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  Lyndon Johnson - Address After Ordering Federal Troops to Detroit, Michigan (July 24, 1967)
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ContributorThomas Walker 
Post Date ,  12:am
DescriptionIn the early morning today, Governor Romney communicated with Attorney General Ramsey Clark and told him of the extreme disorder in Detroit, Michigan. The Attorney General kept me advised throughout the morning.

At 10:56 this morning, I received a wire from Governor Romney officially requesting that Federal troops be dispatched to Michigan. This wire had been sent at 10:46 a.m.

At 11:02 a.m. this morning, I instructed the Secretary of Defense, Mr. McNamara, to initiate the movement of the troops which the Governor had requested.

At the same time, I advised the Governor by telegram that the troops would be sent to Selfridge Air Base just northeast of Detroit and would be available to support and to assist the some 8,000 Michigan National Guardsmen and the several thousand State and local police under the command of Governor Romney and the mayor of Detroit. I informed the Governor that these troops would arrive this afternoon.

I also informed the Governor that immediately Mr. Cyrus Vance, as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense, and others would proceed to Detroit for conferences with the Governor and other appropriate officials.

This plan proceeded precisely as scheduled. Approximately 5,000 Federal troops were on their way by airlift to Detroit, Michigan, within a few hours. Mr. Vance, General Throckmorton, and others were in Detroit and in conference with Governor Romney by the middle of this afternoon.

Their initial report was that it then appeared that the situation might be controlled without bringing the Federal troops from the Selfridge Air Force Base into downtown Detroit. They, therefore, recommended to the President that the troops be maintained on a 30-minute alert and they advised that they would be in continual touch with the situation and with Secretary McNamara and me, making periodic reports about every 30 minutes.
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