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LBJ and the Great Society Speech

Sun, 10/27/2013 - 6:19pm

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The University of Michigan Commencement of May 22, 1964, set a [http://oldnews.aadl.org/aa_news_19640428-president_setting_precedent|precedent] that may come as a surprise to many Ann Arborites. It was the first time a sitting President spoke on campus. Despite the fact that he would be in town only a [http://oldnews.aadl.org/aa_news_19640516-johnson_will_stay|short time], the preparations on the campus and in the city to welcome [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/search/subject/%2522Johnson%252C%2BLyndon%2BB.%2B--%2B1908-1973.%2522|President Lyndon B. Johnson] were extensive. [http://oldnews.aadl.org/aa_news_19640513-schools_to_close|Public and private schools] were scheduled to close on Commencement Day. Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies [http://oldnews.aadl.org/aa_news_19640522-security_measures_pg28|planned a coordinated security effort] to accommodate what was expected to be President Johnson's [http://oldnews.aadl.org/aa_news_19640521-president_to_address|largest audience.]

[http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/lyndonbjohnson|President Johnson] used the opportunity to promote his [http://oldnews.aadl.org/aa_news_19640522-renew_cities_pg1|Great Society] initiative, aimed at addressing poverty and racial inequality in the United States. The Ann Arbor News ran the [http://oldnews.aadl.org/aa_news_19640522-text_of_presidents_address_pg28|entire text] of the speech and University President Harlan H. Hatcher praised a " [http://oldnews.aadl.org/aa_news_19640523-audience_at_exercises_a_record|serious and significant"] speech. The election-year speech brought politicians in droves to the commencement and Ann Arbor News reporter Bud Vestal provided [http://oldnews.aadl.org/aa_news_19640523-graduation_provides|insightful commentary] on the political interplay throughout the day, especially between LBJ and Governor Romney.

[http://www.c-span.org/|C-SPAN] was in town recently [http://www.aadl.org/node/235629|filming] for an upcoming program on Ann Arbor that includes interviews with local authors, community and cultural leaders. Local historian [http://www.aadl.org/catalog/search/author/Shackman%252C%2BGrace|Grace Shackman], whose [http://aaobserver.aadl.org/|Then & Now] columns in the Observer have chronicled much of Ann Arbor's past, was interviewed about LBJ's time in Ann Arbor. Coverage of C-SPAN's Ann Arbor visit will be aired on November 16 & 17 on C-SPAN's [http://www.booktv.org| Book TV] and [http://www.c-span.org/Series/American-History-TV| American History TV].

Read all the Ann Arbor News [http://oldnews.aadl.org/taxonomy/term/37743|articles on President Johnson's visit] to Ann Arbor.

Comments

It threw me a bit to read "Governor Romney" until I realized it referred to the former governor of MIchigan, not the recent presidential candidate.