top of page

LBJ Speaks at UCLA

Feb. 21, 1964 - President Johnson once again pledged the U.S. today to the pursuit of peace and the support of friends and allies. He spoke at the 96th Charter Day anniversary celebration at UCLA after having met President Adolfo López Mateos of Mexico, who with his wife is visiting the U.S. Both Presidents received honorary doctorates of law from the university, and the Mexican leader also spoke.

Mr. Johnson said that “new challenges” faced him daily at the White House but that the “power of the free community has never been greater.” He pictured the Communist world as being beset by the even greater problem of a “spreading civil war.” This was an allusion to the differences between the Soviet Union and Communist China. Mr. Johnson also suggested the possibility of increased intervention in South Vietnam, where the U.S. and the Communist world come most directly into conflict.

“The contest in which South Vietnam is now engaged,” he said, “is first and foremost a contest to be won by the Government and the people of that country for themselves. But those engaged in external direction and supply would do well to be reminded that this type of aggression is a deeply dangerous game.” A White House spokesman later clarified that this was a reference to Red China and North Vietnam.

Mr. Johnson’s speech was frequently applauded. The response appeared most enthusiastic when the President turned briefly to domestic affairs. He said the U.S. and Mexican revolutions would not be complete as long as there was a man without a job, a family without a roof, or a child without a school. “We have much to do,” Mr. Johnson said. “No American can rest while any American is denied his rights because of the color of his skin. No American conscience can be at peace while any American is jobless, hungry, uneducated, and ignored.”

Mr. and Mrs. Johnson flew to Palm Springs from Washington last night, arriving about 8:30 p.m. An enthusiastic crowd of about 2,500 was on hand to greet him, and the President spent a quarter of an hour shaking hands. Then the Johnsons were driven to the residence of Louis Taubman, a real estate and oil executive. Palm Springs lies spread out beneath the house, and in honor of the President’s presence the town authorities had requested all residents to leave on their swimming pool lights.


bottom of page