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Johnson Takes Oath and Vows Drive For Great Society, World Without HateBy Carroll Kilpatrick
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 21, 1965; Page A01
Lyndon B. Johnson was inaugurated for a full four-year term as President yesterday with a vision of a world without hate and full of promise where all may "seek their happiness in their own way."
In a 23-minute Inaugural Address, the President solemnly rededicated himself to lead the country and to do "the best I can" to heal old wounds and to reach for the Great Society.
A few moments earlier, Hubert H. Humphrey took the oath of Vice President to fill an office that has been vacant for 14 months.
No Military Display
The two leaders led the traditional inaugural parade, which was shorter than in recent years and was noted for the de-emphasis on military might in accordance with the President's address.
No military hardware was displayed, and the parade ended with reasonable promptness shortly after 5 p.m., although it started a half-hour late.
Big crowds filled the Capitol Plaza for the first Inaugural Address of the man who has been President since he took the oath of office at the Dallas airport on Nov. 22, 1963.
Crowds Estimated at 1.2 Million
Even larger crowds, and exceptionally well-ordered ones, lined the parade route between the Capitol and the White House. Deputy Police Chief Howard V. Covell estimated the total crowd at the Plaza and along the parade route at 1.2 million. He said that 750,000 saw the two Eisenhower inaugurals and that one million were on hand for the Kennedy inaugural.
The strictest security in Washington's history was observed during the Inaugural ceremony and parade.
Two Secret Service cars followed closely behind the presidential car. Two Secret Service agents rode on the back of the bullet-proof limousine and two-agents walked or ran on each side of it.
The car with the Vice President and Mrs. Humphrey followed and also was closely guarded.
Appeal to Reason
Like the man himself, Mr. Johnson's speech was in a low key, with an appeal to reason, a call for brotherhood, an invocation of the American covenant under which justice, liberty and union may flourish.
Unlike President Kennedy's Inaugural Address of four years ago, which was largely devoted to foreign problems, the Johnson Inaugural was almost entirely concerned with domestic affairs.
There was no mention of communism or of the war in Vietnam. There were no harsh words for critics at home or abroad. But the President rejected isolationism and said that "terrific dangers and troubles that we once called 'foreign' now constantly live among us."
In a departure from custom, Mr. Johnson asked his wife to hold the family Bible as he took the oath from Chief Justice Earl Warren.
The President and Vice President also departed from custom by wearing business suits for the historic occasion, which as Mr. Johnson said, is one of "majesty" and "meaning" for the whole Nation.
When the President began his speech in a low voice, the audience strained at first to hear him. He had read almost a third of it before he was interrupted by applause; it was the first of ten interruptions.
The President spoke with greater force as he proceeded with his speech. Toward the end he departed from his text to recall the "sorrowful day" he became President and two repeat the pledge he made that day to do "the best I can."
"But you – you must look within your own hearts to the old promises and to the old dreams," he said. "They will lead you best of all."
After the threat of severe cold, which may have kept some persons at home, the weather was almost perfect for a January in Washington.
At noon, the temperature stood at 38 degrees. A warming sun made the extra blankets and coats with which many had fortified themselves hardly necessary. There were only a few scattered clouds in the sky.
He spoke of the Nation's possibilities and it's opportunities, of how all segments of the population should work together rather than "struggle to divide our bounty."
"I do not believe that the Great Society is the ordered, changeless, and sterile battalion of ants," he said.
"It is the excitement of becoming – always becoming, trying, proving, falling, resting and trying again – but always trying and always gaining."
In his sparse reference to foreign affairs, he told the world that "we aspire to nothing that belongs to others. We seek no dominion over our fellow man, but man's dominion over tyranny and misery."
The Johnsons and the Humphries began the day by attending an interdenominational service at the National Christian Church at 9 a.m.
After the 40-minute service, the Johnsons returned to the White House, the Humphries to a suite in the Mayflower Hotel.
A short time later, the Humphries drove to the White House for coffee with the First Family before starting the drive to Capitol Hill at 11:15 a.m.
At 11:30, Mrs. Humphrey and Mrs. Johnson were escorted to the Inaugural stand overlooking the Plaza.
A few moments later, Mr. Humphrey was escorted to his seat. At 11:38, the President entered to the playing of "Hail to the Chief."
The ceremonies went forward without a hitch and ended shortly after 12:30 p.m., when the President and Vice President and their families went to the old Supreme Court room in the Capitol for lunch.
They did not emerge until 2 p.m., a half-hour behind schedule, to begin the parade to the reviewing stand in front of White House.
The President's car had barely reached the bottom of the hill from the Capitol when he saw the Southwest Texas State Band of San Marcos, waiting at 3rd St. and Constitution Ave., to take its place in the parade.
Out of the car the President bounded, as in last year's campaign, to rush over and greet the students from his alma mater.
A few blocks beyond, if the President had gazed up to a balcony of the Justice Department, he could have seen FBI director J. Edgar Hoover viewing the parade.
Just as the President reached the White House, he saw Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin, wearing a Russian fur hat, busily snapping pictures of the parade from his vantage point in the diplomatic box.
Among the distinguished guests in the President's reviewing stand were auto magnate Henry Ford, Margaret Truman and her husband, E. Clifton Jr., managing editor of the New York Times, Marion Anderson, the singer, the Rev. Billy Graham, members of the Cabinet and the Supreme Court.
Vice President Humphrey and his family sat in a box to the President's left.
When the presidential party reached the reviewing stand, the President was greeted by his dogs, a collie and the beagle, "Him." He picked up the beagle and put him on one of the chairs for a moment or two.
As the parade ended at 5:05 p.m., the crowd surged across Pennsylvania Avenue toward the reviewing stand. Mr. Johnson reached for a microphone and said:
"Thank you very much. You are lovely people and you made it a lovely day. We will try hard to be worthy of your trust and friendship."
Last night, the Johnsons and the Humphreys wound up the day by attending the Inaugural Balls held in the National Guard Armory and four downtown hotels.
© Copyright 1965 The Washington Post Company