President Johnson

Chapter 39: Catherine Cain

Johnson into Presidency

  • November 22, 1963- JFK assassinated → VP- Lyndon B. Johnson sworn into office- keeping most of Kennedy’s cabinet

Election of 1964

  • Democrats- LBJ- WON --------Liberal platform
  • Republicans- Barry Goldwater (senator) ------> attacked federal income tax, Social Security System, the Tennessee Valley Authority, civil rights legislation, the nuclear test-ban treaty, & Great Society Aka Very conservative platform


  • 43,129,566 votes VS 27,178,188 votes
  • Electoral College was 486 to 52

The Great Society

Congress passed tons of legislation under LBJ → Great Society

  • escalating War on Poverty- doubled funding of the Office of Economic Opportunity $2 Billion

  • created 2 new cabinet offices

    • Department of Transportation

    • Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

  • National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities- designed to ^ level of US cultural life

  • Big 4 legislative achievements

    • 1- aid to education

      • went straight to students

    • 2- medical care for eledery & poor

      • 1965- Medicare (old) & Medicaid (poor)

    • 3- immigration reform

      • Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965-

        • abolished quota system

        • Doubled # of immigrants allowed to enter country anually

        • shifted immigration from Europe → Latin America & Asia

    • 4- new voting rights bill

24th Amendment

24th Amendment

  • Ratified January 1964
  • Abolished poll tax in federal elections
  • "Freedom summer" of 1964- registered many black voters
  • MLK jr- gave Johnson permission to use further force in Vietnam if so desire

African Americans continued to be targeted… bombs exploded in in churches,etc. Hard for them to vote still.

Tonkin Gulf Resolution & Vietnam War

Gulf of Tonkin

  • August 1964 - Gulf of Tonkin, U.S. Navy ships had been cooperating w/ South Vietnamese in raids along coast of North Vietnam
  • August 2th & August 4th - 2 U.S. ships allegedly fired upon-- Johnson called attack "unprovoked" & ordered a "limited" retaliatory air raid against North Vietnamese bases
  • Johnson used the event- get political gains

  • spur congressional passage of Tonkin Gulf Resolution; lawmakers virtually gave up war-declaring powers & handed president a blank check to use further force in SE Asia


  • June 1967- after numerous military threats presented by Egypt- Israel launched a pre-emptive attack on Egypt's airforce---> the Six-Day War------ As a result --> Israel gained Golan Heights, Gaza Strip, & the West Bank
  • Antiwar demonstrations ^ as more & more US soldiers died in Vietnam War
  • early 1968- war become longest & most unpopular foreign war in US history
  • 1967-- Johnson ordered CIA to spy on domestic antiwar activists & encouraged FBI to turn counterintelligence program, code-named "Cointelpro," against peace movement
  • January 1968--Viet Cong attacked 27 key South Vietnamese cities( ie. Saigon)
  • Tet Offensive ended in a military defeat for the VC, but caused US public to demand immediate end to war

March 31, 1968-- Johnson address nation stating would freeze US troop levels & gradually shift more responsibility to South Vietnamese themselves

Civil Rights Act of 1964 & Voting Rights Act (Johnson's Civil Rights)

Civil Rights Act of 1964

  • Gave federal gov more power to enforce school-desegregation orders
  • prohibit racial discrimination all kinds of public accommodations & employment
  • In honor of JFK
  • Created Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Voting Rights Act of 1965

  • August 6th
  • Outlawed literacy tests
  • sent fed voter registers to south states

1968- a "watershed" year

Watershed year because of the cascade of events that occurred!!

  • TET Offensive Begins
  • North Vietnam attacks 27 major south Vietnam cities
  • Students Protest Against Dow Chemical Recruiters - March 6, 1968
  • Eugene McCarthy Gets 40% of Vote - In the New Hampshire primary
  • Robert Kennedy Announces Candidacy for President
  • President Johnson Renounces Bid for Re-Election -
  • President Johnson's announcement –"I shall not seek and I will not accept the nomination of my party as your President"
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Assassinated - April 4, 1968
  • NYU Adopts New Minority Recruitment Policy
  • Marijuana Survey Taken
  • NYU "International Student Faculty Strike to Bring Troops Home"
  • Columbia University Shut Down By Student Strike - April 23, 1968
  • Paris Student Protest Triggers Nationwide Crisis
  • Robert Kennedy Assassinated
  • USSR Invades Czechoslovakia
  • Anti-War Protesters & Police Battle in Chicago During Democratic National Convention
  • The Hatchett Controversy - mid-September 1968
  • Hatchett Fired - October 11, 1968
  • General Strike
  • Nixon Protest
  • King Center Independent
  • Nixon Defeats Humphrey By the Thinnest Margin In History
  • Chi-Reston Incident
  • NYU Suspends Students for Chi-Reston Incident