The Presidency: Solace for a Stricken City


His flashlight stabbed into the blackness of New Orleans' George Washington School, picking out the hudd'ed figures, mostly Negroes, who were standing, sitting, or sleeping on the hallway floor. Occasionally he would aim the light at his own face, so that the people would recognize him. Some didn't believe their eyes. "That's not the President," whispered one voice. "He wouldn't come down here."

Of course he had. It was an impulsive gesture, in keeping with Lyndon Johnson's character, to fly to New Orleans in late afternoon for a personal inspection of the havoc wrought by Hurricane Betsy. Though he had...

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