By Paulina Gonzalez

How Johnson became president

  • Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963 by Lee Harvey Oswald.
  • Lyndon B. Johnson sworn in as president on Air Force One going back to Washington.

The Great Society

  • a continuation of New Deal types of programs.
  • idealistic thinking that America was very prosperous we needed to have prosperity for all.
  • launched a "War on Poverty."
  • Michael Harrington wrote The Other America (1962) - despite the affluence, 20% of Americans lived in poverty (40% of blacks).

Voting for African Americans

  • African American voting in the south was rare (only 5% in Mississippi)
  • The Voting Rights Act (1965) tried to end the racial discrimination that came with voting.
  • banned literacy tests
  • sent registrars to the polls to watch out for dirty dealings.
  • The Twenty-fourth Amendment forbade poll taxes where you had to pay to vote.

Tonkin Gulf Resolution and Vietnam War

  • a revolt broke out in the Dominican Republic, Johnson saw it as a start to communism.
  • sent 25,000 troops to end the revolt.
  • criticized for it.
  • In Vietnam
    • Johnson ordered "Operation Rolling Thunder"—full-out bombing on North Vietnam.
    • Johnson used the Tonkin Gulf Resolution to follow a policy of "escalation."
    • In 1965, he sent about 400,000 soldiers to Vietnam-usually marked as the initiation for the Vietnam War.
    • America's was "all in" in Vietnam also costing up to $30 billion per year.

Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act (Johnson’s Civil Rights)

  • Voting among blacks in the south was rare (only 5% in Mississippi) as whites used tricks to prevent black votes.
    • The Voting Rights Act (1965) sought to end the racial discrimination that accompanied voting. It banned literacy tests and it sent registrars to the polls to watch out for dirty dealings.
    • The Twenty-fourth Amendment forbade poll taxes where you had to pay to vote.
  • "Freedom Summer" (1964), both blacks and whites joined held hands and sang "We Shall Overcome" to protest racism.
  • In June of 1964, three civil rights workers were found beaten to death in Mississippi (one black, two white).
  • 21 whites were arrested, including the sheriff, white jury did not convict anyone.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. set up a voter registration drive in Selma, Alabama.
  • planed to march from Selma to the capital of Montgomery.
    • State police used tear gas, whips.
    • Two people died in the chaos.
    • Johnson joined the Civil Rights Movement by wanting an end to "bigotry and injustice." This is when the Voting Rights Act passed.
    • Civil Rights Act that JFK had called for and LBJ signed it.
      • banned discrimination in public facilities and sought to end segregation.
      • up the Equal Employment Opportunity Comm. (EEOC) to serve as watchdog for fair hiring practices.

    • A riot broke out in the Watts area of Los Angeles.
    • burned for a week, 34 people died.
    • New black leaders moved from nonviolent protest, made fun of MLK calling him "de Lawd."

    • Malcolm Little changed his named to Malcolm X influenced by black militants in the Nation of Islam.
    • Malcolm X was a great speaker likely as racist against whites as he criticized whites as being racist against blacks.

      • Malcolm X was shot and killed in 1965 by Nation of Islam gunmen.
      • The Black Panthers roamed the streets of Oakland armed with powerful weapons "for protection."
        • Stokely Carmichael (from Trinidad) led the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

          • Carmichael spoke of Black Power, calling for blacks to carry out their political and economic power.
            • "Black Power" was interpreted by many as a separatist movement.
            • There was a movement to emphasize uniqueness such as "Afro" hair, clothes, names for children, and African studies in colleges.
        • More riots broke out in black ghettos, like in Detroit (which left 43 dead) and Newark, NJ (25 dead).


        • Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in April of 1968.
        • Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in June 5, 1968

        • By 1968, the Vietnam War become the longest and most unpopular in U.S. history. ---Johnson said the war's end was near, but it was not.
        • January 1968 was the break point of the war.
        • North Vietnam launched a massive "Tet Offensive" against southern cities.
        • U.S. stopped the attack, it showed the enemy was not done
          • War took toll on Johnson, emotionally and physically.
          • Military asked for more troops, but Johnson would not send them.
        • The war split the Democratic party
        • McCarthy, Kennedy, and Humphrey for the Democrats.
          • it seemed Robert Kennedy would become the Democratic nominee, he was shot and killed. Humphrey was nominated.
        • Richard Nixon ran as the Republican. He was a "hawk" spoke of getting law-and-order in the cities at home.
        • Another candidate, George C. Wallace, ran for the American Independent party. He ran on a pro-segregation ticket saying "Segregation now! Segregation tomorrow! Segregation forever!"
        • Nixon would win the election, 301 to Humphrey's 191. Wallace got 46 southern electoral votes