Had Lyndon Johnson thumbed through his Father's Day gift from Daughter Lynda Bird last week—F.D.R.'s old copy of Aesop's Fables—he might have come upon the tale about the dying lion. As the King of Beasts declined in strength, the story goes, the lesser animals trooped up to his cave, no longer subservient. The boar attacked him with his tusks; the bull gored him; even the ass, feeling quite safe, kicked up his heels and brayed. "Ah," sighed the failing King, "thus dies majesty." In the waning months of the Johnson Administration, TIME White House...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!