The Claycord Online Museum – President Lyndon Johnson in Concord for the Grand Opening of BART

November 3, 2015 14:00 pm · 32 comments

President Johnson arriving at Concord (4605174443)

Anybody out there remember when President Lyndon Johnson visited Concord for the grand opening of BART?

Pictured above is a photo of the President’s helicopter landing at what looks like is the Concord Naval Weapons Station on June 19, 1964.

And below, President Johnson is pictured at BART.


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Top Photo Credit: By Bill Larkins [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Bottom Photo Credit: Mike “Radar” Dunn

Ricardo Shilly Shally November 3, 2015 at 3:02 PM

Interesting that he’s in an Army helicopter. I’ve always assumed the POTUS traveled in a USMC helicopter for rotary wing flights.

Country Joe November 3, 2015 at 3:17 PM

“Gimme an F”

anon November 3, 2015 at 3:35 PM

I think that picture of the helicopter was close to where the skate park is now.
The trains are on the old railroad tracks where Bart tracks are now.

THE BLACK KNIGHT November 3, 2015 at 3:41 PM

Ricardo Shilly Shally #1,

Up until the mid 1970’s (I believe it was 1976?) the President traveled on Army One and Marine One. The Presidential helicopter duties were divided between the Army and Marines, until the Marines were given full duties of official Presidential helicopter transportation. There is an Army One helicopter on display at the Richard Nixon Library in southern California. Not long after the demise of Army One/Army Two, President Carter sold the Presidential yacht, the USS Sequoia, which was also known as Coast Guard One. I would like all branches of the armed forces to somehow share or be represented in official transportation duties of the President, Vice President, and those in the line of succession.

I'm The Urban Spaceman November 3, 2015 at 3:42 PM

LBJ wasn’t President when BART opened

Cellophane November 3, 2015 at 3:53 PM

I hope people don’t think this is something to be proud of…

Johnson did a lot of horrible things that killed a lot of soldiers as well as began the war on poverty that killed the aspirations of so many people.

Kirkwood November 3, 2015 at 4:14 PM

I remember the helicopter blew away several rows of folding chairs.

THE BLACK KNIGHT November 3, 2015 at 4:28 PM

I’m The Urban Spaceman #5,

President Johnson came to Concord for the BART groundbreaking ceremony.

Silva November 3, 2015 at 4:33 PM

LBJ sure wsn’t President when BART opened. He was Prez in the ’60’s, and BART opened in the ’70’s.

Silva November 3, 2015 at 4:38 PM

His correct title would still include President even if he was here for the grand opening of BART. But why would LBJ be here for that? Anyway, I sure don’t remember it.

MonumentMan November 3, 2015 at 4:46 PM

He landed near the mobile home parks on San Miguel Road. Right were the maint yard is now.

MonumentMan November 3, 2015 at 4:57 PM

Johnson came to Concord to attend the ground breaking of BART. His helicopter landed right at the test track, which is where the Maintenance yard is now, located right next to San Miguel Rd near the mobile home parks. He plunged some dynamite to officially open construction. I was there that day,

Always Right November 3, 2015 at 5:09 PM

Worst President of all time (until Obama came along)

@BK November 3, 2015 at 5:26 PM

The Sequoia was a Navy ship, at least during Nixon’s presidency. My father served on this ship for Tricky Dick.

typical claycordian November 3, 2015 at 5:30 PM

I wonder if he introduced the BART trains to “Jumbo”, the way he did with so many other unfortunate people.

George November 3, 2015 at 5:39 PM

BART opened up on September 11, 1972 which is much later than when Johnson was president.

anonymous November 3, 2015 at 5:52 PM

I was there. It was really exciting I was 8 yrs old and it was just a couple blocks from my house.

I'm The Urban Spaceman November 3, 2015 at 5:54 PM

Thanks Black Knight, that makes sense.

THE BLACK KNIGHT November 3, 2015 at 6:13 PM

@BK #14,

I might have mixed up the Coast Guard with the Navy then. I read a book about the presidential yachts a few years back that attributed some function of the Sequoia to the Coast Guard. I thought it was their ship, but maybe I read Navy One and not Coast Guard One, and just got the branches mixed up, it has been a while.

To bad Carter sold it off. Johnson and Nixon would take members of Congress out and wouldn’t go back to the ship yard until they agreed to a deal.

George November 3, 2015 at 6:17 PM

It sounds like BART was under construction for over 8 years before it opened up?

PO'd November 3, 2015 at 6:32 PM

Can’t be BART opening in 1964. Most likely, he was stumping for the White House. Probably was shovel/ground breaking ceremony for BART, and a great photo-op for the first new transit project in decades for the U.S..

MonumentMan November 3, 2015 at 6:33 PM

The ground breaking was June 19, 1964. The Concord line opened on May 21, 1973. A trip to San Fran. was something like 60 cents.

RunnerDope November 3, 2015 at 7:09 PM

I wasn’t there, but I had friends at Oak Grove that went. It was right where Monument Man said.

94521 November 3, 2015 at 7:19 PM

BART didn’t open in 1964 when this photo was taken. That was the early 70s.

Instead of Grand Opening, do you mean Ground Breaking?

J. November 3, 2015 at 7:49 PM

I was there too. It was not a groundbreaking. The ground had long been broken. BART had a short test track set up with actual track and an actual string of train cars. We got to tour them. It was fun. Lots of folding chairs, Porta-Pottys, banners, music, speeches, etc. It was a celebration fit for the whole family back when families came first in Concord.

I’ve heard of Coast-Guard-One for helo trips for the POTUS.

THE BLACK KNIGHT November 3, 2015 at 8:34 PM


Governor Brown, Mr. Falk, Mr. Speaker, ladies and gentlemen:

Those who believe that the frontiers of America are closed should be out here today. The dreams and the deeds represented by this ceremony prove that the era of the pioneers is not over. Only the area of pioneering has changed.

Yesterday’s frontiers were vast empty lands, waiting to be claimed and cultivated by settlers who crossed the continent to start a new life. Today’s frontiers are teeming cities, where too many people already lead a neglected life.

Yesterday’s frontiers were crisscrossed by wagon trains. Today’s frontiers are clogged by automobiles.

There are more than 80 million motor vehicles on our roads today. By 1980 there will be 120 million, almost one vehicle for every two people.

There are almost 1 l/2 million registered vehicles in the Bay Area alone. If they were lined up bumper to bumper, they would stretch from California to Maine–although I wouldn’t recommend a trip under such circumstances.

So we must develop adequate alternative means of transportation, or the coming crisis of congestion may do more to frustrate the growth and development of America than all the burning deserts and the barren mountains which stood in the path of our ancestors a century ago.

You here in California are doing something about that crisis. This mass transit system is a victory, a victory for vision of men who started 12 long years ago to make it a reality.

Now we need a major national effort to solve the problems of rapid transit, and this administration is determined to make that effort.

Our Urban Mass Transportation Act sponsored by this administration has already passed the Senate of the United States and it will soon come to a vote in the House. We are going to do our dead level best to see that it passes the House and becomes the law of the land.

Both Republicans and Democrats are supporting that measure because transportation is a bipartisan problem. It is also national in scope. Seventy percent of our people live in metropolitan areas. Fifty-three of our country’s biggest metropolitan areas either border or cross State lines. Their transit problems ignore local boundaries, but their taxing powers are limited and their resources are already strained.

Congress has voted billions of dollars to build highways, to build airports, to dredge harbors, to build canals, to improve river. navigation. In the last century Congress helped finance railroads and shipping lines, to open up new areas of the country, to open up new trade routes abroad.

Now Congress and the Federal Government must help to solve the problems of transportation. These problems require us to create new concepts of cooperation, a creative federalism between the Federal Government, the State governments, and local communities.

And that is what our bill will do.

When this bill went before one of the committees of Congress last year, a distinguished Republican Congressman from Ohio said to Congressman Patman from my State, who was testifying in favor of the bill, “Why are you from Texas interested in helping the people of New York solve their traffic problems?”

And the Congressman from my State said, “Well, I am interested because this is the United States of America, and the people of my State are as involved with the people of New York and California as the people of New York and California must be with the people of Texas.”

That is the kind of spirit that we need in this country, and that is the kind of spirit that I have found in California.

The idea that we are 50 separate countries, that the Federal Government representing the destiny of 190 million people does not have a duty to meet the needs of those people-this idea is as out of date as the dinosaur.

The well-being of our people, the well-being of all of our people, is our first priority. I do not believe that the American people want to run a losing race with change. I believe that they want a happy partnership with their Government in order to turn the perils of the present into a promising future.

So we are going to work with the people of our States. We are going to work with the people of our communities to solve the problems of those communities and those States.

This administration does not intend to permit America to stagnate.

This administration is not going to stand still.

With the help of you wonderful people who have come here today, with the help of all of the people of the great State of California, your country is going to move ahead, to give every American a fair chance to lead a useful and a happy and a prosperous life. That is the function of government and that is what government under this administration will do.

Thank you.


Note: The President spoke at Concord, Calif., in the San Francisco East Bay area. His opening words referred to Edmund G. Brown, Governor of California, and Adrien J. Falk, president of the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District.

MonumentMan November 3, 2015 at 8:37 PM

This is from the BART web page.

LBJ at BART groundbreaking
50 years ago on June 19, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson was the honored guest for the official groundbreaking of BART on the outskirts of Concord that celebrated the start of construction on the 4.5 mile Diablo Test Track. The track would eventually become part of the Concord line.

THE BLACK KNIGHT November 3, 2015 at 9:48 PM

J. #25,

“I’ve heard of Coast-Guard-One for helo trips for the POTUS.”

True, currently whatever military aircraft the President is aboard will use the name of the branch of military it belongs too, followed by One for the President, Two for the Vice President. Officially, the Air Force and Marines now handle flight transportation, but any military branch can substitute when the need arises. In the recent past, President George W. Bush flew on “Navy One”, and Vice President Joe Biden has flown on “Coast Guard Two”.

Whatever other type of military and non-military transportation used by the President is typically dubbed in the same manner, usually unofficially as it is normally a temporary use. In 1992, President George H.W. Bush campaigned in the former presidential train dubbed “Rail One”. In 2004, President George W. Bush campaign bus was dubbed “Asphalt One” (which was the name of his campaign bus when he ran for Governor of Texas in 1998). In 2012, President Barack H. Obama campaigned in the newly acquired Presidential Bus dubbed “Ground Force One”. Also, “Executive One” has been used on a variety of transportation types most frequently on non-military aircraft.

Papa November 3, 2015 at 10:49 PM

I was there at this groundbreaking ceremony if that is what it was called. I have a picture of this same event. The ceremony was held on the property of my father-in-law and his brother. They had a business, named Hester Bros. Drywall. There is a big warehouse there now and it’s located beside the new PGE building on Detroit Ave. across from Sharry park.

dinkydau November 4, 2015 at 5:30 AM

My parents bought me a new Honda 50, C-110 super sport, motorcycle for my 16th birthday the year before. It was between my junior and senior year at Pleasant Hill High. A friend of mine and I rode our Hondas early over where LBJ was going to speak. Where the Bart maint. facility is, that’s the area where LBJ spoke. There was a softball field there and a backstop where the podium was. We parked our bikes where Detroit Ave is now. When LBJ’s helicopter took off it created alot of flying dust and debris due to the dry loose dirt. later that month I was in an accident and flew over someone’s hood of their car. I only wore tennis shoes, shirt and shorts. I came out with elbow and knee abrasions and a broken left big toe! Remember that summer well!

Beacon November 4, 2015 at 6:35 AM

50 years later and it still doesn’t go to Antioch. That might be a good thing considering what Antioch has become.

Ricardo Shilly Shally November 4, 2015 at 8:48 AM

Thanks, THE BLACK KNIGHT for your response. You post the most informative, insightful, sober and logical comments within this sight.

I hear there’s a very expensive Marine One VF-22 Osprey collecting dust somewhere in the Washington.

Also, I wonder if Gov. Reagan ever visited Claycord for any BART ceremonies.

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