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Senator Yarborough


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Hello Forum!

I've been a lurker for several years, now decided to get my feet wet, jump into the fray as it were!

A couple of points re Sen. Yarborough. I did a quick search on the internet and can't seem to find a cause of death for the senator, just the date. Any info on this? Seems kind of funny....

Another thing: Is there any account anywhere of the senator commenting about Lyndon Johnson's behavior or attitude that morning? They both rode in the same car and it would be interesting to know if LBJ was particularly nervous, talkative, excited, etc. I would suppose that if he knew what was coming, it would be pretty hard for him to act completely normal and casual. Any account of abnormal behaviour would be strong evidence of his advance knowledge and possible coroboration of the "party" the previous night.

FWIW, I've always felt that he wasn't directly involved beforehand, so as to have deniability but that he might have gotten hints to prepare for the possibility of assuming the office, because.......hey, you never know, right?

I found that Jim Hightower was an aide to Sen. Yarborough and emailed him about this, but he hasn't replied. If someone on the forum knows him, maybe you could get some info from him about this.

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From Crossfire by Jim Marrs:

"There is the well-publicized story of Agent Rufus Youngblood, who reportedly threw himself on top of Vice President Johnson after the shooting began in Dealey Plaza.... Johnson, in a statement to the Warren Commission, mentioned the incident:

I was startled by a sharp report or explosion, but I had no time to speculate as to its origin because Agent Youngblood turned in a flash, immediately after the first explosion, hitting me on the shoulder, and shouted to all of us in the back seat to get down. I was pushed down by Agent Youngblood. Almost in the same moment in which he hit or pushed me, he vaulted over the back seat and sat on me. I was bent over under the weight of Agent Youngblood's body, toward Mrs. Johnson and Senator Yarborough....

However, former Texas senator Ralph Yarborough, who was sitting beside Johnson that day, told this author: 'It just didn't happen.... It was a small car, Johnson was a big man, tall. His knees were up against his chin as it was. There was no room for that to happen.' Yarborough recalled that both Johnson and Youngblood ducked down as the shooting began and that Youngblood never left the front seat. Yarborough said Youngblood held a small walkie-talkie over the back of the car's seat and that he and Johnson both put their ears to the device. He added: 'They had it turned down real low. I couldn't hear what they were listening to.'"

--Jim Marrs, Crossfire: The Plot that Killed Kennedy

http://senatoryarborough.tripod.com/

Edited by Ron Ecker
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Hello Forum!

I've been a lurker for several years, now decided to get my feet wet, jump into the fray as it were!

A couple of points re Sen. Yarborough. I did a quick search on the internet and can't seem to find a cause of death for the senator, just the date. Any info on this? Seems kind of funny....

You are suspicious about the death of a 92 year-old man? You must not have searched too hard, from the 1st page of results on Google for "ralph yarborough" death

"The only Senator from the Deep South to vote for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Ralph W. Yarborough, a liberal Democrat from Texas who fought to expand the role of the Federal Government in assisting veterans, workers, the poor and the infirm, died today after a long illness, said DeAnna Dicuffa, an assistant who worked in his law office."

http://www.nytimes.com/1996/01/28/us/ralph-yarborough-dies-at-92-cast-historic-civil-rights-vote.html

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Ralph Yarborough was on the left-wing of the Democratic Party in 1963. Yarborough was the only member of the Senate representing a former Confederate state to vote for every significant piece of civil rights legislation. This included the Civil Rights Act (1957) and Civil Rights Act (1960). LBJ therefore hated Yarborough and this is why he made so much fuss about where he sat in the motorcade.

Yarborough continued to be a strong critic of LBJ after he became president. This was especially true of his foreign policy.

http://www.spartacus...Kyarborough.htm

I also brought up this subject in August, 2005 (without any response):

http://educationforu...?showtopic=4780

This extract is very interesting:

Hugh Aynesworth, JFK: Breaking the News (2003)

Liberal Ralph Yarborough, for example, detested centrists such as Connally and Johnson-and with some reason. The governor and the vice president were never seen doing the senator any favors. Just the opposite. On this trip they seemed determined to put Yarborough in his place.

Connally was scheduled to host a private reception for JFK at the governor's mansion in Austin that Friday night: Yarborough was absent from the guest list.

Yarborough's response to that snub: "I want everybody to join hands in harmony for the greatest welcome to the President and Mrs. Kennedy in the history of Texas."

Then: "Governor Connally is so terribly uneducated governmentally, how could you expect anything else?"

On Thursday afternoon in Houston, Yarborough had defied Kennedy by refusing to ride in the same car with LBJ. He chose instead to be seen with Congressman Albert Thomas. In San Antonio that morning, Secret Service Agent Rufus Youngblood was gently nudging the senator toward Johnson's limo when Yarborough saw Congressman Henry Gonzalez, a political blood brother, and bolted toward him. "Can I ride with you, Henry?" he asked.

That evening, employees at Houston's Rice Hotel heard JFK and LBJ arguing over Yarborough in the presidential suite. Kennedy reportedly informed Johnson in strong terms that he felt Yarborough - who had much better poll numbers in Texas than Kennedy - was being mistreated, and the president was unhappy about that.

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Len, I wasn't aware he was 92. "Long illness" isn't exactly a cause of death, but let's let it go.

More importantly, did LBJ give any sign that he knew what was coming? What do you think?

AP quoted DiCuffa as saying “He was…ill for the past year” and paraphrased her as saying ‘he suffered from lung congestion and a broken hip’.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=1x9SAAAAIBAJ&sjid=4DUNAAAAIBAJ&pg=5276,684722&dq=ralph+yarborough&hl=en

Others know more about this than I but LBJ was very shrewd and I doubt he would telegraph anything like that to anyone outside his trusted circle and especially not one of his biggest enemies. Johnson did apparently want his buddy Connolly with him and Yarborough with JFK but that is not suspicious, who would you rather go for ride with, a close friend or someone you hate?

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Others know more about this than I but LBJ was very shrewd and I doubt he would telegraph anything like that to anyone outside his trusted circle and especially not one of his biggest enemies. Johnson did apparently want his buddy Connolly with him and Yarborough with JFK but that is not suspicious, who would you rather go for ride with, a close friend or someone you hate?

I definitely would not want to ride in a car with someone who might be a target for a shooter.

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Len, I wasn't aware he was 92. "Long illness" isn't exactly a cause of death, but let's let it go.

More importantly, did LBJ give any sign that he knew what was coming? What do you think?

Nelson's book has some good info. LBJ was ducking down in the car before the turn into the snipers nest. One of the patrol men noticed this and documented it. Also, in the Altgens photo, you cannot see LBJ in the car since he's ducking down.

Also, there is a story of an argument between JFK/LBJ about who should ride besides LBJ in the motorcade. It was reported to be a highly volitile argument. LBJ wanted Yarborough to ride besides JFK and Conally besides LBJ. Also he wanted Jackie to ride in the VP Car. Of course JFK was like eff that idea. Maybe JFK knew something was up and thought if he had LBJ's best friend and his wife in the same car , nothing would happen.

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Johnson did apparently want his buddy Connolly with him and Yarborough with JFK but that is not suspicious.

I, for one, could certainly use my memory refreshed as to LBJ's sequence of seating demands. Robert Caro's New Yorker book excerpt has LBJ hell-bent to get Yarborough in the V-P convertable. I have read other accounts - probably in older EdForum posts - of LBJ arguing with JFK to get Yarborough in the limo and Connally out.

Whatever demands were made, one would think that standard protocol required that the chief executive of Texas ride with the chief executive of the US.

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Others know more about this than I but LBJ was very shrewd and I doubt he would telegraph anything like that to anyone outside his trusted circle and especially not one of his biggest enemies. Johnson did apparently want his buddy Connolly with him and Yarborough with JFK but that is not suspicious, who would you rather go for ride with, a close friend or someone you hate?

I definitely would not want to ride in a car with someone who might be a target for a shooter.

Nor would I but for obvious reasons the POTUS and VP would never be in the same car.

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  • 7 years later...
On ‎11‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 11:42 AM, Bart Kamp said:

Ralph Yarborough interviewed by Arlen Specter. 

Thanks to Malcolm Blunt, scan by me.

That last line, "It is recommended that Senator Yarborough be called to testify before the Commission."  But he never was/did, did he?  Even as brief and rushed as this was.

Also notable, just like he told Mr. McBride years later he says Youngblood did not jump over the seat and sit on LBJ.  But LBJ said he did, promoted him, gave him an award for his valor in protecting his life.  I believe one of those two was fibbing.  I read once about someone saying that at times LBJ would lie when the truth would have worked better.

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