Lyndon B. Johnson

36th President of USA (1964-1968)

Presidential Election

  • Johnson was sworn in after assassination of President Kennedy
  • ran for 1964 presidential election


  • Lyndon B. Johnson (Democrat) v. Barry M. Goldwater (Republican)
  • Johnson won with 486 electoral votes and 43,129,566 popular votes
  • Main opponent - 52 electoral votes, 27,178,188 popular votes
  • Vice President - Hubert H. Humphrey

The Great Society

  • furthered on plan created by Lyndon B. Johnson
  • implemented aspects from FDR's New Deal
  • Goal - get rid of poverty and racial inequality by targeting transportation, education, health

24th Amendment

  • ratified in 1964
  • got rid of poll taxes during voting process, which previously prevented blacks from voting
  • Texas, Mississippi, Virginia, Arkansas, and Alabama continued to allow poll taxes even after 24th amendment was passed

Tonkin Gulf Resolution and Vietnam War

Tonkin Gulf Resolution

  • passed on August 7, 1964
  • result of Gulf of Tonkin incident
  • allowed President Johnson to use military forces on Southeastern Asian countries without having to officially declare war

Vietnam War

Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act

Civil Rights Act of 1964

  • originally passed by Lyndon B. Johnson
  • outlawed racism at work and segregation in public areas
  • created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • discrimination based on race, religion, or gender became officially illegal

Voting Rights Act

  • originally signed by Lyndon B. Johnson during the American Civil Rights Movement
  • allowed all U.S. citizens to vote, including blacks and all other minority groups

1968 -- What's so important about it?

Tet Offensive (began January 30, 1968)

  • Vietcong attacked South Vietnam
  • captured U.S. Embassy in Saigon

My Lai Massacre (March 16, 1968)

  • US Army, under the command of American Lieutenant Calley, mass murdered hundreds of innocent Southern Vietnamese people.
  • Calley was later tried for murder

Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr (April 4, 1968)

  • assassinated by James Earl Ray, who hated black influence on society and the government
  • resulted in chaos and riots

Gulf of Tonkin Incident (August 2-4, 1968)

  • Maddox and Turner Joy, both American destroyers, reported to being attacked by Northern Vietnamese ships.
  • led to President Johnson using air strikes on North Vietnam