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Finland Loves Vice President Johnson

Sept. 7, 1963 - More than 10,000 Finns joined today in an enthusiastic demonstration of pro-American sentiment that nearly swept Vice President Johnson off his feet. Cheering crowds lined the main four-block shopping street for Helsinki’s first ticker-tape parade. Streamers, confetti, and large scraps of paper rained on Mr. and Mrs. Johnson and their daughter Lynda Bird as they stood and waved from an open car. Thousands of Finns cheered when the Vice President ended a brief speech with “Long live Finland — Long live America!” Then Mr. Johnson was engulfed in smiling, pushing autograph seekers as he tried to make his way to his hotel a block away. He wrote “L.B.J.” until his pen ran dry, and then he started passing out autographed cards of admission to the Vice President’s Gallery in the U.S. Senate. Secret Service men were unable to keep the eager crowd from pushing him. Mr. Johnson is the highest-ranking American ever to pay an official visit to Finland. The visit monopolized newspapers today and was front-page news even in the Communist press.


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