A Number of Unseen Salutes Austin The Observer did not see, in any of the many Texas daily newspapers its staff clips, any quotation, direct or indirect, from President Kennedy’s significant statement on Senator Yarborough, recorded for the Yarborough dinner Oct. 19, except for two brief paragraphs in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in a story objecting to the way the statement was released. Yarborough told the throng at the dinner that Kennedy recorded this message once, watched the play-back, and decided to record it a second time, because, Yarborough quoted the President, ” ‘it isn’t good enough for the loyal Democrats who’ll be there. It ought to be the best.’ ” The message was delivered with a film of the President speaking it. The film was projected onto a huge screen that was dropped from above the head table on the the President spoke earnestly and with feeling. Here is the transcription of what he said : “I am delighted to have this opportunity to join all of you in paying tribute to our mutual friend Ralph Yarborough, the senior senator from the state of Texas. Ralph Yarborough speaks for Texas in the United States Senate, and he also speaks for our nation, and he speaks for progress for our people. “I could talk about some of the things that Ralph Yarborough has done, about his work in education, education for all Americans, for veterans, for hospital care under social security, for an income tax cut to stimulate our economy and provide jobs for our people, for the nuclear test ban treaty, a step towards peace, for human liberties, for the goals that bind Democrats together in this state and all over the Union. “But I shall mention two items which you might remember. “The first is my recollection of September, 1961, when hurricane Carla struck Texas. Before the tidal waves receded Ralph Yarborough was at the door of the White House; before the winds died down, he was walking in the debris of the battered cities and towns on the Gulf Coast of Texas, asking, ‘What can I do to help?’ “Secondly, I remember his fight for the bill to establish a national seashore recreational area on Padre Island. It’s a shocking fact that this nation, this great country of ours with over 60,000 miles of seashore, has only a few hundred miles of shoreline actually available for the enjoyment and the use of most of our peoplefor the general public. That’s why I took such pleasure on September 28 of last year in sign ing into law the bill establishing the Padre Island National Seashore Park, and I took pleasure also in handing one of the pens to Ralph Yarborough. “My fellow Democrats, this is a time when all of us who believe in government for the people, who believe in progress for our country, who believe in a fair chance for all of our citizens, who believe in the growth of Texas, who believe in the development of the United States as a great bulwark for freedom, who believe in a United States which is second to none in space, on the sea, on the land, a United States which stands for progressall of thoseI think Ralph Yarborough stands with them. “And it’s a pleasure to salute all of you who are working with Ralph Yarborough to make a better state and a better country. “Thank you.” THE PRESIDENT’S message was printed in the program for the dinner. So were letters on Yarborough from a number of senators who were not present. Excerpts from these: Sen. Mike Mansfield, Montana, the majority leader : “Ralph is a man of vigor, intelligence and integrity, and there is no harder worker, more diligent or conscientious member of the Senate. Texas is indeed fortunate to have a man of the caliber of Ralph Yarborough representing it because he has showed courage and conviction on matters in which he believes, and he has done so regardless of what the effects might be on him personally.” Sen. Hubert Humphrey, Minn., the majority whip: “Ralph is an intelligent man ; he is also a tireless worker and a fighter for the things in which he believes. As a consequence, he gets things done . . . a singularly effective representative of Texas . . . a man of sound, mature judgment and of absolute integrity . . . this warm, good man . . .” Sen. Warren Magnuson, Wash., chairman, commerce committee: “It is my hope that the people of Texas will keep Senator Yarborough in the Senate for many, many years to come.” Sen. Lister Hill, Ala., chairman, labor and public welfare committee: “Champion of America’s veterans, defender of the working man, the farmer, the young and the old, leader in the struggle for federal aid to education, and ardent supporter of every effort to improve the nation’s health . . . ” Sen. Paul Douglas, Ill., chairman, joint economic committee of the House and Senate: “He is a marvelous man and a splendid senator and abundantly deserves to be re-elected.” Sen. John Sparkman, Ala., chairman, select committee on small business: “I have had an opportunity to know something of his dedication . . . a fine and devoted public servant.” Sen. Phillip A. Hart, Mich.: “He is truly one of the indispensable men on our side of the aisle.” Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Mass.: “He has become noted for his depth of vision, his enlightened spirit and his hard work for the benefit of the people. Texas could have no better representative of all its finest traditions.” If any Texas daily newspaper quoted from any of these letters on Yarborough, the Observer did not see the quotations. THE YARBOROUGH program also included a written salute from J. Frank Dobie, the writer: “. . . I have known Ralph Yarborough as friend and man for many years. He is perhaps the best read man that Texas has ever sent to Washington. His cultivated and disciplined mind is always seeking information on subjects that government must act upon. Like other individuals, he travels. in a certain direction, but his mind is not closed to facts and conditions warranting a change of mind. The power of intellect to weigh knowledge and to judge justly is his. “We are all for gain. I myself should not always promise and vote as Senator Ralph Yarborough has promised and voted, but mark this: The only gain he has ever sought, consistently or inconsistently, has been public gain. He does not try to milk the public for private prone. He seeks the good of people. Nor is his consideration of humanity provincial-minded. “. .When values of lifevalues beyond money, values that express civilization, enlightment and justice for the human race come up, we can count on Senator Ralph Yarborough to stand for those values. “I salute him for his sense of civilized values, for his sense of justice, for his enlightened intellect, for his decency as a human being, and for his integrity.” The Observer did not see this statement by Texas’ senior man of letters quoted, or referred to, in any Texas daily newspaper. November 1, 1963 7
You May Also Like
The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.