US Sends Troops to Dominican Republic

L-R: George Ball, Sec. Dean Rusk, President Lyndon B. Johnson, Jack Valenti, Richard Goodwin, unidentified, George Reedy, McGeorge Bundy, unidentified.

President Johnson ordered American troops to intervene in the Dominican Republic to maintain order and ensure that there would be no communist government established. American troops remained less than a year.


The Dominican Republic was ruled for many years by Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina. He was assasinated in 1961. In December 1962, the Dominicans elected liberal intellectual Juan Bosch as president. Seven months later the military staged a coup, and President Kennedy cut off all aid. Lyndon Johnson, however, resumed some aid when he became president. On April 25th, some army officers attempted a coup that failed, and the Dominican Republic was plunged into civil war.

On April 28th, President Johnson ordered 23,000 American troops to the Dominican Republic, at the urging of the American Ambassador, who claimed that Communist-oriented rebels might win. The American forces succeeded in bringing order, but met with objections both domestic and from the Organization of American States (OAS). The United States convinced the OAS to send an international peacekeeping force to replace the American forces and, within a year, free elections were held in the Dominican Republic, and all American troops were withdrawn.