50th anniversary – LBJ goes to Vietnam

(Repost from 18. 11. 2013)

On Nov. 26 2013 I did a special for my radio show ‚Roots‘.
Some information about that date:
From Lyndon Johnson’s Diary:
On November 26, 1963, the day following President John F. Kennedy’s funeral, President Johnson met with Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, and then with Prime Minister Alec Douglas-Home and Prince Philip of Great Britain. Later in the morning he met with President Diosdado Macapagal of the Philippines, then with Prime Minister Ismet Inonu of Turkey. At 11:30 a.m., he met with the President of Ireland, Eamon de Valera, followed by a meeting with First Deputy Chairman Anastas Mikoyan of the USSR. In the early afternoon, he met with Chancellor Ludwig Erhard and President Heinrich Lubke of Germany in the Cabinet Room. At 4:00 p.m., he met with Latin American delegations. In the evening President Johnson worked with aides on his speech to the joint session of Congress. (http://www.lbjlib.utexas.edu/johnson/archives.hom/diary/1963/631126.asp)
You may think a busy man with heavy duties. But that’s all peanuts compared to signing you name on a dotted line under a document which stated this:
„It remains the central object of the United States in South Vietnam to assist the people and Government of that country to win their contest against the externally directed and supported Communist conspiracy“

Strange enough this declaration is not mentioned by Johnson, although he must have been sure what had to follow: He’d drag the USA deep into the war in Vietnam. By November 1963 Vietnam was just one of those countries who chose to be on one side within the cold war. Most of the countries in Asia and Africa could have been the object of this US plan.
Lyndon Johnson signed the final version of NSAM 273 on November 26th, 1963, just four days after the assassination and one day after the funeral.
Some of the songs I play in memory of this anniversary on my next show:

Donovan: The war drags on (Universal soldier EP)

Chuck Rosenberg: Boonie rat song (SONGS OF AMERICANS IN THE VIETNAM WAR)

Jim Reeves: Distant drums

Freda Payne: Bring the boys home (A soldier’s story – Vietnam through the eyes of Black America)

Rod McKuen: Soldiers who want be heroes

Country Joe McDonald: Agent orange song

Peacemakers: Vietnam foreign correspondent o

Patrick Sky: Luang Prabang

Barbara Dane: The Kent State Massacre

Melanie: Peace will come

Besides the Bear Family Box this one’s most interesting too:
SONGS OF AMERICANS IN THE VIETNAM WAR (http://faculty.buffalostate.edu/fishlm/folksongs/americansongs.htm)
About the Bear Family collection go here: http://www.bear-family.de/beat-60s70s-rock/beat-60s-70s/va-next-stop-is-vietnam-1961-2008-13cd-box-book.html

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