Richard Nixon photo

Statement on the Death of President Lyndon Baines Johnson.

January 22, 1973

TO PRESIDENT JOHNSON, the "American Dream" was not a catch phrase--it was a reality of his own life. He believed in America--in what America could mean to all of its citizens and what America could mean to the world. In the service of that faith, he gave himself completely.

In over 30 years of public life, he knew times of triumph and times of despair-he knew controversy and adulation. Yet, no matter what the mood of the moment, at the center of his public life--and at the center of his spirit--was an unshakable conviction in the essential rightness of the American experience.

As I said at the dedication of the Lyndon B. Johnson Library, he was a "partisan of principle." He was a dynamic leader, a unique personality, and a man of great ability and unshakable courage.

Twenty-eight days ago, America lost one of its greatest Presidents, Harry S. Truman, a man whose stature has grown enormously as we have gained more perspective on his achievements.

It is particularly heartbreaking that even as our flags fly at half-staff in President Truman's memory, another of our leaders has fallen. Yet, just as their names are linked in death, I believe that America will come to understand that they are also joined in greatness.

At this sad hour, as we mourn the loss of two great leaders, all Americans will realize more than ever their debt to those who have gone before, and their obligation to carry on the work which they advanced with such devotion.

In my Inaugural Address just e days ago I spoke of how my thoughts went back to those who stood in that place before me and of the dreams they had for America. No man had greater dreams for America than Lyndon Johnson. Even as we mourn his .death, we are grateful for his life, which did so much to make those dreams into realities. And we know that as long as this Nation lives, so will his dreams and his accomplishments.

Note: Former President Lyndon Baines Johnson, 64, died in Johnson City, Tex.

On January 24, 1973, President Nixon and his family joined the cortege bearing the body of President Johnson to the Capitol. During ceremonies in the Capitol Rotunda, the President laid a wreath at the bier of the former President.

On January 25, the President and members of his family attended funeral services for President Johnson at the National City Christian Church.

Richard Nixon, Statement on the Death of President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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