Johnson

1962-1968

*November 22, 1963: Kennedy assassinated and Johnson takes over*

Election of 1964

  • Johnson was Democratic candidate
  • Republicans chose to nomiate Senator Barry Goldwater (Goldwater was anti-federal income tax, anti-Social Security, anti-TVA, and anti-civil rights legislation)
  • Johnson used the Tonkin Gulf Resolution to help his campaign

The Great Society

  • similar to Roosevelt's hundred days
  • Congress created two new cabinets: the Department of Transportation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • the Big Four achievements that mainly stood out from the Great Society were the aid to education, medical care for the elderly and poor, immigration reform, and a new voting rights bill
  • 1965: Medicare was created for the elderly and Medicaid was created for the poor
  • Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 ended the quota system and doubled the number of immigrants allowed to enter the U.S. per year
  • overall it helped the poverty rate decline in America

24th Amendment

  • started with Johnson recognizing that very few blacks had the right to vote
  • amendment passed in 1964
  • it abolished the poll tax in federal elections
  • many blacks still could not vote so the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed banning literary tests and expanding the network of federal voter registers into many states in the South

Tonkin Gulf Resolution and Vietnam War

Tonkin Gulf Resolution

  • In August of 1964, U.S. Navy ships in the Gulf of Tonkin had been working with South Vietnam in raids along the coast of North Vietnam
  • On August 2 and 4 of 1964, two U.S. ships were fired upon
  • Johnson responded by retaliating against the North Vietnamese in a "limited" air raid against their bases and passing the Tonkin Gulf Resolution

Vietnam War


  • in 1965 and American base was attacked at South Vietnam and in response, Johnson retaliated with air raids and sent U.S. troops to the site
  • by March of 1965, "Operation Rolling Thunder" had begun (frequent bombing attacks against North Vietnam)
  • those in support of the war in American were claiming that if American presence left Vietnam, other nations would fall to communist power in doubt of America's power
  • however, as more American casualties were being reported in Vietnam, antiwar demonstrations increased
  • 1967: Johnson ordered the CIA to spy on antiwar activists
  • January 1968: Viet Cong attacked 27 South Vietnamese cities and was defeated (caused America to call for an end to war)
  • March 1968: Johnson stated that he would stop sending U.S. troops to the war site and push more of the responsibility on South Vietnam
  • war costs came from tax dollars which hurt the Great Society programs
  • the Vietnam war caused a decrease of morale in the U.S. and provoked many young political rebels

Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act

Civil Rights Act of 1964

  • this banned racial discrimination in most private facilities open to the public
  • it strengthened the presence of the federal government with regards to desegregation
  • created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to end discrimination in the work force
  • 1965: Johnson issued an executive order requiring all federal contractors to take "affirmative action" regarding segregation

Voting Rights Act

  • passed in 1965 to increase black potential to vote
  • banned literacy tests
  • sent federal voter registers to the Southern states

1968: Watershed Year

  • April 4: Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed in Tennessee
  • by this year, Johnson had deployed more than 500,000 troops in Southeast Asia and the yearly cost of the Vietnam war had reached $30 billion
  • January: Viet Cong attacked South Vietnam and was defeated
  • March 31: Johnson stated that he was no longer going to send troops in for the Vietnam war
  • June 5: Democratic candidate for the Election of 1968, Robert Kennedy, was killed
  • August: Democrats met in Chicago to choose a new nominee and antiwar activists violently protested outside the convention hall and conflicted with police
  • Election of 1968: Richard Nixon won