Sarah T. Hughes First inauguration of Lyndon B. Johnson

Sarah T. Hughes First inauguration of Lyndon B. Johnson


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  • Lyndon B. Johnson demanded to be sworn in alongside Jackie Kennedy

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    Lyndon Johnson being sworn in alongside Jackie OnassisWikiCommons

    Lyndon B. Johnson insisted that JFK’s wife Jackie Kennedy accompany him back to Washington on Air Force One just hours after her husband was assassinated and that she stand beside him in the famous photograph where he was sworn in as president, a new book reveals.

    The famous photo of Mrs Kennedy, with JFK’s blood still on her clothes standing dazed beside Johnson as he took the oath, only occurred after Johnson insisted she be present so that Kennedy supporters accept his legitimacy as president.

    Earlier in a scene fraught with tension, Jackie had arrived back at Air Force One thinking Johnson had already departed for Washington on Air Force Two. She entered her stateroom only to find Johnson inside, in one version sprawled on the bed, making plans for the transition.

    Johnson and his wife Lady Byrd consoled Mrs Kennedy and she agreed that she should be present for his inauguration. Asked if she wanted to change out of her bloodstained clothes, she refused saying, “Let them see what they have done to him.”

    The fourth volume of the critically acclaimed biography, ‘The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage pf Power’, was released in May 2012. Written by the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert A. Caro, the book went on to receive several awards and book prizes. It was also named one of the 10 Best Books of the year by The New York Times. 

    The book shows how Johnson ignored the wishes of the Kennedy clan that he travel on Air Force Two and that Kennedy’s body arrived back on Air Force One with only family and friends on board as his symbolic last trip as president.

    It also details how Johnson called up JFK’s brother Bobby , then Attorney General, and demanded the legal advice on how to take the oath for president. He wanted Bobby’s approval for taking the oath on the plane, again, to give the act legitimacy. Accounts differ on whether the distraught Bobby Kennedy  agreed or not.

    Johnson also grabbed two key Kennedy Irish mafia members , Kenny O’Donnell and Dave Powers on Air Force One and demanded they serve in his administration, stating he “needed them more than JFK ever did.” Both men were moved by the gesture.

    The book portrays Johnson on the day of the assassination as a politician going nowhere, a former powerful Senate Majority Leader who had shrunk in his new job.

    The purpose of the Kennedy trip to Texas had been to heal wounds between Senator Ralph Yarborough and Governor John Connolly who were both vital to Kennedy’s re-election prospects. Johnson however was unable to heal the rift between both men and Kennedy had to intervene. 

    President Kennedy speaks at rally in Fort Worth, Texas, 22 November 1963

    3

    President Kennedy speaks at rally in Fort Worth, Texas, 22 November 1963

    Johnson was also keenly aware that JFK was likely to maneuver to have his brother Robert succeed him in 1968 and that Johnson might not even survive on the 1964 ticket as VP. However, the assassination changed everything .

    Johnson heard the shots from the car he was in a few hundred yards behind the president. A secret service agent jumped on top of  him and pinned him to the floor while the car was gunned to Parkland Hospital where Kennedy had been taken.

    There Johnson was led to a secure room and kept there while the president fought for his life.

    Caro describes a man transformed when the news that Kennedy had died reached him.

    Both he and the Secret Service were fearful that the assassination was also an attempt to take out the top layer of the American government and that he too was in mortal danger. Johnson instanced the Lincoln assassination when attempts were made on the lives of key cabinet members also.

    From being the fumbling, ineffectual Vice President, Johnson became immediately a figure of great authority and decisiveness, Caro writes.

    Secret service agents wanted to rush him to the plane but he insisted they wait for Mrs Kennedy and the president’s body.

    The book details how the morning of November 22nd LBJ woke up as a deeply frustrated vice president but by nightfall was sworn in as the nation’s 36 president, following JFK’s murder in Johnson’s home state of Texas.

    Notes of remarks made by Lyndon Johnson upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base after the assassination of JFK

    3

    Notes of remarks made by Lyndon Johnson upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base after the assassination of JFK

    ‘Even in this first hour after John F. Kennedy’s death, Lyndon Johnson seems to have had feelings that would torment him for the rest of his life,’ Caro writes. ‘Feelings understandable in any man placed in the Presidency not through an election but through an assassin’s bullet, and feelings exacerbated, in his case, by the contrast, and what he felt was the world’s view of the contrast, between him and the President he was replacing; by the contempt in which he had been held by the people around the President; and by the stark geographical fact of where the act elevating him to office had taken place.’

    Caro has been at work on his prize-winning LBJ biography for more than three decades. Politico summarized Caro’s presentation of the JFK assassination as follows:

    Caro presents a portrait of a man on the verge of transition. … The day began for Johnson with the belief — the fear — that he might not be on the ticket with J.F.K. in the coming election.

    That very day, back in Washington, a witness was providing Senate Rules Committee staffers with evidence that he said linked Johnson to Robert G. (Bobby) Baker, the subject of a scandal that had been exploding in the capital, and … Life magazine was mapping out an investigation into the sources of Johnson’s wealth.

    The Vice-President’s trip to Texas wasn’t going well: he had failed to heal the bitter rift between two major Texas Democrats, Governor John B. Connally and Senator Ralph Yarborough; the previous day, in San Antonio, Yarborough had refused even to ride in the same car with Johnson. “Given what the President was seeing for himself in Texas — that Johnson was no longer a viable mediator between factions of his party in his home state — and what was happening at that very minute in the Old Senate Office Building, the President’s assurances that he would be on the ticket might start to have a hollow ring,” Caro writes.

    Johnson himself, Caro writes, believed that his political career was “finished.” Caro details the moments after the shots were fired — Johnson being flung to the floor of his car by a Secret Service agent who lay on top of him for protection, the tense moments at the Dallas hospital as Johnson awaited news of Kennedy’s condition, and the mad rush to get Johnson aboard Air Force One amid fears that the assassination might be part of a conspiracy — during which an immediate change took place in Johnson.

    Jack Valenti said that, “even in that instant, there was a new demeanor” in the new President. “Whatever emotions or passions he had in him, he had put them under a strict discipline,” Valenti said, so that “he was very quiet and seemingly very much in command of himself.” There had been, in Valenti’s words, “a transformation.”

    Caro has confirmed he intends to complete his LBJ biography with a fifth and final volume. 

    Read more:  John F. Kennedy – ten facts about the Irish American president

    * Originally published in March 2012.

    Lyndon Johnson being sworn in alongside Jackie OnassisWikiCommons

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    Sarah T. Hughes

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    Sarah T. Hughes
    Sarah T Hughes Portrait.jpg
    Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
    In office
    August 4, 1975 – April 23, 1985
    Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
    In office
    October 5, 1961 – August 4, 1975
    Appointed by John F. Kennedy
    Preceded bySeat established by 75 Stat. 80
    Succeeded by Patrick Higginbotham
    Personal details
    Born
    Sarah Augusta Tilghman

    (1896-08-02)August 2, 1896
    Baltimore , Maryland

    DiedApril 23, 1985(1985-04-23) (aged 88)
    Dallas , Texas
    Political party Democratic
    Education Goucher College ( A.B. )
    George Washington University Law School ( LL.B. )

    Sarah Tilghman Hughes (August 2, 1896 – April 23, 1985) was an American lawyer and federal judge who served on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas . She is best known as the judge who swore in Lyndon B. Johnson as President of the United States on Air Force One after the Kennedy assassination on November 22, 1963. As of 2018 [update] , she is the only woman in United States history to have sworn in a President, a task usually administered by the Chief Justice of the United States . The photo depicting Hughes administering the oath of office to Johnson is widely viewed as the most famous photo ever taken aboard Air Force One. [1] [2]

    Contents

    • 1 Education and career
    • 2 Federal judicial service
      • 2.1 Circumstances of the appointment
    • 3 Women on juries
    • 4 Administering the oath of office
    • 5 Other significant contributions
    • 6 Later years and death
    • 7 Bibliography
    • 8 References
    • 9 External links

    Education and career[ edit ]

    Born Sarah Augusta Tilghman in Baltimore , Maryland , she was the daughter of James Cooke and Elizabeth (Haughton) Tilghman. She went to high school at Western Female High School (now Western High School ) in Baltimore, where she was elected president of the freshman class. Standing only five feet one-half inch at maturity, she was described by a classmate as “small but terrible”. [3] Her determined personality extended to the athletic field where she participated in intramural track and field, gymnastics, and basketball. Another instance of Hughes’s strong personal discipline was seen in her habit of going to bed by 8 pm and getting up at 4 am, a habit she continued through much of her life. After graduating from Western High School, she attended Goucher College , an all women’s college in central Baltimore very close to her home. She participated in athletics at Goucher College, and ‘learned to lose without bitterness, to get up and try again, to never feel resentment,’ a trait that would serve her well through many years of political victories and defeats. She graduated with an Artium Baccalaureus degree in 1917.

    After graduation from college, Hughes taught science at Salem Academy in Winston-Salem , North Carolina for several years. She then returned to school to the study of law. In 1919 she moved to Washington, D.C. and attended The George Washington University Law School . She attended classes at night and during the day worked as a police officer . As a police officer, Hughes did not carry a gun or wear a police uniform because she worked to prevent crimes among women and girls, patrolling areas where female runaways and prostitutes were normally found. Her job was an expression of the progressive idea of rehabilitation instead of punishment. Hughes later credited this job with instilling in her a sense of commitment and responsibility to women and children. At that time she lived in a tent home near the Potomac River and commuted to the campus by canoe each evening. [3] She graduated with a Bachelor of Laws in 1922.

    She moved to Dallas , Texas in 1922 with her husband, George Ernest Hughes, whom she had met in law school. Her husband quickly found employment after law school, but Sarah faced significant obstacles as a woman during a time in which law firms generally did not regard women as qualified. [4] Eventually, the small firm of Priest, Herndon, and Ledbetter gave her a rent-free space and even referred some cases to her in exchange for her services as a receptionist. As her practice grew and became more successful, she became increasingly active in local women’s organizations. She joined the Zonta Club , the Business and Professional Women’s Club, the Dallas Women’s Political League, the League of Women Voters , YWCA , Dallas College Club, and the American Association of University Women . Hughes served as Chair of the AAUW Committee on the Economic and Legal Status of Women, advocating equal pay jury service for women, and improved status and recognition for women in the Armed Services. She practiced law for eight years in Dallas before becoming involved in politics , first being elected in 1930 to three terms in the Texas House of Representatives as a Democrat . [5] In 1935, Hughes accepted an appointment as a state judge from Governor James Allred for the Fourteenth District Court in Dallas, becoming the state’s first female district judge. In 1936 she was elected to the same post. She was re-elected six more times and remained in that post until 1960.

    Federal judicial service[ edit ]

    Hughes received a recess appointment from President John F. Kennedy on October 5, 1961, to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas , to a new seat authorized by 75 Stat. 80. She was nominated to the same position by President Kennedy on January 15, 1962. She was confirmed by the United States Senate on March 16, 1962, and received her commission on March 17, 1962. She was the only female judge appointed by President Kennedy, the first female federal judge in Texas and the third female to serve in the federal judiciary. She assumed senior status on August 4, 1975. Her service terminated on April 23, 1985, due to her death. [6]

    Circumstances of the appointment[ edit ]

    The appointment almost did not happen, according to historian Robert Caro , because the Kennedy administration thought Hughes was “too old” and they were seeking younger jurists for the lifetime tenure afforded under Article III for federal judgeships . Hughes had been a “longtime Johnson ally,” and as Vice President , Johnson had asked Robert F. Kennedy , the Attorney General of the United States and brother of President John F. Kennedy, “to nominate Mrs. Hughes” for the Federal bench, but the United States Justice Department turned him down. Johnson then offered the job to another attorney. However, Hughes was also an ally of the Speaker of the House , Sam Rayburn , who held up a bill important to RFK until Hughes’ appointment was announced. [7] Johnson was outraged at the chain of events because it appeared to be an intentional attempt to insult him, and made him look like the “biggest liar and fool in the history of the State of Texas”. President Kennedy’s White House appointments secretary called it a “terrible mistake”, citing negligence on the part of Kennedy’s staff. The story of how Hughes received her appointment made the rounds of Washington, D.C. insiders, including the political gossip columnists Evans and Novak , which hurt Johnson’s reputation for political effectiveness. [7] Historian Steven Gillon agrees with Caro’s story, although it was not cross-cited. [8]

    Women on juries[ edit ]

    Hughes was concerned over the ineligibility of women in Texas to serve on juries even though they had the right to vote. She and Helen Edmunds Moore coauthored a proposed amendment that would allow women on juries in Texas, but the bill failed and went nowhere. Despite defeat, Hughes became closely identified with this cause and few people were recognized as working harder for this right. Due in to part to Hughes’s work, Texas women secured the right to serve on juries in 1954. [9] [10]

    Administering the oath of office[ edit ]

    Main article: First inauguration of Lyndon B. Johnson

    Judge Hughes swears-in Lyndon B. Johnson as President of the United States as Mrs. Kennedy and Lady Bird Johnson look on. Photo by Cecil W. Stoughton .

    Two years into her tenure as a federal district judge, on November 22, 1963, Hughes was called upon to administer the oath of office to Lyndon B. Johnson after the assassination of President Kennedy . According to an interview with Barefoot Sanders , who was United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas at the time: [11]

    LBJ called Irving Goldberg from the plane and asked, ‘Who can swear me in?’ Goldberg called me, and I said, ‘Well, we know a federal judge can.’ Then I got a call from the President’s plane, with the command ‘Find Sarah Hughes.’ Coincidentally, Judge Hughes, Jan [Sanders’ wife] and I [Sanders] were supposed to go to Austin that night for a dinner for President Kennedy. I reached her at home and said, ‘They need you to swear in the Vice President at Love Field . Please get out there.’

    She said, ‘Is there an oath?’

    I said, ‘Yes, but we haven’t found it yet.’

    She said, ‘Don’t worry about it; I’ll make one up.’

    She was very resourceful, you know. By the time she got to the airplane, someone had already called it into the plane. We quickly realized that it is in the Constitution [Art. II, Sec. 1, cl. 8].

    Hughes believed that President Johnson chose her to administer the oath of office due to their friendship,[ citation needed ] and because Johnson was not pleased with other federal judges in Dallas.[ citation needed ] Because of this, Hughes was the most suitable choice. Sanders and Hughes no doubt believed those rationales, but Johnson had other reasons to choose her, according to Caro: “He knew who he wanted – and she was in Dallas.” Citing another historian, Max Holland, [12] Caro noted that the circumstances surrounding Hughes’s appointment meant that she “‘personified Johnson’s utter powerlessness'” when he was vice president. The new President ordered his staff, “‘Get Sarah Hughes … Find her.'” Hughes was found and driven to Love Field, while Air Force One —and thus the inauguration of the new President—was held up just for her. Caro asserts that Johnson, in his insecurities, chose Hughes to show to the world that he was now powerful. [13] Two other historians (Holland and Gillen) agree with Caro’s assessment that Johnson was still upset that he’d not been consulted on Hughes’s appointment in the first place, so it was a way to placate his weak ego. [8] [12] On the other hand, Johnson needed to make sure that “the swearing in take place at the earliest possible moment … to demonstrate, quickly, continuity and stability to the nation and the world….” Johnson used the “few minutes to spare” while waiting for Hughes to arrive to plead to Kennedy’s staffers to stay awhile for the transition. Finally, she arrived, along with the media and Jackie Kennedy ; only then the swearing in could take place. Hughes noted that Jackie’s “eyes ‘were cast down'” when Johnson nodded to the judge to start the oath of office. [14]

    Other significant contributions[ edit ]

    Throughout her lifetime, Sarah Hughes was known for her speedy and impartial administration. In 1950, she assisted in establishing Dallas’s first juvenile detention center.[ citation needed ]

    Hughes was involved in multiple court decisions, including Roe v. Wade , Shultz v. Brookhaven General Hospital, and Taylor v. Sterrett. Hughes was a member of the three-judge panel that first heard the case of Roe v. Wade; the panel’s decision was subsequently affirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States . In Taylor v. Sterrett, she argued to upgrade prisoner treatment in the Dallas County jail. Hughes noted that “the Dallas County Jail was very much in need of change. It was in deplorable condition, and [she] think[s], that under [her] jurisdiction, it became one of the best jails in the whole United States.” [15]

    Later years and death[ edit ]

    Hughes retired from the active federal bench in 1975, though she continued to work as a judge with senior status until 1982. A close friend of Lyndon Johnson and his family, Hughes participated in his inauguration in 1965, took part in the book signing of Lady Bird Johnson ‘s White House memoirs, and participated in the dedication of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum . The dress Hughes wore during the swearing in on Air Force One was donated to a wax museum in Grand Prairie, Texas, but it was destroyed in a fire in 1988. [16] In 1982, Hughes suffered a debilitating stroke which confined her to a nursing home in Dallas. She died three years later on April 25, 1985. [17]

    The Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Hughes’ alma mater, Goucher College, founded in the 1950s with a grant from the Maurice and Laura Falk Foundation, is named in her honor. [18] The special collections reading room of the University of North Texas Libraries is also named in her honor. [19]

    Bibliography[ edit ]

    • La Forte, Robert S. “Hughes, Sarah Tilghman.” Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed December 1, 2013.
    • La Forte, Robert S. and Richard Himmel. “Sarah T. Hughes, John F. Kennedy, and the Johnson Inaugural, 1963.” East Texas Historical Journal 27, no. 2 (1989): 35–41.
    • Payne, Darwin. Indomitable Sarah: The Life of Judge Sarah T. Hughes. Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 2004.
    • Riddlesperger, James W. “Sarah T. Hughes.” Master’s thesis, North Texas State University, 1980.

    References[ edit ]

    1. ^ terHorst, Jerald F. ; Albertazzie, Col. Ralph (1979). The flying White House: the story of Air Force One. New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan. ISBN   0698109309 .

    2. ^ Walsh, Kenneth T. (2003). Air Force One: a history of the presidents and their planes. New York: Hyperion. ISBN   1401300049 .
    3. ^ a b Judge Sarah T. Hughes Collection — University of North Texas Libraries
    4. ^ Bowman, Cynthia Grant (2009). “Women in the Legal Profession from the 1920s to the 1970s” . Cornell Law Faculty Publications.
    5. ^ Texas Legislators Past and Present-Sarah Hughes
    6. ^ Clark, Mary (2002). “Carter’s Groundbreaking Appointment of Women to the Federal Bench: His Other “Human Rights” Record” (PDF). AALS. pp. 1–2. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 13, 2007. Retrieved January 17, 2013. “Today, women comprise 26.3% of the judgeships on state courts of last resort, 19.2% of federal district court judgeships, 20.1% of federal appellate judgeships, and 33.3% of the U.S. Supreme Court.” Women in the United States judiciary .
    7. ^ a b Caro, Robert (2012). “Genuine Warmth“. The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power. New York City: Albert A. Knopf. pp. 187–188. ISBN   978-0-679-40507-8 .
    8. ^ a b Gillon, Steven (2009). “I Do Solemly Swear”. The Kennedy Assassination – 24 Hours Later. New York City: Basic Books.
    9. ^ “Biographies: Women in Texas History” . womenintexashistory.com. 2007. Retrieved January 23, 2014.
    10. ^ From Gutsy Mavericks to Quiet Heroes: True Tales of Texas Women. Dallas, Texas: Foundation for Women’s Resources. 1997.
    11. ^ vd_2002_fall_Barefoot%20Sanders(1)
    12. ^ a b Holland, Max (2004). The Kennedy Assassination Tapes. New York: Knopf. p. 24.
    13. ^ Caro, Robert (2012). “Taking Charge“. The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power. New York City: Albert A. Knopf. pp. 328–329. ISBN   978-0-679-40507-8 .
    14. ^ Caro, Robert (2012). The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power. Albert A. Knopf. pp. 333–336. ISBN   978-0-679-40507-8 .
    15. ^ “INSIDE THE DALLAS COUNTY JAIL” . D Magazine. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
    16. ^ “Irreplaceable items lost in museum fire” . The Seguin Gazette-Enterprise. Seguin, Texas. AP. September 11, 1988. p. 3. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
    17. ^ FOLKART, BURT A. (1985-04-25). “Fateful Flight From Dallas : Sarah T. Hughes, the Judge Who Swore In Johnson, Dies” . Los Angeles Times. ISSN   0458-3035 . Retrieved 2018-09-15.
    18. ^ “The Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center | Goucher College” . Goucher College. Retrieved 2018-09-16.
    19. ^ http://www.library.unt.edu/services/special-collections/special-collections-research

    External links[ edit ]

    Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lyndon B. Johnson 1963 presidential inauguration .
    • Sarah Tilghman Hughes at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges , a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center .
    • More photos of the taking of the oath
    • The Sarah T. Hughes Center for Field Politics at Goucher College
    • Sarah T. Hughes Archive at University of North Texas
    • Indomitable Sarah: The Life of Judge Sarah T. Hughes by Darwin Payne (Texas A&M University Press)
    • Sarah T. Hughes at Find a Grave
    • Oral History Interview with Sarah T. Hughes, from the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library
    • Women in Texas History
    • Description of Judge Hughes
    Legal offices
    Preceded by
    Seat established by 75 Stat. 80
    Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
    1961–1975
    Succeeded by
    Patrick Higginbotham
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    2006
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    2008
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    2010
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    Lyndon B. Johnson
    • 36th President of the United States (1963–1969)
    • 37th Vice President of the United States (1961–1963)
    • U.S. Senator from Texas (1949–1961)
    • U.S. Representative for TX-10 (1937–1949)
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    • Joseph Wilson Baines (grandfather)
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    • ← John F. Kennedy
    • Richard Nixon →
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    • ISNI : 0000 0000 3924 701X
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    Retrieved from ” https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sarah_T._Hughes&oldid=867333350 ”
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