Lyndon B. Johnson


1. How Johnson became president

  • After John F. Kennedy was assassinated Lyndon B. Johnson took over as president.

    • He took oath on the Air force plane.

  • The next year 1964 he was nominated to run for the Democratic party for the presidency with Hubert Humphrey as his vice-president. He was opposed by Barry Goldwater

  • Johnson refused to debate Goldwater. Johnson easily won with 61% of the popular vote and 486 of the electoral votes

  • The voters were herded into Johnson’s column by fondness for the Kennedy legacy, faith in the Great Society, and fear of Goldwater.

2. The Great Society

  • Johnson created the Great Society programs a sweeping set of “New Dealish” economic and welfare measures aimed at transforming the American way of life.

    • which included the Big Four

      • aid to education

      • Medicare for the elderly and indigent Medicaid for the poor.

      • immigration reform

        • Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965- abolished quota

      • new voting rights bill.

    • anti poverty programs

      • Project Head Start- sharply improved the educational performance of underprivileged youth.

    • civil rights legislation

    • the passage of some environmental protection acts

    • the creation of laws to help protect consumers

    • created the two new cabinet offices:

      • Department of Transportation

      • Department of Housing and Urban Development

      • National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities

3. 24th Amendment

  • 24th Amendment

    • ratified in January 1964

    • abolished the poll tax in federal elections.

    • The right to vote could not be denied based on the paying or non-paying of a poll tax

4. Tonkin Gulf Resolution and Vietnam War

  • Tonkin Gulf Resolution

    • joint resolution of the U.S. Congress passed on August 7, 1964 in direct response to a minor naval engagement known as the Gulf of Tonkin Incident.

    • Johnson ordered a limited retaliatory air raid against the North Vietnamese bases, loudly proclaiming that he sought “no wide war”

    • the lawmakers virtually abdicated their war-declaring powers and handed the president a blank check to use further force in Southeast Asia.

    • Johnson boasted that it was “like grandma’s nightshirt—it covered everything.”

  • Vietnam War

  • Johnson and his advisers thought that escalation of American force would drive the enemy to defeat with a minimum loss of life.

    • Johnson immediately ordered retaliatory bombing raid against military installations in North Vietnam for the first time and ordered attacking U.S. troops to land.

      • 1965- Americans had “Operation Rolling Thunder” in regular full scale-bombing attacks against North Vietnam.

        • Aerial bombardment strengthened the communist’s will to resist.

        • Johnson steadily raised the military stakes in Vietnam and about half a million troops in 1968

        • Public became unpopular of the war and was decreasing war support by questioning the actions of Johnson

        • 1966- Johnson launched bombing halts

        • 1967- Johnson ordered the CIA to spy on domestic antiwar activists.

        • 1968- Johnson announced on nationwide television that he would finally stop the escalating war. He would gradually stop American troops and transition to South Vietnamese themselves.

5. Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act

  • Civil Rights Act of 1964

    • gave the federal government more muscle to enforce school desegregation orders and prohibits racial discrimination in all kinds of public accommodation and employment.

      • The problem of voting rights remained

      • ballot denying services, literacy tests, and barefaced intimidation restricted African Americans from the political process

  • Voting Rights Act of 1965

    • President Johnson delivered an address on television on what happened in Selma. He insisted all Americans to “overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice” and that in the anthem of the civil rights movement America “should overcome” .

    • Johnson speedily through Congress land marked the Voting Rights Act of 1965 signed into law on August 6.

      • It outlawed literacy tests and sent federal voter registrars into several southern states.

      • Climaxed a century of awful abuse and robust resurgence of African Americans in the South and was the prominent work of the Black Power.

6. 1968 – A “watershed” year!

  • "Watershed Year"

    • Robert Kennedy assassinated in California June 6,1968

      • pro-civil rights presidential candidate in 1968

    • Martin Luther King Jr Assassinated outside his hotel room in 1968

    • Vietnam War

      • 1968- Johnson announced on nationwide television that he would finally stop the escalating war. He would gradually stop American troops and transition to South Vietnamese themselves.

      • Tet Offensive

        • one of the largest military campaigns of the Vietnam War, launched on January 30, 1968 by forces of the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army against the forces of South Vietnam, the United States, and their allies.

    • 1968 Democratic Convention

      • With national media coverage, thousands of anti-war protesters, blacks and Democratic party supporters were clubbed outside the convention hall by Major Richard Daley's police.

    • Apollo 8 capsule beamed back images of "Earthrise" from the far side of the moon for the first time.