You are on page 1of 4


The distinguished congressman and chairman of the John Birch Soci ty was an effective and implacable foe f Communism and international terrorism.

Leading the freedom fight: First elected to represent Georgia's 7th Congressional District in 1974, Dr Lawrence Patton McDonald was soon . recognized as one of America's top conservative leaders. Senator Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.) said in 1976 that Larry McDonald had perhaps "contributed more to the Congress than ... any other freshman who has ever come here."

Robert Welch, founder of the John Birch Society, shakes hands with Rep. Larry McDonald atthe recording of Rep. McDonald's speech entitled Education Is the Key. Dr. McDonald worked for many years as a volunteer JBS chapter leader and section leader and joined the National Council of the Society in 1967. In1983 he was named the Society's chairman.



Patriot martyr: After the shootdown ofKAL Flight 007, Larry McDonald appeared on the covers of The Review of the News (a precursor to THE NEW AMERIC N) and A Conservative Digest. In a poll taken shortly before the KAL 007shootdown, the readers of Conservative Digest chose Larry McDonald as the conservative leader who best represented their philosophy. They also named him as one ofthe most adm ired conservatives in Congress in 1980, 1981, and 1982and selected him as one of the three persons they mostwanted to see lead the conservative movement.

wenty years ago, on September 1, 1983, U.S. Representative Larry McDonald (D-Ga.) was en route to Seoul, South Korea, to speak at an anti-Communist conference. Unbeknownst to him and the 268 others aboard KAL Flight 007, they were about to become victims in one of the most blatant acts of state terrori sm of our times.

The civilian Boeing 747 had ju st passed over the southern tip of Sakhalin Island when it was shot down by Soviet SU-15 jet fightt:ers. Rep. Lawrence Patton McDonald, the leading anti-Communist in Congress, was recognized by Soviet leaders as their number one foe in the U.S. Congress. That they would have targeted KAL 007 specifically to eliminate him is not wild conjecture to anyone familiar with Communi st methods and goals. Rep. McDonald, the national chairman of the John Birch Society and a key leader on the House Armed Services Committee, was the forem ost constitutionalist in the House and a top authority on national defense and internal security. During his nine years in Congress, McDonald led many key battles in Washington to expose Soviet infiltration, terrorism, and espionage. He placed many detailed reports on these subjects into the Congressional Record, spoke widely, assisted other conservatives in their election campaigns, and wrote articles for John Birch Society publications. He also produced important books, reports, and video documentaries through the Western Goals Foundation, which he founded. Because of his principled stands and courageous, dynamic leadership, Dr. MeDonald was honored with numerous awards from conservative, patriotic, pro-life, progun, and veterans organizations. He consistently scored perfect or near perfect ratings on the congressional scorecards of the American Conservative Union, National Right to Life Committee, Gun Owners of America, and the American Security Council, as well as the "Conservative Index" of this magazine' s predecessor, The Review of the News.

Astrong defense: As a key leader ofthe House Armed Services Comm ittee, Larry

McDonald spearheaded campaigns forvitally needed weapons systems and exposed the Soviet KGB hand beh ind disarmament schemes such as the nuclear freeze movement, the SALT treaties, and otherefforts that would have made the U .S. militarily inferior to the Soviets.

Although he sat on the advisory boards of many conservative organizations , Dr. MeDonald was very outspoken in his strong belief that the unique grassroots education strat23


Fighting terrorism - two decades before 911: Larry McDonald repeatedly warned that America was allowing itself to remain needlessly vulnerable to terrorist attack. He initiated the effort to restore the House Internal Security Committee and other important security bodies. His hard-hitting video documentary No Place to Hide: The Strategy and Tactics of Terrorism was shown on national television in 1982 and was adopted as atraining tool by many law enforcement agencies. If the urgent warnings he delivered then and the recommendations he offered had been heeded by American leaders, tragedies like the September 11th attacks may well have been averted.

Man ofhealing: Born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1935, Larry McDonald received his medical degree from Emory University in 1957. He served four years as a Navy physician and flight surgeon and later joined the world-famous urological clinic founded by hisfather in Atlanta.

Honoring John Birch: Larry McDonald (second from left) is shown in a 1968 photo with John Birch's parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Birch, as they receive a proclamation from GeorgiaGovernor Lester Maddox declaring August 23rd John Birch Day. John, an Army captain and World War II hero, was murdered bythe Chinese Communists 10days after the war ended.



egy of the John Birch Societ y is essential to reversing the ongoing, precipit ous decl ine of our nation and civilizat ion. In his powerful 1980 video lecture, Edu cation is the Key , MeDonald explained why political action alone ca nnot effect the changes so desperately needed . There must first be a core of the elector ate that und erstand s the con stituti onal principles of limited government. Notin g that most voter s and conservative groups are inordinately fixated on presidential politics, Larry McDonald explained why Congress, and espec ially the House, should be the primary focus. It is there, he said, that we have the chance for "buildin g an informed electorate and understanding at the grass roots level where people can make a change and have that change felt in Washington." We have an obligation to preserve the legacy of freedom passed on to us. "In my opin ion," said McDonald, "the best way to discharge that obligation is by being an active membe r of the John Birch Society." Larry McDonald was articu late, energetic , telegenic, and always well-informed on the important issues of the day. He was a proven leader who could rally bipartisan conservative forces on crucial issues . He was a rising star on the national political scene, often cited as a future senator and a credible presid ential candidat e. But he knew from hard experience that his political victories had only been possible because he and other Birchers had done the earlier laborious work of building a tough core of inform ed, motivated voters in his district. For many years he had worked as a volunteer JBS chapter leader and section leader, build ing the Society's education and action program. Without this informed electorate, he knew he could not win office, take the principled stands he did in Congress, and weather the intense smears and continu ous attacks of his opponents and the media.
, 'J

Constitutionalist congressman: Larry McDonald capably articulated the freedom philosophy in countless interviews and speeches. His book We Hold These Truths, published during the bicentennial year of ournation's independence, is a brilliant review of the U.S. Constitution. McDonald fully embraced the constitutional principles he espoused and dedicated his life to preserving our heritage of freedom . During his nineyears in Congress (1975-1983), he voted consistently againstunconstitutional programs, nomatter how popular.

KAL 007 cover-up: This Korean Air Lines 747 isthe same model as Flight 007, shot down bythe Soviets. The distinctive profile of the massive plane makes it impossible for an experienced fighter pilot to mistake it for a U.S. military spy plane, as the Soviet Union had claimed. But even the facts presented by the U.S. government did notadd up. For more information about the KAL Flight007 tragedy, goto

The loss of Larry McDonald was a tremendous setback to the con servative-con stitutionalist movement in America. But thousands of Americans have been inspired by Larry McDonald's example and have embraced the same cause of liberty to which he unwaveringly devoted - and ultimatel y sacrificed his life. We will not forget him or allow his courageous legacy to be neglected.