Lyndon Baines Johnson

Chapter 28
“A place where men are more concerned with the quality of their lives than the quantity of their goods.” LBJ describing his Great Society

Background on LBJ

 LBJ was from Johnson City, TX.  His father Sam served 5 terms in the

TX legislature.
 LBJ graduated from SW Texas State

Teachers College (1930) and even taught for a year before going into politics.
 It was there that he met and married

Claudia Taylor (Lady Bird).
 They had 2 daughters, Lynda B. and

Luci Baines.
 In 1937, he became a member of

Congress, championing public works, reclamation, and public power programs.

President Lyndon B. Johnson Ascends to the Presidency After the Tragic Death of JFK
•WWII served in Navy as a lieutenant commander •He won a Silver Star in the S. Pacific •Member of U.S. House of Representatives, 1937- 49; served in military as an officer while in Congress •United States Senator, 1949 - 61 •Had a formidable reputation of getting the job done in Congress •Vice President, 1961- 63; his experience was thought to balance the youthfulness of JFK; he had been an early candidate for the Democratic nomination; helped open up the South for JFK •36th President, 1963 – 69, finished out JFK’s term post-assassination and ran for his own in 1964; he declined the nomination in 1968 after the support for the Vietnam War had faltered •Democrat, VP – Hubert Humphrey

Master of the Senate
 In 1948, he became a US Senator,

and by 1953 had become Senate Democratic leader as he was recognized as an outstanding leader.
 He had wanted to be the Democratic

presidential candidate in 1956 and 1960, but instead became the vicepresidential nominee for JFK after losing to him on the first ballot.
 JFK appointed him to head the

President’s Committee on Equal Employment Opportunities, a post that enabled him to work on behalf of blacks and other minorities.

President Johnson
 On Nov 22, 1963 LBJ became the

36th president and was a very different man from JFK.
 He was large, boisterous, arrogant,

and driven.
 LBJ quickly became a masterful,

reassuring leader in the realm of domestic affairs.
 Within months of his swearing in,

LBJ had guided through Congress both the largest expansion of the Welfare state since the New Deal and the most significant civil rights legislation since Reconstruction.

1964 Campaign
 He hoped to continue his

work on Civil Rights and Welfare with a victory in the 1964 election.
 1964 Election – LBJ ran with

Hubert Humphrey (Minn.) as his VP candidate.
 Senator Barry Goldwater of

Arizona was the Republican nominee.
 LBJ’s slogan was: “The stakes

are too high for you to stay at home”.

Barry Goldwater
 Goldwater proposed the

dismantling of the welfare state – ending social security, lessening price supports for farmers, and privatizing the TVA.
 He opposed federal

imposition of civil rights on southern states.
 Goldwater also supported

the use of nuclear weapons against the North Vietnamese.

LBJ’s Campaign
 LBJ was seen as a model of

restraint in comparison.
 LBJ won in a landslide carrying

44 of the 50 states (for a win only rivaled by those of FDR).
 The Goldwater campaign led

the way for the new Republican conservatism that would be seen in the 1980s and 1990s.
 Goldwater was extremely

conservative in Domestic policy and an advocate of strong military action to protect US interests in Vietnam.

A campaign poster urging voters to elect Lyndon B. Johnson for president and Hubert Humphrey for vice-president.
What do you think is being asked to be continued? Why would that be a powerful slogan aimed towards the American electorate?

Election of LBJ in 1964 provides a strong mandate for the Democrats
LBJ is re-elected by a landslide in the 1964 Presidential election. He acts upon it launching his myriad of Great Society programs.

Major Events of LBJ ’s Presidency •Civil Rights Movement

•Civil Rights Act, signed into law in 1964
•Voting Rights Act, signed into law in 1965

•Declared a War On Poverty = launching of the "Great Society" programs
•Cold War = escalating US military involvement in Vietnam; previously US had been in SE Asian nation only in an advisory capacity

The Great Society

The Great Society
 LBJ called his program

an attempt to create the “Great Society” and consisted of three central themes:
1. Abundance and liberty

for all
2. An end to poverty

3. An end to racial injustice

Key Facets of LBJ's Great Society
Head Start
Provided poor, disabled, and minority kids with extra academic assistance through pre-school in order to ensure educational success.

Job Corps

Provided training for poor, minority inner-city youth in order to cultivate job skills. Extended Social Security benefits by providing health insurance for the elderly. Provides health insurance for the poor and disabled.


•As a result of President Johnson’s War on Poverty in the 1960s, the welfare programs of FDR’s New Deal were greatly expanded. •LBJ’s Great Society programs were criticized for creating a modern American welfare state.




Volunteers In Service To America; Organized youth volunteers to work in economically depressed areas.

 The Tax Cut — Like Kennedy, Johnson believed that a budget deficit

could be used to improve the economy. A tax cut would cause the deficit to shrink, since renewed prosperity would in turn generate new tax revenues. Start, a preschool program for low-income families, and Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), which sent volunteers to help people in poor communities.

 The War on Poverty — Johnson initiated new programs such as Head

 Aid to Education — The 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education

Act, also initiated by Johnson, provided billions of dollars in aid to public and private schools.
programs, Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare provides low-cost medical insurance to most Americans over age 65, while Medicaid provides similar services to poor Americans of any age. immigration quotas with overall limits from various parts of the world. Immigration rose during the 1960s and 1970s.

 Medicare and Medicaid — Johnson helped Congress pass two new

 Immigration Reform — The Immigration Act of 1965 replaced

War On Poverty

LBJ uses his mandate to attack and eradicate American poverty  Johnson used his political talent in working with Congress to initiate many reforms on domestic issues. Most of these focused on helping the poor.
 Johnson’s programs on poverty aid,

education reform, healthcare expansion, economic development, and conservation efforts became collectively known as the Great Society.

The War on Poverty
 The War on Poverty was

launched when Congress passed an income taxreduction law that promised to promote economic growth.
 Economic expansion had

reduced unemployment to 5.3 %, but projections showed that 25% of young blacks were destined for a life of irregular employment.

Economic Opportunity Act, 1964
 The Economic

Opportunity Act of 1964 attempted to prepare the poor for successful competition in an expanding economy.
 It combined new and

existing programs of service by professionals.
 It also created Head

Start and VISTA.

Medicare and Medicaid
 One of the first things that

LBJ did was to pass a bill to change Social Security.
 Medicare provides

hospital insurance and low-cost medical insurance for almost every American age 65 and over.
 Medicaid extended health

insurance to welfare recipients.

Key Facets of LBJ's Great Society
Head Start
Provided poor, disabled, and minority kids with extra academic assistance through pre-school in order to ensure educational success.

Job Corps

Provided training for poor, minority inner-city youth in order to cultivate job skills. Extended Social Security benefits by providing health insurance for the elderly. Provides health insurance for the poor and disabled.


•As a result of President Johnson’s War on Poverty in the 1960s, the welfare programs of FDR’s New Deal were greatly expanded. •LBJ’s Great Society programs were criticized for creating a modern American welfare state.




Volunteers In Service To America; Organized youth volunteers to work in economically depressed areas.

Education and Environment Reform

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965
 Beginning in 1965, LBJ led Congress to

provide aid to Public schools for the first time and they received large-scale federal grants.
 Aid to higher education, including

grants of scholarships was increased.
 The Elementary and Secondary

Education Act of 1965 provided more than $1 billion in federal aid to help public and parochial schools purchase textbooks and new library materials.
 This was the first major federal aid

package for education in the nation’s history.

Changes in Education as a Result of Great Society Funding

Public Broadcasting
 In 1967, the Corporation

for Public Broadcasting was formed to fund educational TV and radio broadcasting.
 PBS continues to show

educational programming today such as Sesame Street.
 Mister Rogers’

Neighborhood was also a longtime favorite.

Environmental Actions
 Regarding the environment, LBJ

passed the Wilderness Preservation Act which set aside over 9 million acres for national forests and parks.
 He also passed the Water

Quality Act which forced states to clean up their rivers.
 The Clean Air Act and Air

Quality Act tried to make companies clean up car emissions and the quality of air that we breathe.

Racial Equality

Civil Rights Act of 1964

The CRA of 1964 was originally proposed by JFK, but steered through Congress by LBJ.

LBJ asked Congress to do it in memoriam of JFK.
It had 3 main parts; The law barred discrimination on the basis of race in public accommodations in the US. It authorized the Justice Department to bring suit against states that discriminated against women and minorities. It guaranteed equal opportunities in the work place.

 1.



Civil Liberties
Escobedo v. Illinois, 1964
 Danny Escobedo was a 22 year

old of Mexican descent who was accused of the murder of his brother-in-law in Chicago.
 He was questioned and released

when he refused to answer any questions without his lawyer present.
 Afterwards police received

testimony from another suspect that implicated Escobedo saying he shot the man for mistreating Escobedo’s sister.

Escobedo v. Illinois


 He was brought in again and subjected to 14.5 hours of

questioning where he eventually gave damaging testimony.
 During the questioning, he repeatedly requested to see his

attorney (who was in the building) but this access was denied.
 The Supreme Court ruled that under the 6th amendment

citizens were guaranteed the right to see their attorney and that under the 5th amendment “an absolute right to remain silent” was explicit.
 Police documents had also shown that officers had been

trained to ignore the rights of suspects during questioning.
 Escobedo’s confession was ruled inadmissible.

More on Escobedo
 Danny Escobedo was arrested on charges of attempted

murder in 1985 for a shooting incident outside a bar in Chicago.
 At the time of the arrest, he was free on $50,000 bond

pending the appeal of a 1984 conviction for taking indecent liberties with a 13 year old girl.
 In 2001 he was arrested outside Mexico City, Mexico

on charges stemming from the above murder investigation.
 He was listed as one of the 15 most wanted fugitives

by the US Marshal’s office prior to this 2001 arrest.

Civil Liberties
Reynolds v. Sims, 1964
 Voting districts in AL were

drawn up in 1901.
 In the 60 years since, the

population had shifted away from farming communities to cities and suburbs.
 This allowed rural counties (with

1/4th the population) to still control both houses of the state legislature.
 B. A. Reynolds and other

Jefferson County residents went to court saying that their votes had only 1/16th the weight of rural votes.

Equal Representation “Legislators represent people, not trees”
 Chief Justice Earl Warren said

that “Legislators represent people not trees or acres”.
 In an 8-1 decision, the Supreme

Court said that “no less substantially equal state legislature representation for all citizens . . . “was acceptable.
 This was similar to the TN case of

Baker v. Carr and involved the 14th amendment.

Civil Liberties
Miranda v. Arizona, 1964
 Ernesto Miranda was arrested for the

theft of $8 in cash from an Arizona bank worker.
 During 2 hours of questioning, Miranda,

who was never offered a lawyer, confessed not only to the $8 theft, but also to kidnapping and raping an 18 year old woman 11 days earlier.
 The woman, who was slightly mentally

retarded, identified him in a police lineup.
 He was denied an attorney during

questioning (6th) and of his right to remain silent (5th).

You MUST be read your rights
 After unburdening himself to

the officers, Miranda was taken to meet the rape victim for positive voice identification.
 Asked by officers, in her

presence, whether this was the victim, Miranda said, "That's the girl."
 The victim stated that the

sound of Miranda's voice matched that of the culprit.

Court Ruling
 The Supreme Court ruled that,

“the defendant’s confession was inadmissible because he was not in any way (informed) of his right to council nor was his privilege against selfincrimination effectively protected in any other manner.”
 This helped clear up some

misunderstandings that had resulted from Escobedo v. Illinois.
 It also created the “Miranda

warnings” that most of us are familiar with.

The “Rest” of the story??
 He was later re-tried with new

evidence and convicted.
 He was paroled in 1972 after serving

11 years.
 He was constantly in trouble with the

law and charged with various crimes in the following years.
 In 1976 he was stabbed to death in a

bar fight.
 A suspect was arrested, but after

exercising his right to remain silent, was later released.

Voting Rights Act of 1965 and Immigration Act of 1965
 The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was

also important for civil rights as it ended literacy tests for voting and allowed federal agents to monitor registration.
 This further validated the 15th

 Violence in Selma, Alabama had

highlighted the need for this legislation.
 The Immigration Act of 1965 opened

the door for many non-European immigrants to settle in the US.
 This changed a trend towards


Review and Results of the Great Society

Impact of the Great Society Programs

Great Society’s Effects on Poverty

 During the 1960s and

Great Society Comes to an End

and criticism for Great Society reforms.  As the Vietnam War progressed and intensified, it  However, some began to consume the Americans complained resources Johnson needed for that too much of their tax dollars were being his domestic programs dedicated to the poor causing the failure of most of people. the goals of the societal programs.  Others criticized the way Great Society antipoverty  Great Society comes to an end programs greatly as the Vietnam War spins out expanded the size of the of control in the late 60s federal government.

early 1970s, the number of Americans living in poverty in the United States was cut in half.

 Johnson received both praise

The Great Society –
 LBJ wanted to change America

Causes and Effects


 LBJ built on issues JFK had raised
 LBJ worked to end poverty and racial injustice

 Congress passed 206 bills addressing economic and social concerns  Federal government extended power and reach  Bureaucracy expanded  Funding Great Society contributed to growing budget deficit  Conservatives gained power as some become disillusioned with

government’s role

The Space Race

The Space Race continues
 The Mercury Program had gone well

and LBJ initiated the Gemini program, which saw 10 flights between March 1965 and November 1966.
 Gemini 1 and 2 were unmanned, but

Gemini began the 2-man flights to practice the complex rendezvous and docking maneuvers required for a moon landing.
 Gemini 4 saw the 1st American space

walk when Ed White spent 20 minutes outside the capsule on a 24-foot umbilical (the Soviets had done this 3 months earlier).

Gemini leads to Apollo
 Gemini 6 and 7 (Dec 1965) accomplished

the first rendezvous in space when #6 caught up with and flew alongside #7 before coming back down.
 Gemini 8 (Mar 1966) accomplished

another 1st by docking with an unmanned vehicle.
 The Apollo program was started in

January 1967.
 Unfortunately it began with a disaster.  Apollo 1’s crew of Gus Grissom (part of

the original Mercury group), Ed White, and Roger Chaffee were engulfed in flames.

We jumped “over” the Moon
 The Apollo 1 disaster delayed the

program for almost 2 years.
 There was never an Apollo 2 or 3

 Apollo 4, 5, and 6 were unmanned

as they tested the new Saturn V rocket.
 Apollo 7 saw the return of the

manned flights and the first live TV from space.
 In December 1968, Apollo 8

became the first flight to orbit the moon.
 Jim Lovell (Apollo 13) was in

charge of the mission.

The Expansion of Government

New Cabinet positions
 The Department of

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was created with Robert Weaver in charge.
 He was the first black to

serve in a cabinet position.
 They also created the

Department of Transportation.
 He also appointed 2 new

justices to the Supreme Court

Need for the 25th Amendment
 In Feb 1967, this provided for presidential disability and

succession was completed.
 The Presidential Succession Act of 1886 said that in the

event of death, resignation, or inability of the president and vice-president, the Cabinet officers in order of the creation of their offices will succeed to the presidency
 The 20th Amendment (lame duck amendment) stated

that succession goes to the vice-president if the Electoral College has already met when the president-elect dies.
 If they have not met yet, the victorious party chooses the

new president.

25th Amendment
The normal line of succession

25th Amendment in use
 The 25th amendment provided

for the president to nominate a new VP whenever a vacancy occurs in that position.
 Gerald Ford was the first person

to fulfill this clause in 1973 when Spiro Agnew resigned.
 It also provides for temporarily

relieving a president in the case of illness or other reason.
 George Bush relieved Ronald

Reagan on July 13, 1985 for about 8 hours while Reagan had surgery.

Key Decisions and Impact of the Warren Led Supreme Court
 During the Kennedy-Johnson years,

the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren, handed down many controversial landmark verdicts.
 The Supreme Court ruled on social

issues including obscenity, prayer in public schools, and use of birth control, took measures to safeguard the rights of persons accused of committing crimes and changed the nature of apportionment, or the distribution of the seats in a legislature among electoral districts.

Key Decisions Include
 Brown v. Board of Education (1954), which launched the

integration of schools.
 Mapp v. Ohio (1961), protection against illegal seizures.

Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) which assured that the indigent have the right to a publicly funded lawyer.
“one man-one vote” in apportionment.

 Reynolds v. Sims (1964), which set forth the standard of  Miranda v. Arizona (1966), which stated the accused must

have their rights explained to them including the right to a lawyer.

LBJ’s Downfall

LBJ’s Legacy
 LBJ’s downfall as

president was Vietnam.
 Had it not been for

Vietnam, he would likely be remembered for his leadership in passing civil rights legislation and for his declaration of a “War on Poverty.”

Guns versus Butter

LBJ in Vietnam
 Just as appeasement towards Nazi Germany was shown to

have been a mistake, LBJ felt that the US had to be firm in Vietnam or lose credibility.
 This led him to increase American involvement in Vietnam.
 By the end of 1964, he had increased the number of military

personnel in Vietnam to 25,000.
 It was the policy of military escalation in Vietnam that

proved to be LBJ’s undoing as president.
 In March 1968, he announced that he would stop bombing in

North Vietnam to seek a negotiated end to the war and that he would not run for re-election in 1968.

Vietnam Takes its Toll on LBJ’s Resolve to Seek Reelection

“I do not believe that I should devote an hour or a day of my time to any personal partisan causes, or to any duties other than the awesome duties of this office, the Presidency of your country” “Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.”

The criticism becomes too much, and LBJ refuses to run in 1968. This opens the door for a potential bid by Democrat Robert F. Kennedy and Republican Richard M. Nixon.