Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Johnson Orders Air Strikes / Three Civil Rights Workers Killed / August 1964


  These two papers announced two very historic events in August 1964. President Johnson ordering the bombing of North Vietnam in retaliation for North Vietnamese torpedo boats attacking our destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin. I didn't realize it at the time but this would be a major turning point and escalation of the Vietnam War. I remember thinking that at age 14 my chances were slim to none of ever having to worry about fighting there. When I turned 18, four years later in 1968 the war was in it's worst year and kids my age were facing the possibility of being drafted. The bad thing was that Johnson lied. The second attack never occurred and Johnson knew it. Congress gave Johnson what was the equivalent of a declaration of war in the Gulf Of Tonkin Resolution. Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon tried to warn his fellow Senators that they should take time to investigate the situation but they wouldn't listen. The second story talked about three Civil Rights workers, two whites and one black who were missing in Mississippi. Their bodies would later be discovered buried in an earthern dam. I doubt that the press would have given this story such extensive coverage if the three Civil Rights workers had all been black. The fact that two of them were white aroused greater interest, especially in the North. As a Mall Cop I have been called a racist many times by suspected shoplifters and other blacks who I have confronted in the process of enforcing mall rules and policy. It is interesting to me that I am called racist by people that are not old enough to remember true racism. In August 1964 I took my first vacation ever in Florida. We were at Treasure Island in St. Petersburg when the Gulf of Tonkin incident happened and the three Civil Rights workers were missing.

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