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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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life prior to that time that had anything to do with conservation or protection of natural resources.

But I remember saying that here he has made a whole campaign speech on this subject, and this proves that he thinks it's politically important enough to devote a speech to it, and this means that conservation has now become politically of age in this country. I was saying this half jokingly, but only half jokingly. I don't think Kennedy had any original or basic feeling about this -- but he did make this speech; it was a good speech, saying all the right things.

When he became president, he appointed a superb Secretary of the Interior, [Stewart] Udall, who really did know and cared a lot about this and was of course the best conservation Secretary of the Interior -- I mean, from the point of view of conservation and environmental protection -- that we had ever had, even going back to the Roosevelt -- [Harold L.] Ickes was pretty good, appointed by FDR, but in a different way. But Moe Udall -- I mean Stew Udall -- was genuinely a real conservationist in the modern sense and was very good. So I have to give Kennedy strong marks for that.

When you asked me to compare Kennedy to Lyndon, I think Udall stayed on as Secretary through the Johnson administration. I don't think of Johnson as strong a conservationist as Kennedy, partly because of Kennedy's appointment of Udall as well as some of the legislation that was adopted during the Kennedy years, such as establishment of the Cape Cod National Seashore. But in any case, I don't really associate Lyndon Johnson with any major environmental interest in the way that I do associate Jack Kennedy.

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