Johnson's Election

  • First took over in 1963 after Kennedy's assassination
  • Sworn in on airplane with Kennedy's body heading back to Washington
  • Ran in 1964
  • Democrat
  • Ran against Barry Goldwater
  • Ran with Hubert Humphrey
  • Won by around 15 million popular votes and around 430 Electoral votes
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The Great Society

  • The Great Society was name given to Johnson's New Dealish domestic programs and policies
  • Aimed at combating poverty in America
  • Supporters of Great Society initially seized congress after 1964
  • Increased funding to Office of Economic Opportunity and funded redevelopment of Appalachian region
  • Created the Department of Transportation and The Department of Housing and Development
  • Big Four achievements: aid to education, Medicare care for elderly and indigent, immigration reform, and new voting rights bill
  • Accompanied by Medicaid for the poor
  • Immigration and Nationality act of 1965 accomplished third of the big Four, abolishing previous quota system and doubled allowed annual immigration cap
  • Led to a decline in poverty rates
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965 outlawed literacy tests and other means of discrimination in South
  • The 24th Amendment of 1962 banned poll taxes as a means of discriminating against black voters
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Civil Rights Continued

  • Voting Rights Act made headway against voting discrimination
  • The 24th Amendment of 1962 banned poll taxes as a means of discriminating against black voters
  • To combat discrimination, blacks began migrating towards south
  • The more violent black power movement replaced the peaceful methods of MLK in the fight against discrimination
  • Malcom X became Black Power leader and preached a movement of blacks towards mainstream Islam
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Tonking gulf and the Vietnam War

  • While campaigning against Goldwater, Johnson got the Tonkin Gulf Resolution passed, giving him power to declare war in Vietnam instead of Congress and gave him a blank check to do so
  • 1965 saw an attack against a US airbase by Vietcong at Pleiku, leading to retaliatory bombing raids
  • Also provoked Operation Rolling Thunder, the first ordered attack by US soldiers on North Vietnam and regular bombing raids against the north
  • Communist will to resist increased as result
  • Turned global opinion against US, leading France to order NATO out of its land
  • Ussr took advantage of distraction to grow its power in the mediteranian
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  • FBI headed "Cointelpro" begins targeting growing anti-war supporters in US
  • MLK was assassinated in 1968 outside of a hotel by James Earl Ray
  • Robert F. Kennedy, cousin of John F. Kennedy, was also assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan while giving a speech
  • The Tet offensive by Viet Cong, while unsuccessful, inflicts heavy losses on US and proves Johnson's strategy of increasing pressure won't work
  • Prompted a call for 200,000 more men in Vietnam
  • Eugene McCarthy became leader of antiwar college students in "Children's Crusade" against the war
  • Johnson announced that he would begin halting escalation in Vietnam
  • Also pleaded that the nation unify until victory was achieved and announced he would not run for president in 1968
  • The nation was now firmly divided between pro-war and anti-war supporters, and the foundation of the government began to crumble
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