This article asks new questions about the U.S.-Australian alliance at the height of the Cold War. Looking at Lyndon B. Johnson's visit to Australia in October 1966—the first time a serving U.S. president had set foot in the country—the article contends that Johnson's presence brought Australian and U.S. approaches to the Cold War into sharp relief, shedding new light on the policies of both countries, especially as they grappled with the ongoing conflict in Vietnam. Although many Australian historians have claimed that this inaugural visit by a U.S. president exposed the alliance between the two countries as that of an imperial power and a colony, a closer look at reactions to the visit reveals a much more complex picture. The article challenges the widely held assumption that Johnson's trip put the final ceremonial gloss on Australia's exit from the bonds of the British Empire and heralded its entry into a U.S.-dominated global order.

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