President Lyndon B. Johnson Praises Governor Pat Brown of California, Days After Brown Surrendered the Governor’s Chair to Ronald Reagan

Edmund G. (Pat) Brown was Governor of California, and he had the honor of placing Lyndon Johnson’s name in nomination at the Democratic National Convention in August 1964. This was the only presidential nomination Johnson received. Brown lost his reelection bid to Ronald Reagan in November 1966, and on January 2, 1967...

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President Lyndon B. Johnson Praises Governor Pat Brown of California, Days After Brown Surrendered the Governor’s Chair to Ronald Reagan

Edmund G. (Pat) Brown was Governor of California, and he had the honor of placing Lyndon Johnson’s name in nomination at the Democratic National Convention in August 1964. This was the only presidential nomination Johnson received. Brown lost his reelection bid to Ronald Reagan in November 1966, and on January 2, 1967 turned the office over to Reagan and left the public sector.

Johnson wrote him a letter filled with balm to soothe his wounded feelings. Typed letter signed, as President, on White House letterhead, Washington, January 6, 1967, to Brown, praising him in every way possible. “One of the privileges of the Presidency is the opportunity it affords for sharpening the mind and opening the heart with the ablest Americans. You gave me such an opportunity on your recent visit here. I am grateful for it and will make the most of it.

“Your letter is a bonus. I consider its counsel a second opportunity to put the uniqueness of your talents and insights at the service of all our people. I know that they share my admiration and appreciation of your accomplishments on California’s and America’s behalf. Like me, they are reassured that your good mind and heart will be searching on for new achievement. You know that whenever you are in Washington you need no engraved invitation to call. It will always be my privilege to have the pleasure of your company. May the New Year bring you all gladness and good fortune.”

Brown is remembered in California for his monumental infrastructure projects, building aqueducts, canals, and pump stations, that established new fertile lands for California’s crops. The state also saw 11 new universities built, making its education system the largest in the world. Brown’s son Jerry is the incumbent Governor of California, and has in fact served 14 years in that post.

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