The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on February 7, 1967 · Page 5
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 5

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, February 7, 1967
Page 5
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Rythevflle (Ark,) Courier Newi — Tuesday, February T, 1M7 ~ P»g« Plv« Kennedy Aides Snubbed LBJ Chaos Reigned in Dallas Hospital By RELMAN MORIN NEW YORK (AP) - Mrs. John F. Kennedy and the grief- dazed aides of her assassinated husband declined to sit with President Lyndon B. Johnson during the flight from Dallas to Washington, William Manchester reports in his book, "The Death of a President." He wrote that Mrs. Kennedy instructed Malcolm Kilduff, a press secretary, to inform the reporters aboad the plane: "You make sure, Mac—you tell them that I was not up front, but that I came back here and sat wih Jack." Mancheser wrote that Brig. Gen. Godfrey Hugh, Air Force aide to Kennedy, pounded the press table to emphasize his words and told the newsmen, "I want the record to show" that the four Kennedy aides "spent this flight in the tail compartment with the President — President Kennedy." The third installment of Look magazine's four-part serialization of Manchester's book relates the incidents. Reports have circulated for years about the tensions and flareups between Johnson's partisan and men loyal to the memory of Kennedy on the homeward flight of the presidential plane, Air Force One. Kilduff once described it as "the sickest plane I've ever been on." Manchester recalled that "most of these same individuals" aboard the plane had battled each other in Los Angeles at the 1960 Democratic Convention when Johnson fought hard to wrest the presidential nomination from Kennedy. Thrown together on the same aircraft, and with Kennedy's shattered body aboard, "made tempest inevitable," Manchester wrote. "And aspects of Johnson's behavior in a very understandable state of shock may have proven exacerbating, but the difficulty there was largely one of manners and mannerisms. Johnson was not himself that afternoon — no man was himself then," Manchester added. Mrs. Kennedy and her husband had spent their last moments alone together in a private cabin on Air Force One, Manchester wrote. When she returned to the compartment, • after the coffin had been placed on the plane, she found Johnson "reclining" on the bed, dictating to Marie Fehmer, a secretary. "Because she regarded the bedroom as hers, she did not knock," the book says. "She simply grasped the latch and twisted it. Mrs. Kennedy came to a dead stop." Johnson and Miss Fehmer left hastily. Mrs. Kennedy was anxious to take off immediately for Washington, Manchester wrote. So were the Kennedy aides. They had been through a struggle, described by the author as wild, before they were able to remove Kennedy's body from Parkland Hospital in Dallas. Manchester wrote that they were afraid that Dalals authorities might appear at the plane and "kidnap" Kennedy's remains. Bu Johnson was equally anxious to be sworn in as president while the plane remained on the ground at Love Field, the book says. So there was to be another delay before the oath-taking. Manchester reports that a Dallas undertaker was so concerned about the pale satin upholstery in his coffin becoming stained with blood that he wrapped Kennedy's body in seven layers of rubber and plastic. "All this took 20 minutes," the author wrote. Another half-hour was to pass while a furious dispute, which threatened to ertipt into a fist fight, developed over the question of performing the autopsy before taking Kennedy's body to Air Force One. Manchester wrote that the Dallas County medical examiner, Earl Rose, appeared at the hospital and notified the Kennedy party that this was the law in Texas. Various Kennedy aides, the author wrote, told Rose that the coffin contained the body of the President of the United States and said the law should be waived in this instance. Manchester wrote that Ros* replied: "There are state laws about removing bodies. You people from Washington can't make your own law." Lawrence O'Brien and Kenneth O'Donnell, two top Kennedy aides, would not countenance the thought of a delay of Several hours or even longer, while Mrs. Kennedy was waiting. They determined to roll the coffin to the hearse outside the hospial, even if it meant a fight. Telephone calls were placed to various legal authorities to resolve the problem. Manchester wrote that Dist. Atty. Henry Wade — who later prosecuted the late Jack Ruby — advised Rose to step aside. But, accord- Ing to the auhor, Rose refused to do so. * * * O'Brien and O'Donnell both testified before the Warren Commission that during the argument, rapidly mounting in intensity, they heard someone say, "This is just another homicide, so far as I'm concerned." The remark so infuriated them, Manchester wrote, that they determined to brook no further delay in removing the coffin. They signalled the Secret Service agents and members of the Kennedy party to prepare to leave. Then they wheeled the coffin into the corridor. As they started to push through t':.e crowd in the corridor, a melee began. Manchese wrote that these words were exchanged— "These two guys say you can't go." " 'One side,' Larry said curtly." "Ken said, 'Get the hell over. We're getting out of here.' " Manchester wrote that some 40 persons became angled in the struggle. Some were simply trying to get out of the way as the coffin was propelled to the hospital exits. Because of his delay, and for fear that the authorities in Dallas might make a second attempt to hold Kennedy's body, the Kennedy aides wanted a quick takeoff from Love Field. McHugh raced to the cockpit and ordered the pilot ot Air Force One to start the jet engines. Meanwhile, ararngements had been made to administer the oath of office to Johnson while the plane was on the ground. Johnson had discussed the question of being sworn in immediately with several persons on the airplane. Then he telephoned Atty. Gen. Robert F. Kennedy in Washington. Exactly what passed between them in the several conversations that took place is not clear. The President gave a statement to the Warren Commission on July 10,1964, which said: "As I remember, our conversation was interrupted to allow the attorney general to come back on the line. He said that the oath should be administered to me immediately, before taking off for Washington, and that it should be administered by a judicial officer of the United States. Shortly thereafter, the deputy attorney general, Mr. Knicholas Katzenbach, dictal- the form of oath to one of the secretaries aboard the plane." Manchester's report is this: 'That Robert Kennedy met Air Force One in Washingon and went immediately to find his sister-in-law. She told him that Johnson had said in Dallas that the attorney-general advised taking the oath immediately. "Tha attorney general was startled. There must be some misunderstanding, he said: He had made no such suggestion, Manchester wrote. The question is academic, ol conurse, except that the time consumed before and after the ceremony in the plane accentuated the angry feelings of the Kennedy party. Johnson had asked a friend, federal Judge Sarah Hughes, to administer the oath. There was a delay until she could be found and then hasten to Love Field. The vice president said he would be glad to have everyone on the plane join him in the ceremony. He particularly wanted Mrs. Kennedy to be in the photograph to be taken of it. Manchester wrote, "In the end, she appeared, but the decision was to be hers. She understood the symbols of authority, the need for some semblance of national majesty after the disaster, and she came." Although a wide-angle lens was used for the photograph of the swearing-in, Manchester said "it did not record the presence of a single male Kennedy aide." After the ceremony, the book says, the President and Mrs. Johnson conducted Mrs. Kennedy to a seat in the forward compartment and asked her to sit with them. She did so, briefly. Then Manchester wrote, she excused herself and went to the rear compartment. There she found O'Brien, O'Donnell, McHugh and David Powers sanding near the coffin. For the first tune since the death of her husband, Manchester wrote, she burst into uncontrollable sobbing. The author said that Johnson twice asked O'Donnell and O'Brien to sit with him during he flight but they "flatly refused." Hal Boyle NEW YORK (AP) Things a columnist might never know if he didn't open his mail: If you're the kind of person who is always putting his foot in his mouth, you'd probably be more comfortable if you used your right foot for this purpose. In nine out of 10 people it is smaller than the left foot. Some psychologists say that your eyes get wider the harder you ttiink. But it has been my experience that many business executives close their eyes when they're thinking. At least they claimed they were thinking. Few people love their homeland more than the Japanese. In 99 years, only 1,210,000 have emigrated, and most of them went to Brazil or the United States. Last year only 600 migrated. A further oddity: The entire continent of Africa has only nine permanent Japanese residents. Here's a sobering statistic lor motor car drivers: The chances are six in 10 that you will be nvolved in an accident within the next four years. Prosperity note: The average lankruptcy case involves not a lig corporation but a little guy. He is about 35 years old, has hree kids, holds a blue-collar ob and owes debts between $3,»0 and $4,000. ^— No Tight Money At POOLE'S Buy Factory Direct! Save 33%.'.'.' On 8-10-12-20-24 Ft. Wide MOBILE HOMES. EASY FINANCING Lass Than $5.50 Par 100 Par Year Coma to our factory location wfcare t/ia mobile home I* in the tky — fooWt 3104 E. BROADWAY West Memphis, Arkansas Phone RE 5-5201 Quotable notables: "Don't be afraid of opposition. Remember, a kite rises against, not with, the wind" — Hamilton Mabie. Pioneers: If women can train a husband, shouldn't they also be able to train thoroughbred horses? Well, of course, they can. And at the present meeting of the Bowie, Md., race track there are five women trainers. Sign on the back of a pest control truck: "Drive carefully and STUDDED FOR TRACTION, this tire shows the steel spikes securely locked into a new winter tire. The studs improve traction on ice and hard-packed snow, but some states outlaw them, claiming they damage highway surfaces. Yet Goodyear estimates that 20 per cent of their winter tires to be sold this winter season will be studded. Presidential Disablement Amendments To Fill Gaps By JACK MILLER WASHINGTON (AP) - Within weeks the U.S. Constitution is expected to get its 25th amendment. It would provide transfer of power if the president became disabled. And it would provide for filling a vacancy in the office of the vice president. To date, 36 state legislatures have ratified the presidential disability and succession amendment. Two more must do so. The Constitution requires approval by three-fourths — 38 — of the legislatures. The amendment has not been rejected so far by any legislature that has considered it. The author of the. proposal in the Senate, Birch Bayh, D-Ind., predicts the amendment will gain the votes it lacks by the end of March. It goes into effect automatically with the 38th ratification. A spokesman for the Amen- leave the exterminating to us? Science has found it is healthy to laugh. Laughter exercises the diaphragm and peps up the heart, brings in more oxygen to the lungs, increases the performance of the liver, stimulates the digestive glands in the stomach, intestines and pancreas, even helps against constipation. So if you want to feel as good as Santa Glaus, don't forget to "Ho, ho, ho!" Worth remembering: "There aren't any rules for success that work unless you do." Geography: You can't beat America for interesting place names. In Arkansas there is a Morning Sun and an Evening Shade. The U.S. population is expected during 1968 to pass the 200 million mark. That means some kid will be born next year who will probably grab the parking space you'll be looking for in 1988. It was G. K. Chesterton who observed, "Youth is always too serious, and just now it is too serious about frivolity." can Bar Association, which recommended the amendment and has been watching its progress, predicted its quick approval, too. Congress gave its final approval in July 1965. Bayh said in an Interview the amendment "doesn't fill all the gaps" in the Constitution on disability and succession "but it fills the two most important and glaring ones." The first is the lack of a procedure by which the vice president can take over the duties of the presidency if the president bcomes so disabled he cannot handle them. The second is a means for filling immediately the office of vice president when the office becomes vacant for any reason Strong public concern about vice-presidential vacancies developed after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated In 1963 and Vice President Johnson became president. The nation was without a vice president until after the 1964 elections, the office. Next in line for the presidency before then were Speaker of the House John W. McCormack, then 72, and the president pro tempore of the Senate, Sen. Carl Hayden of Arizona, then 86. The question of presidential disability came up most recently when President Johnson underwent gall bladder and throat surgery last November. At that time, Johnson and Humphrey used a procedure under which Humphrey became acting president while Johnson was under anesthesia. The arrangement was identical to that used by President Dwlght D. Sisenhower and Vice President Hichard M. Nixon during Eisen- lower's illnesses. } The amendment provides .that ;he vice president would take over as acting president if the president stated in writing h« ras unable to carry out the du- ;ies of the office. The vice presj- ^ dent also could take over .if .a . majority of the heads of executive departments sent Congress a declaration of presidential in- ,. ability. .'. . The president would resume power by sending Congress a declaration that he was again able to serve. This could be overridden if the vice president . and a majority of the executive heads told Congress within two days the president was unable, . and if Congress concurred by a two-thirds vote. Vacancies in the vice presidency would be filled on nomination by the President, subject to confirmation by Congress. ; States which have yet to ratify the amendment are Alabama, Connecticut, Florida. Georgia, Illinois. Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, arid Texas. The greyhound hunts by sight rather than scent, being fast enough to keep its quarry in view. Virginia has a total area o§' 40,815 square miles, of which 39,838 square miles are land; and 977 are water. PLENTY OF WATER makes the difference And our goal is always to provide • pknty of water... when and where you need it. BLYTHEVILLE WATER CO.

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