LBJ and a Fateful Day in Dallas

In a gripping new essay in The New Yorker, historian Robert Caro traces Lyndon Johnson’s movements through the November 1963 day in Dallas that ended with him being sworn in as the nation’s 36th president. Before shots rang out in the clear Texas afternoon, LBJ’s finances were the subject of scrutiny by a team of investigative reporters, and a Senate rules committee probe into a Johnson protégé known as “Little Lyndon” had threatened to contaminate the master of the Senate himself. Newsweek reporter Charles Roberts was one of three journalists to witness Johnson’s swearing-in after John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Nothing, as Caro shows, was certain, but when history happened, it happened fast.