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Lyndon B. Johnson

“Ask him about the cemeteries, Dean!"

In 1966 upon being told that President Charles DeGaulle had taken France out of NATO and that all U.S. troops must be evacuated off of French soil President Lyndon Johnson mentioned to Secretary of State Dean Rusk that he should ask DeGaulle about the Americans buried in France. Dean implied in his answer that that DeGaulle should not really be asked that in the meeting at which point President Johnson then told Secretary of State Dean Rusk:

"Ask him about the cemeteries Dean!"

That made it into a Presidential Order so he had to ask President DeGaulle.

So at end of the meeting Dean did ask DeGaulle if his order to remove all U.S. troops from French soil also included the 60,000+ soldiers buried in France from World War I and World War II.

DeGaulle, embarrassed, got up and left and never answered.”


Lyndon B. Johnson
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