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LBJ and the RS-71


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#1 Bill Slugg

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 09:46 AM

Chris Plant just told an LBJ story this morning.

 

When details of the RS-71 (Reconnaissance and Strike) program began to leak out, LBJ decided to show it to the world. He had a presser in the Rose Garden complete with pictures and handouts. During the entire speech he referred to it as the SR-71.

 

An aide told him afterwards that it was not SR but RS. Without missing a beat Johnson said:
​"Not any more".



#2 TheBigCat

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 12:19 PM

I have heard that story, I have also heard it debunked. According to some the designation was changed from "Reconnaissance and Strike" to "Strategic Reconnaissance" before LBJ's presser by the guys in the geometric building across the river. 


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#3 newsartist

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 02:22 PM

It is pretty certain that LBJ blew it.

 

Papers were then created to cover him, while nobody noticed it anyway,

 

THEN, nuclear arms treaties started getting talked about.  Earlier conversations suddenly became important!  "The Blackbird was never a bomber kids!"

 

In truth, the conversation probably centered around earlier Blackbirds anyway, The exceptions being the M-21 and D-21 concepts.


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#4 rocketwatcher

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 02:48 PM

During the 1964 campaign, Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater repeatedly criticized President Lyndon B. Johnson and his administration for falling behind the Soviet Union in developing new weapons. Johnson decided to counter this criticism by revealing the existence of the Lockheed YF-12A Air Force interceptor, which also served as cover for the still-secret A-12,[16] and the Air Force reconnaissance model since July 1964. Air Force Chief of Staff General Curtis LeMay preferred the SR (Strategic Reconnaissance) designation and wanted the RS-71 to be named SR-71. Before the July speech, LeMay lobbied to modify Johnson's speech to read SR-71 instead of RS-71. The media transcript given to the press at the time still had the earlier RS-71 designation in places, creating the story that the president had misread the aircraft's designation.

https://en.m.wikiped...SR-71_Blackbird
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#5 newsartist

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 03:46 PM

It is a fact that most everyone, me included,  gagged at the RS-70 designation change to the B-70.

 

Being a TAC type, who objected, I can only imagine how intense SAC feelings ran.

 

Still, most of these published 'facts' seem to be revisionist history.

 

LBJ making a mistake?  :)


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#6 Bill Slugg

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 06:36 PM

LBJ told Margaret Chase Smith that everyone owed him a favor and she would too someday. She huffed and scoffed there is no way that could ever happen, Sir! They were both freshman Senators and she had made it widely known that she wanted a bill that would pay her Navy Base people the same wages as the Navy Base people got in nearby MA.

The Dems had a majority in the Senate but the Republicans had been deep sixing the proposal. LBJ then went to each of the Dem senators and brought them into the fold for a plan. Normally they give an hour for lunch and do not call the quorum until an hour had passed. LBJ had a quorum there fifteen minutes before the hour. He jumped to the gavel, brought them to order, called for the quorum, stated and passed the bill before the Republicans could come back from lunch!

She told him happily IIRC "Sir, you have done it!"


Edited by Bill Slugg, 16 May 2017 - 06:39 PM.


#7 TheBigCat

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 05:17 AM

FDR's dam building led to electrification of much of America which had not gotten it yet but rural Texas was largely "off the grid" still at the time that LBJ became Majority Leader. He used his clout to get the rest of it, almost half of the rural area, wired up. 


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#8 silylene

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 10:34 AM

I just came across this old photo:

 

800x-1.jpg



#9 Dewtey

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 12:02 PM

I didn't realize there were that many Blackbirds.  I count 11 in that photo.


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#10 SJQ

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 12:12 PM

I see puddles under the left and right aircraft in the foreground - the SR-71 was known to leak fuel, when "cold".


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#11 silylene

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 01:16 PM

I didn't realize there were that many Blackbirds.  I count 11 in that photo.

 

I was surprised too.



#12 XZG 1138

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 01:58 PM

That must be at Beal AFB north of Sacramento.


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#13 StarRider1701

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 08:34 AM

Neat picture.  There were a total of 32 built.  I'm surprised that 11 of them were in one place at a given moment, especially since 12 were lost during test or training flights.  It must be a trick of the camera angle or something, but the three turned 90 degrees to the camera appear to have a longer fuselage than the rest.  





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