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Friday, September 23,2011

Archives video chronicles LBJs '64 visit to OU

Includes Johnson's speech, as well as then OU President Vernon Alden and then Gov. James Rhodes

Photo Credits: Photo courtesy OU Archives & Special Collections
Photo Caption: Throngs of students and townspeople show up for President Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society speech on OU's College Green on May 7, 1964.
On Monday (Sept. 26), the Rev. Jesse Jackson will hold a press conference at OU Memorial Auditorium's West Portico, where President Lyndon B. Johnson delivered a speech trumpeting his Great Society anti-poverty crusade on May 7, 1964. OU Special Collections & Archives has made the 1964 video available on their website.

This is a very interesting video, and not the least because of the huge throng of students and townspeople shown on the College Green, some of them perched on the building across the street.

The young woman who speaks to the crowd early in the event at Mem Aud is President Johnson's daughter, Lynda Bird Johnson (later Robb), who was 20 at the time. Ohio Gov. James Rhodes and OU President Vernon Alden also speak during the program. It would be six years later, almost to the day, that Rhodes would order National Guard troops to quell anti-Vietnam War rioting on Ohio's college campuses, including Kent State and Ohio University.


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