jfkplusfifty

Just another WordPress.com site

Archive for the month “April, 2015”

FDR DIES AT WARM SPRINGS

DEATH COMES TO FDR AT THE LITTLE WHITE HOUSE


Warm Springs, Georgia (JFK+50) President Franklin D. Roosevelt died shortly after 1 p.m. 70 years ago today, April 12, 1945, of a cerebral hemorrhage at the Little White House* here in Warm Springs.


The President, while sitting in the living room having his portrait made, suddenly grabbed his head and said…


 “I have a terrific headache”.  


Grace Tully**, FDR’s private secretary was alerted that the President was sick and to call a doctor.  She later wrote…


“I could feel a chill in my heart, a sense that this was something different…I decided to go at once to the President’s cottage.”


When she arrived, two doctors were attending the President in his bedroom. They soon came out with the sad news.

Later, as a procession took FDR’s body from the home, Graham Jackson*** played Going Home and one of FDR’s favorite hymns, Nearer My God To Thee, on his accordion.

*Little White House opened as a museum in 1948.  The portrait that artist Elizabeth Shoumatoff was painting at the time of FDR’s collapse, now titled “The Unfinished Portrait,” is on display here. 

**Grace Tully (1900-1984) was born in Bayonne, NJ.  She was educated at the Grace Institute of NY and served on the staff of NY Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt.  In 1941, she replaced Missy LeHand as FDR’s personal secretary.

***Graham W. Jackson, Sr. (1903-1983), a celebrated musician and choral conductor, was born in Portsmouth, VA and served in the US Navy 1942-1945.  GWJ was featured at Atlanta’s Royal Theatre and Bailey’s “81.”

NATIONAL SECURITY MEMORANDUM 328

WHITE HOUSE NSM 328 PUT U.S. FORCES ON THE OFFENSIVE IN VIETNAM 50 YEARS AGO TODAY

Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Fifty years ago today, April 6, 1965,  National Security adviser McGeorge Bundy issued, on behalf of President Lyndon B. Johnson, National Security Memorandum 328.


The memo, drafted and signed by Bundy, is titled “Presidential Decisions in Regard to Vietnam,” and was, at the time, labeled TOP SECRET.


Mr. Bundy began by saying that President Johnson had “made the following decisions” on April 1, 1965.


They included a 41 point program of “non-military actions submitted by Ambassador Taylor,” an “urgent exploration of…suggestions for covert…actions submitted by the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and a repeat of earlier approval of a 21 point program of military actions,” including an 18,000-20,000 increase in support forces as well as the continuation of Operation Rolling Thunder.


The memo represented a shift in policy in that previously all American military operations in South Vietnam had been defensive in nature.


It is well known that while John F. Kennedy substantially increased America’s commitment to South Vietnam, he did not send U.S. combat troops in the traditional sense. Lyndon B. Johnson did.


Gordon M. Goldstein quotes McGeorge Bundy’s take on the difference in attitude toward Vietnam by the two presidents for which he worked…


“There was a dramatic difference between Kennedy and Johnson on the question of Vietnam.  Kennedy didn’t want to be dumb.  Johnson didn’t want to be a coward.”


McGeorge Bundy served in both the Kennedy and Johnson administrations as National Security Adviser (1961-1966).


SOURCE


“Lessons in Disaster:  McGeorge Bundy and the Path to War in Vietnam,” by Gordon M. Goldstein, Time Books, 2013.


Post Navigation