Accelerating the pace of engineering and science.

Support the news

How Presidents Use Distractions To Get Things Done11:05Download

Play
President Lyndon Johnson walks down a White House corridor on his way to tell the nation and the world of the decision to resume bombing of North Vietnam, Jan. 31, 1966. In February 1966, Johnson traveled to Hawaii to meet Vietnamese leaders Nguyen Cao Ky and Nguyen van Thieu. Historians Brian Balogh and Nathan Connolly say it was an attempt to draw attention away from the start of Sen. J. William Fulbright's (D-Ark.) Vietnam hearings, which threatened Johnson's agenda. (AP)MoreCloseclosemore
President Lyndon Johnson walks down a White House corridor on his way to tell the nation and the world of the decision to resume bombing of North Vietnam, Jan. 31, 1966. In February 1966, Johnson traveled to Hawaii to meet Vietnamese leaders Nguyen Cao Ky and Nguyen van Thieu. Historians Brian Balogh and Nathan Connolly say it was an attempt to draw attention away from the start of Sen. J. William Fulbright's (D-Ark.) Vietnam hearings, which threatened Johnson's agenda. (AP)

The same night Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas, President Trump signed a directive banning transgender people from serving in the military.

Historians Brian Balogh (@historyfellow) and Nathan Connolly (@ndbconnolly) tell Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson that presidents have often made controversial moves while public attention is focused elsewhere.

Balogh and Connolly are co-hosts of the podcast BackStory, which is produced at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.

This segment aired on September 14, 2017.

Related:

+Join the discussion
Share
TwitterfacebookEmail

Support the news