Lyndon Johnson

The Quest to Recover Lost Gay Histories
'Archive activism' helps group unearth stories from a deleted political past

Charles Francis, president of the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C., in front of J. Edgar Hoover's grave at Congressional Cemetery. He holds an amicus brief of Obergefell v. Hodges, which found that same-sex marriage is constitutional. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Charles Francis sets three books down on the table. “These are the last three biographies of President Eisenhower,” he says. “Not one of them mentions Executive Order 10450.”

That 1953 presidential order is the subject of a lawsuit brought against the Justice Department by the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C., of which Francis, 65, is president.

The Daisy Ad — A Half-Century Later
Will portraying Trump as a national security threat be persuasive?

Fears over a nuclear war propelled President Lyndon Johnson, center, to a landslide victory over Barry Goldwater in 1964. (Roll Call file photo)

Once upon a time, Barry Goldwater was the model of a reckless presidential candidate who couldn't be trusted with the nuclear codes.  

The conservative Arizona senator who upended the East Coast Republican establishment in the 1964 Republican race brought on the nuclear issue himself. There were wisecracks about "lobbing one into the men's room in the Kremlin," but even more damaging were Goldwater's serious comments about giving battlefield commanders control over nuclear weapons.   

Five Notes for Watching 'All the Way'
LBJ's first year as president offers a window into the political future

Brian Cranston, as LBJ, signing the Civil Rights Act. (Courtesy of HBO)

The movie adaptation of the Robert Schenkkan play “All the Way ,” which premiered Saturday on HBO, may be just the televised tonic required for people within the congressional orbit already suffering election- year burnout.  

The film chronicles the first year that Lyndon B. Johnson (played by Bryan Cranston) served as president. Half a century later, in this surreal season of toxic campaigning that’s not leavened at all by substantive legislating, the story illustrates how accomplished politicking can be harnessed in the service of ambitious policy-making.  

LBJ's Civil Rights Struggle a Stage Production
'All the Way' explores Johnson's complex relationship with MLK and other key figures of the era

Willis as LBJ. (Photo courtesy of Arena Stage)

On a recent night at DC's Arena Stage, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg watched as the most pivotal 11 months of President Lyndon Johnson’s life, and perhaps the Democratic Party's, was portrayed in three hours.  

Ginsburg characteristically showed no emotion or reaction, but kept her eyes on Jack Willis, who plays the southern bulldog of an accidental president.