At Lyndon Johnson’s request, President John Kennedy named John Connally Secretary of the Navy in 1961. Connally resigned eleven months later to run for the Texas governorship. Connally fought hard to protect the Navy’s role in the national space program, having vigorously opposed assigning most space research to the United States Air Force. He managed one of the largest employers in the world. The Navy had an annual budget of $14 billion, and had more than 600,000 in uniform and 650,000 civilian workers, stationed at 222 bases in the U.S. and 53 bases abroad.
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