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Nonfiction Television Programs
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United States — Politics and Government — 1963-1969
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Television
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1.

LBJ vs. The Kennedys: Chasing Demons

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"With the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, Lyndon Johnson was thrust into the nation's highest office, starting a new chapter in his increasingly bitter feud with the dead president's brother, Robert Kennedy. These two men, who openly despised one another, were now expected to work together to guide the nation through a turbulent time. This episode goes inside the oval office to tell the complete story of this strained relationship, using never-before-heard oral histories and LBJ's White House telephone recordings. See how the Kennedys saw Johnson as a threat to the New Frontier, while Johnson maintained a deep-seated fear of being overshadowed by the Kennedys and their quest to preserve the increasingly mythologized legacy of JFK. Johnson's fear was m [...]
Online
2003
2.

Interview With Henry Kissinger, 1982 [electronic resource]

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Henry Kissinger's involvement with Vietnam started before he was Nixon's National Security Advisor. While at Harvard, Kissinger was a consultant on foreign policy to both the White House and State Department and in a 1973 peace agreement, Kissinger helped mediate between Washington and Hanoi. In this interview Kissinger recalls the period before he joined the Nixon White House and how he did not question the United States involvement in Vietnam. In 1965, Kissinger travelled to Vietnam and saw that the war was not winnable in the way it was currently being conducted. Moreover, he had doubts as to whether or not South Vietnam could stand on their own once the United States left. He also describes his impression of Le Duc Tho as someone whose goal was to break the morale and spirit of t [...]
Online
1983
3.

Interview With Henry H. Fowler, 1981 [electronic resource]

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Henry H. Fowler was Secretary of the Treasury under President Johnson from 1965 to 1968. He is asked about the economic consequences of a request to send 206,000 troops to Vietnam in early 1968. He argued at the time that fulfilling such a request would cause significant economic problems. He describes President Johnson as believing bringing peace to Southeast Asia was worth the high fiscal cost--and less expensive than allowing communists to dominate that part of the world. Fowler details the machinations of finding money for the war, both in the Congressional appropriations process and in partnering with other countries on issues such as the price of gold. Fowler describes the tensions the president felt in trying to pay for the war at the same time he wanted to fully fund his Grea [...]
Online
1983
4.

Interview With James Claude Thomson, 1981 [electronic resource]

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James Claude Thomson served as an East Asia Specialist in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. He comments on a lack of expertise on Asia in the US government in the 1950s and 1960s. Thomson helped draft the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, and he recalls the process to get it passed through Congress. He discusses the effects of the Democratic Party's fear of looking soft on Communism on Vietnam, and recalls his dismay at the escalation of the war in 1965.
Online
1983
5.

Interview With John D. Negroponte, 1981 [electronic resource]

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From 1964 to 1968, John Negroponte was Second Secretary in Saigon; from 1968 to 1969, a member of U.S. Delegation to Paris Peace Talks; and from 1970 to 1973, a member of the National Security Council staff. He describes the mood in Paris in 1968 as euphoric, thinking the negotiations for peace with the North Vietnamese would be quick. He discusses President Nixon and Secretary Kissinger's thinking about the negotiations in the context of China and the Soviet Union. He describes the character of Le Duc Tho, who secretly met with Kissinger to help advance the Peace Accords. Negroponte goes into detail about the issue of the withdrawal of North Vietnamese troops from the South. He describes the purpose of the Christmas Bombing of North Vietnam in 1972 and responds to questions about Ni [...]
Online
1983
6.

Interview With McGeorge Bundy [electronic resource]

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McGeorge Bundy, brother of William Bundy, served as National Security Advisor to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson from 1961 to 1966. Here he discusses the Vietnam war under both Presidents, specifically addressing the Tonkin Gulf Incident, and the attack on Pleiku Airbase while he was in Vietnam. He also recounts events around the 1965 decision to increase American troops in Vietnam, and a 1968 meeting of the "Wise Men" where Johnson called in former administration officials for their advice on troop levels and bombing strategies.
Online
1983
7.

Interview With Maxwell D. (Maxwell Davenport) Taylor, 1979 [electronic resource]

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Maxwell D. (Maxwell Davenport) Taylor, a United States Army General and diplomat, discusses briefly his Korean War experience and how that helped him in Vietnam. Taylor explains that when he first retired in 1959 he never thought the United States would become involved in Vietnam. Taylor recalls the Geneva Agreements in 1954 and that he disagreed with Eisenhower's decision about Dien Bien Phu. Taylor also discusses his impressions of Diem and how Taylor alleges the United States pulled the rug out from Diem, which created chaos that Taylor inherited when he became ambassador. Taylor recalls the Tonkin Gulf and the lessons of Vietnam.
Online
1983
8.

Interview With Ray S. Cline, 1982 [electronic resource]

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Ray Cline served in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which would later become the CIA. He recounts the confusing information relayed to Washington after the Tonkin Gulf Incidents and casts doubt on the accuracy of some of the reporting. He discusses intelligence gathering and the Presidency and recalls the CIA's advice to Johnson regarding the commitment of troops in Vietnam.
Online
1983
9.

Interview With Raymond K. (Raymond Kissam) Price, 1982 [electronic resource]

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Raymond K. Price, Jr. was an assistant to and speechwriter for President Nixon. He speaks about the 1968 campaign, focusing primarily on Hubert Humphrey and the role that Vietnam played in Nixon's victory. He details Nixon's reaction to the demonstrations and the administration's strategy for dealing with public opinion while taking a hard line approach to North Vietnam. Mr. Price concludes with commentary about the abolishment of the draft system and the effects of the Watergate scandal on the outcomes of the Vietnam War.
Online
1983
10.

Interview With William P. Bundy, 1981 [electronic resource]

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William Bundy, brother of McGeorge Bundy, served in the CIA and later as an Assistant Secretary of State under Lyndon Johnson. He recalls Johnson's early actions towards the South Vietnamese government and his hesitancy to bomb North Vietnam in 1964. Bundy reviews the Tonkin Gulf Incident and the administration's resulting actions. In addition, he discusses Johnson's overall strategies in Vietnam and comments on his character as President.
Online
1983