CELEBRATING F.O.I.A. ON INDEPENDENCE DAY

On July 4, 1966, Lyndon B. Johnson surprised even some of his closest aides by signing the Freedom of Information Act. Johnson was said to have hated the “government-information bill”; he questioned the motives of the Democrat who was its chief architect, and was so disturbed by its passage that Bill Moyers, then L.B.J.’s press secretary, warned its supporters not to get their hopes up. With Congress in recess and the President vacationing in Texas, it was widely expected that Johnson would pocket-veto the bill.

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