Lyndon B. Johnson

Lyndon B. Johnson

Overview
Lyndon Baines Johnson (August 27, 1908 January 22, 1973), often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 (1963–1969) after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

 (1961–1963). He is one of only four people who served in all four elected federal offices of the United States: Representative, Senator, Vice President and President.

Johnson, a Democrat, served as a United States Representative from Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, from 1937–1949 and as United States Senator from 1949–1961, including six years as United States Senate Majority Leader
Party leaders of the United States Senate
The Senate Majority and Minority Leaders are two United States Senators who are elected by the party conferences that hold the majority and the minority respectively. These leaders serve as the chief Senate spokespeople for their parties and manage and schedule the legislative and executive...

, two as Senate Minority Leader and two as Senate Majority Whip
Assistant party leaders of the United States Senate
The Assistant Majority and Minority Leaders of the United States Senate are the second-ranking members of the party leadership of the United States Senate....

.
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Timeline

1963   In Dallas, Texas, US President John F. Kennedy is killed and Texas Governor John B. Connally is seriously wounded by Lee Harvey Oswald, who is later captured and charged with the murder of police officer J. D. Tippit. That same day, US Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson is sworn in as the 36th President of the United States.

1963   Vietnam War: Newly sworn-in US President Lyndon B. Johnson confirms that the United States intends to continue supporting South Vietnam both militarily and economically.

1963   U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson establishes the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

1964   President Lyndon B. Johnson declares a "War on Poverty" in the United States.

1964   U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson announces the goals of his Great Society social reforms to bring an "end to poverty and racial injustice" in America.

1964   U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 meant to prohibit segregation in public places.

1964   Vietnam War: the U.S. Congress passes the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution giving US President Lyndon B. Johnson broad war powers to deal with North Vietnamese attacks on American forces.

1964   Vietnam War: National Security Council members agree to recommend that U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson adopt a plan for a two-stage escalation of bombing in North Vietnam.

1964   Vietnam War: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and his top-ranking advisers meet to discuss plans to bomb North Vietnam.

1965   United States President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaims his "Great Society" during his State of the Union address.

 
Quotations

And I just want to tell you this — we're in favor of a lot of things and we're against mighty few.

Campaign statement (1964), as quoted in The Making of the President, 1964 (1966) by T. H. White, p. 413

I do not find it easy to send the flower of our youth, our finest young men, into battle.

News Conference (28 July 1965)

It's probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in.

On FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, as quoted in the_new_york_times|The New York Times (31 October 1971)

Making a speech on economics is a lot like pissing down your leg. It seems hot to you, but it never does to anyone else.

Private comment, as quoted in Name-Dropping (1999) by John Kenneth Galbraith, p. 149
Encyclopedia
Lyndon Baines Johnson (August 27, 1908 January 22, 1973), often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 (1963–1969) after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

 (1961–1963). He is one of only four people who served in all four elected federal offices of the United States: Representative, Senator, Vice President and President.

Johnson, a Democrat, served as a United States Representative from Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, from 1937–1949 and as United States Senator from 1949–1961, including six years as United States Senate Majority Leader
Party leaders of the United States Senate
The Senate Majority and Minority Leaders are two United States Senators who are elected by the party conferences that hold the majority and the minority respectively. These leaders serve as the chief Senate spokespeople for their parties and manage and schedule the legislative and executive...

, two as Senate Minority Leader and two as Senate Majority Whip
Assistant party leaders of the United States Senate
The Assistant Majority and Minority Leaders of the United States Senate are the second-ranking members of the party leadership of the United States Senate....

. After campaigning unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in 1960, Johnson was asked by John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 to be his running mate
Running mate
A running mate is a person running together with another person on a joint ticket during an election. The term is most often used in reference to the person in the subordinate position but can also properly be used when referring to both candidates, such as "Michael Dukakis and Lloyd Bentsen were...

 for the 1960 presidential election
United States presidential election, 1960
The United States presidential election of 1960 was the 44th American presidential election, held on November 8, 1960, for the term beginning January 20, 1961, and ending January 20, 1965. The incumbent president, Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower, was not eligible to run again. The Republican Party...

.

Johnson succeeded
United States presidential line of succession
The United States presidential line of succession defines who may become or act as President of the United States upon the incapacity, death, resignation, or removal from office of a sitting president or a president-elect.- Current order :This is a list of the current presidential line of...

 to the presidency following the assassination of John F. Kennedy
Assassination of John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the thirty-fifth President of the United States, was assassinated at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas...

, completed Kennedy's term and was elected President in his own right, winning by a large margin in the 1964 Presidential election
United States presidential election, 1964
The United States presidential election of 1964 was held on November 3, 1964. Incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson had come to office less than a year earlier following the assassination of his predecessor, John F. Kennedy. Johnson, who had successfully associated himself with Kennedy's...

. Johnson was greatly supported by the Democratic Party
History of the United States Democratic Party
The history of the Democratic Party of the United States is an account of the oldest political party in the United States and arguably the oldest democratic party in the world....

 and, as President, was responsible for designing the "Great Society
Great Society
The Great Society was a set of domestic programs in the United States promoted by President Lyndon B. Johnson and fellow Democrats in Congress in the 1960s. Two main goals of the Great Society social reforms were the elimination of poverty and racial injustice...

" legislation that included laws that upheld civil rights, Public Broadcasting
Public broadcasting
Public broadcasting includes radio, television and other electronic media outlets whose primary mission is public service. Public broadcasters receive funding from diverse sources including license fees, individual contributions, public financing and commercial financing.Public broadcasting may be...

, Medicare
Medicare (United States)
Medicare is a social insurance program administered by the United States government, providing health insurance coverage to people who are aged 65 and over; to those who are under 65 and are permanently physically disabled or who have a congenital physical disability; or to those who meet other...

, Medicaid
Medicaid
Medicaid is the United States health program for certain people and families with low incomes and resources. It is a means-tested program that is jointly funded by the state and federal governments, and is managed by the states. People served by Medicaid are U.S. citizens or legal permanent...

, environmental protection, aid to education, and his "War on Poverty
War on Poverty
The War on Poverty is the unofficial name for legislation first introduced by United States President Lyndon B. Johnson during his State of the Union address on January 8, 1964. This legislation was proposed by Johnson in response to a national poverty rate of around nineteen percent...

." He was renowned for his domineering personality and the "Johnson treatment," his coercion of powerful politicians in order to advance legislation.

Simultaneously, he greatly escalated direct American involvement in the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

. As the war dragged on, Johnson's popularity as President steadily declined. After the 1966 mid-term Congressional elections
United States House election, 1966
The U.S. House election, 1966 was an election for the United States House of Representatives in 1966 which occurred in the middle of President Lyndon Johnson's second term...

, his re-election bid in the 1968 United States presidential election
United States presidential election, 1968
The United States presidential election of 1968 was the 46th quadrennial United States presidential election. Coming four years after Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson won in a historic landslide, it saw Johnson forced out of the race and Republican Richard Nixon elected...

 collapsed as a result of turmoil within the Democratic Party related to opposition to the Vietnam War. He withdrew from the race amid growing opposition to his policy on the Vietnam War and a worse-than-expected showing in the New Hampshire primary
New Hampshire primary
The New Hampshire primary is the first in a series of nationwide political party primary elections held in the United States every four years , as part of the process of choosing the Democratic and Republican nominees for the presidential elections to be held the subsequent November.Although only a...

.

Despite the failures of his foreign policy, Johnson is ranked favorably by some historians because of his domestic policies.

Early years



Lyndon Baines Johnson was born in Stonewall, Texas
Stonewall, Texas
Stonewall is a census-designated place in Gillespie County, Texas, United States. The population was 469 at the 2000 census. It was named for Thomas J. Jackson, by Israel P. Nunez, who established a stage station near the site in 1870....

, on August 27, 1908, in a small farmhouse
Farmhouse
Farmhouse is a general term for the main house of a farm. It is a type of building or house which serves a residential purpose in a rural or agricultural setting. Most often, the surrounding environment will be a farm. Many farm houses are shaped like a T...

 on the Pedernales River
Pedernales River
The Pedernales River is a tributary of the Colorado River, approximately long, in central Texas in the United States. It drains an area of the Edwards Plateau, flowing west to east across the Texas Hill Country west of Austin...

. His parents, Samuel Ealy Johnson, Jr. and Rebekah Baines, had three girls and two boys: Johnson and his brother, Sam Houston Johnson
Sam Houston Johnson
Samuel Houston Johnson was the younger brother of President Lyndon B. Johnson.He was notorious for getting drunk and then talking to the press. Eventually, the Secret Service put him under surveillance. He died of lung cancer at 64, at the same age his brother was at his death...

 (1914–1978), and sisters Rebekah (1910–1978), Josefa (1912–1961), and Lucia (1916–1997). The nearby small town of Johnson City, Texas
Johnson City, Texas
Johnson City is a city in Blanco County, Texas, United States. The population was 1,191 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Blanco County. It was the hometown of President Lyndon Johnson and was founded by James Polk Johnson, nephew of Samuel Ealy Johnson, Sr., cousin to President Johnson....

 was named after Johnson's father's cousin, James Polk Johnson, whose forebears had moved west from Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

. The Johnsons were of Scots-Irish and English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

 ancestry. In school, Johnson was an awkward, talkative youth and was elected president of his 11th-grade class. He graduated from Johnson City High School in 1924 having participated in public speaking, debate, and baseball.

Johnson was maternally descended from a pioneer Baptist
Baptist
Baptists comprise a group of Christian denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers , and that it must be done by immersion...

 clergyman, George Washington Baines
George Washington Baines
George Washington Baines, Sr. , a maternal great-grandfather of U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson , was a Baptist clergyman in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas who served briefly as natural science professor and President of Baylor University at its first location in Independence in Washington...

, who pastored some eight churches in Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 as well as others in Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

 and Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

. Baines was also the president of Baylor University
Baylor University
Baylor University is a private, Christian university located in Waco, Texas. Founded in 1845, Baylor is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.-History:...

 during the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. George Baines was the grandfather of Johnson's mother, Rebekah Baines Johnson (1881–1958).

Johnson's grandfather Samuel Ealy Johnson, Sr.
Samuel Ealy Johnson, Sr.
Samuel Ealy Johnson, Sr., was a cattleman and a soldier, and grandfather of future US President Lyndon Johnson.-Family:...

 was raised as a Baptist. Subsequently, in his early adulthood, he became a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
The Christian Church is a Mainline Protestant denomination in North America. It is often referred to as The Christian Church, The Disciples of Christ, or more simply as The Disciples...

. In his later years the grandfather became a Christadelphian
Christadelphians
Christadelphians is a Christian group that developed in the United Kingdom and North America in the 19th century...

; Johnson's father also joined the Christadelphian Church toward the end of his life. Later, as a politician, Johnson was influenced in his positive attitude towards Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

 by the religious beliefs that his family, especially his grandfather, had shared with him (see Operation Texas
Operation Texas
Operation Texas was an undercover operation to relocate European Jews to Texas, USA, away from Nazi persecution.In 1938, Lyndon Baines Johnson , then a Congressman and later the 36th President of the United States of America, worked covertly to establish a refuge in Texas for European Jews fleeing...

).

In 1926, Johnson enrolled in Southwest Texas State Teachers' College (now Texas State University-San Marcos). He worked his way through school, participated in debate and campus politics, and edited the school newspaper called The College Star, now known as The University Star
University Star
The University Star, also called The Star, is a student-run newspaper for Texas State University-San Marcos. The Star provides news and information on issues that affect the Texas State community as well as San Marcos news.-Distribution:...

. He dropped out of school in 1927 and returned one year later, graduating in 1930. The college years refined his skills of persuasion and political organization. In 1927 Johnson taught mostly Mexican children at the Welhausen School in Cotulla
Cotulla, Texas
Cotulla is a city in and the county seat of La Salle County, Texas, United States. The population was 3,614 at the 2000 census.-History:In 1868, Polish immigrant Joseph Cotulla arrived in La Salle County and eventually established a large ranching operation...

, some ninety miles south of San Antonio
San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio is the seventh-largest city in the United States of America and the second-largest city within the state of Texas, with a population of 1.33 million. Located in the American Southwest and the south–central part of Texas, the city serves as the seat of Bexar County. In 2011,...

 in La Salle County. In 1930 he taught in Pearsall High School in Pearsall, Texas
Pearsall, Texas
Pearsall is a city in and the county seat of Frio County, Texas, United States. The population was 7,001 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Pearsall is located at ....

, and afterwards took a position as teacher of public speaking at Sam Houston High School in Houston. When he returned to San Marcos in 1965, after having signed the Higher Education Act of 1965
Higher Education Act of 1965
The Higher Education Act of 1965 was legislation signed into United States law on November 8, 1965, as part of President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society domestic agenda. Johnson chose Texas State University–San Marcos as the signing site...

, Johnson looked back:
"I shall never forget the faces of the boys and the girls in that little Welhausen Mexican School, and I remember even yet the pain of realizing and knowing then that college was closed to practically every one of those children because they were too poor. And I think it was then that I made up my mind that this nation could never rest while the door to knowledge remained closed to any American."

Early political career


Johnson briefly taught public speaking and debate in a Houston high school, then entered politics. Johnson's father had served five terms in the Texas legislature
Texas Legislature
The Legislature of the state of Texas is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Texas. The legislature is a bicameral body composed of a 31-member Senate and a 150-member House of Representatives. The Legislature meets at the Capitol in Austin...

 and was a close friend of one of Texas's rising political figures, Congressman Sam Rayburn
Sam Rayburn
Samuel Taliaferro Rayburn , often called "Mr. Sam," or "Mr. Democrat," was a Democratic lawmaker from Bonham, Texas, who served as the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives for seventeen years, the longest tenure in U.S. history.- Background :Rayburn was born in Roane County, Tennessee, and...

. In 1930, Johnson campaigned for Texas State Senator Welly Hopkins in his run for Congress. Hopkins recommended him to Congressman Richard M. Kleberg
Richard M. Kleberg
Richard Mifflin Kleberg, Sr. , a Democrat, was a seven-term member of the United States House of Representatives from Texas's 14th congressional district over the period 1931–1945 and an heir to the King Ranch in South Texas. He was first elected in 1931 in a special election called due to the...

, who appointed Johnson as Kleberg's legislative secretary. Johnson was elected speaker of the "Little Congress," a group of Congressional aides, where he cultivated Congressmen, newspapermen and lobbyists. Johnson's friends soon included aides to President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

, as well as fellow Texans such as Vice President John Nance Garner
John Nance Garner
John Nance Garner, IV , was the 32nd Vice President of the United States and the 44th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives .- Early life and family :...

. He became a surrogate son to Sam Rayburn.


Johnson married Claudia Alta Taylor (already nicknamed "Lady Bird Johnson
Lady Bird Johnson
Claudia Alta "Lady Bird" Taylor Johnson was First Lady of the United States from 1963 to 1969 during the presidency of her husband Lyndon B. Johnson. Throughout her life, she was an advocate for beautification of the nation's cities and highways and conservation of natural resources and made that...

") of Karnack, Texas
Karnack, Texas
Karnack is a rural unincorporated community in northeastern Harrison County near Caddo Lake in the eastern region of the U.S. state of Texas. The population was 775 at the 2000 census....

 on November 17, 1934, after having attended Georgetown University Law Center
Georgetown University Law Center
Georgetown University Law Center is the law school of Georgetown University, located in Washington, D.C.. Established in 1870, the Law Center offers J.D., LL.M., and S.J.D. degrees in law...

 for several months. They had two daughters, Lynda Bird, born in 1944, and Luci Baines
Luci Baines Johnson
Luci Baines Johnson Turpin, formerly Nugent, is the younger daughter of U.S. President Lyndon Johnson and his wife, the former Claudia Alta Taylor . Her name was originally spelled "Lucy"; she informally changed the spelling in her teens...

, born in 1947. Johnson enjoyed giving people and animals his own initials; his daughters' given names are examples, as was his dog, Little Beagle Johnson.

In 1935, he was appointed head of the Texas National Youth Administration
National Youth Administration
The National Youth Administration was a New Deal agency in the United States that focused on providing work and education for Americans between the ages of 16 and 24. It operated from 1935 to 1939 as part of the Works Progress Administration . Following the passage of the Reorganization Act of...

, which enabled him to use the government to create education and job opportunities for young people. He resigned two years later to run for Congress. Johnson, a notoriously tough boss throughout his career, often demanded long workdays and work on weekends.

He was described by friends, fellow politicians, and historians as motivated throughout his life by an exceptional lust for power and control. As Johnson's biographer Robert Caro
Robert Caro
Robert Allan Caro is an American journalist and author known for his celebrated biographies of United States political figures Robert Moses and Lyndon B. Johnson...

 observes, "Johnson's ambition was uncommon—in the degree to which it was unencumbered by even the slightest excess weight of ideology, of philosophy, of principles, of beliefs."

House of Representatives


In 1937 Johnson successfully contested a special election for Texas's 10th congressional district
Texas's 10th congressional district
Texas District 10 of the United States House of Representatives is a congressional district that serves the northwestern portion of the Greater Houston region stretching to the Austin area of Texas...

, which covered Austin
Austin, Texas
Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of :Texas and the seat of Travis County. Located in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 14th most populous city in the United States. It was the third-fastest-growing large city in...

 and the surrounding hill country. He ran on a New Deal
New Deal
The New Deal was a series of economic programs implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936. They were passed by the U.S. Congress during the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The programs were Roosevelt's responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call...

 platform and was effectively aided by his wife. He served in the House from April 10, 1937, to January 3, 1949.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 found Johnson to be a welcome ally and conduit for information, particularly with regard to issues concerning internal politics in Texas (Operation Texas
Operation Texas
Operation Texas was an undercover operation to relocate European Jews to Texas, USA, away from Nazi persecution.In 1938, Lyndon Baines Johnson , then a Congressman and later the 36th President of the United States of America, worked covertly to establish a refuge in Texas for European Jews fleeing...

) and the machinations of Vice President John Nance Garner
John Nance Garner
John Nance Garner, IV , was the 32nd Vice President of the United States and the 44th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives .- Early life and family :...

 and Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn
Sam Rayburn
Samuel Taliaferro Rayburn , often called "Mr. Sam," or "Mr. Democrat," was a Democratic lawmaker from Bonham, Texas, who served as the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives for seventeen years, the longest tenure in U.S. history.- Background :Rayburn was born in Roane County, Tennessee, and...

. Johnson was immediately appointed to the Naval Affairs Committee. He worked for rural electrification and other improvements for his district. Johnson steered the projects towards contractors that he personally knew, such as the Brown
Kellogg, Brown and Root
KBR, Inc. is an American engineering, construction and private military contracting company, formerly a subsidiary of Halliburton, headquartered in Houston. The company also has large offices in Arlington, Birmingham, Newark, Delaware and Leatherhead, UK. After Halliburton acquired Dresser...

 Brothers, Herman and George, who would finance much of Johnson's future career. In 1941, he ran for the U.S. Senate in a special election against the sitting Governor of Texas
Governor of Texas
The governor of Texas is the head of the executive branch of Texas's government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. The governor has the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Texas Legislature, and to convene the legislature...

, radio personality W. Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel
W. Lee O'Daniel
Wilbert Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel, , was a conservative Democratic Party politician from Texas, who came to prominence by hosting a popular radio program. Known for his populist appeal, Pappy O'Daniel was the governor of Texas and later its junior U.S. Senator. He is also the only person ever to have...

. Johnson lost the election.

War record



After America entered World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 in December 1941, Johnson, still in Congress, became a commissioned officer in the Naval Reserve
United States Navy Reserve
The United States Navy Reserve, until 2005 known as the United States Naval Reserve, is the Reserve Component of the United States Navy...

, then asked Undersecretary of the Navy James Forrestal
James Forrestal
James Vincent Forrestal was the last Cabinet-level United States Secretary of the Navy and the first United States Secretary of Defense....

 for a combat assignment. Instead he was sent to inspect the shipyard facilities in Texas and on the West Coast
West Coast of the United States
West Coast or Pacific Coast are terms for the westernmost coastal states of the United States. The term most often refers to the states of California, Oregon, and Washington. Although not part of the contiguous United States, Alaska and Hawaii do border the Pacific Ocean but can't be included in...

. In the spring of 1942, President Roosevelt needed his own reports on what conditions were like in the Southwest Pacific
South West Pacific theatre of World War II
The South West Pacific Theatre, technically the South West Pacific Area, between 1942 and 1945, was one of two designated area commands and war theatres enumerated by the Combined Chiefs of Staff of World War II in the Pacific region....

. Roosevelt felt information that flowed up the military chain of command needed to be supplemented by a highly trusted political aide. From a suggestion by Forrestal, President Roosevelt assigned Johnson to a three-man survey team of the Southwest Pacific.

Johnson reported to General Douglas MacArthur
Douglas MacArthur
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur was an American general and field marshal of the Philippine Army. He was a Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the...

 in Australia. Johnson and two Army officers went to the 22nd Bomb Group
22nd Bomb Group (Red Raiders) 5th Army Air Force
The 22d Operations Group is the operational flying component of the United States Air Force 22d Air Refueling Wing. It is stationed at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, and is assigned to the Air Mobility Command Eighteenth Air Force....

 base, which was assigned the high risk mission of bombing the Japanese airbase
Airbase
An airbase is a military airfield that provides basing and support of military aircraft....

 at Lae
Lae
Lae, the capital of Morobe Province, is the second-largest city in Papua New Guinea. It is located at the start of the Highlands Highway which is the main land transport corridor from the Highlands region to the coast...

 in New Guinea
New Guinea
New Guinea is the world's second largest island, after Greenland, covering a land area of 786,000 km2. Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, it lies geographically to the east of the Malay Archipelago, with which it is sometimes included as part of a greater Indo-Australian Archipelago...

. A colonel took Johnson's original seat on one bomber, and it was shot down with no survivors. Reports vary on what happened to the B-26 Marauder
B-26 Marauder
The Martin B-26 Marauder was a World War II twin-engine medium bomber built by the Glenn L. Martin Company. First used in the Pacific Theater in early 1942, it was also used in the Mediterranean Theater and in Western Europe....

 carrying Johnson. Lyndon Johnson said it was also attacked by Japanese fighters but survived, while others, including other members of the flight crew, claim it turned back because of generator trouble before reaching the objective and before encountering enemy aircraft and never came under fire, which is supported by official flight records. Other airplanes that continued to the target did come under fire near the target at about the same time that Johnson's plane was recorded as having landed back at the original airbase.

MacArthur awarded Johnson the Silver Star
Silver Star
The Silver Star is the third-highest combat military decoration that can be awarded to a member of any branch of the United States armed forces for valor in the face of the enemy....

, the military's third-highest medal, although it is notable that no other members of the flight crew were awarded medals, and it is unclear what Johnson could have done in his role purely as an "observer" to deserve the medal, even if his aircraft had seen combat. Johnson's biographer, Robert Caro
Robert Caro
Robert Allan Caro is an American journalist and author known for his celebrated biographies of United States political figures Robert Moses and Lyndon B. Johnson...

, stated, "The most you can say about Lyndon Johnson and his Silver Star is that it is surely one of the most undeserved Silver Stars in history, because if you accept everything that he said, he was still in action for no more than 13 minutes and only as an observer. Men who flew many missions, brave men, never got a Silver Star."

Johnson reported back to Roosevelt, to the Navy leaders, and to Congress that conditions were deplorable and unacceptable. He argued the South West Pacific urgently needed a higher priority and a larger share of war supplies. The warplanes sent there, for example, were "far inferior" to Japanese planes, and morale was bad. He told Forrestal that the Pacific Fleet had a "critical" need for 6,800 additional experienced men. Johnson prepared a twelve-point program to upgrade the effort in the region, stressing "greater cooperation and coordination within the various commands and between the different war theaters." Congress responded by making Johnson chairman of a high-powered subcommittee of the Naval Affairs committee. With a mission similar to that of the Truman Committee in the Senate, he probed into the peacetime "business as usual" inefficiencies that permeated the naval war and demanded that admirals shape up and get the job done. Johnson went too far when he proposed a bill that would crack down on the draft exemptions of shipyard workers if they were absent from work too often. Organized labor blocked the bill and denounced Johnson. Still, Johnson's mission had a substantial impact because it led to upgrading the South Pacific theater and aided the overall war effort immensely. Johnson's biographer concludes, "The mission was a temporary exposure to danger calculated to satisfy Johnson's personal and political wishes, but it also represented a genuine effort on his part, however misplaced, to improve the lot of America's fighting men."

1948 contested election


In the 1948 elections, Johnson again ran for the Senate and won. This election was highly controversial: in a three-way Democratic Party primary
Primary election
A primary election is an election in which party members or voters select candidates for a subsequent election. Primary elections are one means by which a political party nominates candidates for the next general election....

 Johnson faced a well-known former governor, Coke Stevenson, and a third candidate. Johnson drew crowds to fairgrounds with his rented helicopter dubbed "The Johnson City Windmill". He raised money to flood the state with campaign circulars and won over conservatives by voting for the Taft-Hartley act (curbing union power) as well as by criticizing unions.

Stevenson came in first but lacked a majority, so a runoff was held. Johnson campaigned even harder this time around, while Stevenson's efforts were surprisingly poor. The runoff count took a week. The Democratic State Central Committee (not the state, because the matter was a party primary) handled the count, and it finally announced that Johnson had won by 87 votes. By a majority of one member (29-28) the committee voted to certify Johnson's nomination, with the last vote cast on Johnson's behalf by Temple, Texas
Temple, Texas
Temple is a city in Bell County, Texas, United States. Located near the county seat of Belton, Temple lies in the region referred to as Central Texas. Located off Interstate 35, Temple is 65 miles north of Austin and 34 miles south of Waco. In the 2010 Census, Temple's population was 66,102, an...

, publisher Frank W. Mayborn
Frank W. Mayborn
Frank Willis Mayborn was a 20th century Texas newspaper publisher and philanthropist who played a crucial role in the development of Temple and Bell County, located north of the state capital of Austin....

, who rushed back to Texas from a business trip in Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is the capital of the U.S. state of Tennessee and the county seat of Davidson County. It is located on the Cumberland River in Davidson County, in the north-central part of the state. The city is a center for the health care, publishing, banking and transportation industries, and is home...

.

There were many allegations of fraud on both sides. Thus, one writer alleges that Johnson's campaign manager, future Texas governor John B. Connally, was connected with 202 ballot
Ballot
A ballot is a device used to record choices made by voters. Each voter uses one ballot, and ballots are not shared. In the simplest elections, a ballot may be a simple scrap of paper on which each voter writes in the name of a candidate, but governmental elections use pre-printed to protect the...

s in Precinct 13 in Jim Wells County
Jim Wells County, Texas
At the 2000 census, there were 39,326 people, 12,961 households and 10,096 families residing in the county. The population density was 46 per square mile . There were 14,819 housing units at an average density of 17 per square mile...

 that had curiously been cast in alphabetical order and all just at the close of polling. (All of the people whose names appeared on the ballots were found to have been dead on election day.) Robert Caro
Robert Caro
Robert Allan Caro is an American journalist and author known for his celebrated biographies of United States political figures Robert Moses and Lyndon B. Johnson...

 argued in his 1989 book that Johnson had stolen the election in Jim Wells County and other counties in South Texas, as well as rigging 10,000 ballots in Bexar County alone. A judge, Luis Salas, said in 1977 that he had certified 202 fraudulent ballots for Johnson.

The state Democratic convention upheld Johnson. Stevenson went to court, but—with timely help from his friend Abe Fortas
Abe Fortas
Abraham Fortas was a U.S. Supreme Court associate justice from 1965 to 1969. Originally from Tennessee, Fortas became a law professor at Yale, and subsequently advised the Securities and Exchange Commission. He then worked at the Interior Department under Franklin D...

—Johnson prevailed. Johnson was elected senator in November and went to Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, tagged with the ironic label "Landslide Lyndon," which he often used deprecatingly to refer to himself.

Freshman senator


Once in the Senate, Johnson was known among his colleagues for his highly successful "courtships" of older senators, especially Senator Richard Russell
Richard Russell, Jr.
Richard Brevard Russell, Jr. was a Democratic Party politician from the southeastern state of Georgia. He served as state governor from 1931 to 1933 and United States senator from 1933 to 1971....

, patrician leader of the Conservative coalition
Conservative coalition
In the United States, the conservative coalition was an unofficial Congressional coalition bringing together the conservative majority of the Republican Party and the conservative, mostly Southern, wing of the Democratic Party...

 and arguably the most powerful man in the Senate. Johnson proceeded to gain Russell's favor in the same way that he had "courted" Speaker Sam Rayburn and gained his crucial support in the House.

Johnson was appointed to the Senate Armed Services Committee, and later in 1950 he helped create the Preparedness Investigating Subcommittee. Johnson became its chairman and conducted investigations of defense costs and efficiency. These investigations tended to dig out old forgotten investigations and demand actions that were already being taken by the Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

 Administration, although it can be said that the committee's investigations caused the changes. Johnson's brilliant handling of the press, the efficiency with which his committee issued new reports, and the fact that he ensured every report was endorsed unanimously by the committee all brought him headlines and national attention.

Johnson used his political influence in the Senate to receive broadcast licenses from the Federal Communications Commission
Federal Communications Commission
The Federal Communications Commission is an independent agency of the United States government, created, Congressional statute , and with the majority of its commissioners appointed by the current President. The FCC works towards six goals in the areas of broadband, competition, the spectrum, the...

 in his wife's name.

In 1951, Johnson was chosen as Senate Majority Whip under a new Majority Leader, Ernest McFarland
Ernest McFarland
Ernest William McFarland was an American politician and, with Warren Atherton, is considered one of the "Fathers of the G.I. Bill". He is the only Arizonan to serve in the highest office in all three branches of Arizonan government—two at the state level, one at the federal level...

 of Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

, and served from 1951 to 1953.

Senate Democratic leader



In the 1952 general election
United States Senate election, 1952
The U.S. Senate election, 1952 was an election for the United States Senate whichcoincided with the election of Dwight D. Eisenhower to the presidency by a large margin. The Republicans managed to make a net gain of two seats, which was reduced to one when Wayne L...

 Republicans
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 won a majority in both House and Senate. Among defeated Democrats that year was McFarland, who lost to then-little-known Barry Goldwater
Barry Goldwater
Barry Morris Goldwater was a five-term United States Senator from Arizona and the Republican Party's nominee for President in the 1964 election. An articulate and charismatic figure during the first half of the 1960s, he was known as "Mr...

, Johnson's future presidential opponent.

In January 1953, Johnson was chosen by his fellow Democrats to be the minority leader. Thus, he became the least senior Senator ever elected to this position, and one of the least senior party leaders in the history of the Senate. The whip is usually first in line to replace party leader (e.g., in 2005, whip Harry Reid
Harry Reid
Harry Mason Reid is the senior United States Senator from Nevada, serving since 1987. A member of the Democratic Party, he has been the Senate Majority Leader since January 2007, having previously served as Minority Leader and Minority and Majority Whip.Previously, Reid was a member of the U.S...

 became Senate Minority Leader after Tom Daschle
Tom Daschle
Thomas Andrew "Tom" Daschle is a former U.S. Senator from South Dakota and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader. He is a member of the Democratic Party....

's defeat).

One of his first actions was to eliminate the seniority system in appointment to a committee, while retaining it in terms of chairmanships. In the 1954 election
United States Senate election, 1954
The U.S. Senate election of 1954 was a midterm election in the first term of Dwight D. Eisenhower's presidency. Eisenhower's Republican party lost a net of two seats to the Democratic opposition. This small change was enough to give Democrats control of the chamber, which they went on to hold until...

, Johnson was re-elected to the Senate, and since the Democrats won the majority in the Senate, Johnson became majority leader. Former majority leader, William Knowland was elected minority leader. Johnson's duties were to schedule legislation and help pass measures favored by the Democrats. Johnson, Rayburn and President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

 worked smoothly together in passing Eisenhower's domestic and foreign agenda. In sharp contrast to what would become during his Presidency, Johnson was strongly opposed as Senate Majority Leader to Eisenhower's 1957 Civil Rights Act, fearful that its passage would tear his party apart. Thus with the help of the judiciary committee led by Senator James Eastland, the bill ended up being far weaker than it originally started, but it still became law and Johnson tried to give himself credit for its "passage".

Historians Caro and Dallek consider Lyndon Johnson the most effective Senate majority leader in history. He was unusually proficient at gathering information. One biographer suggests he was "the greatest intelligence gatherer Washington has ever known", discovering exactly where every Senator stood, his philosophy and prejudices, his strengths and weaknesses, and what it took to break him. Robert Baker claimed that Johnson would occasionally send senators on NATO trips in order to avoid their dissenting votes. Central to Johnson's control was "The Treatment", described by two journalists:
The Treatment could last ten minutes or four hours. It came, enveloping its target, at the Johnson Ranch swimming pool, in one of Johnson's offices, in the Senate cloakroom, on the floor of the Senate itself — wherever Johnson might find a fellow Senator within his reach.
Its tone could be supplication, accusation, cajolery, exuberance, scorn, tears, complaint and the hint of threat. It was all of these together. It ran the gamut of human emotions. Its velocity was breathtaking, and it was all in one direction. Interjections from the target were rare. Johnson anticipated them before they could be spoken. He moved in close, his face a scant millimeter from his target, his eyes widening and narrowing, his eyebrows rising and falling. From his pockets poured clippings, memos, statistics. Mimicry, humor, and the genius of analogy made The Treatment an almost hypnotic experience and rendered the target stunned and helpless.

Election



Johnson's success in the Senate made him a possible Democratic presidential candidate. He was the "favorite son
Favorite son
A favorite son is a political term.*At the quadrennial American national political party conventions, a state delegation sometimes nominates and votes for a candidate from the state, or less often from the state's region, who is not a viable candidate...

" candidate of the Texas delegation at the Party's national convention in 1956. In 1960, after the failure of the "Stop Kennedy" coalition he had formed with Adlai Stevenson, Stuart Symington
Stuart Symington
William Stuart Symington was a businessman and political figure from Missouri. He served as the first Secretary of the Air Force from 1947 to 1950 and was a Democratic United States Senator from Missouri from 1953 to 1976.-Education and business career:...

, and Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. , served under President Lyndon B. Johnson as the 38th Vice President of the United States. Humphrey twice served as a United States Senator from Minnesota, and served as Democratic Majority Whip. He was a founder of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and...

, Johnson received 409 votes on the only ballot at the Democratic convention, which nominated John F. Kennedy. Tip O'Neill
Tip O'Neill
Thomas Phillip "Tip" O'Neill, Jr. was an American politician. O'Neill was an outspoken liberal Democrat and influential member of the U.S. Congress, serving in the House of Representatives for 34 years and representing two congressional districts in Massachusetts...

, then a representative from Kennedy's home state of Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

, recalled that Johnson approached him at the convention and said, "Tip, I know you have to support Kennedy at the start, but I'd like to have you with me on the second ballot." O'Neill replied, "Senator, there's not going to be any second ballot."

Kennedy realized that he could not be elected without support of traditional Southern Democrats
Southern Democrats
Southern Democrats are members of the U.S. Democratic Party who reside in the American South. In the 19th century, they were the definitive pro-slavery wing of the party, opposed to both the anti-slavery Republicans and the more liberal Northern Democrats.Eventually "Redemption" was finalized in...

, most of whom had backed Johnson. Therefore, Johnson was offered the vice-presidential nomination. Some sources (such as Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.'s) state that Kennedy offered the position to Johnson as a courtesy and did not expect him to accept. Others (such as W. Marvin Watson
W. Marvin Watson
William Marvin Watson was an advisor to U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and was Postmaster General in 1968 and early 1969.-Biography:...

) say that the Kennedy campaign was desperate to win the 1960 election against Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 and Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.
Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.
Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. was a Republican United States Senator from Massachusetts and a U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, South Vietnam, West Germany, and the Holy See . He was the Republican nominee for Vice President in the 1960 Presidential election.-Early life:Lodge was born in Nahant,...

, and needed Johnson on the ticket to help carry Southern states
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

. According to still other sources, Kennedy did not want Johnson as his running-mate and did not want to ask him. Kennedy's reported choice was Symington. Johnson decided to seek the Vice Presidency and with Speaker Rayburn's help pressured Kennedy to give him a spot.

At the same time as his Vice Presidential run, Johnson also sought a third term in the U.S. Senate. According to Robert Caro, "On November 5, 1960, Lyndon Johnson won election for both the vice presidency of the United States, on the Kennedy-Johnson ticket, and for a third term as Senator (he had Texas law changed to allow him to run for both offices). When he won the vice presidency, he made arrangements to resign from the Senate, as he was required to do under federal law, as soon as it convened on January 3, 1961." (In 1988, Lloyd Bentsen
Lloyd Bentsen
Lloyd Millard Bentsen, Jr. was a four-term United States senator from Texas and the Democratic Party nominee for Vice President in 1988 on the Michael Dukakis ticket. He also served in the House of Representatives from 1949 to 1955. In his later political life, he was Chairman of the Senate...

, the Vice Presidential running mate of Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 presidential candidate Michael Dukakis
Michael Dukakis
Michael Stanley Dukakis served as the 65th and 67th Governor of Massachusetts from 1975–1979 and from 1983–1991, and was the Democratic presidential nominee in 1988. He was born to Greek immigrants in Brookline, Massachusetts, also the birthplace of John F. Kennedy, and was the longest serving...

, and also a Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 from Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, took advantage of "Lyndon's law," and was able to retain his seat in the Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 despite Dukakis' loss to George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

. The same went for Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 Joe Lieberman
Joe Lieberman
Joseph Isadore "Joe" Lieberman is the senior United States Senator from Connecticut. A former member of the Democratic Party, he was the party's nominee for Vice President in the 2000 election. Currently an independent, he remains closely affiliated with the party.Born in Stamford, Connecticut,...

 of Connecticut
Connecticut
Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

 in 2000 after Al Gore
Al Gore
Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. served as the 45th Vice President of the United States , under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election....

 lost to George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

. In 2008, Joseph Biden was elected Vice President and was re-elected U.S. Senator, as Johnson had done in 1960.)

Johnson was re-elected Senator with 1,306,605 votes (58%) to Republican John Tower
John Tower
John Goodwin Tower was the first Republican United States senator from Texas since Reconstruction. He served from 1961 until his retirement in January 1985, after which time he was the chairman of the Reagan-appointed Tower Commission that investigated the Iran-Contra Affair. He was George H. W...

's 927,653 (41.1%). Fellow Democrat William A. Blakley
William A. Blakley
William Arvis "Dollar Bill" Blakley was an American senator and businessman from the State of Texas. He served two incomplete terms as Senator, the first in 1957, the second in 1961...

 was appointed to replace Johnson as Senator, but Blakley lost a special election in May 1961 to Tower.

Office



After the election, Johnson found himself powerless. He initially attempted to transfer the authority of Senate Majority Leader to the Vice Presidency, since that office made him President of the Senate, but faced vehement opposition from the Democratic Caucus, including members he'd counted as his supporters. His lack of influence was thrown into relief later that year when Kennedy appointed Johnson's friend Sarah T. Hughes
Sarah T. Hughes
Sarah Tilghman Hughes was an American lawyer and federal judge who swore in Lyndon B. Johnson as President of the United States on Air Force One after the Kennedy assassination. She is the only woman in U.S...

 to a federal judgeship; whereas Johnson had tried and failed to garner the nomination for Hughes at the beginning of his vice presidency, House Speaker Sam Rayburn
Sam Rayburn
Samuel Taliaferro Rayburn , often called "Mr. Sam," or "Mr. Democrat," was a Democratic lawmaker from Bonham, Texas, who served as the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives for seventeen years, the longest tenure in U.S. history.- Background :Rayburn was born in Roane County, Tennessee, and...

 wrangled the appointment from Kennedy in exchange for support of an administration bill.

Despite Kennedy's efforts to keep Johnson busy, informed, and at the White House often, JFK's advisors and some members of the Kennedy family were more dismissive to Johnson. Kennedy appointed him to jobs such as head of the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunities, through which he worked with African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

s and other minorities. Though Kennedy may have intended this to remain a more nominal position, Taylor Branch
Taylor Branch
Taylor Branch is an American author and historian best known for his award-winning trilogy of books chronicling the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. and some of the history of the American civil rights movement...

 in Pillar of Fire contends that Johnson served to push the Kennedy administration's actions for civil rights further and faster than Kennedy originally intended to go. Branch notes the irony of Johnson, who the Kennedy family hoped would appeal to conservative southern voters, being the advocate for civil rights
Civil rights
Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one's ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.Civil rights include...

. In particular he notes Johnson's Memorial Day
Memorial Day
Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War...

 1963 speech at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Gettysburg is a borough that is the county seat, part of the Gettysburg Battlefield, and the eponym for the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg. The town hosts visitors to the Gettysburg National Military Park and has 3 institutions of higher learning: Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg College, and...

 as being a catalyst that led to more action.

Johnson took on numerous minor diplomatic missions, which gave him limited insights into global issues. He was allowed to observe Cabinet and National Security Council
United States National Security Council
The White House National Security Council in the United States is the principal forum used by the President of the United States for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and Cabinet officials and is part of the Executive Office of the...

 meetings. Kennedy did give Johnson control over all presidential appointments involving Texas, and he was appointed chairman of the President's Ad Hoc Committee for Science. When, in April 1961, the Soviets beat the U.S. with the first manned spaceflight
Spaceflight
Spaceflight is the act of travelling into or through outer space. Spaceflight can occur with spacecraft which may, or may not, have humans on board. Examples of human spaceflight include the Russian Soyuz program, the U.S. Space shuttle program, as well as the ongoing International Space Station...

, Kennedy tasked Johnson with coming up with a program that would prove world leadership. Johnson knew that Project Apollo
Project Apollo
The Apollo program was the spaceflight effort carried out by the United States' National Aeronautics and Space Administration , that landed the first humans on Earth's Moon. Conceived during the Presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Apollo began in earnest after President John F...

 and an enlarged NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 were feasible, so he steered the recommendation towards a program for landing an American on the Moon.

Johnson was touched by a Senate scandal in August 1963 when Bobby Baker
Bobby Baker
Robert Gene Baker was a political adviser to Lyndon B. Johnson, and an organizer for the Democratic Party.-Life:Baker was the son of the Pickens postmaster and lived in a house on Hampton Avenue...

, the Senate Majority Secretary and a protege of Johnson's, came under investigation by the Senate Rules Committee for allegations of bribery
Bribery
Bribery, a form of corruption, is an act implying money or gift giving that alters the behavior of the recipient. Bribery constitutes a crime and is defined by Black's Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or...

 and financial malfeasance. One witness alleged that Baker had arranged for the witness to give kickbacks for the Vice President. Baker resigned in October, and the investigation stopped from expanding to Johnson. The negative publicity from the affair fed rumors in Washington circles that Kennedy was planning on dropping Johnson from the Democratic ticket in the upcoming 1964 presidential election.

Presidency 1963–1969



Assassination of President John F. Kennedy




Johnson was sworn in as President on Air Force One
VC-137C SAM 26000
SAM 26000 was the first of two Boeing VC-137C United States Air Force aircraft specifically configured and maintained for use by the President of the United States. It used the callsign Air Force One when the President was on board, SAM 26000 otherwise.A VC-137C serial number 62-6000, SAM 26000 was...

at Love Field Airport in Dallas on November 22, 1963 two hours and eight minutes after President Kennedy was assassinated
John F. Kennedy assassination
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the thirty-fifth President of the United States, was assassinated at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas...

 in Dealey Plaza
Dealey Plaza
Dealey Plaza , in the historic West End district of downtown Dallas, Texas , is the location of the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963...

 in Dallas. He was sworn in by Federal Judge Sarah T. Hughes
Sarah T. Hughes
Sarah Tilghman Hughes was an American lawyer and federal judge who swore in Lyndon B. Johnson as President of the United States on Air Force One after the Kennedy assassination. She is the only woman in U.S...

, a family friend, making him the first President sworn in by a woman. He is also the only President to have been sworn in on Texas soil. Johnson did not swear on a Bible, as there were none on Air Force One; a Roman Catholic missal
Missal
A missal is a liturgical book containing all instructions and texts necessary for the celebration of Mass throughout the year.-History:Before the compilation of such books, several books were used when celebrating Mass...

 was found in Kennedy's desk and was used for the swearing-in ceremony.

In the days following the assassination, Lyndon B. Johnson made an address to Congress: "No memorial oration or eulogy could more eloquently honor President Kennedy's memory than the earliest possible passage of the Civil Rights Bill for which he fought so long." The wave of national grief following the assassination gave enormous momentum to Johnson's promise to carry out Kennedy's programs.

Johnson created a panel headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren
Earl Warren
Earl Warren was the 14th Chief Justice of the United States.He is known for the sweeping decisions of the Warren Court, which ended school segregation and transformed many areas of American law, especially regarding the rights of the accused, ending public-school-sponsored prayer, and requiring...

, known as the Warren Commission
Warren Commission
The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, known unofficially as the Warren Commission, was established on November 27, 1963, by Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963...

, to investigate Kennedy's assassination
John F. Kennedy assassination
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the thirty-fifth President of the United States, was assassinated at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas...

. The commission conducted hearings and concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald
Lee Harvey Oswald
Lee Harvey Oswald was, according to four government investigations,These were investigations by: the Federal Bureau of Investigation , the Warren Commission , the House Select Committee on Assassinations , and the Dallas Police Department. the sniper who assassinated John F...

 acted alone in the assassination. Not everyone agreed with the Warren Commission, and numerous public and private investigations continued for decades after Johnson left office.

Johnson retained senior Kennedy appointees, some for the full term of his presidency. The late President's brother, Attorney General
Attorney General
In most common law jurisdictions, the attorney general, or attorney-general, is the main legal advisor to the government, and in some jurisdictions he or she may also have executive responsibility for law enforcement or responsibility for public prosecutions.The term is used to refer to any person...

 Robert F. Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy
Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy , also referred to by his initials RFK, was an American politician, a Democratic senator from New York, and a noted civil rights activist. An icon of modern American liberalism and member of the Kennedy family, he was a younger brother of President John F...

, with whom Johnson had a notoriously difficult relationship, remained in office for a few months until leaving in 1964 to run for the Senate. Robert F. Kennedy has been quoted as saying that LBJ was "mean, bitter, vicious—[an] animal in many ways...I think his reactions on a lot of things are correct... but I think he’s got this other side of him and his relationship with human beings which makes it difficult unless you want to ‘kiss his behind’ all the time. That is what Bob McNamara
Robert McNamara
Robert Strange McNamara was an American business executive and the eighth Secretary of Defense, serving under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson from 1961 to 1968, during which time he played a large role in escalating the United States involvement in the Vietnam War...

 suggested to me...if I wanted to get along."

1964 presidential election



On September 7, 1964, Johnson's campaign managers for the 1964 presidential election
United States presidential election, 1964
The United States presidential election of 1964 was held on November 3, 1964. Incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson had come to office less than a year earlier following the assassination of his predecessor, John F. Kennedy. Johnson, who had successfully associated himself with Kennedy's...

 broadcast the "Daisy ad
Daisy (television commercial)
"Daisy," sometimes known as "Daisy Girl" or "Peace, Little Girl," was a controversial political advertisement aired on television during the 1964 United States presidential election by incumbent president Lyndon B. Johnson's campaign...

". It portrayed a little girl picking petals from a daisy, counting up to ten. Then a baritone voice took over, counted down from ten to zero and the visual showed the explosion of a nuclear bomb. The message conveyed was that electing Barry Goldwater
Barry Goldwater
Barry Morris Goldwater was a five-term United States Senator from Arizona and the Republican Party's nominee for President in the 1964 election. An articulate and charismatic figure during the first half of the 1960s, he was known as "Mr...

 president held the danger of nuclear war. Although it only aired one time, it became an issue during the campaign. Johnson won the presidency by a landslide with 61% of the vote and the then-widest popular margin in the 20th century — more than 15 million votes (this was later surpassed by incumbent President Nixon's defeat of Senator McGovern
George McGovern
George Stanley McGovern is an historian, author, and former U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator, and the Democratic Party nominee in the 1972 presidential election....

 in 1972
United States presidential election, 1972
The United States presidential election of 1972 was the 47th quadrennial United States presidential election. It was held on November 7, 1972. The Democratic Party's nomination was eventually won by Senator George McGovern, who ran an anti-war campaign against incumbent Republican President Richard...

). Johnson's popular vote margin of over 22 percentage points is a record that stands to this day.
In mid-1964, the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party
Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party
The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party was an American political party created in the state of Mississippi in 1964, during the civil rights movement...

 (MFDP) was organized with the purpose of challenging Mississippi's all-white and anti-civil rights delegation to the Democratic National Convention of that year as not representative of all Mississippians. At the national convention
1964 Democratic National Convention
The 1964 Democratic National Convention was the 1964 presidential nominating convention of the Democratic Party. It took place at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey from August 24 to 27, 1964. Incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson -- who had been Vice President under...

 in Atlantic City
Atlantic City, New Jersey
Atlantic City is a city in Atlantic County, New Jersey, United States, and a nationally renowned resort city for gambling, shopping and fine dining. The city also served as the inspiration for the American version of the board game Monopoly. Atlantic City is located on Absecon Island on the coast...

, New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

 the MFDP claimed the seats for delegates for Mississippi, not on the grounds of the Party rules, but because the official Mississippi delegation had been elected by a primary conducted under Jim Crow laws
Jim Crow laws
The Jim Crow laws were state and local laws in the United States enacted between 1876 and 1965. They mandated de jure racial segregation in all public facilities, with a supposedly "separate but equal" status for black Americans...

 in which blacks were excluded because of poll taxes, literacy tests, and even violence against black voters. The national Party’s liberal leaders supported a compromise in which the white delegation and the MFDP would have an even division of the seats; Johnson was concerned that, while the regular Democrats of Mississippi would probably vote for Goldwater anyway, if the Democratic Party rejected the regular Democrats, he would lose the Democratic Party political structure that he needed to win in the South. Eventually, Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. , served under President Lyndon B. Johnson as the 38th Vice President of the United States. Humphrey twice served as a United States Senator from Minnesota, and served as Democratic Majority Whip. He was a founder of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and...

, Walter Reuther
Walter Reuther
Walter Philip Reuther was an American labor union leader, who made the United Automobile Workers a major force not only in the auto industry but also in the Democratic Party in the mid 20th century...

 and black civil rights leaders (including Roy Wilkins
Roy Wilkins
Roy Wilkins was a prominent civil rights activist in the United States from the 1930s to the 1970s. Wilkins' most notable role was in his leadership of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ....

, Martin Luther King, and Bayard Rustin
Bayard Rustin
Bayard Rustin was an American leader in social movements for civil rights, socialism, pacifism and non-violence, and gay rights.In the pacifist Fellowship of Reconciliation , Rustin practiced nonviolence...

) worked out a compromise with MFDP leaders: the MFDP would receive two non-voting seats on the floor of the Convention; the regular Mississippi delegation would be required to pledge to support the party ticket; and no future Democratic convention would accept a delegation chosen by a discriminatory poll. When the leaders took the proposal back to the 64 members who had made the bus trip to Atlantic City, they voted it down. As MFDP Vice Chair Fannie Lou Hamer
Fannie Lou Hamer
Fannie Lou Hamer was an American voting rights activist and civil rights leader....

 said, "We didn't come all the way up here to compromise for no more than we’d gotten here. We didn't come all this way for no two seats, 'cause all of us is tired." The failure of the compromise effort allowed the rest of the Democratic Party to conclude that the MFDP was simply being unreasonable, and they lost a great deal of their liberal support. After that, the convention went smoothly for Johnson without a searing battle over civil rights. Despite the landslide victory, Johnson, who carried the South as a whole in the election, lost the Deep South
Deep South
The Deep South is a descriptive category of the cultural and geographic subregions in the American South. Historically, it is differentiated from the "Upper South" as being the states which were most dependent on plantation type agriculture during the pre-Civil War period...

 states of Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

 and South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

, the first time a Democratic candidate had done so since Reconstruction.

Johnson won the presidency by a majority of 61 percent, ready to fulfill his earlier commitment to “carry forward the plans and programs of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Not because of our sorrow or sympathy, but because they are right.” "1964 Year In Review"

Civil rights




In conjunction with the civil rights movement, Johnson overcame southern resistance and convinced Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a landmark piece of legislation in the United States that outlawed major forms of discrimination against African Americans and women, including racial segregation...

, which outlawed most forms of racial segregation. John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 originally proposed the civil rights bill in June 1963. He called the congressional leaders to the White House in late October 1963 to line up the necessary votes in the House for passage. After Kennedy's death, it was Johnson who broke a filibuster
Filibuster
A filibuster is a type of parliamentary procedure. Specifically, it is the right of an individual to extend debate, allowing a lone member to delay or entirely prevent a vote on a given proposal...

 by Southern Democrats
Southern Democrats
Southern Democrats are members of the U.S. Democratic Party who reside in the American South. In the 19th century, they were the definitive pro-slavery wing of the party, opposed to both the anti-slavery Republicans and the more liberal Northern Democrats.Eventually "Redemption" was finalized in...

 begun in March 1964 and pushed the bill through the Senate. Johnson signed the revised and stronger bill into law on July 2, 1964. Legend has it that, as he put down his pen, Johnson told an aide, "We have lost the South for a generation", anticipating a coming backlash from Southern whites against Johnson's Democratic Party.
In 1965, he achieved passage of a second civil rights bill, the Voting Rights Act
Voting Rights Act
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a landmark piece of national legislation in the United States that outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the U.S....

, which outlawed discrimination in voting, thus allowing millions of southern blacks to vote for the first time. In accordance with the act, several states, "seven of the eleven southern states of the former confederacy" - Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Virginia — were subjected to the procedure of preclearance in 1965, while Texas, home to the majority of the African American population at the time, followed in 1975.

After the murder of civil rights worker Viola Liuzzo
Viola Liuzzo
Viola Fauver Gregg Liuzzo was a Unitarian Universalist civil rights activist from Michigan, who was murdered by Ku Klux Klan members after the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches in Alabama...

, Johnson went on television to announce the arrest of four Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and informally known as the Klan, is the name of three distinct past and present far-right organizations in the United States, which have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy, white nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically...

smen implicated in her death. He angrily denounced the Klan as a "hooded society of bigots," and warned them to "return to a decent society before it's too late." Johnson was the first President to arrest and prosecute members of the Klan since Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under Grant's command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America...

 about 93 years earlier. He turned the themes of Christian redemption to push for civil rights, thereby mobilizing support from churches North and South.

At the Howard University
Howard University
Howard University is a federally chartered, non-profit, private, coeducational, nonsectarian, historically black university located in Washington, D.C., United States...

 commencement address on June 4, 1965, he said that both the government and the nation needed to help achieve goals:

In 1967, Johnson nominated civil rights attorney Thurgood Marshall
Thurgood Marshall
Thurgood Marshall was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, serving from October 1967 until October 1991...

 to be the first African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

Immigration



Johnson signed the Immigration Act of 1965, which substantially changed U.S. immigration policy toward non-Europeans. According to OECD
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an international economic organisation of 34 countries founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade...

, "While European-born immigrants accounted for nearly 60% of the total foreign-born population in 1970, they accounted for only 15% in 2000." Immigration doubled between 1965 and 1970, and doubled again between 1970 and 1990. Since the liberalization of immigration policy in 1965, the number of first-generation immigrants living in the United States has quadrupled, from 9.6 million in 1970 to about 38 million in 2007.

Great Society


The Great Society
Great Society
The Great Society was a set of domestic programs in the United States promoted by President Lyndon B. Johnson and fellow Democrats in Congress in the 1960s. Two main goals of the Great Society social reforms were the elimination of poverty and racial injustice...

 program, with its name coined from one of Johnson's speeches, became Johnson's agenda for Congress in January 1965: aid to education, attack on disease, Medicare, Medicaid, urban renewal
Urban renewal
Urban renewal is a program of land redevelopment in areas of moderate to high density urban land use. Renewal has had both successes and failures. Its modern incarnation began in the late 19th century in developed nations and experienced an intense phase in the late 1940s – under the rubric of...

, beautification, conservation, development of depressed regions, a wide-scale fight against poverty, control and prevention of crime, and removal of obstacles to the right to vote. Congress, at times augmenting or amending, enacted most of Johnson's recommendations.

After the Great Society legislation of the 1960s, for the first time a person who was not elderly or disabled could receive a living from the American government.

Federal funding for education


Johnson had a lifelong commitment to the belief that education was the cure for both ignorance and poverty, and was an essential component of the American Dream
American Dream
The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States in which freedom includes a promise of the possibility of prosperity and success. In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams in 1931, "life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each...

, especially for minorities who endured poor facilities and tight-fisted budgets from local taxes. He made education a top priority of the Great Society, with an emphasis on helping poor children. After the 1964 landslide brought in many new liberal Congressmen, he had the votes for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
Elementary and Secondary Education Act
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act , is a United States federal statute enacted April 11, 1965. It was passed as a part of President Lyndon B. Johnson's "War on Poverty" and has been the most far-reaching federal legislation affecting education ever passed by Congress...

(ESEA) of 1965. For the first time, large amounts of federal money went to public schools. In practice ESEA meant helping all public school districts, with more money going to districts that had large proportions of students from poor families (which included all the big cities). For the first time private schools (most of them Catholic schools in the inner cities) received services, such as library funding, comprising about 12% of the ESEA budget. As Dallek reports, researchers soon found that poverty had more to do with family background and neighborhood conditions than the quantity of education a child received. Early studies suggested initial improvements for poor kids helped by ESEA reading and math programs, but later assessments indicated that benefits faded quickly and left students little better off than those not in the programs. Johnson’s second major education program was the Higher Education Act of 1965
Higher Education Act of 1965
The Higher Education Act of 1965 was legislation signed into United States law on November 8, 1965, as part of President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society domestic agenda. Johnson chose Texas State University–San Marcos as the signing site...

, which focused on funding for lower income students, including grants, work-study money, and government loans. He set up the National Endowment for the Humanities
National Endowment for the Humanities
The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent federal agency of the United States established by the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965 dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. The NEH is located at...

 and the National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts is an independent agency of the United States federal government that offers support and funding for projects exhibiting artistic excellence. It was created by an act of the U.S. Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. Its current...

, to support humanists and artists (as the WPA
Works Progress Administration
The Works Progress Administration was the largest and most ambitious New Deal agency, employing millions of unskilled workers to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads, and operated large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects...

 once did). Although ESEA solidified Johnson's support among K-12 teachers' unions, neither the Higher Education Act nor the Endowments mollified the college professors and students growing increasingly uneasy with the war in Vietnam. In 1967 Johnson signed the Public Broadcasting Act
Public Broadcasting Act of 1967
The Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 set up public broadcasting in the United States, establishing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and eventually the Public Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio .When Lyndon B...

 to create educational television programs to supplement the broadcast networks.

"War on poverty"


In 1964, upon Johnson's request, Congress passed the Revenue Act of 1964
Revenue Act of 1964
The United States Revenue Act of 1964 , also known as the Tax Reduction Act, was a bipartisan tax cut bill signed by President Lyndon Johnson on February 26, 1964. Individual income tax rates were cut across the board by approximately 20%...

 and the Economic Opportunity Act
Economic Opportunity Act of 1964
Signed by Lyndon B. Johnson on August 20, 1964, the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 was central to Johnson's Great Society campaign and its War on Poverty. Implemented by the since disbanded Office of Economic Opportunity, the Act included several social programs to promote the health, education,...

, which was in association with the war on poverty
War on Poverty
The War on Poverty is the unofficial name for legislation first introduced by United States President Lyndon B. Johnson during his State of the Union address on January 8, 1964. This legislation was proposed by Johnson in response to a national poverty rate of around nineteen percent...

. Johnson set in motion bills and acts, creating programs such as Head Start, food stamps, Work Study, Medicare and Medicaid, which still exist today.

Medicare and Medicaid



The medicare program was established on July 30, 1965, to offer cheaper medical services to the elderly, today covering tens of millions of Americans. Johnson gave the first two Medicare cards to former President Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

 and his wife Bess
Bess Truman
Bess Truman , was the wife of Harry S. Truman and First Lady of the United States from 1945 to 1953.-Early life:...

 after signing the medicare bill at the Truman Library.

Lower income groups receive government-sponsored medical coverage through the Medicaid
Medicaid
Medicaid is the United States health program for certain people and families with low incomes and resources. It is a means-tested program that is jointly funded by the state and federal governments, and is managed by the states. People served by Medicaid are U.S. citizens or legal permanent...

 program.

Gun control


On October 22, 1968, Lyndon Johnson signed the Gun Control Act of 1968
Gun Control Act of 1968
The Gun Control Act of 1968 , by president Lyndon Johnson, is a federal law in the United States that broadly regulates the firearms industry and firearms owners...

, one of the largest and most far reaching federal gun control laws in American history. Much of the motivation for this large expansion of federal gun regulations came as a response to the murders of John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

, Robert F. Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy
Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy , also referred to by his initials RFK, was an American politician, a Democratic senator from New York, and a noted civil rights activist. An icon of modern American liberalism and member of the Kennedy family, he was a younger brother of President John F...

, and Martin Luther King.

Space Race


During Johnson's administration, NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 conducted the Gemini
Project Gemini
Project Gemini was the second human spaceflight program of NASA, the civilian space agency of the United States government. Project Gemini was conducted between projects Mercury and Apollo, with ten manned flights occurring in 1965 and 1966....

 manned space program and the Apollo program, including Apollo 7
Apollo 7
Apollo 7 was the first manned mission in the American Apollo space program, and the first manned US space flight after a cabin fire killed the crew of what was to have been the first manned mission, AS-204 , during a launch pad test in 1967...

; and the first human spaceflight to the Moon, Apollo 8
Apollo 8
Apollo 8, the second manned mission in the American Apollo space program, was the first human spaceflight to leave Earth orbit; the first to be captured by and escape from the gravitational field of another celestial body; and the first crewed voyage to return to Earth from another celestial...

, in December 1968. The president congratulated the Apollo 8 crew, saying, "You've taken ... all of us, all over the world, into a new era." On July 16, 1969, Johnson attended the Apollo 11
Apollo 11
In early 1969, Bill Anders accepted a job with the National Space Council effective in August 1969 and announced his retirement as an astronaut. At that point Ken Mattingly was moved from the support crew into parallel training with Anders as backup Command Module Pilot in case Apollo 11 was...

 launch—the first former or incumbent US president to witness a rocket launch.

All US manned flights after Gemini 3
Gemini 3
Gemini 3 was the first manned mission in NASA's Gemini program, the second American manned space program. On March 23, 1965, the spacecraft, nicknamed The Molly Brown, performed the seventh manned US spaceflight, and the 17th manned spaceflight overall...

 were controlled from the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, renamed for Johnson in 1973.

Urban riots


Major riots in black neighborhoods caused a series of "long hot summers." They started with a violent disturbance in Harlem riots in 1964 and the Watts district
Watts Riots
The Watts Riots or the Watts Rebellion was a civil disturbance in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, California from August 11 to August 15, 1965. The 5-day riot resulted in 34 deaths, 1,032 injuries, and 3,438 arrests...

 of Los Angeles in 1965, and extended to 1971. The biggest wave came in April 1968, when riots occurred in over a hundred cities in the wake of the assassination of Martin Luther King. Newark burned
1967 Newark riots
The 1967 Newark riots were a major civil disturbance that occurred in the city of Newark, New Jersey between July 12 and July 17, 1967. The six days of rioting, looting, and destruction left 26 dead and hundreds injured.-Social unrest:...

 in 1967, where six days of rioting left 26 dead, 1500 injured, and the inner city a burned out shell. In Detroit in 1967
12th Street riot
The 1967 Detroit riot, also known as the 12th Street riot, was a civil disturbance in Detroit, Michigan, that began in the early morning hours of Sunday, July 23, 1967. The precipitating event was a police raid of an unlicensed, after-hours bar then known as a blind pig, on the corner of 12th and...

, Governor George Romney
George W. Romney
George Wilcken Romney was an American businessman and Republican Party politician. He was chairman and CEO of American Motors Corporation from 1954 to 1962, the 43rd Governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969, and the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1969 to 1973...

 sent in 7400 national guard troops to quell fire bombings, looting, and attacks on businesses and on police. Johnson finally sent in federal troops with tanks and machine guns. Detroit continued to burn for three more days until finally 43 were dead, 2250 were injured, 4000 were arrested; property damage ranged into the hundreds of millions. Johnson called for even more billions to be spent in the cities and another federal civil rights law regarding housing, but his political capital had been spent, and his Great Society programs lost support. Johnson's popularity plummeted as a massive white political backlash took shape, reinforcing the sense Johnson had lost control of the streets of major cities as well as his party.
Johnson created the Kerner Commission
Kerner Commission
The National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, known as the Kerner Commission after its chair, Governor Otto Kerner, Jr. of Illinois, was an 11-member commission established by President Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the causes of the 1967 race riots in the United States and to provide...

 to study the problem of urban riots, headed by Illinois Governor Otto Kerner
Otto Kerner, Jr.
Otto Kerner, Jr. was the 33rd Governor of Illinois from 1961 to 1968. He is best known for chairing the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders and for accepting bribes....

.

Backlash against Johnson: 1966–67


Johnson's problems began to mount in 1966. The press had sensed a "Credibility gap
Credibility gap
Credibility gap is a political term that came into wide use during the 1960s and 1970s. At the time, it was most frequently used to describe public skepticism about the Lyndon B. Johnson administration's statements and policies on the Vietnam War...

" between what Johnson was saying in press conferences and what was happening on the ground in Vietnam, which led to much less favorable coverage of Johnson.

By year's end, the Democratic governor of Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

 warned that Johnson would lose the state by 100,000 votes, despite a half-million margin in 1964. "Frustration over Vietnam; too much federal spending and... taxation; no great public support for your Great Society programs; and ... public disenchantment with the civil rights programs" had eroded the President's standing, the governor reported. There were bright spots; in January 1967, Johnson boasted that wages were the highest in history, unemployment was at a 13-year low, and corporate profits and farm incomes were greater than ever; a 4.5% jump in consumer
Consumer
Consumer is a broad label for any individuals or households that use goods generated within the economy. The concept of a consumer occurs in different contexts, so that the usage and significance of the term may vary.-Economics and marketing:...

 prices was worrisome, as was the rise in interest rate
Interest rate
An interest rate is the rate at which interest is paid by a borrower for the use of money that they borrow from a lender. For example, a small company borrows capital from a bank to buy new assets for their business, and in return the lender receives interest at a predetermined interest rate for...

s. Johnson asked for a temporary 6% surcharge in income tax
Income tax
An income tax is a tax levied on the income of individuals or businesses . Various income tax systems exist, with varying degrees of tax incidence. Income taxation can be progressive, proportional, or regressive. When the tax is levied on the income of companies, it is often called a corporate...

es to cover the mounting deficit caused by increased spending. Johnson's approval ratings stayed below 50%; by January 1967, the number of his strong supporters had plunged to 16%, from 25% four months before. He ran about even with Republican George Romney
George W. Romney
George Wilcken Romney was an American businessman and Republican Party politician. He was chairman and CEO of American Motors Corporation from 1954 to 1962, the 43rd Governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969, and the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1969 to 1973...

 in trial matchups that spring. Asked to explain why he was unpopular, Johnson responded, "I am a dominating personality, and when I get things done I don't always please all the people." Johnson also blamed the press, saying they showed "complete irresponsibility and lie and misstate facts and have no one to be answerable to." He also blamed "the preachers, liberals and professors" who had turned against him.
In the congressional elections of 1966
United States House election, 1966
The U.S. House election, 1966 was an election for the United States House of Representatives in 1966 which occurred in the middle of President Lyndon Johnson's second term...

, the Republicans gained three seats in the Senate and 47 in the House, reinvigorating the Conservative coalition
Conservative coalition
In the United States, the conservative coalition was an unofficial Congressional coalition bringing together the conservative majority of the Republican Party and the conservative, mostly Southern, wing of the Democratic Party...

 and making it impossible for Johnson to pass any additional Great Society legislation.

Vietnam War


Johnson increasingly focused on the American military effort in Vietnam. He firmly believed in the Domino Theory
Domino theory
The domino theory was a reason for war during the 1950s to 1980s, promoted at times by the government of the United States, that speculated that if one state in a region came under the influence of communism, then the surrounding countries would follow in a domino effect...

 and that his containment
Containment
Containment was a United States policy using military, economic, and diplomatic strategies to stall the spread of communism, enhance America’s security and influence abroad, and prevent a "domino effect". A component of the Cold War, this policy was a response to a series of moves by the Soviet...

 policy required America to make a serious effort to stop all Communist expansion. At Kennedy's death, there were 16,000 American military advisors in Vietnam. As President, Lyndon Johnson immediately reversed his predecessor's order to withdraw 1,000 military personnel by the end of 1963 with his own NSAM #273 on November 26, 1963. Johnson expanded the numbers and roles of the American military following the Gulf of Tonkin Incident
Gulf of Tonkin Incident
The Gulf of Tonkin Incident, or the USS Maddox Incident, are the names given to two incidents, one fabricated, involving North Vietnam and the United States in the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin...

 (less than three weeks after the Republican Convention of 1964, which had nominated Barry Goldwater
Barry Goldwater
Barry Morris Goldwater was a five-term United States Senator from Arizona and the Republican Party's nominee for President in the 1964 election. An articulate and charismatic figure during the first half of the 1960s, he was known as "Mr...

 for President).
The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
The Tonkin Gulf Resolution was a joint resolution which the United States Congress passed on August 10, 1964 in response to a sea battle between the North Vietnamese Navy's Torpedo Squadron 10135 and the destroyer on August 2 and an alleged second naval engagement between North Vietnamese boats...

, which gave the President the exclusive right to use military force without consulting the Senate, was based on a false pretext, as Johnson later admitted. By the end of 1964, there were approximately 23,000 military personnel in South Vietnam. U.S. casualties for 1964 totaled 1,278. It was Johnson who began America's direct involvement in the ground war in Vietnam. By 1968, over 550,000 American soldiers were inside Vietnam; in 1967 and 1968 they were being killed at the rate of over 1,000 a month.

Politically, Johnson closely watched the public opinion polls. His goal was not to adjust his policies to follow opinion, but rather to adjust opinion to support his policies. Until the Tet Offensive of 1968, he systematically downplayed the war: few speeches, no rallies or parades or advertising campaigns. He feared that publicity would charge up the hawks who wanted victory, and weaken both his containment policy and his higher priorities in domestic issues. Jacobs and Shapiro conclude, "Although Johnson held a core of support for his position, the president was unable to move Americans who held hawkish and dovish positions." Polls showed that beginning in 1965, the public was consistently 40-50% hawkish and 10-25% dovish. Johnson's aides told him, "Both hawks and doves [are frustrated with the war] ... and take it out on you.".

Additionally, domestic issues were driving his polls down steadily from spring 1966 onward. A few analysts have theorized that "Vietnam had no independent impact on President Johnson's popularity at all after other effects, including a general overall downward trend in popularity, had been taken into account." The war grew less popular, and continued to split the Democratic Party. The Republican Party was not completely pro or anti-war, and Nixon managed to get support from both groups by running on a reduction in troop levels with an eye toward eventually ending the campaign.

He often privately cursed the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

, and in a conversation with Robert McNamara
Robert McNamara
Robert Strange McNamara was an American business executive and the eighth Secretary of Defense, serving under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson from 1961 to 1968, during which time he played a large role in escalating the United States involvement in the Vietnam War...

, Johnson assailed "the bunch of commies" running the New York Times for their articles against the war effort. Johnson believed that America could not afford to lose and risk appearing weak in the eyes of the world. In a discussion about the war with former President Dwight Eisenhower, Johnson said he was "trying to win it just as fast as I can in every way that I know how" and later stated that he needed "all the help I can get." Johnson escalated the war effort continuously from 1964 to 1968, and the number of American deaths rose. In two weeks in May 1968 alone American deaths numbered 1,800 with total casualties at 18,000. Alluding to the Domino Theory
Domino theory
The domino theory was a reason for war during the 1950s to 1980s, promoted at times by the government of the United States, that speculated that if one state in a region came under the influence of communism, then the surrounding countries would follow in a domino effect...

, he said, "If we allow Vietnam to fall, tomorrow we’ll be fighting in Hawaii, and next week in San Francisco."


After the Tet offensive of January 1968, his presidency was dominated by the Vietnam War more than ever. Following evening news broadcaster Walter Cronkite
Walter Cronkite
Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr. was an American broadcast journalist, best known as anchorman for the CBS Evening News for 19 years . During the heyday of CBS News in the 1960s and 1970s, he was often cited as "the most trusted man in America" after being so named in an opinion poll...

's editorial report during the Tet Offensive that the war was unwinnable, Johnson is reported to have said, "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost Middle America."

As casualties mounted and success seemed further away than ever, Johnson's popularity plummeted. College students and others protested, burned draft
Conscription in the United States
Conscription in the United States has been employed several times, usually during war but also during the nominal peace of the Cold War...

 cards, and chanted, "Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?" Johnson could scarcely travel anywhere without facing protests, and was not allowed by the Secret Service to attend the 1968 Democratic National Convention
1968 Democratic National Convention
The 1968 Democratic National Convention of the U.S. Democratic Party was held at the International Amphitheatre in Chicago, Illinois, from August 26 to August 29, 1968. Because Democratic President Lyndon Johnson had announced he would not seek a second term, the purpose of the convention was to...

, where hundreds of thousands of hippies, yippies, Black Panthers
Black Panther Party
The Black Panther Party wasan African-American revolutionary leftist organization. It was active in the United States from 1966 until 1982....

 and other opponents of Johnson's policies both in Vietnam and in the ghettos converged to protest. Thus by 1968, the public was polarized, with the "hawks" rejecting Johnson's refusal to continue the war indefinitely, and the "doves" rejecting his current war policies. Support for Johnson's middle position continued to shrink until he finally rejected containment and sought a peace settlement. By late summer, he realized that Nixon was closer to his position than Humphrey. He continued to support Humphrey publicly in the election, and personally despised Nixon. One of Johnson's well known quotes was "the Democratic party at its worst, is still better than the Republican party at its best".

Perhaps Johnson, himself, best summed up his involvement in the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 as President:
Many political pundits and experts said that Johnson suffered "agonizing decisions" in foreign policy in the involvement in Vietnam and felt it caused divisions both in the U.S. and abroad.

The Six Day War and Israel



In a 1993 interview for the Johnson Presidential Library
Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum
The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum is one of 13 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The library houses 45 million pages of historical documents, including the papers of Lyndon Baines Johnson and those of his close associates and others...

 oral history archives, Johnson's Secretary of Defense
United States Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Defense is the head and chief executive officer of the Department of Defense of the United States of America. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in other countries...

 Robert McNamara
Robert McNamara
Robert Strange McNamara was an American business executive and the eighth Secretary of Defense, serving under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson from 1961 to 1968, during which time he played a large role in escalating the United States involvement in the Vietnam War...

 stated that a carrier battle group
Carrier battle group
A carrier battle group consists of an aircraft carrier and its escorts, together composing the group. The first naval task forces built around carriers appeared just prior to and during World War II. The Imperial Japanese Navy was the first to assemble a large number of carriers into a single...

, the U.S. 6th Fleet, sent on a training exercise toward Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

 was re-positioned back towards the eastern Mediterranean to be able to defend Israel during the Six Day War of June 1967. Given the rapid Israeli advances following their preemptive strike on Egypt, the administration "thought the situation was so tense in Israel that perhaps the Syrians, fearing Israel would attack them, or the Soviets supporting the Syrians might wish to redress the balance of power and might attack Israel". The Soviets learned of this course correction and regarded it as an offensive move. In a hotline message from Moscow, Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin said, "If you want war you're going to get war." McNamara noted, "The reason this happened was a) the Israelis had knocked hell out of the Egyptians; b) the Egyptians and Jordanians believed [?] a false charge that we were bombing Cairo from a carrier, and when Hussein came in the Israelis knocked hell out of him."

The Soviet Union supported its Arab allies. In May 1967, the Soviets started a surge deployment of their naval forces into the East Mediterranean. Early in the crisis they began to shadow the US and British carriers with destroyers and intelligence collecting vessels. The Soviet naval squadron in the Mediterranean was sufficiently strong to act as a major restraint on the U.S. Navy. In a 1983 interview with the Boston Globe, McNamara claimed that "We damn near had war". He said Kosygin was angry that "we had turned around a carrier in the Mediterranean".

Pardons


During his presidency, Johnson issued 1187 pardons and commutations, granting over 20% of such requests.

1968 presidential election



Johnson was not disqualified from running for a second full term under the provisions of the 22nd Amendment; he had served less than 24 months of President Kennedy's term. However, entering the 1968 election campaign, initially, no prominent Democratic candidate was prepared to run against a sitting president of the Democratic party. Only Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 Eugene McCarthy
Eugene McCarthy
Eugene Joseph "Gene" McCarthy was an American politician, poet, and a long-time member of the United States Congress from Minnesota. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1949 to 1959 and the U.S. Senate from 1959 to 1971.In the 1968 presidential election, McCarthy was the first...

 of Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

 challenged Johnson as an anti-war candidate in the New Hampshire
New Hampshire
New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state was named after the southern English county of Hampshire. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian...

 primary
Primary election
A primary election is an election in which party members or voters select candidates for a subsequent election. Primary elections are one means by which a political party nominates candidates for the next general election....

, hoping to pressure the Democrats to oppose the war. On March 12, McCarthy won 42% of the primary vote to Johnson's 49%, an amazingly strong showing for such a challenger. Four days later, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy
Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy , also referred to by his initials RFK, was an American politician, a Democratic senator from New York, and a noted civil rights activist. An icon of modern American liberalism and member of the Kennedy family, he was a younger brother of President John F...

 of New York entered the race. Internal polling by Johnson's campaign in Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

, the next state to hold a primary election, showed the President trailing badly. Johnson did not leave the White House to campaign.


By this time Johnson had lost control of the Democratic Party, which was splitting into four factions, each of which despised the other three. The first consisted of Johnson (and Humphrey), labor unions, and local party bosses (led by Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley
Richard J. Daley
Richard Joseph Daley served for 21 years as the mayor and undisputed Democratic boss of Chicago and is considered by historians to be the "last of the big city bosses." He played a major role in the history of the Democratic Party, especially with his support of John F...

). The second group consisted of students and intellectuals who were vociferously against the war and rallied behind McCarthy. The third group were Catholics, Hispanics and African Americans, who rallied behind Robert Kennedy. The fourth group were traditionally segregationist white Southerners, who rallied behind George C. Wallace and the American Independent Party
American Independent Party
The American Independent Party is a right-wing political party of the United States that was established in 1967 by Bill and Eileen Shearer. In 1968, the American Independent Party nominated George C. Wallace as its presidential candidate and retired Air Force General Curtis E. LeMay as the vice...

. Vietnam was one of many issues that splintered the party, and Johnson could see no way to win Vietnam and no way to unite the party long enough for him to win re-election.

In addition, although it was not made public at the time, Johnson became worried about his failing health and was concerned that he might not make it through another four-year term. Therefore, at the end of a March 31 speech, he shocked the nation when he announced he would not run for re-election by concluding with the line: "I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President." He did rally the party bosses and unions to give Humphrey the nomination at the 1968 Democratic National Convention
1968 Democratic National Convention
The 1968 Democratic National Convention of the U.S. Democratic Party was held at the International Amphitheatre in Chicago, Illinois, from August 26 to August 29, 1968. Because Democratic President Lyndon Johnson had announced he would not seek a second term, the purpose of the convention was to...

. Johnson had grown to dislike Humphrey by this time; personal correspondences between the President and some in the Republican Party suggested Johnson tacitly supported Nelson Rockefeller's
Nelson Rockefeller
Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller was the 41st Vice President of the United States , serving under President Gerald Ford, and the 49th Governor of New York , as well as serving the Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower administrations in a variety of positions...

 campaign. He reportedly said that if Rockefeller became the Republican nominee, he would not campaign against him (and would not campaign for Humphrey). In what was termed the October surprise
October surprise
In American political jargon, an October surprise is a news event with the potential to influence the outcome of an election, particularly one for the U.S. presidency...

, Johnson announced to the nation on October 31, 1968, that he had ordered a complete cessation of "all air, naval and artillery bombardment of North Vietnam
North Vietnam
The Democratic Republic of Vietnam , was a communist state that ruled the northern half of Vietnam from 1954 until 1976 following the Geneva Conference and laid claim to all of Vietnam from 1945 to 1954 during the First Indochina War, during which they controlled pockets of territory throughout...

", effective November 1, should the Hanoi
Hanoi
Hanoi , is the capital of Vietnam and the country's second largest city. Its population in 2009 was estimated at 2.6 million for urban districts, 6.5 million for the metropolitan jurisdiction. From 1010 until 1802, it was the most important political centre of Vietnam...

 Government be willing to negotiate and citing progress with the Paris peace talks
Paris Peace Accords
The Paris Peace Accords of 1973 intended to establish peace in Vietnam and an end to the Vietnam War, ended direct U.S. military involvement, and temporarily stopped the fighting between North and South Vietnam...

. In the end,Democrats didn't fully unite behind Humphrey, enabling Republican Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 to win the election.

Had Johnson stayed in the race and won and served out the new term, he would have been president for 9 years and 2 months, second only to Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Coincidentally, Johnson died just two days after what would have been the end of his second full term.

Administration and Cabinet


(All of the cabinet members when Johnson became President in 1963 had been serving under John F. Kennedy previously.)
The Johnson Cabinet
OFFICE NAME TERM
President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

Lyndon B. Johnson 1963–1969
Vice President
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

None 1963–1965
  Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. , served under President Lyndon B. Johnson as the 38th Vice President of the United States. Humphrey twice served as a United States Senator from Minnesota, and served as Democratic Majority Whip. He was a founder of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and...

1965–1969
State
United States Secretary of State
The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

Dean Rusk
Dean Rusk
David Dean Rusk was the United States Secretary of State from 1961 to 1969 under presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Rusk is the second-longest serving U.S...

1963–1969
Treasury
United States Secretary of the Treasury
The Secretary of the Treasury of the United States is the head of the United States Department of the Treasury, which is concerned with financial and monetary matters, and, until 2003, also with some issues of national security and defense. This position in the Federal Government of the United...

C. Douglas Dillon
C. Douglas Dillon
Clarence Douglas Dillon was an American diplomat and politician, who served as U.S. Ambassador to France and as the 57th Secretary of the Treasury...

1963–1965
  Henry H. Fowler
Henry H. Fowler
Henry Hammill Fowler was an American lawyer and politician.Born in Roanoke, Virginia, he graduated from Roanoke College in 1929 and received his law degree from Yale Law School in 1932....

1965–1968
  Joseph W. Barr
Joseph W. Barr
Joseph Walker Barr was an American businessman and politician.Born in Bicknell, Indiana, he graduated from DePauw University in 1939, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, and earned a master's degree in economics from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1941.He served...

1968–1969
Defense
United States Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Defense is the head and chief executive officer of the Department of Defense of the United States of America. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in other countries...

Robert McNamara
Robert McNamara
Robert Strange McNamara was an American business executive and the eighth Secretary of Defense, serving under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson from 1961 to 1968, during which time he played a large role in escalating the United States involvement in the Vietnam War...

1963–1968
  Clark M. Clifford 1968–1969
Justice Robert F. Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy
Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy , also referred to by his initials RFK, was an American politician, a Democratic senator from New York, and a noted civil rights activist. An icon of modern American liberalism and member of the Kennedy family, he was a younger brother of President John F...

1963–1964
  Nicholas deB. Katzenbach 1964–1966
  Ramsey Clark
Ramsey Clark
William Ramsey Clark is an American lawyer, activist and former public official. He worked for the U.S. Department of Justice, which included service as United States Attorney General from 1967 to 1969, under President Lyndon B. Johnson...

1966–1969
Postmaster General John A. Gronouski
John A. Gronouski
John Austin Gronouski was the Wisconsin state commissioner of taxation and the United States Postmaster General.-Biography:...

1963–1965
  Larry O'Brien
Larry O'Brien
Lawrence Francis "Larry" O'Brien, Jr. was one of the United States Democratic Party's leading electoral strategists when, for more than two decades, he helped reshape American politics...

1965–1968
  W. Marvin Watson
W. Marvin Watson
William Marvin Watson was an advisor to U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and was Postmaster General in 1968 and early 1969.-Biography:...

1968–1969
Interior
United States Secretary of the Interior
The United States Secretary of the Interior is the head of the United States Department of the Interior.The US Department of the Interior should not be confused with the concept of Ministries of the Interior as used in other countries...

Stewart Lee Udall 1963–1969
Agriculture
United States Secretary of Agriculture
The United States Secretary of Agriculture is the head of the United States Department of Agriculture. The current secretary is Tom Vilsack, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on 20 January 2009. The position carries similar responsibilities to those of agriculture ministers in other...

Orville Lothrop Freeman 1963–1969
Commerce
United States Secretary of Commerce
The United States Secretary of Commerce is the head of the United States Department of Commerce concerned with business and industry; the Department states its mission to be "to foster, promote, and develop the foreign and domestic commerce"...

Luther Hartwell Hodges 1963–1965
  John Thomas Connor
John Thomas Connor
John T. "Jack" Connor was United States Secretary of Commerce from January 18, 1965 to January 31, 1967. Born in Syracuse, New York, John T Connor was a lawyer in New York who in 1942 became a researcher for the Office of Scientific Research and Development which helped to find cures for many...

1965–1967
  Alexander Buel Trowbridge
Alexander Buel Trowbridge
Alexander Buel Trowbridge III was the United States Secretary of Commerce from June 14, 1967 to March 1, 1968 in the administration of Lyndon Johnson....

1967–1968
  Cyrus Rowlett Smith 1968–1969
Labor
United States Secretary of Labor
The United States Secretary of Labor is the head of the Department of Labor who exercises control over the department and enforces and suggests laws involving unions, the workplace, and all other issues involving any form of business-person controversies....

W. Willard Wirtz
W. Willard Wirtz
William Willard Wirtz was a former U.S. administrator, cabinet officer, attorney, and law professor. He served as the Secretary of Labor between 1962 and 1969 under the administrations of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. At the time of his death, he was the last living member of...

1963–1969
HEW Anthony Celebrezze 1963–1965
  John William Gardner 1965–1968
  Wilbur Joseph Cohen 1968–1969
HUD
United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
The United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development is the head of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, a member of the President's Cabinet, and thirteenth in the Presidential line of succession. The post was created with the formation of the Department of Housing...

Robert Clifton Weaver 1966–1968
  Robert Coldwell Wood
Robert Coldwell Wood
Robert Coldwell Wood was an American political scientist, administrator, and professor of political science at MIT. He led the U.S...

1969
Transportation
United States Secretary of Transportation
The United States Secretary of Transportation is the head of the United States Department of Transportation, a member of the President's Cabinet, and fourteenth in the Presidential line of succession. The post was created with the formation of the Department of Transportation on October 15, 1966,...

Alan Stephenson Boyd
Alan Stephenson Boyd
Alan Stephenson Boyd is an American attorney and transportation executive who led several large corporations and also served the U.S. Government in various transportation-related positions. He was the first United States Secretary of Transportation, appointed by Lyndon Johnson. Additionally, he...

1967–1969

Supreme Court



Johnson appointed the following Justices to the Supreme Court of the United States
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

:
  • Abe Fortas
    Abe Fortas
    Abraham Fortas was a U.S. Supreme Court associate justice from 1965 to 1969. Originally from Tennessee, Fortas became a law professor at Yale, and subsequently advised the Securities and Exchange Commission. He then worked at the Interior Department under Franklin D...

    –1965
    • Fortas was also nominated to be Chief Justice of the United States
      Chief Justice of the United States
      The Chief Justice of the United States is the head of the United States federal court system and the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Chief Justice is one of nine Supreme Court justices; the other eight are the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States...

       in 1968, but he was filibustered by senators and never was voted upon by the full Senate.
  • Thurgood Marshall
    Thurgood Marshall
    Thurgood Marshall was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, serving from October 1967 until October 1991...

    –1967
    • Marshall was the first African-American to be appointed to the Supreme Court.

Other courts



In addition to his Supreme Court appointments, Johnson appointed 40 judges to the United States Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals
The United States courts of appeals are the intermediate appellate courts of the United States federal court system...

, and 126 judges to the United States district courts. Johnson also had a small number of judicial appointment controversies
Lyndon B. Johnson judicial appointment controversies
During President Lyndon B. Johnson's presidency, federal judicial appointments played a central role. Johnson appointed two individuals to the Supreme Court of the United States in just over five years as president....

, with one appellate and three district court nominees not being confirmed by the United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 before Johnson's presidency ended.

Scandals and controversies


During 1973 testimony before Congress, the CEO of America's largest cooperative of milk producers said that while Johnson was President, his cooperative had leased Johnson's private jet at a "plush" price, which Johnson wanted to continue once he was out of office.

Johnson continued the FBI's wiretapping of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the...

 that had been previously authorized by the Kennedy administration under Attorney General Robert Kennedy. As a result of listening to the FBI's tapes, remarks on King's personal lifestyle were made by several prominent officials, including Johnson, who once said that King was a “hypocritical preacher.” Johnson also authorized the tapping of phone conversations of others, including the Vietnamese friends of a Nixon associate.

In Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

, Johnson directly and indirectly supported the overthrow of left-wing, democratically elected president Juan Bosch
Juan Bosch
Juan Emilio Bosch Gaviño was a politician, historian, short story writer, essayist, educator, and the first cleanly elected president of the Dominican Republic for a brief time in 1963. Previously, he had been the leader of the Dominican opposition in exile to the dictatorial regime of Rafael...

 of the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

 and João Goulart
João Goulart
João Belchior Marques Goulart was a Brazilian politician and the 24th President of Brazil until a military coup d'état deposed him on April 1, 1964. He is considered to have been the last left-wing President of the country until Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva took office in 2003.-Name:João Goulart is...

 of Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, maintaining US support for anti-communist, authoritarian Latin American regimes. American foreign policy towards Latin America remained largely static until election of Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

 to the presidency in 1977.

Personality and public image


Johnson was often seen as a wildly ambitious, tireless, and imposing figure who was ruthlessly effective at getting legislation passed. He worked 18-20 hour days without break and was apparently absent any leisure activities. "There was no more powerful majority leader in American history," his biographer Robert Dallek writes. Dallek writes that Johnson had biographies on all the Senators, knew what their ambitions, hopes, and tastes were and used it to his advantage in securing votes. Another Johnson biography writes, "He could get up every day and learn what their fears, their desires, their wishes, their wants were and he could then manipulate, dominate, persuade and cajole them." At six foot four inches tall, Johnson had his own particular brand of persuasion, known as "The Johnson Treatment". A contemporary writes, "It was an incredible blend of badgering, cajolery, reminders of past favours, promises of future favours, predictions of gloom if something doesn't happen. When that man started to work on you, all of a sudden, you just felt that you were standing under a waterfall and the stuff was pouring on you."

Johnson also took on the image of the Texas cattle rancher, after buying a ranch in Texas and having himself photographed in cowboy attire.

Post-presidency



After leaving the presidency in January 1969, Johnson went home to his ranch in Stonewall, Texas. In 1971, he published his memoirs, The Vantage Point. That year, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum
Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum
The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum is one of 13 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The library houses 45 million pages of historical documents, including the papers of Lyndon Baines Johnson and those of his close associates and others...

 opened near the campus of The University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin is a state research university located in Austin, Texas, USA, and is the flagship institution of the The University of Texas System. Founded in 1883, its campus is located approximately from the Texas State Capitol in Austin...

. He donated his Texas ranch in his will to the public to form the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park
Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park
Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park in central Texas about 50 miles west of Austin in the Texas Hill Country. The park protects the birthplace, home, ranch and final resting place of Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States...

, with the provision that the ranch "remain a working ranch and not become a sterile relic of the past".

During the 1972 presidential election
United States presidential election, 1972
The United States presidential election of 1972 was the 47th quadrennial United States presidential election. It was held on November 7, 1972. The Democratic Party's nomination was eventually won by Senator George McGovern, who ran an anti-war campaign against incumbent Republican President Richard...

, Johnson supported Democratic presidential nominee George S. McGovern, a Senator from South Dakota
South Dakota
South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes. Once a part of Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. The state has an area of and an estimated population of just over...

, although McGovern had long opposed Johnson's foreign and defense policies. Johnson's protege John Connally
John Connally
John Bowden Connally, Jr. , was an influential American politician, serving as the 39th governor of Texas, Secretary of the Navy under President John F. Kennedy, and as Secretary of the Treasury under President Richard M. Nixon. While he was Governor in 1963, Connally was a passenger in the car in...

 had served as President Nixon's Secretary of the Treasury and then stepped down to head "Democrats for Nixon
Democrats for Nixon
Democrats for Nixon was a campaign to promote Democratic support for the then-incumbent Republican President Richard Nixon in the 1972 presidential election...

", a group funded by Republicans. It was the first time that Connally and Johnson were on opposite sides of a general election campaign.

Death and funeral


Lyndon Baines Johnson died at his ranch
Ranch
A ranch is an area of landscape, including various structures, given primarily to the practice of ranching, the practice of raising grazing livestock such as cattle or sheep for meat or wool. The word most often applies to livestock-raising operations in the western United States and Canada, though...

 at 3:39 p.m CST (4:39 pm EST) on January 22, 1973 at age 64 after suffering a massive heart attack
Myocardial infarction
Myocardial infarction or acute myocardial infarction , commonly known as a heart attack, results from the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, causing heart cells to die...

. His death came the day before a ceasefire was signed in Vietnam and almost a month after former president Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

 died. His health had been affected by years of heavy
Chain smoking
Chain smoking is the practice of lighting a new cigarette for personal consumption immediately after one that is finished, sometimes using the finished cigarette to light the next one. It is a common form of addiction.-Causes:...

 smoking
Tobacco smoking
Tobacco smoking is the practice where tobacco is burned and the resulting smoke is inhaled. The practice may have begun as early as 5000–3000 BCE. Tobacco was introduced to Eurasia in the late 16th century where it followed common trade routes...

, poor diet, and extreme stress; the former president had advanced coronary artery disease. He had his first, nearly fatal, heart attack in July 1955 and suffered a second one in April 1972, but had been unable to quit smoking after he left the Oval Office in 1969. He was found dead by Secret Service agents, in his bed, with a telephone in his hand. (The Age
The Age
The Age is a daily broadsheet newspaper, which has been published in Melbourne, Australia since 1854. Owned and published by Fairfax Media, The Age primarily serves Victoria, but is also available for purchase in Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and border regions of South Australia and...

, January 23, 1973, pg 1)

Shortly after Johnson's death, his press secretary Tom Johnson telephoned Walter Cronkite at CBS; Cronkite was live on the air with the CBS Evening News
CBS Evening News
CBS Evening News is the flagship nightly television news program of the American television network CBS. The network has broadcast this program since 1948, and has used the CBS Evening News title since 1963....

at the time, and a report on Vietnam was cut abruptly while Cronkite was still on the line with Johnson so he could break the news.


Johnson was honored with a state funeral
State funerals in the United States
State funerals in the United States are public funerals held in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C. that are offered to a sitting or ex-President of the United States, a President-elect, as well as other people designated by the President...

 in which Texas Congressman J. J. Pickle and former Secretary of State Dean Rusk
Dean Rusk
David Dean Rusk was the United States Secretary of State from 1961 to 1969 under presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Rusk is the second-longest serving U.S...

 eulogized
Eulogy
A eulogy is a speech or writing in praise of a person or thing, especially one recently deceased or retired. Eulogies may be given as part of funeral services. However, some denominations either discourage or do not permit eulogies at services to maintain respect for traditions...

 him at the Capitol
United States Capitol
The United States Capitol is the meeting place of the United States Congress, the legislature of the federal government of the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., it sits atop Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall...

. The final services took place on January 25. The funeral was held at the National City Christian Church
National City Christian Church
National City Christian Church, located on Thomas Circle in Washington, D.C., is the national cathedral for the Christian Church , often abbreviated as the "Disciples of Christ" or "Christian Church"...

 in Washington, D.C., where he had often worshiped as president. The service was presided over by President Richard Nixon and attended by foreign dignitaries such as former Japanese prime minister Eisaku Satō
Eisaku Sato
This article is about the Prime Minister of Japan. For the governor of Fukushima Prefecture of Japan of the same name, see Eisaku Satō ....

, who served as Japanese prime minister during Johnson's presidency. Eulogies were given by the Rev. Dr. George Davis, the church's pastor, and W. Marvin Watson
W. Marvin Watson
William Marvin Watson was an advisor to U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and was Postmaster General in 1968 and early 1969.-Biography:...

, former postmaster general. Nixon did not speak, though he attended, as is customary for presidents during state funerals, but the eulogists turned to him and lauded him for his tributes, as Rusk did the day before.

Johnson was buried in his family cemetery (which can be viewed today by visitors to the Lyndon B. Johnson National Park in Stonewall, Texas), a few yards from the house in which he was born. Eulogies were given by John Connally
John Connally
John Bowden Connally, Jr. , was an influential American politician, serving as the 39th governor of Texas, Secretary of the Navy under President John F. Kennedy, and as Secretary of the Treasury under President Richard M. Nixon. While he was Governor in 1963, Connally was a passenger in the car in...

 and the Rev. Billy Graham, the minister who officiated the burial rites. The state funeral, the last until Ronald Reagan
Death and state funeral of Ronald Reagan
On June 5, 2004, Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, died after having suffered from Alzheimer's disease for nearly a decade. His seven-day state funeral followed, spanning June 5–11...

's in 2004, was part of an unexpectedly busy week in Washington, as the Military District of Washington (MDW) dealt with their second major task in less than a week, beginning with Nixon's second inauguration
Second inauguration of Richard Nixon
The second inauguration of Richard Nixon as the 37th President of the United States was held on January 20, 1973. The inauguration marked the commencement of the second term of Richard Nixon as President and the second term of Spiro Agnew as Vice President. Chief Justice Warren E...

. The inauguration had an impact on the state funeral in various ways, because Johnson died only two days after the inauguration. The MDW and the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee
Joint Task Force-Armed Forces Inaugural Committee
The Armed Forces Inaugural Committee coordinates the United States Armed Forces participation in the ten-day period of U.S. Presidential Inauguration Day ceremonies. That traditionally includes musical military units, marching bands, color guards, ushers, firing details, and salute batteries...

 canceled the remainder of the ceremonies surrounding the inauguration to allow for a full state funeral, and many of the military men who participated in the inauguration took part in the funeral. It also meant Johnson's casket traveled the entire length of Capitol, entering through the Senate wing when taken into the rotunda to lie in state and exited through the House wing steps due to construction on the East Front steps.

Legacy


The Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas
Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States, and the largest city in the state of Texas. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a population of 2.1 million people within an area of . Houston is the seat of Harris County and the economic center of , which is the ...

, was renamed the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's center for human spaceflight training, research and flight control. The center consists of a complex of 100 buildings constructed on 1,620 acres in Houston, Texas, USA...

, and Texas created a legal state holiday to be observed on August 27 to mark Johnson's birthday. It is known as Lyndon Baines Johnson Day
Lyndon Baines Johnson Day
Lyndon Baines Johnson Day is a legal state holiday in Texas. It falls every year on August 27, to mark the birthday of U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson....

. The Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac
Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac
Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac is located on Columbia Island in Washington, D.C. The memorial honors the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson....

 was dedicated on September 27, 1974.

The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs
Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs
The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs is a graduate school at The University of Texas at Austin that was founded in 1970 to offer professional training in public policy analysis and administration for students interested in pursuing careers in government and public affairs-related areas...

 was named in his honor, as is the Lyndon B. Johnson National Grassland
Lyndon B. Johnson National Grassland
Lyndon B. Johnson National Grassland is a National Grassland located in the Great Plains of the northern part of the U.S. state of Texas near Decatur and within an hour's drive from Fort Worth. It is primarily used for recreation such as hiking, camping, horseback riding, fishing and hunting...

.

Interstate 635
Interstate 635 (Texas)
Interstate 635 or the Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway is a partial loop around Dallas, Texas between Interstate 20 in Balch Springs, Texas and State Highway 121 at the north entrance of the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Grapevine, Texas. The route is long...

 in Dallas is named the Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway.

Johnson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Presidential Medal of Freedom
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the President of the United States and is—along with thecomparable Congressional Gold Medal bestowed by an act of U.S. Congress—the highest civilian award in the United States...

 posthumously in 1980.

On March 23, 2007, President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 signed legislation naming the United States Department of Education
United States Department of Education
The United States Department of Education, also referred to as ED or the ED for Education Department, is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government...

 headquarters after President Johnson.

Runway 17R/35L at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is a mixed-use commercial airport located southeast of the central business district of Austin, Texas, United States. It covers and has two runways and three helipads.The airport began passenger service on May 23, 1999...

 is known as the Lyndon B. Johnson Runway.

2008 was the celebration of the Johnson Centennial featuring special programs, events, and parties across Texas and in Washington, D.C. Johnson would have been 100 years old on August 27, 2008.

The student center at Texas State University is named after the former president.

Major legislation signed

  • 1963: Clean Air Act of 1963
    Clean Air Act (United States)
    The Clean Air Act is a United States federal law enacted by Congress, and signed by President Richard Nixon on December 31, 1970 to control air pollution on a national level. It requires the Environmental Protection Agency to develop and enforce regulations to protect the general public from...

  • 1963: Higher Education Facilities Act of 1963
  • 1963: Vocational Education Act of 1963
  • 1964: Civil Rights Act of 1964
    Civil Rights Act of 1964
    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a landmark piece of legislation in the United States that outlawed major forms of discrimination against African Americans and women, including racial segregation...

  • 1964: Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964
    Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964
    The Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964 provided $375 million for large-scale urban public or private rail projects in the form of matching funds to cities and states. The Urban Mass Transportation Administration was created...

  • 1964: Wilderness Act
    Wilderness Act
    The Wilderness Act of 1964 was written by Howard Zahniser of The Wilderness Society. It created the legal definition of wilderness in the United States, and protected some 9 million acres of federal land. The result of a long effort to protect federal wilderness, the Wilderness Act was signed...

  • 1964: Nurse Training Act of 1964
  • 1964: Food Stamp Act of 1964
    Food Stamp Program
    The United States Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program , historically and commonly known as the Food Stamp Program, is a federal-assistance program that provides assistance to low- and no-income people and families living in the U.S. Though the program is administered by the U.S. Department of...

  • 1964: Economic Opportunity Act
    Economic Opportunity Act of 1964
    Signed by Lyndon B. Johnson on August 20, 1964, the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 was central to Johnson's Great Society campaign and its War on Poverty. Implemented by the since disbanded Office of Economic Opportunity, the Act included several social programs to promote the health, education,...

  • 1964: Housing Act of 1964
  • 1965: Higher Education Act of 1965
    Higher Education Act of 1965
    The Higher Education Act of 1965 was legislation signed into United States law on November 8, 1965, as part of President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society domestic agenda. Johnson chose Texas State University–San Marcos as the signing site...

  • 1965: Older Americans Act
    Older Americans Act
    The Older Americans Act of 1965 was the first federal level initiative aimed at providing comprehensive services for older adults. It created the National Aging Network comprising the Administration on Aging on the federal level, State Units on Aging, and Area Agencies on Aging at the local level...

  • 1965: Social Security Act of 1965
    Social Security Act of 1965
    The Social Security Amendments of 1965 was legislation in the United States whose most important provisions resulted in creation of two programs: Medicare and Medicaid. The legislation initially provided federal health insurance for the elderly and for poor families. While President Lyndon B...

  • 1965: Voting Rights Act
    Voting Rights Act
    The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a landmark piece of national legislation in the United States that outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the U.S....

  • 1965: Immigration and Nationality Services Act of 1965
    Immigration and Nationality Services Act of 1965
    Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 abolished the National Origins Formula that had been in place in the United States since the Immigration Act of 1924...

  • 1966: Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
    Freedom of Information Act (United States)
    The Freedom of Information Act is a federal freedom of information law that allows for the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents controlled by the United States government. The Act defines agency records subject to disclosure, outlines mandatory disclosure...

  • 1967: Age Discrimination in Employment Act
    Age Discrimination in Employment Act
    The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Pub. L. No. 90-202Code, through , forbids employment discrimination against anyone at least 40 years of age in the United States .-Scope of Protection:...

  • 1967: Public Broadcasting Act of 1967
    Public Broadcasting Act of 1967
    The Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 set up public broadcasting in the United States, establishing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and eventually the Public Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio .When Lyndon B...

  • 1968: Architectural Barriers Act of 1968
    Architectural Barriers Act of 1968
    The Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 is an Act of Congress, enacted by President Lyndon B. Johnson.The ABA requires that facilities designed, built, altered, or leased with funds supplied by the United States Federal Government be accessible to the public...

  • 1968: Bilingual Education Act
    Bilingual Education Act
    The Bilingual Education Act, Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1968 was the first piece of United States federal legislation that recognized the needs of Limited English Speaking Ability students. The BEA was introduced in 1967 by Texas senator Ralph Yarborough and was...

  • 1968: Civil Rights Act of 1968
    Civil Rights Act of 1968
    On April 11, 1968 U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968, also known as the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968. Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 is commonly known as the Fair Housing Act, or as CRA '68, and was meant as a follow-up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964...

  • 1968: Gun Control Act of 1968
    Gun Control Act of 1968
    The Gun Control Act of 1968 , by president Lyndon Johnson, is a federal law in the United States that broadly regulates the firearms industry and firearms owners...


Music

  • Referenced in the anti-war song "Super-bird" by Country Joe & the Fish, and "Lyndon Johnson Told the Nation" by Tom Paxton
    Tom Paxton
    Thomas Richard Paxton is an American folk singer and singer-songwriter who has been writing, performing and recording music for over forty years...

    .
  • A snippet of a Johnson speech is used for the opening of "Killing Floor" by the Electric Flag
    Electric Flag
    The Electric Flag was a blues rock soul group, led by guitarist Mike Bloomfield, keyboardist Barry Goldberg and drummer Buddy Miles, and featuring other well-known musicians such as vocalist Nick Gravenites and bassist Harvey Brooks. Bloomfield formed the Electric Flag in 1967, following his stint...

    .
  • English band Enjoy Destroy named a song LBJ with the chorus containing the slogan, Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?
  • Steven Stucky
    Steven Stucky
    Steven Stucky is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer.Stucky was born in Hutchinson, Kansas. At age 9, he moved with his family to Abilene, Texas, where, as a teenager, he studied music in the public schools and, privately, viola with Herbert Preston, conducting with Leo Scheer, and...

    's work August 4, 1964 to be premiered in Dallas in celebration of the 100th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson's birth. The piece focuses on two events that came to a head on August 4, 1964, events that defined Johnson's presidency and defined that time for many Americans — the discovery of the bodies of three slain civil rights workers and the Gulf of Tonkin Incident(s).
  • The musical Hair includes the song "Initials (L.B.J.)", which is sung by the Tribe.

Television

  • In the popular television series Seinfeld
    Seinfeld
    Seinfeld is an American television sitcom that originally aired on NBC from July 5, 1989, to May 14, 1998, lasting nine seasons, and is now in syndication. It was created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, the latter starring as a fictionalized version of himself...

    , Lyndon B. Johnson was considered by George Costanza
    George Costanza
    George Louis Costanza is a character in the American television sitcom Seinfeld , played by Jason Alexander. He has variously been described as a "short, stocky, slow-witted, bald man" , "Lord of the Idiots" , and as "the greatest sitcom character of all time"...

     to be the ugliest world leader of all time. In the third season episode, "The Boyfriend", Kramer believes Michael and Carol's baby girl looks like Lyndon B. Johnson. In addition, after George Costanza's boss, Mr. Wilhelm, gave him orders for a special project while sitting on the toilet, Jerry stated that he had "pulled an LBJ" because, according to Jerry, Johnson was known for making his aides follow him into the bathroom so he could continue giving orders while relieving himself.
  • In the animated television series King of the Hill
    King of the Hill
    King of the Hill is an American animated dramedy series created by Mike Judge and Greg Daniels, that ran from January 12, 1997, to May 6, 2010, on Fox network. It centers on the Hills, a working-class Methodist family in the fictional small town of Arlen, Texas...

    , Hank's boss and businessman Buck Strickland is based on Lyndon Johnson, both in appearance and personality. Hank's dog is also named Lady Bird after Johnson's wife.
  • In the sketch comedy show The Whitest Kids U'Know Johnson is portrayed by Sam Brown, and is shown encouraging the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
  • In the last segment of documentary The Men Who Killed Kennedy
    The Men Who Killed Kennedy
    The Men Who Killed Kennedy is a 9-part video documentary series by Nigel Turner about the John F. Kennedy assassination. The series, which related various conspiracy theories, was extensively challenged on factual grounds....

    , which aired on The History Channel
    The History Channel
    History, formerly known as The History Channel, is an American-based international satellite and cable TV channel that broadcasts a variety of reality shows and documentary programs including those of fictional and non-fictional historical content, together with speculation about the future.-...

    , Johnson was directly implicated as being involved in Kennedy assassination, one of many unproven conspiracy theories.
  • In an episode of Wizards of Waverly Place
    Wizards of Waverly Place
    Wizards of Waverly Place is a Disney Channel Original Series that premiered on October 12, 2007. It won "Outstanding Children's Program" at the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards in 2009...

    , Alex is talking to her aunt about 'sticking it to the man', and being involved in the peace movement, to which her aunt replies: "No way LBJ!"
  • In an episode of The Venture Bros.
    The Venture Bros.
    The Venture Bros. is an American animated television series that premiered on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim on February 16, 2003. The series mixes action and comedy together while it chronicles the adventures of the Venture family: well-meaning but incompetent teenagers Hank and Dean Venture; their...

    , Johnson and his wife "Lady Hawk" appear as super villains.
  • Johnson appeared as an animated caricature of himself in an episode of The Flintstones
    The Flintstones
    The Flintstones is an animated, prime-time American television sitcom that screened from September 30, 1960 to April 1, 1966, on ABC. Produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions, The Flintstones was about a working class Stone Age man's life with his family and his next-door neighbor and best friend. It...

    entitled, "Shinrock A Go-Go", which originally aired on December 3, 1965.

Books

  • In the Odd Thomas series of novels by Dean Koontz
    Dean Koontz
    Dean Ray Koontz is a prolific American author best known for his novels which could be described broadly as suspense thrillers. He also frequently incorporates elements of horror, science fiction, mystery, and satire. A number of his books have appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List, with...

    , Johnson appears as one of the famous ghosts that haunt the titular character's home town of Pico Mundo, still wearing the hospital gown he had on when he died. When Johnson realizes Odd can see him, he responds by mooning him.
  • In the short story collection Girl With Curious Hair
    Girl with Curious Hair
    Girl with Curious Hair is a collection of short stories by David Foster Wallace first published in 1989. Though the stories are not related, many of them share the theme of society's fascination with celebrity, some using real celebrities, including Alex Trebek, David Letterman and Lyndon Johnson,...

    by David Foster Wallace
    David Foster Wallace
    David Foster Wallace was an American author of novels, essays, and short stories, and a professor at Pomona College in Claremont, California...

    , the piece entitled "Lyndon" describes a large extent of Johnson's political career through his interactions with the narrator, an administrative assistant who rises to become a senior staff member and close friend of Johnson's.

Theater

  • Johnson's rise to the presidency inspired the satirical play MacBird
    MacBird
    MacBird! was a 1967 satire by Barbara Garson that superimposed the transferral of power following the Kennedy assassination onto the plot of Shakespeare's Macbeth....

     by Barbara Garson
    Barbara Garson
    Barbara Garson is an American playwright, author and social activist.Garson is best known for the play MacBird, a notorious 1966 counterculture drama/political parody of Macbeth that sold over half a million copies as a book and had over 90 productions world wide...

    .

Movies

  • LBJ (1968): subject of Cuban propaganda film
    Propaganda film
    The term propaganda can be defined as the ability to produce and spread fertile messages that, once sown, will germinate in large human cultures.” However, in the 20th century, a “new” propaganda emerged, which revolved around political organizations and their need to communicate messages that...

    .
  • The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover
    The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover
    The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover is a 1977 film directed by Larry Cohen. It stars Broderick Crawford and James Wainwright. The all star cast includes Jose Ferrer, Michael Parks, Celeste Holm, Ronee Blakely, Tanya Roberts in a cameo role, and in final screen appearances, Jack Cassidy and Dan...

    (1977): played by Andrew Duggan
    Andrew Duggan
    -Career:During World War II, Duggan was in the 40th Special Services Company, led by actor Melvyn Douglas in the China Burma India Theater of World War II. His contact with Douglas later led to his performing with Lucille Ball in the play Dreamgirl. He developed a friendship with Broadway...

    .
  • King (1978, TV): played by Warren Kemmerling.
  • Hair
    Hair (film)
    Hair is a 1979 American film adaptation of the 1968 Broadway musical of the same name about a Vietnam war draftee who meets and befriends a tribe of long-haired hippies on his way to the army induction center...

    (1979): The song "Initials/LBJ" mentions Johnson in the lyrics repeatedly.
  • Kennedy
    Kennedy (TV Miniseries)
    Kennedy is a five-hour miniseries written by Reg Gadney and directed by Jim Goddard. The miniseries was produced by Central Independent Television and originally aired in the United States starting on 20 November 1983 around the time of the twentieth anniversary of the Kennedy assassination.The...

    (1983, TV): played by Nesbitt Blaisdell.
  • The Right Stuff (1983): played by Donald Moffat
    Donald Moffat
    Donald Moffat is an English-born actor, now a naturalized American citizen.-Early life:Moffat was born in Plymouth, Devon, the only child of Kathleen Mary and Walter George Moffat, who was an insurance agent. His parents ran a boarding house in Totnes...

    .
  • Robert Kennedy & His Times
    Robert Kennedy & His Times
    Robert Kennedy & His Times is a 1985 American television miniseries directed by Marvin J. Chomsky. The miniseries was released in three parts and depicts the life of Robert F. Kennedy.-Cast:- Crew :-Awards and nominations:...

    (1985, TV): played by G. D. Spradlin
    G. D. Spradlin
    Gervase Duan "G.D." Spradlin was an American actor. He often played devious authority figures. He is credited in over 70 television and film productions, and performed alongside actors including Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, and George C. Scott.-Early life:Spradlin was born in Pauls...

    .
  • J. Edgar Hoover (1987, TV): played by Rip Torn
    Rip Torn
    Elmore Rual "Rip" Torn, Jr. , is an American actor of stage, screen and television.Torn received an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his role in the 1983 film Cross Creek. His work includes the role of Artie, the producer, on The Larry Sanders Show, for which he was nominated...

    .
  • LBJ: The Early Years
    LBJ: The Early Years
    LBJ: The Early Years was a television movie that appeared on the NBC network in February 1987, depicting the life of former President of the United States Lyndon B. Johnson from 1934 until 1963...

    (1987, TV): played by Randy Quaid
    Randy Quaid
    Randall Rudy "Randy" Quaid is an American actor perhaps best known for his role as Cousin Eddie in the National Lampoon's Vacation movies, as well as his numerous supporting roles in films, including his Oscar nominated performance in The Last Detail, Independence Day, Kingpin and Brokeback Mountain...

    .
  • LBJ (1988, TV PBS): played by Laurence Luckinbill
    Laurence Luckinbill
    Laurence George Luckinbill is an American actor.-Life and career:Luckinbill was born in Fort Smith, Arkansas, the son of Agnes and Laurence Benedict Luckinbill. He graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1956 and The Catholic University of America in 1958.He starred in the 1976 Broadway play...

    .
  • JFK
    JFK (film)
    JFK is a 1991 American film directed by Oliver Stone. It examines the events leading to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and alleged subsequent cover-up, through the eyes of former New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison .Garrison filed charges against New Orleans businessman Clay...

    (1991): played by Tom Howard and John William Galt. (voice)
  • Forrest Gump
    Forrest Gump
    Forrest Gump is a 1994 American epic comedy-drama romance film based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis, starring Tom Hanks, Robin Wright and Gary Sinise...

    (1994): archive footage, voice-over by John William Galt.
  • Thirteen Days
    Thirteen Days (film)
    Thirteen Days is a 2000 docudrama directed by Roger Donaldson about the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, seen from the perspective of the US political leadership. Kevin Costner stars, with Bruce Greenwood featured as John F. Kennedy....

    (2000): played by Walter Adrian.
  • Path to War
    Path to War
    Path to War is a 2002 American biographical television film, produced by HBO and directed by John Frankenheimer that deals directly with the Vietnam War as seen through the eyes of United States President Lyndon B...

    (2002): played by Michael Gambon
    Michael Gambon
    Sir Michael John Gambon, CBE is an Irish actor who has worked in theatre, television and film. A highly respected theatre actor, Gambon is recognised for his roles as Philip Marlowe in the BBC television serial The Singing Detective, as Jules Maigret in the 1990s ITV serial Maigret, and as...

    .
  • RFK
    RFK (film)
    RFK is an American TV movie directed by Robert Dornhelm released in 2002. It takes place through the eyes of Robert F. Kennedy after his brother John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963. As he lives through the loss, he starts to identify himself as a political figure, not just the former...

    (2002): by James Cromwell
    James Cromwell
    James Oliver Cromwell is an American film and television actor. Some of his more notable roles are in Babe , for which he earned Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, Star Trek: First Contact , L.A...

    .

See also


  • History of the United States (1945–1964)
    History of the United States (1945–1964)
    For the United States, 1945 to 1964 was an era of economic growth and prosperity which saw the victorious powers of World War II confronting each other in the Cold War and the triumph of the Civil Rights Movement that ended Jim Crow segregation in the South....

  • History of the United States (1964–1980)
    History of the United States (1964–1980)
    The history of the United States from 1964 through 1980 includes the climax and collapse of the African American Civil Rights Movement; the escalation and ending of the Vietnam War; the drama of a generational revolt with its sexual freedoms and use of drugs; and the continuation of the Cold War,...

  • List of facilities named after Lyndon Johnson
  • List of Presidents of the United States
  • Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum
    Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum
    The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum is one of 13 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The library houses 45 million pages of historical documents, including the papers of Lyndon Baines Johnson and those of his close associates and others...

     on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin
  • Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs
    Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs
    The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs is a graduate school at The University of Texas at Austin that was founded in 1970 to offer professional training in public policy analysis and administration for students interested in pursuing careers in government and public affairs-related areas...

  • U.S. Presidents on U.S. postage stamps
    U.S. Presidents on U.S. postage stamps
    For more than 160 years the one subject that has appeared most frequently on the face of U.S. Postage stamps is that of American Presidents. When the U.S. Post Office released its first two postage stamps in 1847, George Washington, along with Benjamin Franklin, were the two subjects depicted on...


Further reading


  • Andrew, John A. Lyndon Johnson and the Great Society (1999) 224 pp.
  • Bernstein, Irving. Guns or Butter: The Presidency of Lyndon Johnson 1994.
  • Bornet, Vaughn Davis. The Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson. 1983
  • Brands, H. W. The Wages of Globalism: Lyndon Johnson and the Limits of American Power (1997)
  • Dallek, Robert. ' Lyndon B. Johnson: Portrait of a President (2004). A 400-page abridged version of his 2 volume scholarly biography, online edition of short version.
  • Schulman, Bruce J. Lyndon B. Johnson and American Liberalism: A Brief Biography with Documents (1995)
  • Woods, Randall. LBJ: Architect of American Ambition (2006). A highly detailed scholarly biography (1000 pages).

External links



Related information

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