Johnson, Lyndon B.


VP LBJ declines a dinner-dance invitation from Tunisia’s US Ambassador, the son of its president


Type: Letter

Description: (1908-1973) Texas US Senator & Senate Majority Leader, VP 1961-63, succeeded to presidency on assassination of JFK; US President 1961-69, noted for Vietnam War and “Great Society” domestic programs.

TLS “Lyndon B. Johnson” on 9 x 7 blue-printed “Office of the Vice President” letterhead with seal at top, Washington, March 7 1963,  to Hon. Habib Bourgiba Jr., Tunisia’s Ambassador to the US.  VP Johnson appreciates Bourgiba’s invitation to a March 14 dinner and dance (“a truly ‘fun’ party”), would like to be there but regrettably declines as plans have already been made for that evening.

At bottom left, Ambassador Bourgiba likely has written in red pencil “Sg Shriver/28 Juin 85/  347  1731” (possibly JFK brother-in-law/statesman then Peace Corps Director Sargent Shriver’s telephone number). Was he using this letter as “scratch paper”?

Habib Bourguiba Jr. (1927-2009) Tunisian diplomat and politician, son of Habib Bourgiba, 1st President of Tunisia 1957-87, who led Tunisia to independence from France. He was appointed Tunisia’s Ambassador to France in November 1958, Tunisia’s Ambassador to the US 1961-64. As Tunisia’s Charge d’affaires, he opened the embassy in 1956 on independence. He was Minister of Foreign Affairs 1964-70. While attending King Hassan II of Morocco’s 1971 birthday celebration, 2 Moroccan army officers launched a coup against the King. When a grenade landed at Hassan’s feet, Bourguiba courageously threw it back before it could detonate, likely saving the King’s life. was Minister of Justice until named by his father as a Special Counselor in 1977. He was removed from office as part of the 1987 coup d’état that overthrew his father’s administration.

Condition: Very good


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