In 1973, on this day at his ranch in Stonewall, Texas, Secret Service agents found Lyndon Baines Johnson dead in his bed with a telephone in his hand. The thirty-fifth President of the United States had been trying to call for help after suffering a massive heart attack brought on by years of heavy smoking, poor diet, and extreme stress.
Disgraced President Johnson diesA Southern Democrat, he served as a United States Representative from Texas, from 1937-1949 and as United States Senator from 1949-1961, including six years as United States Senate Majority Leader, two as Senate Minority Leader and two as Senate Majority Whip. After campaigning unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in 1960, Johnson was asked by John F. Kennedy to be his running mate for the 1960 presidential election.
But fate intervened and Johnson himself succeeded to the White House after the assassination of the President-elect on Palm Beach, Florida on December 11, 1960. Once in the Oval Office, he immediately cancelled a covert operation to attack Fidel Castro with a light force of Cuban Rebels. With hindsight he would come to bitterly regret this decision. Because within two years, he would be fighting impeachment charges when it was discovered that the USSR had used the strategic pause to introduce nuclear weapons onto the island.