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Sale 38 Lot 793

DEAN RUSK(1909 - 1994) Secretary of State under John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, a defender of the Vietnam War. Very fine content T.L.S. 2pp. 4to. on University of Georgia letterhead to noted author Jim Bishop, in part: "...I was with six or seven members of the Cabinet one hour west of Hawaii on the way to Japan to attend a joint U.S.-Japanese Cabinet meeting...The Captain of the plane came into the cabin with a one line wire service ticker which had been picked up on the ticker aboard the plane. The report merely said that John F. Kennedy had been shot. I gathered the Cabinet members in my forward cabin and gave them the information. We immediately telephoned the White House (I believe it was Pierre Salinger who actually made the call) confirm the wire service report. When it was confirmed, we immediately turned the plane around for Hawaii. About an hour later we had the information that President Kennedy was dead. We then asked President Johnson in Dallas whether he wanted us to come to Texas or direct to Washington and were informed that he wanted us to return to Washington...I have never tried to put into words my own personal feelings at the time I heard the news...After each one of us absorbed the reality of the event, we turned our thoughts to the public business and to the problems which might arise in ensuring that the public business go forward. Although John F. Kennedy was dead, the Nation lived and I think each one of us felt a personal responsibility to that fact...You will recall that President Kennedy formed a Cabinet of men who had not been his friends. They were serving the President. Suddenly there was another President who needed our help...including resignations to permit him to appoint his own Cabinet if he so chose...he asked us to continue to serve in order to assure as smooth a transition as possible and to carry on with the policies of John F. Kennedy to which he felt a strong commitment...". Interestingly, Rusk always felt that Jack Valenti and Bill Moyers deliberately counseled Johnson to instruct the plane to return to Washington so that they could enhance the influence of the new President. Staple hole at top left, else near fine.
Estimate $ 400-500

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