The Presidency: After The Ball


After the tension, the gaiety and the personal triumph of his inauguration came a letdown for Lyndon Johnson —and a scare.

Wearing maroon pajamas and a navy-blue silk robe, the President was bustled out of the White House shortly before 2:30 one morning, 14 hours after he took the oath, helped into a Navy ambulance and whisked off to Bethesda Naval Hospital. He was suffering from a heavy cough and chest pains. Since he had suffered a nearfatal heart attack ten years ago, he was worried. But by midmorning, the President's doctor...

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