American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Memory, Exhibit Object Focus

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LBJ as Caesar

Supply Object Title
Herb Block (1909–2001)
Ev tu? June 10, 1966
Published in the Washington Post, June 10, 1966
Ink, graphite, and opaque white over graphite underdrawing on layered paper
Herbert L. Block Collection
Gift, 2002, Herb Block Foundation
Prints & Photographs Division
Courtesy of the Herb Block Foundation (10)

On May 24, 1966, Illinois Republican Everett Dirksen (1896-1968) took the Senate floor to call for a "thorough discussion of the diplomatic, military and political situation in Vietnam." He attacked President Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) for lack of candor as military engagements increased and United States warplanes carried out a record number of air strikes on North Vietnam. Dirksen and Johnson had become good friends during the time both served in the Senate, and Dirksen's words represented a change from his long support for Johnson's policies in Vietnam. The cartoon alludes to William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, in which Caesar says, "Et tu, Brute?" when stabbed by his trusted friend Brutus. The title plays on Dirksen's first name, Everett.

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