Disasters/ Achievements/ Johnson Surgery

Published: 1966
Play Audio Archive Story - UPI
Andrews Air Force Base, MD: President Johnson, followed by the First lady, debarks from lane upon arrival here 11/14/1966 from Texas. The president will spend the rest of the day in the White House before entering Bethesda, MD, Naval Hospital 11/15 to undergo surgery 11/16. (UPI Photo)

Announcer: Natural disasters claimed many lives in 1966. Earthquakes in Varto, Turkey and Tashkent, Russia claimed hundreds of lives. Floods in Italy took many lives and ruined works of art which can never be replaced and resulted in millions of dollars worth of property damage. When it was over, Correspondent Ernie Latito described the scene.

Ernie Latito: "I walked through flood-torn farms for the second day today. The pigeons were back, and with them blue skies and a sun that was summer-warm. I saw two hungry women fight over a piece of dried meat, the loser versus the winner. I saw others, many of them, digging through heaps of mud and garbage, looking for something to eat. Hundreds of trucks poured into the city with food and water, but there was not enough to go around."

Announcer: In Aberfan, South Wales, a black avalanche of coal slag came down on a schoolhouse, killing 137 children and 7 adults. Gwyneth Davies saw the disaster from her home and gave this description.

Gwyneth Davies: "I just heard this kind of a roar at this truck, and ... was run out the back, and all of the food was covered with coal, just black dust, and then absolute stillness. I've have never known such a horrible business in all my life."

Announcer: The Supreme Court in 1966 handed down a decision outlining strict guidelines to be followed by police to protect suspects from self-incrimination. The high tribunal ruled that all suspects must be advised of their rights before being questioned.

Other significant events included the first operation for implanting an artificial heart.

Richard Eiser: "This is Richard Eiser, United Press International in Houston. Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, famed heart surgeon of the Methodist Hospital here in Houston, confirmed this afternoon at 4 o’clock Houston time that a left ventricle bypass operation was performed by him at this hospital this morning. The pump is operating satisfactorily, and the patient’s immediate postoperative condition is good."

Announcer: President Johnson entered the hospital for two operations. He had a small polyp removed from his throat and had a repair job done on the scar from his gallbladder operation of the year before.

On July 1st, Medicare went into effect, and immediate acceptance and success of the plan was credited by Federal officials.

In New York City, King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, on an official state visit to America, was snubbed by City officials after he told newsmen that all Jews who support Israel are his enemies.

Art McAloon: "The king will dine alone tonight. Late this morning, Mayor Lindsay's office, in a terse statement, had this to say."

Unknown Speaker: "The dinner is canceled. Under the circumstances, the Mayor has concluded that it would not be feasible to proceed with the dinner."

Art McAloon: "The Mayor was described as deeply disturbed over the anti-Jewish remarks of King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. This is Art McAloon in New York."