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President Johnson Commends Secret Service Agent Who Protected Him

Nov. 26, 1963 - President Johnson has commended the Secret Service agent who pushed him to the floor of his car and shielded him during the assassination of President Kennedy Friday. Mr. Johnson said in a letter that the agent, Rufus W. Youngblood (pictured left leaving Parkland Hospital Friday), had acted in a “valiant manner.” The letter, sent to the Secret Service chief, James J. Rowley, said Mr. Youngblood “deserves the highest commendation your service can offer for his tremendously courageous action.” President Johnson said that upon hearing the first shot, Mr. Youngblood “instantly vaulted across the front seat of my car, pushed me to the floor, and shielded my body with his own body, ready to sacrifice his life for mine.” President Johnson’s letter was dated Nov. 23, the day after the assassination. Mr. Youngblood said, “Any agent in the service would have done the same thing. I have been drawing my paycheck every two weeks ever since 1951 knowing this could come up. I hope it never happens again, but if it does I’ll be prepared for it.”


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