LBJ's Brand on the Presidency

1963-1968

How Johnson became President

  • Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963
  • LBJ takes over the same day on an airplane flying back to D.C.
  • Election of 1964 was Dem. LBJ vs. Rep. Barry Goldwater
  • main issues were the Great Society, the nuclear test ban, the Social Security system, TVA, federal income tax, and civil rights legislation
  • popular vote: LBJ won 43.1 million to 27,1 million
  • electoral vote: LBJ won 486 to 52
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The Great Society

  • A billion-dollar plan with economic and welfare measures to transform American way of life; LBJ's "War on Poverty"
  • Supported by Harrington's The Other America which stated 20% of America's population and 40% of the black population lived in poverty
  • created the Department of Transportation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Big Four goals: aid to education, medical care for the elderly and indigent, immigration reform, new voting rights bill
  • Medicare / Medicaidmedicare for the elderly, medicaid for the poor; 1965; created medical “entitlements” to the old and poor
  • Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965abolished the “national-origins” quota system; doubled the number of immigrants allowed to come each year without restricting close relatives of current U.S. citizens; immigrants mainly came from Latin America and Asia
  • Project Head Startantipoverty program; improved the educational performance of underprivileged youth
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24th Ammendment

  • abolished the poll tax in federal elections
  • January 1964
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Tonkin Gulf Resolution and Vietnam War


  • Tonkin Gulf ResolutionAugust 7, 1964; in direct response to a minor naval engagement known as the Gulf of Tonkin Incident; it gave U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson authorization, without a formal declaration of war by Congress, for the use of military force in Southeast Asia.
  • Operation Rolling Thunderfull-scale bombing attacks on North Vietnam; in response to guerrillas attacking American air base in Pleiku, South Vietnam; March 1965
  • first time U.S. troops were ordered to land in Vietnam
  • by 1968 Southeast Asia had 500,000 troops in it and $30 billion had been spent
  • American's anti-war crimes grew louder and louder
  • Tet OffensiveVietnamese New Year in January 1968; Viet Cong attacked 27 South Vietnamese cities; military defeat but political victory for the guerrillas
  • further proved that LBJ's strategy of increasing the pressure "little by little" was ineffective and unfeasible
  • declared in March 31, 1968 that America would send no more troops, lessen aerial bombardment, and shift more responsibility onto the South Vietnamese
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Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act


  • Civil Rights Act of 1964passed under LBJ; banned racial discrimination in most private facilities open to the public; strengthened the govs ability to desegregate schools; prohibited both racial and gender discrimination
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)eliminated discrimination in hiring; created by the Civil RIghts Act of 1964
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965August 6, 1965; outlawed literacy tests and and sent federal troops into many southern states to watch over voting
  • the south was changed forever, for the first time since emancipation black people began to migrate into the South instead of away from it
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1968

A “watershed” year! There were assassinations, major events in the Vietnam War, etc… Look at what makes this such an important year in US history

  • Robert Kennedy was killed by an Arab immigrant as he campaigned for president
  • bombshell address on March 31; the U.S. would freeze the troop level in Vietnam, reduce aerial bombings, and give more responsibility to the South Vietnamese
  • election of 1968 consisted of Dem. Hubert Humphrey, Rep. Nixon, and third party Wallace
  • Nixon won the election

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