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President Johnson Well Protected

Dec. 8, 1963 - President Johnson’s 2-hour-20-minute visit to New York City today, his first trip outside Washington since becoming President, was made under rigid security guard. There were no disturbances. Nearly 2,000 policemen and detectives were deployed along the 15-mile route from Idlewild Airport to Temple Emanu-El, where Mr. Johnson attended the funeral service for Herbert H. Lehman, who served as Governor of New York from 1933 to 1942 and then as a U.S. Senator from 1949 to 1957. Blue-helmeted policemen arranged their motorcycles into a phalanx around the President’s closed limousine. Secret Service agents with two submachine guns rode in an open armored car immediately behind. Two police helicopters patrolled overhead. And police officials kept turning their gaze toward the open windows of apartments, whose owners then sometimes hastily shut them. One elderly woman asked a policeman if President Johnson’s visit was the reason for all the police in the area. He nodded affirmatively. “That’s the way it should be,” the lady declared. The screening of mourners and visitors as they entered Temple Emanu-El went to rare lengths. Pocketbooks were inspected. Cameras were barred, and a bundle of newspapers was required to be left outside. Packages were opened. One turned out to contain a bologna sandwich on a roll with two apples. Hundreds of policemen were suddenly redeployed between the synagogue and the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel when President Johnson, on a half hour’s notice, decided to visit former President Herbert Hoover at the hotel before returning to the airport. In Manhattan, a Criminal Court arraignment disclosed the arrest yesterday of a 19-year-old Cuban owner of a rifle, Omar Padilla, who allegedly admitted having said jokingly that he was “going to shoot Johnson.” After intensive questioning of the youth by Secret Service men and police, detectives said they were satisfied Padilla had no connection with any subversive group. He has no known police record.


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