Redux: U.S. President Lyndon Johnson visits IRRI, 26 October 1966
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Uploaded on Feb 24, 2011
President Lyndon Johnson visited the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI; http://irri.org) on Wednesday, 26 October 1966.
Also see: http://youtu.be/ymKWdhSbkIU
During his pioneer interview, IRRI's first breeder, Peter Jennings, recalls that day:
"Then we got the announcement that President Johnson was coming with President Marcos and their respective wives. Alright, get your shirt out and put the tie on. And indeed, the two presidents came. It was October 1966, and they came for the specific purpose of seeing the miracle rice, the Philippine jargon for IR8.
Well, this is just before lunch. Sometime around 11 o'clock in the morning, they show up. Someone had the foresight [Urbito Ongleo, IRRI photographer, 1961-89] to build a walking area into the field, right in front of the circle, which was between the then administration building [later Chandler Hall] and our laboratory building [later Hill Hall]. There was a plot of IR8 right there. The size of the walkway looked to me like an aircraft carrier. It was maybe 3 meters wide and perhaps 5--6 meters long. This was so the great man would not fall into the mud.
So, we trooped out there—first, Chandler, President Marcos, Beachell, myself, and, right behind me, Johnson. I was starting to walk onto the levee when I heard this deep southern drawl. He said, "Boy!" I know he was talking to me. I answered, "Sir." And he repeats, "Boy, move over to one side; the photographers want to take my picture." When he said "boy" the first time, I thought he might be asking me how to get out of this mess in Vietnam or at least have a question about IR8. No, he wanted his photograph taken. So, the "boy" moved over to one side."
Watch more of Peter Jennings' interview at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxdJ_w... (Part 1) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lXr9w... (Part 2)
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