” and ardent proponent of the principle of self-determination.
What broke his position of neutrality?
Events like the sinking of the Lusitania, wherein there were a number of American civilian casualties, and Germany’s unrestricted submarine warfare convinced Wilson that neutrality was no longer a tenable position.
(Source: Southampton Historical Museum)
Probably a lovely, lovely man, but …