Lyndon B. Johnson

Landslide Lyndon

Presidency After JFK

Revealed his true colors of liberalism after garnering popularity through conservatism

Passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964

  • Banned racial discrimination in most private facilities open to the public
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

1965 Johnson order that all federal contractors to take affirmative action against discrimination

Dubbed his program the "Great Society"

Election of 1964

Democratic: Lyndon B. Johnson
  • Vice President: Hubert Humphrey(Senator of Minnesota)

Republican: Barry Goldwater

  • Vice President: William E. Miller(Senator of New York)


Goldwater attacked the federal income tax, TVA, Civil Rights, and the Great Society

Democrats believed he would "Barry" us in the debris of WWII

Johnson won 486 of the electoral votes compared to Goldwater's 52

The Great Society

Comparable to FDR's New Deal and its liberal policies

He escalated the War on Poverty

  • Granted over $1 billion to redevelop Appalachia

Wanted to create new cabinets known as the Department of Transportation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development

  • Robert C. Weaver became the first black cabinet secretary

Passed the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities

  • Lifted level of American Cultural Life
  • Did not address separation of church and state

Medicare and Medicaid came to fruition in 1965

  • Provided healthcare for the old and the poor, respectively
  • Part of the spreading "rights revolution"

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965

  • Abolished the national-origins quota system
  • Doubled the amount of immigrants allowed to enter annually, but limited amount coming from Western Hemisphere

The Great Society faced political attacks

  • Conservatives believed that poverty could not be paper over with money
  • He won battles against poverty but could not win the war

Other antipoverty programs like Project Head Start came about

24th Amendment

  • Passed in 1964 and abolished the poll tax

War in Vietnam

Tonkin Gulf Resolution

  • Gave Johnson the authority to increase the involvement in South and North Vietnam
  • Passed in 1964

Viet Congs attacked American air base in 1965, and Johnson ordered a bombing raid as a retaliation

  • First time US ordered attack
  • Operation Rolling Thunder 1965
  • Full scale bombing attacks against North Vietnam

Americans underestimated the dedication of the North Vietnamese, while the southerns stayed back and watched the Americans

Bombing halted in 1966, but the war was still not over

Cointelpro (Domestic)

  • FBI counterintelligence program against peace movements
  • J. Edgar Hoover

Early 1968, Viet Cong launched a savage attack against 27 South Vietnamese Cities including Saigon.

  • American military leaders were asking for 20,000 more troops to respond against Tet attacks
  • Can not do so without domestic violence

Announced he will not be running again in 1968, after decreasing war efforts.

Civil Rights Act of 1964

Banned racial discrimination in private facilities in most private facilities open to public

  • Including theaters, hospitals and restaurants

Strengthened federal government power's to end segregation in schools.

Created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to eliminate discrimination while hiring

Does not encompass sexual discimination

Voting Rights Act

Ballots were still lopsided because small percentages of blacks were able to vote

  • Poll taxes, literacy test and intimidation prevented them from voting

The 24th Amendment removed the poll tax on voting

Freedom of Summer

  • Blacks joined white civil rights workers in a massive voter-registration drive in Mississippi
  • "We Shall Overcome"

Violence was starting to break out because of this and voter-registration was put to a stop again

1965 Martin Luther King, Jr. resumed the voter-registration campaign in Alabama

  • Encountered tear gas and whips

Voting Rights Act of 1965 outlawed the literacy test and sent federal voter registrars into several southern states.