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President To Spend Holidays at LBJ Ranch

Dec. 18, 1963 - President Johnson and his family will spend Christmas at their LBJ Ranch near Austin, Texas, “to relax a little” and possibly “even go hunting.” “I haven’t had a chance to do that this year,” Mr. Johnson said, “and I would like to go and spend a day out in the hills, communing with myself.” The President disclosed his plans for the Christmas holidays at his news conference today. He said he and his family would leave Sunday or Monday. This will mark the third straight year the White House has been empty, except for servants, at Christmas. President Kennedy and his family spent Christmas of 1961 and 1962 at Palm Beach, Fla. The last President to spend Christmas in the White House was Dwight D. Eisenhower. He and his family spent most of the Christmas seasons during his Administration, including his last one in 1960, in Washington. Before flying to Texas, President Johnson will light the national Christmas tree on the Mall near the White House and attend a Lincoln Memorial ceremony honoring President Kennedy. The one-month period of national mourning for Mr. Kennedy will end with the memorial service Sunday. Hard-driving activity has long been President Johnson’s way of work. As Democratic leader in the Senate for eight years, he drove himself and staff to exhaustion at times. But since his 1955 heart attack, when he was 46, Mr. Johnson has learned more about pacing himself. In the White House, his rigorous regimen is now being broken by periods of relaxation. A close aide said today that Mr. Johnson’s health has been good and he has needed no physical check-ups since becoming President.


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