Clark Clifford replaces Robert McNamara as Secretary of Defense. McNamara, who had first taken office under President John F. Kennedy, left amid a debate over Vietnam policy precipitated by the Tet Offensive. In the summer of 1967, McNamara had become convinced that the United States should seek an end to the war through a negotiated settlement. In a memorandum submitted to President Johnson, he recommended that the U.S. freeze its troop levels, cease the bombing of North Vietnam, and turn over responsibility for the ground war to South Vietnam. Johnson rejected these proposals outright. After the communists launched the Tet Offensive in January 1968, an increasingly demoralized McNamara left Washington after eight years as Defense Secretary to become the president of the World Bank. Clifford, a successful Washington lawyer and Democratic Party powerbroker, served as Defense Secretary until January 1969, when he departed with the rest of the Johnson administration.
Peace Corps established
On March 1, 1961, President John F. Kennedy issues Executive Order #10924, establishing the Peace Corps as a new agency within the Department of State. The same day, he sent a message to Congress asking for permanent funding for the agency, which would send trained American men ...read more