Luci Baines Johnson opens up about the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination on “Face the Nation”

(CBS News) – "For me, it was a moment that changed my world for always,” said Lucy Baines Johnson Sunday on “Face the Nation,” in her first interview about President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

In a portion of the interview cut from the Sunday broadcast, Johnson described what happened when she arrived home from school on November 22nd, 1963.

“I sat glued to the television set very much in a state of trauma until I realized, ‘I've got to do something to help,’” Johnson said.

“In the southern part of the United States, where you and I both hail from,” she said to Schieffer, “you find yourself when you hear that somebody has been injured or is ill or died, you take a pot roast to the family or bake some cookies.”

“Well, obviously that was not going to be appropriate in this case,” Johnson continued, “so I did the only thing I could think of as a young 16-year-old girl: I went and washed my hair because I knew there would be no time for such mundane activities later. But indeed, it would be necessary.”

The youngest daughter of Lyndon B. Johnson also recounted her family’s difficulty moving into White House after Kennedy’s death.

“One night I heard my mother and father actually have raised voices. That was just not in their temperament,” she said.

“My mother was saying, ‘No, Lyndon, we can’t. We just can’t.’ And my father was saying empathetically but firmly, ‘Bird, we have to… We have to move on December seventh because that’s the date that’s convenient to Mrs. Kennedy and to the Secret Service.”

Johnson said that as a post-war baby, she didn’t realize the significance of that date. “I didn’t understand that December seventh was a date that would live in infamy for their generation.”  

“November 22nd has become that day for me,” she added.

Read more about our special conversation with Luci Baines Johnson at Newsmax, Politico, UPI and Businessweek. There’s also a behind-the-scenes look at Luci Baines Johnson’s appearance on "Face the Nation" from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

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