MacBird Redux: What 1967 Was Really Like

In February, 1967 “MacBird,” an off-Broadway play by 25-year-old Barbara Garson, parodied Shakespeare’s murderous Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, lampooning President and Mrs. Johnson — as MacBird and Lady MacBird. It boldly asserted that MacBird had not only arranged for the murder of Ken O’Dunc (JFK) but even Adlai Stevenson’s suspicious death in 1965.

LBJ and “Lady Bird” as MacBird and Lady MacBird

The current meme circulating through social media — one of several attempting to reinvent President Johnson as one of the “great” presidents — portrays LBJ agonizing over the deaths and injuries of so many men he had consigned to “save” Vietnam, in a civil war mostly engineered by the CIA, in the person of Edward Lansdale (See LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assasination, Skyhorse edition, 2011-2013, pp. 171-173).

To advance that fantasy, a photo that supposedly reflected that meme has been misrepresented as such; proof of that was reported in the linked alternative news site, evidently the only kind that digs for such truths rather than accept the time-worn myths advanced by the “mainstream media” (MSM).[1] This report conclusively proves that Johnson was not overcome by emotion for the mayhem and deaths he was causing — he was simply trying to hear an audio recording from his son-in-law, Chuck Robb.

LBJ NOT Agonizing Over Deaths of His Soldiers —
(He’s merely trying to listen to a poor recording from the speaker box clearly in the photograph directly in front of him!)

In a January, 1967 article “JFK Death Plot Play Defended” by Mort Young of the New York World Journal Tribune, the author stated that the play generally hews “closely to the Shakespearean version, [but] Mrs. Garson has turned ‘MacBeth’s’ three witches into an elderly liberal, a beatnik and a Black Muslim who intone — instead of ‘bubble, bubble’ — ‘Burn, baby, burn’.”

The excerpts below reflect how it portrayed, in real time, the actual undercurrents of public opinion at that precipitous point in history (Hint: There is nothing in this play that suggests MacBird had any remorse whatsoever for his actions that resulted in nearly 40,000 deaths of American boys, or empathy for their families — or anyone else for that matter who might have wanted to dissuade him from continuing the insanity).

His attitudes about the protesters in Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House who repeatedly chanted “Hey, Hey, LBJ, How Many Kids Did You Kill Today,” are reflected in this text from the screenplay: “Flush out this filthy scum; destroy dissent. It’s treason to defy your president.”[2]

J. Edgar Hoover — who was then considered by most people to be a reputable and honest man — now known to be an unscrupulous, outrageously corrupted demonic scoundrel who could now (were he not beyond justice by being dead) be tried for multiple illegal, unconstitutional, highly immoral acts, opined on the MacBird play as follows: [3]

[Hoover] assailed organizers of campus filthy-speech movements and the author of the play “MacBird”, asserting that they were “determined to destroy all acceptable standards of personal conduct and sane behavior.” [ . . . ] He said the nation “cannot live with lawlessness, unbridled vulgarity, obscenity, blasphemy, perversion and public desecration of every sacred and just symbol.”

We should be alarmed when widespread recognition and monetary awards go to a person who writes a ‘satirical’ piece of trash which maliciously defames the President of our country and insinuates he murdered his predecessor. [ . . . ] He urged Americans to “stop deifying offbeat dolts whose ability is measured only by how they can dip their poisonous pens in the pots of blasphemy, filth and falsehood.”

This summary of his lengthy tirade brings to mind the famous line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “Methinks the lady doth protest too much,” which may be pertinent in more than one way.


[1] Novak, Matt, “The Real Story Behind That Viral Photo of President Johnson During the Vietnam War.” here:

[2] The complete screenplay can be viewed at Hood College’s Weisberg Collection here:

[3] The complete article can be viewed at Hood College’s Weisberg Collection here:

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