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tv   The Presidency Secret Service Agent Rufus Youngblood  CSPAN  October 19, 2019 12:00pm-1:03pm EDT

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rebecca vaughn talks about her father, rufus youngblood and the 20 years he served as a secret service among the stories she tells is her father's actions on november 22, 1963 when he was protecting vice president johnson and jfk's dallas motorcade. the jimmy carter presidential library and museum hosted this event. >> good evening. i'm tony clark from the carter library. we are really glad you all are here. i have really been looking forward to this talk tonight because rufus youngblood, i've known the name, i've known who he is for a very long time.
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and i'm just delighted that we can have his family here. we've got members of rufus youngblood's family here. we appreciate that. we also have tom johnson who was an aide to lyndon johnson who is the man that rufus youngblood protected and we are really glad you are here as well, tom. he knew rufus youngblood very well. rufus was a secret service agent. he's known for his actions on november 22, 1963, when shots rang out in dallas, texas, and he leaped over the seat and protected lyndon johnson. and continued to protect him. johnson was one of five presidents that rufus johnson helped protect. after graduating from georgia tech here in atlanta with a degree in industrial engineering, he joined the secret service back in 1951, and he protected presidents truman, eisenhower, kennedy, johnson,
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and nixon, during his 20 year tenure with the secret service. he retired in 1971 as the agency's deputy director. at that time, he wrote his memoir, "20 years with the secret service." it didn't get the attention that i think it needed to. it didn't have photographs and the likes. it just kind of over the years faded a bit. so we are very fortunate -- he moved back to georgia after he retired. and then he passed away in 1996. after he passed away, his family started talking, they started looking through, and you will hear more about this from rebecca. but looking through family photos and the like, and they looked at his book and thought, you know, we need to let the public read this again. and i have read it. and it is a wonderful, wonderful book. i love history and this is a great eyewitness history to some
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of the most monumental things that have happened in this country. please join me in welcoming rebecca youngblood von to talk about her dad's book "20 years in the secret service." [applause] rebecca: if you can't hear me, tell me if i drift. i'm animated so i drift. ok. thank you all for coming to thank you, tony, for allowing me to speak at this amazing place. and thank you, a cappella books for sponsoring us.
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and thank you all for coming. i think this is an interesting story. i am biased, but i think it is an interesting story because not only was dad on the front lines during many major events in our nations history, and interacted with multiple historical figures, he was an everyman, which i think makes his story relatable. the million-dollar question is -- tony gave the history, published in 1973, and i recently expanded and republished the book last year. the million-dollar question is why now? well, i was researching my parents history, their lives during world war ii. it prompted me to reread the memoir. i had read it before. but we were discussing about aging or wisdom, but i thought, this is a really good book. i want to get it back out there. why? because it is a first-hand account of the kennedy assassination and aftermath and a lot of people have written a lot of things who were nowhere near, a lot of false assumptions a lot of things that should not
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be written. it is also an insight look at other pivotal events of our nations history. he also exposes the reader to a personal side of the presidents, particularly lbj. the reader also is exposed to the evolution of the secret service itself. i am a dermatologist and we are a visual lot, so i wanted to add photographs. i could have never left my house because my father had a lot of photos. lbj had given him this beautiful photo album, two of them, they are 8x10, beautiful photography. i wanted to seek some images of his service with the other 5 -- the other four presidents. i went on my archival journey. my kids accuse me of looking for any excuse to be in a library. and that is partly true. but i got my little presidential library passport and i went to
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the presidential libraries and archives, and it was delightful. i even got to come here. that's one thing i showed you. in our family, when we look at a photograph of one of the five presidents, we don't even look at the president. we immediately start scanning in the background looking for rufus, with a little baldhead. you have heard of where's waldo, it is wears rufus for us. i went on my quest for where is rufus and i found some beautiful photographs. i'm going to share many of those with you tonight. i was able to add a pretty comprehensive photo gallery. my husband calls it the book in the book. that was my contribution. utilizing those photos, i'm going to go through -- i'm going to give an overview of the
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memoir. but i'm also going to talk about his early life history, especially since much of it took place miles from here, here in atlanta. i am also -- i can't resist, giving an overview of his world war ii service. it is in a bishops amount of material. i will try not to get too 10 gentle. rufus wayne youngblood junior was born january 13 in 1924 in macon, georgia. he was the son of rufus w youngblood senior and callie lois herndon, both from middle, georgia with ancestry in georgia over a century. sadly, my grandfather was killed. he actually died a hero's death. he was a train conductor which apparently was a dangerous job in 1970 five and he was preventing a train collision, got caught under the train.
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it destroyed my grandmother. she lost the love of her life. she was a young widow. she had my aunt who was eight years old and my father was 15 months old at the time. so, she lived with her family for a while. my father was actually in a foster family, the hiram c ballin family they were his next-door neighbors. they were a wonderful family. they had deer names like ma and pa bond. big sister mabel, and buddy. and there's dad with the dog. actually, they had an independent phone company that we -- that they were starting at the time. when i got older and they would talk about mall bond, i thought ma bond was mobbed out. he was able to move with his sister and. . my grandmother. grandmother established yourself, she got a job and
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worked in the hosiery department. our family, and you could only shop at riches for a long time, because riches was so supportive to the community. so, they had a very loyal clientele which included our family. he moved to weston -- west end of atlanta, georgia and attended all the atlantic public schools for his education. he is an atlanta boy. importantly, in westend, that's where he met our mother, peggy elizabeth denham. this was the bible belt. they met at weston baptist youth people -- youth church. he intended -- attended a high school and wanted to pursue a career in the army. not because he wanted to go to war but because he wanted an education. i gave a version of this talk to history students and i emphasize the g.i. bill was a game changer because prior to that, college was for the elite. he was not that.
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and he also wanted to have a very dependable job. this was the depression years, 1938, 1939. he wanted to have a very supportive, dependable job. i throw this in, he was the class president, and i throw this in because he really was a leader of men. very social. he was just a natural leader. he was also an overachiever. [laughter] rebecca: if you look here. and a lot of these, he was president or vice president. a lot of these are kind of academic. chemistry club. he was very social as well. he was the lieutenant at his rotc unit.
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my mother was his yearbook sponsor. he always went by the name wayne. which was confusing when i was young. his friends from the secret service and when we lived in virginia all called him rufus. but my mother always called him wayne. he didn't go by his given name until he was in the military. he graduated from tech high in the spring of 1941. after the japanese attacked pearl harbor in december of 1941, he enlisted and he was 17 years old. he was so early in the air campaign, he joined the u.s. army air force. he was so early, he volunteered into the respond group which the historian of the mighty air force called the first group of
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the first wing of the first division. they were the beginning. my air force friends always love pictures of the planes. but he was assigned a crumbs crew and direct -- and jack the ripper. the plane they named jack the ripper. i hate the name, but it is a force from britain. one thing i should have emphasized is this is a wing ship to the memphis belle. i love this photo of crumbs crew and the plane because it shows the camaraderie of the cruise. they had to work together like a unit. dad is here, his pilot crumm is there. the other thing i love is what is under his waist gun window. in other words, peggy the georgia peach. [laughter] rebecca: he earned his purple heart in the third mission. the attrition mate was so high, he got flack in his ankle and he was injured.
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the attrition rate was so high for those bomber crews, they were dying left and right. they say the american bomber crews had the highest casualty rate of the u.s. allied services during world war ii. so, the war department was actually considering band -- abandoning stale light street -- abandoning daylight strategic calling. they requested a crew from the european theater. and crumm's was selected. they assisted -- they worked with consultation to the war department and then they assisted in a training manual for the new recruits. this is the fascinating thing about my father's life. it is almost forrest gump like with a higher iq. [laughter] rebecca: he weaves in and out of very historical moments. he would not only be a witness but a participant. here's a 19-year-old talking to general have arnold advising them to put the waist gun windows, stagger them because when they fought, they would run
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into each other in the b-17 f. in the b-17 g, they did have staggered windows. they were not able to use their parachutes before the windows were staggered. just things like that. they went on -- they raced across the nation, and they went and talked to different industrial rallies. and encouraged production. he's here. you will get good at this, you will not need me to point after a while. and then they were wined and dined in hollywood. one of the things that was kind of cute -- here he is here. [laughter] rebecca: kind of goofy. one of the things that was cute
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is he would get these autographs on the back of a matchbook. this is carol landis and this is k kaiser. we would send those back -- and he would send those back to my mother and she was not amused. [laughter] rebecca: she was stuck on the navy base in charleston as a telephone operator reading about him wining and dining with these movie stars. but, when the tour ended, he called her, she took a train to orlando and they were married at 19 years old. he kind of did it backwards. he went to officer cadet training after his combat experience because he had to pulled from combat. he had written to my mom that he wanted to go back and be a copilot with captain crumm, but for whatever reason, he became an aerial navigator, but he was a dual training as an engineer navigator in b-29 when the war ended.
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my parents decided to come back to atlanta to raise their family with their families. and that is when he went to georgia tech on the g.i. bill. he graduated from georgia tech in 1949 with a bachelor of industrial engineering and he worked as a consulting engineer for a while and then there was a mild postwar recession. he had two children to support. he went back to georgia tech and looked for a job lead and found this wonderful job that had a starting salary of $3825 a year. he was one of 30 plus applicants, so in march of 1951, at 27 years of age, he became a secret service agent. this is different than -- it is important to remember that four months before that time, there was an assassination attempt on president truman and there was a gunfire and agents were injured.
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sadly, the secret service white house police officer was killed while protecting the president. i just like to bring this up because he was an american hero. dad worked in the atlanta field office initially with counterfeiting and with forged checks and transferred to washington in 1952. this was actually toward the end of harry truman's term. right before he left office. i'm going to read to you the presidential snapshots that my father said during an interview with the georgia tech alumni magazine. and i will paraphrase from his book when i get to the appropriate one. of harry as truman, my father said, he was an immaculate dresser. a carryover from his days when he was a haberdashery. he was one of the most really at historians i ever ran across. dad occasionally accompanied the president during his famous walks around the city. if there's one thing the secret
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service hated, it was president truman's walks around washington because he did it on a regular basis and predictable and he prophesies at all it would take was a sharpshooter from a window and they could not protect him. nevertheless, the president walked. i love to point out the first families. we have first lady bess truman, margaret, and president truman. these three were very close. the secret service agents pegged them the three musketeers because they did everything together. they played the piano together, sing together, they debated. they were very close. my father really admired -- admired the truman's. in 1953, 1953, and dwight d. eisenhower became the 34th president. president eisenhower, my father said, i thought of him as my commanding officer. i felt like we had won world war ii together. he spent a lot of time on the golf course and since i was a georgian, familiar with the area, i would often accompany him on those trips. ironically, though truman's left after the president was inaugurated and they went -- they waived the secret service agents from their train. that was the flavor of the
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protection back then. it was very different. you have the president and first lady writing in an open car, open topped vehicle. people are hanging out of the windows and the crowds are close to the street. these are the agents. even one of the participants in the parade lassoed the president. [laughter] rebecca: they are life it -- they are laughing. this is vice president nixon. it's just a different world. this is the first family. mimi eisenhower, president eisenhower and their son, john, and daughter-in-law, barbara. sadly, the eisenhower's had a baby. he was nicknamed if he and he died in 1921 at age three of scarlet fever.
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later, president eisenhower said it was a tragedy from which we never recovered. eisenhower spent a lot of time in denver, colorado because mimi was from denver and her mother lived there. they would take base at larry air force base. eisenhower would head to the mountains, he loved the colorado mountains, he would love to hunt and grill. he's grilling a stake here. this is former president herbert hoover. this is actually one of dad's photos that came from one of dad's photo reels. he took the movies sometimes and my mother would complain that he used the movie film and he wasted the film. [laughter] rebecca: and he also -- president loved to golf. the agents would dress as golf caddies and they would carry a set of demi-club heads in their bags and a high-powered rifle or
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submachine gun. here he is here. and then i read once that eisenhower was the former general who hated war. he did much to try to maintain the peace. and it was a peaceful time. in the -- and then in 1957, he was reelected and here's vice president nixon here. and then, i did find dad here. i love this photo. watching the inaugural parade, eisenhower's with his grandchildren and president nixon is with his daughters, and this -- these sweet little children, they get married later in life. that's julie nixon and david eisenhower. dad spent a lot of time on augustine national golf park. he said he knew it like the back of his hand which i thought was cool because i went to medical school in agusta. they were in front of me in the cabin. in 1961, john f. kennedy became
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the 35th president and of president kennedy he said, i think he was the a penny of charisma. i don't believe we use that word very much in those days but i think if anybody had it, he had it. he was energetic and it was a pleasure to work around him. the asians really liked president kennedy, he was polite and nice and had a nice sense of humor. they really liked him. again, the inaugural parade, open cars, people hanging out the windows, the viewing stand, they are right there. this is the first and second family right there. my father was originally assigned to the kennedy detail. but then when kennedy sent lbj around the world, literally around the world, he needed a secret service detail. at the time, it was by law, by the vice president's request only and a lot of them declined the protection, with taxpayers money in mind. but they chose my father and another agent. my father had a very good organizational skill.
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he was a good agent. and this is in south vietnam in may of 1961. this photograph amazes me. it is a little blurry. but i love this photo. you are leaving the american sector. this was right as the construction of the berlin wall, the countries are on a a lot of tension, the tanks are facing each other, the u.s. army is rolling into berlin and they sent my father and to agents to protect vice president johnson. which i think is kind of amazing, dose two agents. you have willy brandt here. another thing i love about this is you have three georgians. there's a general who is from marietta, georgia. and ambassador walter dowling. they found out about that trip on the day of it and he has a funny thing.
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there's no way to advance a trip that begins on the day you find out about it. [laughter] rebecca: meanwhile, back at the ranch, my mother was exerting her southern-ism. she loved to decorate. merry christmas, y'all, on the door. she would have us dress up for christmas cards. that's my brother, my sister, my sister joy, and i was jesus. [laughter] tony: -- rebecca: jfk championed the space program. i think all of us are sad he never lived to see that day. this is when they visited nasa on inspection in cape canaveral. there he is there. whoops, sorry about that. this is in houston, texas. for the mockup of apollo. that's a dad there. i love this picture of the beautiful first family. you have president and misses
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kennedy, john-john and caroline. this was in april of 1963. so, in november of 1963 was when they planned a trip to texas due to the upcoming 1964 election. dad described the trip as a world wind trip to visit five texas cities and speak to thousands of texans with the express purpose of being seen by as many people as possible. and this is on the morning of november 22 and this is monday -- dad is here, they are walking out of the texas hotel. in fort worth. dad was a special agent in charge of the vice president's detail on this trip. agent knight was not there on this trip. the short hop from fort worth, fort worth and dallas are not far away from each other, but they flew largely because for presentation.
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the trip in dallas was only to be three hours. a very busy itinerary. there he is here. dad describes the horrible day in dollars in detail in his book -- in dallas in detail in his book. he said the motorcade went through dallas as planned, it was virtually indistinguishable from three the previous day in san antonio, houston, and fort worth. this is a photograph of the presidential limousine. there is misses kennedy and president kennedy is on her right. governor and misses o'connell er in the middle. then you have agents up here. the agents in the second car, the car was referred to as halfback and those were the agents in charge of the president and misses kennedy. and then the vice president's limo is back here.
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this is about the best photograph i could get of this limo. you can see this is vice president johnson, lady bird, and senator yarbrough, and then dad is in the right front passenger side, and that is state patrolman herschel jack's. this photo was taken seconds after the first shots were fired. this is a texas school book depository and the agents on the right are turned looking at where they heard the sounds. they turned to the right. this is clint hill on the left of the motorcar. he states he was turning as well. he was turning to those sounds but he saw the president slumping in the backseat.
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he immediately, with eisai herculean reflexes, he's the one who jumped on top of the car. at the same time, and the vice presidential limousine, my father heard the sounds, he said he was not sure if it was firecrackers or shots but when he saw the unusual activity going on in front of him, he immediately responded and he turned and pushed lbj to the floor of the car, and jumped over the seat and shielded him with his body and that there were further shots. this is a very powerful image when they walked out of parkland hospital and they had just given the news that president kennedy was officially dead. you can see the emotions. this is representative homer thornberry. lbj has the weight of the world on his shoulders and my dad is very tense. lbj, lyndon johnson became the 36th president on air force one. dad stood next to the photographer so he is not in this photo. and i think of all the material in this book, i think chapter eight,, the flight home was one of the most profound things for me. it was very insightful. he talks about how hot it was on the plane.
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because they didn't have the air on and how stuffy and how depressing. he said when misses kennedy walked on and her bloodstained -- in her bloodstained suit, there was a moment of utter sadness. this is upon their arrival at andrews air force base and this is the speech that president johnson gave. interestingly, there was a marked speech already in the lbj library but i found this when i was going through these papers. about a quarter page. it was all wadded up. i think it was possibly the one he actually read from. you know, just handed over, dad probably didn't think much of it. i did donate that to the lbj library, tom. my sisters on my brother and i did.
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they had already been around the world and spent a horrible day together. this is clinton hill here. on the following day, the funeral procession to the cathedral. agents here.t of former president holding back their emotions and then this is at the burial.
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johnson, my father said, of all the presidents he probably was the most professional politician and was the most down-to-earth human being. linda byrd, lucy baines and lady bird johnson. would retort, i'm just doing my job creative he would say any of the other agents, had they been in the same position, would have done the same thing. he did receive the u.s. treasury department service award.
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mom worked hard to address us nicely. i'm the one with a lot of gum in my mouth. douglas dillon presented the summeronal award on the 41963. i presented the president with a big wad of chewed gum street from my mouth. i think he said put that back in your mouth, but my mother said keep it.
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i'm still a little sean he did not want a gift. they surprised me we were so proud of him. he was such a great father. johnson in bart on the -- embarked on the war on poverty. when he passed through georgia he spoke to the georgia legislator at the dean claire plaza hotel. he called my grandmother, he said, i would like for you to go to the plaza hotel. she said, i have to ask. my aunt approved and she brought her. the president said, my life is in the hands of georgia, and it is 24 hours a day under the direction of rufus youngblood. my dad was embarrassed.
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my father was not immune to the johnson treatment. when he was trying to persuade or intimidate he would grab the lapel. my father said, lbj was a master in the art of reprimanding someone. those closest to him got it more frequently than others. i certainly got my share. we have a special guests among us. we have tom johnson. tom johnson got the johnson treatment and there is no relation in their names. i think this is a fascinating photo. you have the soviet premier here , not knowing what is going on as tom johnson is getting it good. [laughter] >> where we were sitting there were about 100 photographers and others and their cameras were making a great deal of noise.
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16mm cameras and flashes setting off the shutters. before they brought the leader of the soviet union out, on the far right is -- rebecca: look at him smirking. where is he? >> it was an illegal break in. there is two or three secret service agents. rebecca: and dad is over here. >> i'm over with the press. he stops the news conference, pulls me over. this photo are, perception versus reality. it led out to the world, my mother sought in the new york times and the caption says he interrupts the summit to confer with ta summit. in fact, when they pulled me over, he is grabbing me by the
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lapel of my right coat, i think you should see what was done with the cell phone. the blackberries were the iphones of that era. he was picking me up. his exact words. there is at least one word that will get in trouble. he said if you don't get the god dam photographer to stop shooting, i will take you back inside. i go out and try to get 100 photographers and reporters to sit quiet and believe it or not, they did and he went ahead with the news conference. he was asking me what my views were about russian relief. he was chewing my pass out -- nt my ass out. rebecca: you are quoting appropriately.
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didn't you say your mom was real proud of this? >> the idea that he was asking for my advice. rebecca: are you 23 here? he was a young fellow. he was a baby. >> after i showed up to the white house i knew nobody. i was on an internship. but rufus learned from a reporter of a upi that was also a georgian. that led to rufus looking after me for quite a while until i got grounded. i had rufus as my protector. [applause] rebecca: he always loved you. i think he looks suspiciously like clark kent. [laughter]
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rebecca: and he becomes the ceo. thank you for sharing. dad stood in the east room when lbj signed the civil rights act and atlanta's noble son, dr. king stood behind him. he said lbj was tireless and energetic and his legislative efforts to help people enjoy a better life. >> senator porter was not a great supporter of that civil rights act. brother johnson had to run over his best friend, the one who had helped him more than anybody to become president. but senator russell lived and died a segregationist, sadly. rebecca: he did, indeed. there is a cute little guy there. lbj was reelected in 1965 and you have a whole different look
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to the protection. they have armored cars, bulletproof enclosures during the parade. so there it is here. i love the pictures of the agents dressed in their text he does, just to stand as a barrier so that the president and vice president can dance with their wives. lbj signed the medicare bill at the truman library. a trick history question was who was the first recipient of medicare and it was truman. there he is there. just keep it there. >> president johnson pushed it through and felt that one person who should have the first part was president truman. he flew out to give him the first.
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rebecca: were you there? that a so-called. >> i was here for that -- so cool. >> i was there for that. rebecca: this is in melbourne, australia. the casualties escalated. this is paint, not blood, but this was a protest in australia. they did a little fly ship to visit the troops on that. the of general west moreland there. these are some agents here. and then, to show appreciation to the agents and wives who are separated all the time, the johnsons invited some of them to the lbj rants -- ranch on the weekends. mom was upset because she had ranch close on and she didn't know they would take a picture of her. she got a picture, the family picture and i ruined it with the guy and she was upset -- with a gum and she was upset.
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but i think she looks beautiful. this is dad's secretary and family friend. dad was promoted to the position of deputy director in december 1967. this is really sad. by this point in time, catherine had been promoted to -- the captain was promoted to major general. he was in charge of the first air division in guam. the president passed through in march of 1967. these are the two comrades, former world war ii comrades revisiting for months after the photo was taken in july of 1957, the general was killed in a b-52 midair collision. he was the first american killed during the war. i would just a little crow, and i remember how devastated my
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father was. they talked about how sad it was for years. they just continued to get worse. dad entitled chapter 15 dark days, they just got worse and worse. the vietnam war casualties, protests escalated, there were riots across the nation, dr. king was assassinated and robert f kennedy was assassinated. they did not want president johnson to come to the funeral in atlanta because they thought there would be riots. vice president humphrey went instead and data company device presidential detail. he was in ebenezer baptist during the funeral. he said -- atlanta was peaceful. he said that thousands of mourners who came to honor the slain civil rights leader did so in the spirit of the nonviolence
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he had preached. in the president did at 10 kennedy's funeral in new york. that was the next june, just a couple of months later. shortly after robert f kennedy's assassination, lbj signed the protective candidate while. secret service expanded again. these are the secret service agents in the white house police chief standing behind him in the oval office. this is probably my favorite of the president what my father because of the inscription. my protector and always my friend. in 1969, richard m nixon became the 37th president. now president nixon, my father said, as deputy director i did
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not have the link the personal contact with this person as with his predecessor. finland -- was different when he came in that when i knew him as the vice president. so, i like this photo because it shows the perspective of an agent. this is what they see on inauguration day. then they have to scan the crowd. i cannot imagine how hard that job would be. they took in armored car -- they were in armored cara -- cars behind the bulletproof enclosure. president mixing, julie nixon and david eisenhower. dad did do a couple of trips with the president abroad.
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he went to midway island when nixon met with president -- this president. i cannot understand this picture. in the back all it said was cooney berg. apparently, midway action is a national wildlife refuge for the outright's. he also went to -- accompany the presidential detail during nixon's european tour. i cannot find a picture of dad with elvis. i'm really bummed, but i did find one with david jensen, he had a consultation before his tv series. and in january of 1971, we were talking about senator richard b russell. he passed away, and there was a state funeral here and atlanta. i superimposed it so you would
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know. that was his last presidential trip. he retired in march of 1971 after 20 years in the secret service. i usually end here, but i have reasons to keep going. he wrote the book, he was on several shows, the johnny carson show, the martin show. he also worked in the carter campaign, the 1976 carter campaign. he did the advanced security for the campaign. i found him. i can always find him. i was actually with my parents on an election night when jimmy carter became president. as a pretty great night although my mother had to wake me up. it was like 4:00 a.m. so she had to wake me up. we'll have pictures. i has about this and take xers and that was in the 1970's. it's not lying nowadays are one
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million pictures. i have the memory. the last year's were beyond the scope of the talk. suffice it to say we were happy to have him home and not have to share him as president anymore. he became a grandfather extraordinaire of his ever-growing family. he hung up his security work and worked in real estate with my mother, savanna. became a master gardener, and he always cherished his association with the secret service and the camaraderie there. we lost our dad october 2, 1996 to one cancer. he was 72 years old. among the kind letters we receive, we receive this beautiful letter from the carters consoling our mother. we will cherish this letter. so i have come full circle now and i have a blog if you're
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interested in this history in the book is available in hardcover, e-book and audiobook it is here and on at your favorite bookstore. this project has been blessed by great photographers and helpful archivists. that's it. this concludes the talk. i think you so much for coming and listening. [applause] >> we have time for a few questions. derek is going to bring the microphone around. wait for him to bring the microphone. he is really strong. he can hold the mic, you don't need to grab it. do we have questions for rebecca?
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rebecca: yes, ma'am? >> i was curious, the detail for the president has changed under your father, did he have a lot to do with that in terms of providing the armored cars to the president and vice president? rebecca: he had a lot to do with it. former agents told me a lot of things over the years. he was a very good organizer. he was a natural leader. he did help modernize. i was told by some he modernized the secret service. >> that's interesting, it seemed that it happened pretty quickly from one president over time. rebecca: that is reflective of our society. everything has changed. so do the security needs. thank you. i am getting this for my friends and my family. that is why i am saying yes, ma'am. that's my sister, joy. >> tell them about when daddy was talking to johnson and they
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were thinking about giving protection to the fbi agent and daddy had a hissy fit and said, who do you want to protect you, me or the fbi. rebecca: he actually covers that in the book. one thing i love about the audiobook is the lbj library let me use audio. i have this tape, it's really marvelous. if you think you are having a bad day at work, you should listen to lbj chew out my dad and you will say, that was easy. he is giving it to him about the secret service being bad. he said there's a bunch of accountants at the fbi. a lot of former agents say he really kept it together. he kept it with the secret service. i think you have told me that to. what was the other thing? >> i just wanted them to realize
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-- rebecca: he covers it in his book. >> they were very close. the johnson family was a wonderful group of people. ladybird would call mother of all the time and see how she was doing. linda bird said something to me one time. i said, thank you very much because she invited us to the white house. i said i want to think you. she said, without you and your family i would not have my dad. which i thought was very eloquent. >> i got a call this afternoon from luci johnson. she said to make sure you go tonight and get a copy for me and my sister. [laughter] they will be fedex out tomorrow. after the kennedy assassination, director hoover tried his best to portray president johnson to transform the responsibilities for protection over to the fbi. it was because of rufus, and also one other agent, lynne
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johns of alabama, that they convince president johnson not to transfer. mr. hoover was not happy. mr. hoover had gone to members of the congress and said, look, the secret service enabled them. the secret service did not protect president kennedy. i attribute to rufus that secret service continued their protection. i also should tell you the secret service of that era was a relatively small group. today it is a very, very large group of people with international offices and an amazing technology that time. he played an incredible part of american history, white house history. i frankly do not know that the secret service would exist today.
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and i say this has firsthand knowledge. i'm not sure it would exist today without rufus youngblood. rebecca: that'll work. [applause] >> i'm curious to know what gravitated your father into the line of work of being a secret service agent. since he was formally trained as an industrial engineer, can you expand upon that? rebecca: he did go through the training. the security training. he was a gunner in world war ii. i think they have such a combined -- they are not just
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bodyguards. they have to organize and -- i don't know if that answers, but it was different. times are different. i think it was the combined package. maybe. >> rebecca, i am going back to november 22 to the assassination. your dad was in the front seat and johnson was in the back. when the shots fired out your dad jumped over the seats. does he ever share any insights? they have conspiracy theories. did your dad really think there was one shooter? rebecca: he is very clear. are you ready for it? i believe in the findings of the warren commission's.
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however many volumes of the book, he truly believed in the findings of the warren commission. >> one thing about that, president johnson's exact words were that rufus leaned over the front seat and threw him to the floor of the car and jumped on top of him. rufus is a rather thin person and lbj was a somewhat large person. the image of rufus throwing us man onto the floor and leaping on top of him. at that point the shots were still going. rebecca: they did not know if it
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was a conspiracy. they did not know where it would come from next. i think that tall, bloomberg i fits in to our discussion. anyone else? >> any idea what lbj might have said to your dad is he threw him to the floor of the car? volker he was very -- rebecca: he was very cooperative that day. dad writes in the book. i think it is like, ok, partner. he was will -- he was real cooperative. describing the flight home. he said lbj was really good until the last minute.
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he arrived at andrews air force base and looks around. he's like, where's my hat? your hat, sir? yes, where is your hat? he chews out my father right then. that is when dad said, that's when i knew he was back. [laughter] >> i need to say a word there. this is firsthand knowledge. lbj could be really mean and he could be really -- but he also could be generous and thoughtful and kind. he loved the agents. at the end of his presidency, he gave a set of remarks that had all the asian -- all the agents present. he recognize their value to him. he was not just tough on the agents, he was tough on all of us, the staff members. i cannot tell you the number of
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things he did, including for some of the agents, he gave them houses at the lbj ranch. he considered the agents family. we all know, in family we sometimes let each other have it, and he did. rebecca: anyone else, or do we have time? >> let's do one more. >> i was wondering about the personal experience of living with a secret service member in your family and the effects on the family. i assume it's a 24/7 job? rebecca: they were gone a lot because they had to cover lbj when he went to the ranch for christmas. i dad went with him. i got him when he was retired. never there for some of the major occasions. joy: i tell my friends, a lot of people, instead of one good parent, we had to. we had a direct line to the white house. a phone in our kitchen hanging
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on the wall. being a teenager i was getting some phone calls sometimes. every time the house phone would ring, my mother would say, you go answer the phone, i'm tired of answering your phone. i'm not your social secretary. when the one in the kitchen rank , il yelled, daddy, that's for you. he would run to the kitchen. one time he went to the kitchen, answer the phone, yes sir, this is youngblood, he said, just a minute. he said joy, it's for you. it's for me? he said, yes, get on the phone. i got on the phone and it was linda. she said, joy, would you like to come to our house, we have a new room in the attic floor.
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why don't you just come over. i said, ok. [laughter] rebecca: another answer to your question is that i think our mother was really good about filling in when he was not there. she always made us feel like he was there. he just was not physically there. i think i have taken enough time. -- -- i think i have taken enough of your time. [applause] this has been a real treat, this has been exactly what i hoped it would be. i have read the book, it's really good. i would encourage you to buy a copy, two copies, three copies. rebecca will be signing them, i'm grateful the family decided to put this out to the public. let's thank her one more time. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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>> join us in the lobby. thank you all very much. >> tonight, on american history tv, we are featuring political at 8:00 eastern, the influence of american cartoons and world war ii. >> batman and robin had their fingers in the v for victory sign and they are saying keep the american eagle flying, buy war bonds and stamps. >> and at 10:00, on real america, on the 75th anniversary of the 1944 presidential campaign, the animated short hell-bent for election. >> take a look at today's timetables. only one of these trains can get through to washington. 44 is a single track. sam, aren't the american people on board the when the war special. during the annual army
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heritage days in pennsylvania we visited a world war ii u.s. army battalion aid station. >> this is a mobile emergency room. like any emergency room, we assess, treat, stabilize, and we get them out. get out of my er. >> and at 8:00 on the presidency, we examine the work, interests, and contribution of pat nixon, 50 years later. of thise very conscious burgeoning women's movement, and she's politically astute and realizes that the republicans were losing ground on this. democrats were proposing legislation and bills that she worksmen, and closely with the office of women's issues in the white house to help get more in thements of women federal government. >> explore our nations passed on
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everyan history tv, weekend on c-span3. american history tv products are now available at the c-span online store. to seeheir website what's new for american history tv, and check out all of the c-span products. the c-span cities tour is in toledo, ohio. but it could have been toledo, michigan. coming up we talk about the battle over who had the right to claim toledo. the toledo war goes back to 1787 and the northwest ordinance that establish the area that eventually became five states. they established a border that started at the bottom of lake michigan, and ran


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