Madelyn Baker Pd 1

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Path to Presidency

  • took over after Kennedy's assassination (he was Vice President) 1963
  • Election of 1964
  • Johnson (Democrat) vs Goldwater (Republican)
  • Johnson won with 486 electoral votes (Goldwater received 52)
  • Issues: Civil Rights, Vietnam, Good Economy
  • Goldwater attacked federal income tax, Social Security system, TVA, civil rights legislation, nuclear test-ban treaty, and the Great Society

The Great Society

  • Johnson's domestic program
  • similar to New Deal economic and welfare measures; wanted to transform way of life in America
  • Big Four legislation achievements: aid to education, medical care for elderly and indigent, immigration reform, and new voting rights bill
  • creation of Medicare and Medicaid: 1965; Medicare = for elderly, Medicaid = for poor
  • --- welcomed by millions of older Americans, many didn't have health insurance, poor couldn't afford medical treatment
  • Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965: abolished "national-origins" quota system; doubled the amount of immigrants allowed to enter annually; set limits on immigrants from Western Hemisphere for the first time

24th Amendment

Twenty-Fourth Amendment

  • ratified in January 1964
  • abolished the poll tax in federal elections
  • important in civil rights movements
  • the poll tax (along with other rules) had prevented blacks from having political power
  • Blacks joined with white civil rights workers for a massive voter-registration drive in Mississippi

Tonkin Gulf Resolution/Vietnam War

Tonkin Gulf Resolution

  • early August 1964
  • American public and Congress both didn't know: US Navy ships had been cooperating with South Vietnamese gunboats in raids along coast of North Vietnam
  • Two American destroyers were allegedly fired upon by North Vietnamese on August 2nd and 4th
  • Johnson said the attack was unprovoked
  • made the Tonkin Golf Resolution: gave Johnson authorization, without a formal declaration of war by Congress, for military force use in Southeast Asia

Vietnam War

  • Tet Offensive: National Liberation Front and North Vietnamese forces launched attack on the Vietnamese New Year (Tet) on 27 important South Vietnamese cities; defeated after a month of fighting and many thousands of casualties; major defeat for communism
  • --- largest increment of troops sent so far during war
  • --- led to declining approval of Johnson and anti-war sentiment

Johnson's Civil Rights

Civil Rights Act of 1964

  • banned racial discrimination in most private facilities open to public (theaters, hospitals, and restaurants
  • strengthened federal government's power to end segregation in schools and other public places
  • created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to eliminate discrimination while hiring
  • Conservatives added prohibition on sexual discrimination (thought that liberals wouldn't be able to support bill that would wipe out a laws that singled out women for special protection because of sex

Voting Rights Act of 1965

  • voting rights problems still existed after Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • poll tax, literary tests, and intimidation all barred black people from the political process
  • outlawed literacy tests
  • sent federal voter registrars into several southern states
  • didn't end discrimination and oppression, but placed power to help gain more change to blacks
  • marked end of are of nonviolent demonstrations


  • January: Tet Offensive (described above)
  • March 31: Johnson announced he would "apply brakes" to the escalating war (would freeze American troop levels and gradually shift responsibility to South Vietnamese)
  • April 4: assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee
  • --- outrage led to gutting of ghettoes and violence: led to 40 deaths
  • June 5: Kennedy was shot to death by a young Arab immigrant who was resentful of Kennedy's pro-Israel views
  • August: Nixon won Republican nomination
  • December 24: Apollo 8 (first manned mission to the moon) entered lunar orbit