May 23, 1961

Johnson Reports To Kennedy

LBJ and Jfk
Soldiers reading about meetin

Vice President Johnson returns to the United States from a visit to Southeast Asia and gives a report to Kennedy on his trip. He states that the US must either help the countries of Southeast Asia or pull back its defenses toSan Francisco.


When President Kennedy took office his views on the Vietnam war were not clear. He was not sure what to do. When Eisenhower had left office he had warned Kennedy about the dangers in Laos, where a civil war was going on. Kennedy dispatched Averell Harrison to negotiate a settlement for Loan that insure its neutrality. He did not accept the idea that South Vietnam should also be neutral. In April 1961 Kennedy created a task force to work on Vietnam and agreed to send an additional 100 advisors to the country. In May of 1961 he dispatched Vice President Lyndon Johnson to report on the state of Vietnam. Johnson arrived in Vietnam and exalted on what great leader, Diem was. On his return to the United States Johnson stated that if the United States lost Vietnam it would have to fight on the “beaches of Waikiki” .