Sunday, December 8, 2013

“Ready for Occupancy”: The Greenbrier Bunker

LBJ Letter Heading_Lo

Just a couple of weeks before the Cuban missile crisis, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson updated President John F. Kennedy on the status of Project CASPER - the top secret program to provide Congress with a five star emergency relocation facility under the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. The massive facility, in short, was “ready for occupancy.”

Food Rotation_Lo

It is hard to imagine JFK being too concerned with the “rotation of food stocks” and the “stockage of office supplies,” but we were delighted to find that such minutiae were included in the Vice President’s report.

Greenbrier Rations

Though he is not named,  the “project coordinator,” mentioned in the letter is Fred C. Hicks, Jr. (1920-1971) pictured below. We will be presenting a biography of Mr. Hicks soon.        

Cigarette_Lo Res

Read the full letter below.

LBJ Casper Status Report: 10/2/62


Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library
National Security File, Files of C.V. Clifton
Box No. 2
Folder: Project Casper
Document: Vice President Johnson to President Kennedy, October 2, 1962


Don H said...

Hey, are you ever going to publish your biography of Fred Hicks?

coonass said...

LBJ's concern for rotation of food stocks in a hole in the ground he thought Congress might have to actually use pretty soon makes him seem a little smarter to me than he did before. While you're right that it probably wasn't high on JFK's priority list, concern for little details like "are the rations going to actually be edible when the Bomb is dropped?" makes LBJ a little more sympathetic to me and possibly others who've had to plan for horrible contingencies (you don't grow up in hurricane country without thinking about stuff like that).

Good article! Keep 'em coming!