Hawaii’s Inouye, Senator and War Hero, Dies at 88
Dec 18, 2012
by Associated Press
[posted on time.com on December 17, 2012]
On Dec. 7, 1941, high school senior Daniel Inouye knew he and other Japanese-Americans would face trouble when he saw Japanese dive bombers, torpedo planes and fighters on their way to bomb Pearl Harbor and other Oahu military bases.
He and other Japanese-Americans had wanted desperately to be accepted, he said, and that meant going to war.
“I felt that there was a need for us to demonstrate that we’re just as good as anybody else,” Inouye, who eventually went on to serve 50 years as a U.S. Senate from Hawaii, once said. “The price was bloody and expensive, but I felt we succeeded.”
In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson urged Vice President Hubert Humphrey, who had won the Democratic nomination for President, to select Inouye as his running mate. Johnson told Humphrey that Inouye’s World War II injuries would silence Humphrey’s critics on the Vietnam War.
“He answers Vietnam with that empty sleeve. He answers your problems with (Republican presidential candidate Richard) Nixon with that empty sleeve,” Johnson said.
Inouye, 88, died Monday of respiratory complications at a Washington-area hospital. As a senator, he became one of the most influential politicians in the country, playing key roles in congressional investigations of the Watergate and Iran-Contra scandals. He was the longest serving current senator and by far the most important for his home state of Hawaii. read more
In August of 1968, LBJ called Hubert Humphrey to encourage him to choose Inouye for his running mate. Move the slider to 9:25 to hear the portion of the call related to Inouye: