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LBJ and the Great Society Speech

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


The University of Michigan Commencement of May 22, 1964, set a [|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 [|short time], the preparations on the campus and in the city to welcome [|President Lyndon B. Johnson] were extensive. [|Public and private schools] were scheduled to close on Commencement Day. Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies [|planned a coordinated security effort] to accommodate what was expected to be President Johnson's [|largest audience.]

[|President Johnson] used the opportunity to promote his [|Great Society] initiative, aimed at addressing poverty and racial inequality in the United States. The Ann Arbor News ran the [|entire text] of the speech and University President Harlan H. Hatcher praised a " [|serious and significant"] speech. The election-year speech brought politicians in droves to the commencement and Ann Arbor News reporter Bud Vestal provided [|insightful commentary] on the political interplay throughout the day, especially between LBJ and Governor Romney.

[|C-SPAN] was in town recently [|filming] for an upcoming program on Ann Arbor that includes interviews with local authors, community and cultural leaders. Local historian [|Grace Shackman], whose [|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 [| Book TV] and [| American History TV].

Read all the Ann Arbor News [|articles on President Johnson's visit] to Ann Arbor.


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.