Lyndon B. Johnson


1963/Election of 1964

- sworn in after Kennedy's death November 22, 1963

- First time a woman administered the oath of office (U.S. District Judge Sarah T. Hughes swore in Johnson on Air Force One)

-Lyndon B Johnson = Democrat

- Senator Barry Goldwater = Republican

- Goldwater opposed federal income tax, the Social Security System, the Tennessee Valley Authority, civil rights legislation, the nuclear test-ban treaty, Great Society

-Lyndon overwhelmingly won

The Great Society

- Congress passed legislation in a manner comparable to that of the Hundred Days Congress

- War on Poverty =Congress doubled funding of the Office of Economic Opportunity to $2 billion

- Congress created two new cabinet offices: Department of Transportation & Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

- money given to The National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities in order to promote the development of American culture

- Big Four; main goals of Great Society plan:

1)aid to education

2) medical care for the elderly and poor

3)immigration reform

4) a new voting rights bill

- to ensure separation of church and state = Johnson gave educational aid to students, not schools -1965 came elderly aiding Medicare poverty assisting Medicaid established

- The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 abolished the quota system; immigration was decided skills and other criteria, immigration admission doubled

- More immigrants from Latin American and Asia than Europe

- Great Society helped poverty to decline the following decade

24th Amendment

- President Johnson realized few blacks registered to vote = 24th Amendment

-passed in 1964

-abolished the poll tax in federal elections

- blacks still severely hampered from voting= Voting Rights Act of 1965

Tonkin Gulf Resolution and Vietnam War

- August 1964 in the Gulf of Tonkin, U.S. Navy ships had been working with the South Vietnamese in raids along North Vietnam's coast

- August 2nd and 4th, two U.S. ships were allegedly fired upon

- Johnson called attack "unprovoked" and ordered a "limited" air raid against the North Vietnamese bases i retaliation

- took advantage of event to pass Tonkin Gulf Resolution in congress; president able to use force in Southeast Asia on his own accord

- February 1965, Viet Cong guerrillas attacked an American air base at Pleiku, South Vietnam

-in retaliation, Johnson to bomb raids and ordered U.S. troops to attack on land for the first time

- By mid-March 1965, "Operation Rolling Thunder" was occurring with regular full-scale bombing attacks against North Vietnam

- South Vietnam's war became more Americanized

- Corrupt governments fell in Saigon, but American officials continued fighting to defend their faithful democratic ally

Pro-war hawks: United Sates leaving Vietnam= nations would doubt America's word and succumb to communism.

- By 1968, via Johnson, more than 500,000 troops in Southeast Asia with annual cost for the war exceeding $30 billion

-January 1968, the Viet Cong attacked 27 key South Vietnamese cities, including Saigon

- Tet Offensive =military defeat for the VC, and demand for American public to demand an immediate end to the war

- American military leaders requested 200,000 more troops and President Johnson began question continued involvement in war

- March 31, 1968, President Johnson issued an address stating he would make efforts to pull America out of Vietnam war and that he would not be pursuing presidency in the Election of 1968

Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act

- Civil Rights Act of 1964

A act made racial, religious, national origin, skin color and sex discrimination by employers illegal

- gave the government the power to enforce all laws governing civil rights, including desegregation of schools and public places

-Voting Rights Act of 1965

-banned literacy tests

- sent federal voter registers into several southern states

- resulted in more politically active blacks and elected black representatives

- it created jobs, contracts, facilities, and services for the black community

- encouraged greater social equality and decreased the wealth and education gap

1968; "Watershed Year"

1968 = a turning point for the nation and its people A

- assassinations, conflicts, pop culture, free love, civil rights, women's rights,

- Americans questioned traditional values and authority

- Americans began to sharply oppose Vietnam with the Tet Offensive

- Martin Luther King assassinated April 4, 1968

- Robert Kennedy was assassinated July 6, 1968

- a new negative attitude towards authority developed

- Discovering that American society was not free of racism, sexism, imperialism, and oppression, many young people lost their morals

- "sexual revolution" birth control pills= increase in sexual activity

- homosexuals were increasingly emerging and demanding sexual tolerance

-Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), had, by the end of the 1960s, spawned an underground terrorist group called the Weathermen.

-three Ps: the youthful population bulge, protest against racism and the Vietnam War, and the apparent permanence of prosperity