Letters to the Editor

LBJ’s oath of office

Thanks for the outstanding work on the Sunday special section, “JFK 50 Years Later.” I read every word and applaud your efforts.

Unfortunately, you gave credit to Deputy Attorney General Nick Katzenbach for dictating the oath of office to Lyndon Johnson.

Actually, Katzenbach was in Washington at the time of the assassination. He was consulted regarding the oath after several Dallas attorneys had been asked for a copy. Katzenbach communicated the oath by phone to Jack Valenti, a Johnson aide.

The person who should have been credited in the article and photograph was my friend, the late U.S. District Judge Sarah T. Hughes. It was Judge Hughes’ voice actually reciting and administering the oath of office to President Johnson.

Though Johnson and Hughes were friends, she humbly admitted that Johnson was not happy with other judges here.

She was a remarkable jurist and I was fortunate as a young college graduate to lunch with her on occasion at the Blue Front German Restaurant in downtown Dallas, one of her favorites.

She made a profound impact on my life as well as on many others. Judge Hughes cannot be forgotten in her key role and contribution to the stability of our democratic system.

— John Humphreys, Arlington

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