In 1964, American bombers striking deep into North Vietnam demonstrated that Johnson was a committed anti-Communist.
Sen. Goldwater: I'll say, so that all American people can hear, that the only enemy of peace in their world is Communism and I don't care whether it's Red Chinese Communism or Russian Communism or whose Communism it is, it's Communism.
David McCullough: Johnson watched Goldwater on television, then flicked off the set with a smile. Goldwater had accused the Democrats of being soft on Communism. If Johnson could prove he was a staunch as his Republican rival, he would have more than a victory. The 1964 presidential election would be a landslide.
Less than three weeks later, close to midnight, Johnson made a dramatic television appearance.
Pres. Johnson: As President, I'm Commander-in-Chief. It is my duty to the American people to report that renewed hostile actions against United States ships on the high seas in the Gulf of Tonkin have today required me to order the military forces of the United States to take action in reply. Our response, for the present, will be limited and fitting.
David McCullough: [voice-over] American bombers striking deep into North Vietnam demonstrated that Johnson was a committed anti-Communist. Johnson would use this incident to acquire the power to make war in Vietnam whenever and however he would choose.
Johnson accused the North Vietnamese of an unprovoked attack, but in fact, for six months, the President had been running covert raids against North Vietnam. Finally, on August 2nd, North Vietnamese torpedo boats retaliated. They fired on the U.S. destroyer Maddox in the Gulf of Tonkin. The Maddox returned the fire, sinking one Vietnamese and crippling two others.
A revealing portrait of one of America's most paradoxical leaders.
Author, soldier, scientist, outdoorsman and caring father, he was the youngest man to become president. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.
Two days in 1967 revealed a nation divided over a war that continues to haunt us.
The story of the dramatic post-World War II tribunal that brought Nazi leaders to justice and defines trial procedure for state criminals to this day.
The young CBS reporter changed his pacifist ideals after reporting on the rise of fascism in Europe during World War II.
Franklin Roosevelt restored hope after the Great Depression and led the nation during World War II. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.
American prisoners of war in North Vietnam tell of their experiences at the Hanoi Hilton and other notorious prisons.
The six-part story of a frontiersman farmer and a wealthy Confederate slave-owner's daughter.