10.10.2010

Monday-Friday, October 10-14, 1960: LBJ's whistle-stop tour

Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson, the Democratic candidate for vice president, begins a 5-day, 8-state, 3,500-mile campaign tour by train, starting in Culpeper, Virginia, and ending in New Orleans, Louisiana. He gives some 60 speeches along the way. (The photo at left was taken in Greenville, South Carolina; click to enlarge). The train, which the campaign called the "LBJ Victory Special," is dubbed "The Cornpone Special" by some reporters.

The day before, during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," Johnson had shown a barbed sense of humor about his own running mate when talking about the Democrats' efforts to cut federal spending. He deadpans, "And I predict, if I know anything about Senator Kennedy, that he'll continue that policy. All you have to do is go to a drugstore with him and buy a sandwich and see how long he shuffles trying to get the money to pick up the check ... find out, if he handles the government's money like he handles his own, why, we're going to have a pretty good fiscal policy."

* Photos from Greensboro, North Carolina: @
* Johnson atop "The Big Chair" in Thomasville, North Carolina: @ and @ (photo courtesy of Thomasville Times)
* Article by only black reporter on the train: @
* Account from Time magazine: @
* More about presidential campaign trains: @ and @ (origin of word "whistlestopping")
* "Meet the Press" footage: @

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