Palm Springs had a weird request for residents when LBJ came to town

The Desert Sun has an ongoing series about the times U.S. presidents came to the Coachella Valley (I guess they have time to do this as it’s almost a certainty that the current Twitter Troll in the Oval Office will never come to the ‘junkyard’ that is Palm Springs – which is too bad since we have a lot of good golf courses here.  Not that he ever golfs though. **eyeroll**). One of the articles highlights the time President Lyndon B. Johnson met Mexican President Adolfo López Mateo in February 1964 and how fucking weird Palm Springs was in preparations for their visit.

The paper documents how the city gave two grand (remember, this is 1964 when $2,000 was a lot of cash) to the local chamber to decorate the city, the Palm Springs High PTA held a “Fiesta of Fashions” show with 40 models, and then there’s this….

The city also asked residents to leave their pool lights on until 11 p.m., so Johnson could look down on the city from the home in the hills where he was staying and see a “desert fairyland.”

Ummm, Ok.  This happened?  Really?  Can you imagine the city council meeting where this was discussed?

Councilwoman: “LBJ is coming to town, what do we do to impress him?”

Councilman: “Make sure his pants aren’t too tight around his ‘bunghole‘?”

Councilwoman: “Gross.  I was thinking more along the lines of the city doing something really special.”

Councilman: “Hmmm…how about we light all the homes on fire so he sees a spectacular glow from the home in the hills he is staying in?”

Councilwoman: “How in the world did you get elected?”

Councilman: “It’s 1964 and hardly anyone lives in the desert yet.”

Councilwoman: “True.  So how about we just ask people to turn on their pool lights at night?”

Councilman: “YES!!!  It will look just like a desert fairlyland….uhhh, well, uhhh, I mean, I am told.  Also, Please don’t tell my wife I said that.

And scene.

Anyway.  You can read the whole article – which includes info about LBJ eating asparagus, dates, grapefruits and tangelos – here.


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