Lyndon Baines Johnson

36th President of the united states, from 1963-1969

Johnson's Ascent to the Presidency

  • Riding in an open limousine on November 22, 1963, president John F. Kennedy was shot in the head and died
  • Vice President Johnson was sworn in as president on an airplane on his way to Washington with the body
  • Kept most of Kennedy's advisers and did his best to honor the lost President
  • Lyndon Baines Johnson was later elected in 1964
  • He headed the democratic party with the most liberal platform since Truman
  • His opponent was one of the most conservative politicians to run for president
  • Barry Goldwater attacked the federal systems created in the past decades, and Johnson attacked his trigger-happy military ideals.
Big image

The Great Society

  • Johnson's new domestic policy was aimed at combating poverty
  • Named The Great Society
  • Gained public support because so many lived in poverty
  • created new cabinet offices, dept of Transportation and dept of Housing and Urban Development
  • Channeled educational aid to students rather than schools
  • Created medicare system to aid the elderly and the poor
  • Reformed immigration laws to eliminate most restrictions and double the total number allowed in per year
  • Many conservatives argued that Johnson wasted billions of dollars on "Social Engineering"
Big image

The 24th Amendment to the Constitution

  • Twenty-fourth amendment Ratified on January 23, 1964
  • outlawed the poll tax in federal elections to keep voting fair
  • Some critics thought the amendment did not go far enough to protect black voting rights in state and local elections
  • This was to combat policies in post-reconstruction south aiming to disenfranchise black voters
  • the poll tax as a whole was deemed unconstitutional in 1966
Big image

Tonkin Gulf Resolution and Veitnam War

  • Tonkin Gulf
  • Early August, 1962
  • US Navy worked against North Veitnam to aid the south without knowledge of the public or congress
  • US Ships were fired upon by North Veitnamese ships, but it was likely to have been in self defense
  • Johnson ordered a retaliation after declaring the attack unprovoked, but without intending to enter a larger combat situation
  • Johnson used this incident to pass the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which allowed him to use his own judgement and freely use whatever further force in Southeast Asia he chose


  • Vietnam War
  • The conflict in Vietnam escalated and Viet Cong guerrillas began to attack US bases while the US bombed Northern Vietnam
  • Johnson originally thought that gradually entering into conflict would drive the enemy to surrender, but the North Vietnamese persevered longer than they thought.
  • The war was at a stalemate
  • Many countries did not like a global superpower like the US attacking an underdeveloped nation
  • Public opposition rapidly increases and became the longest and least popular struggle in US History
  • The conflict raged on, lowering public support for Johnson, who was split between following public request and the army's desires
  • Eventually, the war played a large part in influencing the 1968 election, because Democrats and Republicans both wanted to finish out the war with an honorable peace
Big image

Civil Rights act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act

  • Outlawed discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, or national origin
  • The civil rights act allowed the federal government to enforce desegregation in schools and other institutions
  • because of intimidation and poverty, as few as 5% of blacks were voting
  • Blacks were finally able to vote freely, giving them power to make changes in society
  • Whites now had to cater to blacks for votes in order to guarantee victory
Big image

The year 1968

  • A major communist offensive launched in Vietnam shatters all hopes for the war ending soon
  • Johnson delivers his address to the nation in which he declares that he will not be running in the upcoming election
  • Robert Kennedy, brother to the late JFK, who was running for president, was assassinated on June 5th
  • The Soviet Union invades Czechoslovakia with over 200k Warsaw pact troops on August 20th, putting an end to the prague spring, and beginning a period of enforced and oppressive "normalization"
  • After months of stalling, the South Vietnamese government agrees to join the Paris Peace Talks
Big image