LBJ & the Search for Enemies

Lyndon B. Johnson 1963-69 increased the danger of confrontation in the Cold War, emphasized a military policy of escalation in Vietnam, returned to interventionism in the Dominican Republic, gave military support to factions in the Congo, increased the atomic stockpile of weapons, developed the nuclear triad of ICBM and jet bomber and submarine, failed to prevent violence at home, urban riots, caused the rise of a militant and vocal anti-war movement and groups such as the Black Panthers, produced a crisis in American society that led to the assassinations of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, and the divisive presidential election of 1968. He was successful with avoiding war over the Mideast crisis, kept NATO unified despite the French pullout, began SALT and NPT diplomacy, signed a new Panama Canal treaty, began many Great Society programs including immigration reform.

LBJ sworn in Nov. 22, 1963 - 1


Nov. - LBJ continued JFK's decision to aid to Israel with American military supplies after Nasser aided Yemen rebels in war to overthrow Saudi-supported royalist Yemen government (JFK sent Hawk missiles in 1962, LBJ sent tanks).

Dec. - NATO joined boycott of Cuba after US stopped military aid to 5 NATO nations for violating the boycott of Cuba imposed in October.


Cyprus map from Time Aug. 1964
Brezhnev and Khrushchev 1964
Jan. 4 - Panama riots; LBJ agreed in Dec. to renegotiate the 1903 treaty; by 1967 new pacts provided for a new treaty, joint defense, rebuilding of canal but much opposition remained in Panama.

May 22 - LBJ announced Great Society program in speech at University of Michigan.

June - LBJ ultimatum to Turkey prevented a war with Greece over Cyprus, but NATO was weakened by the conflict between 2 member nations.

July - OAS voted boycott of Cuba to prevent Cuba's export of arms into countries such as Venezuela that would be used for communist subversion.

Aug. 5 - Gulf of Tonkin resolution began escalation in Vietnam by allowing the President "to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression."

Aug. 11 - Congo intervention

Sept. 7 - Daisy Girl TV ad helped LBJ defeat Goldwater in Nov. 3 election - 1

Oct. - Khrushchev ousted Oct. 15, China A-bomb Oct. 16, British Labor Party victory over Conservatives.

Nov. 13 - Kosygin met with Chou En-lai in China.


Mar. 23 - 1st Gemini orbit by Gus Grissom and John Young - 1

Apr. 28 - Dominican Diversion

June - Pakistan sent tanks into Kashmir to expel India troops; LBJ imposed arms embargo on both sides and brought about a cease-fire by Sept.

Nov. 26 - DeGaulle launched Daimant rocket from Hammaguir in Africa to make France the third space power, having developed its own "force de frappe" nuclear capability in 1960.


Feb. - DeGaulle withdrew from NATO and ousted American troops from France.

Time magazine 11/64

June 30 - Richard M. Helms became 1st CIA agent to rise through the ranks to become Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) 1966-72.

July - Harold Wilson in Britain planned to withdraw troops from Germany unless the Ludwig Erhard government paid for their support, but John McCloy arranged to keep US and Brit troops in Germany "fully committed to NATO" by selling government bonds to Germany.


January - Treaty of Tlatelolco by nuclear powers agreed to denuclearization of Latin America.

Time magazine 6/67

April - Outer Space Treaty approved by Senate 88-0 to demilitarize the moon and prohibit weapons of mass destruction in space.

June 5 - Six Day War in Mideast began with Israel launching a pre-emptive attack on Egypt and occupation of the Sinai, Gaza Strip, West Bank, and Jerusalem.

June 9 - NSA intelligence-gathering ship Liberty was deliberately attacked by Israeli planes off the coast of Egypt, killing 34, in order to prevent U.S. from learning of Israeli plans to seize the Golan Heights from Syria; Russia broke diplomatic relations with Israel and Kosygin called LBJ on the hot line to urge him to stop Israel

June 11 - Israel agreed to ceasefire with Syria after it took the Golan Heights.

June 23-25 - Glassboro Summit with Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin in New Jersey, failed to prevent Russia from building antiballistic missile system.

July - LBJ asked Congress for the Sentinel ABM system like that of the Russians, but debated until 1969.


European CPs, 11/64

Jan. 5 - Czech crisis began when Alexander Dubcek replaced Antonin Novotny as Secretary of the Czech Communist Party (a coup within the Czech party) and permitted reforms in the "Prague Spring" to create " a new model of socialist democracy." USSR military intervention began Aug. 20 according to the Brezhnev Doctrine that kept socialist countries under Russian control; caused cancellation of SALT summit planned for Sept. 30.

July 1 - Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty signed by US, USSR, Britain (later by 111 nations), but not France or China. On this same day, LBJ called for the beginning of SALT talks, set for Sept. 30, but postponed by the Czech crisis.

Oct. 11 - Apollo 7 began 163 orbits by Wally Schirra, Donn Eisele, Walter Cunningham in the first major success of the $25 billion Apollo-Saturn V space program to land on the moon (done by Apollo 11 July 20, 1969)

Nov. 4 - Richard Nixon defeated Democrat Hubert Humphrey in the presidential election.


Chou & Kosygin, 11/13/64

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