Presidents Bridge the Divide Between Nations

Two presidents embrace in front of crowd.
US President Lyndon B. Johnson embraces Mexican President Adolfo López Mateos at Bowie High School Ceremony in El Paso, Texas on September 25, 1964.

LBJ Presidential Library

“President López Mateos, the Chamizal is a very small tract of land. But the principle is a very great one. Let a troubled world take note that here, on this border, between the United States and Mexico, two free nations, unafraid, have resolved their differences with honor, with dignity, and with justice to the people of both nations.” -- President Lyndon B. Johnson, September 25, 1964


Between 1962 and 1968, two presidents from the United States and two presidents from Mexico coordinated efforts to finally resolve the Chamizal Problem. At a meeting in Mexico City In 1962, President Adolfo López Mateos and President John F. Kennedy pledged that their representatives would work out a solution. In this picture from the LBJ Presidential Library, US President Lyndon B. Johnson and Mexican President Adolfo López Mateos embrace during a ceremony on the grounds of the old Bowie High School (current Guillen Middle School) in El Paso, Texas on September 25, 1964. This ceremony celebrated the Chamizal Convention, signed on August 29, 1963 in Mexico City. On October 28, 1967 President Johnson met with President Gustavo Díaz Ordaz in Ciudad Juarez to complete the land transfer agreed upon in the Chamizal Convention. These two presidents met again on December 13, 1968 to ceremonially open the recently completed Adolfo López Mateos River Channel that established a new border between neighboring republics. A nearly 100-year-long dispute ended through cooperation.

Last updated: February 17, 2017

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