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tv   Reel America The President - March 1968  CSPAN  March 26, 2018 11:05am-11:40am EDT

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justice department has brought an anti-trust suit against at&t. >> you have laid out a case that there is a lot of competition out there. why is it that the justice department didn't see it the way you did? what are they seeing different? >> i think the justice department has a very static view of what the market place is if you look at the market definition that they put into their trial brief. i think it is a 1990s view of the world. the only nod that they have given to changes that happened is they take the market and they define it as the mvps that exist today, the comcasts of the world, charters of the world, dishes of the world and say so there are some virtual mvpds as
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well. i think it is a very backwards looking lawsuit as opposed to where we see the market going and the changes that are happening in the market place. >> watch tonight at 8 eastern on c-span 2. each week american history tv's reel america brings you archival films that provide context for today's public affairs issues. >> although it started like so many others for president
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johnson the month of march would call for a momentous and far reaching decision. the president had been aware of the growing divisiveness within the country. he clearly knew what the america of tomorrow could be if americans would work together laying aside their differences to realize the nation's true potential. for the president march would sharpen the contrast between america's problems and america's promise. it would be a period devoted to healing the country's ails and divisions culminating with an announcement that would both shock and sadden the nation. this decision would leave march 1968 to be remembered as one of the most significant months in the history of american politics and the american presidency. the month began for president johnson at the swearing in ceremony of the new secretary of
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defense. as an aid and adviser to three different presidents the recommendations have been a guiding force through some of america's most critical moments. >> this is a great day for us in the white house. we were finally successful in persuading clark gif rd to move from the kitchen cabinet to the east room. some people have compared this appointment to a wedding. after a very long and sometimes sacred court ship we are finally making an honest man out of him. chief justice honors us by his willingness to be present this morning and administer the oath.
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>> i do solemnly swear that i will support and defend -- >> my remarks were in the nature of expressions of gratitude and appreciation. first to the president and for the trust and confidence that he evidences. second, i thank him for giving me the opportunity to try to retire a debt that i have, a debt that i have had for many years and one that with passing
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time has grown. that is the debt that i owe to this country. for some 61 years i now have enjoyed the blessings of freedom and liberty, of security and safety and of unlimited opportunity. and i -- >> replacing robert mcnamara clifford inherited its awesome tasks and responsibilities. immediately confronting him was vietnam, the communitiest tet offensive had not achieved the objective. the cities though besieged had not fallen into vietcong hands. there was widespread destruction throughout south vietnam and pacification program had received a setback. faced with a specific duty of strengthening the ally position in vietnam secretary clifford
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would carry the additional concern of defense secretaries maintaining the military posture globally. helping secretary clifford accomplish this aim would be a piece of new defense hardware unveiled the next day. the president travelled to the marietta, georgia plant of lockheed aircraft company for the roll out of the galaxy, biggest air ship built with engines twice as powerful it could do three times the work of the largest cargo plane the u.s. now operates. >> more important of all for the first time our fighting men will be able to travel with their equipment to any spot on the
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globe where we might be forced to stand and they will travel rapidly and efficiently. so it's much more than a roll out of a great aircraft that you're seeing here today. we are observing a long leap forward in the effective military might of america. that same weekend the president flew to texas for a tour of the nasa manned space craft center in houston. here he also made an announcement of a further step towards bringing the nations of the world closer together. >> i want to announce that we will build facilities here in this great space capital of houston to help the world's
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scientists work closer together, more effectively on the problems of space. we are going to establish here in houston a new lunar science institute along the side of this great center that you have here. >> the new center will provide means of communication and research for the world's scientific community. the president expressed his conviction that the lunar science institute will help unite those nations wishing to face the challenges of space exploration in partnership. at the same time that the united states prepares for the future in space it continues its dedication towards fulfilling human needs in the coming years. at a nursing home in beaumont, texas the president signed a proclamation declaring march senior citizens month and took the opportunity to review some
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of the social welfare achievements of his administration. in 1968, 24 million senior citizens received a payments increase that marked highest level of social security benefits in the program's history. under the johnson administration more than 90% of americans aged 65 and over have become eligible for retirement benefits. federal government commitments to special housing programs for senior citizens now total some $3 billion. medicare, a landmark in social welfare legislation and one of president johnson's most significant accomplishments paid the combined hospital and doctor bills of more than 11 million people in fiscal 1967 alone. this has not been all. president ujohnson pledged to continue the battle for more meaningful opportunities for the nation's elderly.
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the president's weekend trip ended with a stop in puerto rico for a brief rest and round or two of golf with his vietnam bound son-in-law. even on vacation the affairs of his country travelled with him. the president's commission on civil disorders released the findings of the investigation into causes of urban unrest. the commission called for a massive nationwide effort building on the base of what has been accomplished to solve the deep rooted problems that give rise to urban discontent. in vietnam the allies begin to regain pacification efforts near the city. more significantly in march the administration would start a complete review of the vietnam situation.
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returning to washington the president centered his attention on the copper strike. the dispute had begun to threaten america's balance of payments and was cutting into strategic defense production. the president invited the differing factions to sit down at the bargaining table with the fullest cooperation of his administration. by the month's end an agreement would be negotiated and final settlement of the strike would be forth coming. foreign speculation had reached dangerous -- the gold market was temporarily closed the result was to establish a two price
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system for goal a rate announced for governments and freely fluc chating exchange rate. this enabled the administration to avert the most serious threat in 30 years. the nation's balance of payments was further stabilized when president johnson signed into law a bill amending the bank act of 1945. this new measure grants to the exporting bank of the united states the sprufinancial horsepower necessary to continue successful promotion of american exports. to an under privileged child a trip to the circumstans can bri excitement. during march some of washington's business and civic
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leaders helped provide that experience at a special performance. first lady who is national chairman played hostess to the group which included many head start boys and girls.
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one of the most controversial espentsvents occun television. the secretary had agreed to appear on behalf of a foreign aid appropriations bill but wound up in a two day marathon defining the administration's vietnam policy. two men instrumental in carrying
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out this policy were honored at the white house that week with nation's highest award. >> major and lieutenant stand in the long unbroken rank of heroes who have been this nation's pride and have been this nation's strength from the beginning when america itself as lafayette once said, was agreeing that every man carried in his heart. i look at these two gallant marines and i see america. i see the answer to aggression. i see in their face the certainty of freedom and i see in their presence the hope and the promise of peace.
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>> in the domestic area it was a month of concentrated activity. the president penned into law six bills. from a visitor's center in the nation's capitol to a wilderness preserve in california. along with the signing of legislation that had been passed the president turned his energies towards those proposals yet to be acted upon. the president has a critical role in the legislative process. the recommendations are
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transmitted to congress in the form of special messages. on four separate occasions white house couriers left carrying special messages to congress. these communications requested action in four diverse areas. the health message proposed expanded maternal and infant care programs for the benefit of poor and disadvantaged families and called for more intensified straining of doctors, nurses and other health professionals. the message urged congress to act promptly to keep the nation's water supplies pure and to continue the work of the new conservation by bringing more recreation land within easy reach. the message asked for broad programs of self-help, self-development and
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self-determination for the forgotten american. the district of columbia message proposed a strengthened police force, more job opportunities and better educational facilities for residents of the nation's first city. this brought the number of special messages the president sent to congress since january to 14 with more to come in the following months. these messages would involve some $78 million in requests v covering the full range of america's needs. during the previous month the president sent to congress a special message aimed at bringing new prosperity to rural america. on march 18 he reemphasized his support for the key issue in his recommendations. >> i asked congress to find the
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ways to give the farmer more bargaining power in the market place. you want a deal and even chance to share in the rich and good life of this nation. and so long as i am your president you will always have my understanding, my admiration and my whole hearted support in fighting with you to try to reach these goals. >> during the month of march the president continued to strengthen america's international times. the arrival of three foreign chiefs of state provided him with an opportunity to reaffirm america's continuing support while the developing nations of the world.
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prime minister, a devoted advocate of peace in his part of the world has won the respect and admiration of his american counter part. president alfredo has been instituting democratic reforms in the political apparatus. his endeavors have not gone unnoticed in a country founded on principles of democracy. libeer yn president has been senior statesman of african affairs. discussing matters of mutual concern from peace corps to organization for african unity the two presidents restated their desire for the maintenance of friendly cooperation between our two nations. the president's response to foreign dignitaries went far
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beyond the level of state visits during march. in private conferences and public receptions the president exercised that special brand of face-to-face diplomacy that has trademarked his years in office.
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the major concern is to maintain peace and security for itself and its neighbors. throughout march the attention remained on vietnam where the security of southeast asia was hanging in the balance. as the close of the month approached the president began preparing what would be the most effective of his many offers for talks in the troubled part of the globe. during the last week of the month general abrams deputy commander in vietnam arrived in washington for two days of intensive discussions with the president. the thorough review of the situation begun during march was now complete. after a late evening session with members of the national security council the president's mind was made up. with a speech that respeeds the
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broadcast the president turned his attention to the america of the future speaking for a gathering the president discounted pesicism of doubters. in the president's view the road ahead will not be smooth but will lead to a better dawn. >> there will be many dark moments. there will be many long nights but the principle that brought this nation into existence, the traditions which have guided us, the things in which we believe, the strength that we have are going to be used to protect the weak and to lift up the helpless and to see that might doesn't make right in this world because
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aggressors start to march across any part of it. with your help and with god's guidance we are going to build here a safer, a better, a freer, a more prosperous america for our children than was built for us. and that's saying a lot. thank you and good bye. >> the president knew by the end of march that building this america he spoke of, the america of tomorrow would require his fullest energies and all of his time. in an election year his office could become neither a political target for new core of presidential aspirants. his own efforts had to be devoted towards binding divisions, freeing america agenda and striving for peace and stability in southeast asia. on the last evening in march 1968 the stage was set.
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shortly before 9:00 p.m. washington time in the midst of last minute electronic preparations president johnson put the finishing touches on his address to the nation with the reassuring presence of his family seated nearby the president was ready to deliver one of the most important speeches of his life, a speech that would alter the course of world history. >> good evening my fellow americans. tonight i want to speak to you of peace in vietnam and southeast asia. no other question so preoccupies our people. no other dream so absorbs the 250 million human beings who live in that part of the world. no other goal motivates american policy in southeast asia. >> first addressing himself to
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the continuing problem of vietnam the president outlines plans for a unilateral american de-escalation of that conflict. >> tonight i ordered our aircraft and naval vessels to make no attacks on north vietnam except in the area north of the demill terroriitarized zone ande movement of their troops and supplies are clearly related to that threat. the area in which we are stopping our attacks includes almost 90% of north vietnam's population and most of its territories. thus, there will be no attacks around the principle populated areas or in the fuel producing areas of north vietnam. even this very limited bombing
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of the north could come to an early end if our restraint is matched by restraint in hanoi. >> the president issued and went on to speak in moving words of the future he foresees america attain. it was in the final moments he voiced the syllables which stunned the nation and reverberated around the world. to disbelieving audience president johnson announced the decision that had been many months in the making but only resolved within himself in the final hours of march. >> with american sons in the field far away, with america's future under challenge right here at home with our hopes for
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peace in the balance every day i do not believe that i should devote an hour a day of my time to any personal partisan causes or to any duties other than the awesome duties of this office, the presidency of your country. accordingly, i shall not seek and i will not accept the nomination of my party for another term as your president let men everywhere know that a strong and confident and vigilant america stands ready tonight to seek an honorable
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peace and stands ready tonight to defend an honored cause, whatever the price, whatever the burden, whatever the sacrifice that duty may require. thank you for listening. good night and god bless all of you.
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coming up next american civics and civility from 1951. that will be followed by short documentiry on ellis island and then a documentary on seoul, south korea. >> on c-span this week in primetime tonight at 10:30 p.m. eastern bill gates talking about his foreign aid agenda and the federal budget. >> we need to partner up with the donors to go up against things like polio eradication. the program on hiv is miraculous in terms of holding that disease in check. >> tuesday at 8:00 p.m. eastern perspectives on gun control from the march for our lives rally. wednesday at 8:00 p.m. eastern former white house communications director anthony
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scaramucci is interviewed. >> when he got the job just like building a condominium or developing a television show he said i have this job. i have to go down to the swamp and drain the swamp and hire people that understand the swamp. i think what he has learned is that you are not going to drain the swamp hiring swamp mons administer teres. >> thursday documenting the fight against isis. >> i'm trying to get you to care about someone who speaks a different language, has a different color skin than you do. totally different background and try to make you care about their life and understand the parallels between yours and theirs. >> friday former reagan adviser and advocate for what has been called trickle down economics. >> it's really true that there
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are consequences to taxation and those consequences are the same across the whole spectrum. you cannot tax an economy into prosperity period. >> this week in primetime on c-span. >> tonight join us for gideon v waynewright as we discuss gideon. he challenged the state of florida which had denied him access to an attorney. >> the next case is a case of state of florida. what says the state? are you ready for trial? >> what says the defend? are you ready for trial? >> i'm not ready, your honor. >> did you plead not guilty to this charge by reason of insanity? >> norse, sir. >> why aren't you ready?
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>> i have no counsel. examine this case in the high courts ruling with paul clement who served during george w. bush administration and akhil reed a mar visiting law professor. watch landmark cases live tonight at 9:00 eastern on c-span, and our website has resources for background on each case including the companion book a link to the constitution centers and you can download the 30 minute case's podcast at or from your podcast subscriber. up next on reel america a city decides a 1956 film
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documenting the response of st. louis to the court's decision on desegregation and the process of integrating the city's public schools. sponsored by the fund for the republic, an early think tank supported by the ford foundation the film was nominated for an academy award. this is 30 minutes.


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