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JOHNSON, Lyndon B. (1908-1973). Typed letter signed ("Lyndon"), as U. S. Representative, to Walter Winchell, Washington, D. C. 17 March 1948. 1 page, 4to, House of Representatives stationery. With two-line autograph postscript.

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JOHNSON, Lyndon B. (1908-1973). Typed letter signed ("Lyndon"), as U. S. Representative, to Walter Winchell, Washington, D. C. 17 March 1948. 1 page, 4to, House of Representatives stationery. With two-line autograph postscript.

LBJ APPLAUDS THE POWERFUL COLUMNIST AND RADIO HOST FOR HIS WAR SCARE BROADCAST

LBK knew--as did all ambitious Washingtonians--that Winchell required ego-stroking. Those who failed to oblige him scoops, gossip and, above all, respect, were liable to vicious and sustained attack over the airwaves. Here, Congressman Johnson delivers fulsome praise for Winchell's most recent broadcast, which urged the U.S. to prepare for war with the Soviet Union. "I thought you would like to know that although you have done much for your country in your years on the radio, you never made a contribution equal to the one you made Sunday night. Dozens talked to me about the wisdom in your message. I was sitting with Admiral [Joseph J.] Jocko Clark, Commander of Task Force 38 in the Pacific, when you came on. Your ears would have singed could you have heard the comments." In the autograph postscript he asks Winchell to "Please take a moment to read the attached speech on the floor" (not included).

Washington was in the grip of a full-blown war scare in March 1948, and Winchell played a key part in fomenting it. He had help: the Soviet coup in Czechoslovakia that spring seemed a replay of Hitler's aggression in 1938. Many leading American admirals and generals--especially in the Air Force--also made frightened predictions of imminent Soviet attack.

More from The Forbes Collection of American Historical Documents, Part Six

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