Unlikely Heroine

Posted on December 3, 2013

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Houston-based speechwriter Hal Gordon reminds us that, in the aftermath of President Kennedy’s assassination 50 years ago, it was an unlikely speechwriter, Liz Carpenter, who wrote the 58 words that Lyndon Johnson spoke to calm a nation.

Here’s what Carpenter, an LBJ aide and occasional speechwriter, wrote on a blank post card as Air Force One flew from Dallas to Washington:

“This is a sad time for all people. We have suffered a loss that cannot be weighed. For me, it is a deep personal tragedy. I know that the world shares the sorrow that Mrs. Kennedy and her family bear. I will do my best. That is all I can do. I ask for your help and God’s.”

As Gordon says, “Ms. Carpenter was confronted with a challenge that could be called unique in the annals of speechwriting, and she rose to it magnificently.”

Makes you proud to be part of the clan of those who put words on paper for others to say.

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