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Lyndon Baines Johnson(August 27, 1908 – January 22, 1973), often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States (1963–1969) after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States (1961–1963).Sony VAIO VGN-FW91NS Battery

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, from 1937–1949 and as United States Senator from 1949–1961,Sony VAIO VGN-FW91S Battery

including six years as United States Senate Majority Leader, two as Senate Minority Leader and two as Senate Majority Whip. After campaigning unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in 1960, Johnson was asked by John F. Kennedy to be his running mate for the 1960 presidential election.Sony VAIO VGN-FW92DS Battery

Johnson succeeded to the presidency following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, completed Kennedy's term and was elected President in his own right, winning by a large margin in the 1964 Presidential election. Johnson was greatly supported by the Democratic Party and,Sony VAIO VGN-FW92JS Battery

as President, was responsible for designing the "Great Society" legislation that included laws that upheld civil rights, Public Broadcasting, Medicare, Medicaid, environmental protection, aid to education, and his "War on Poverty." He was renowned for his domineering personality and the "Johnson treatment," his coercion of powerful politicians in order to advance legislation.Sony VAIO VGN-FW93DS Battery

Simultaneously, he greatly escalated direct American involvement in the Vietnam War. As the war dragged on, Johnson's popularity as President steadily declined. After the 1966 mid-term Congressional elections, his re-election bid in the 1968 United States presidential election collapsed as a result of turmoil within the Democratic Party related to opposition to the Vietnam War.Sony VAIO VGN-FW93JS Battery

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.

Despite the failures of his foreign policy, Johnson is ranked favorably by some historians because of his domestic policies.Sony VAIO VGN-FW93XS Battery

Early years

Lyndon Baines Johnson was born in Stonewall, Texas, on August 27, 1908, in a small farmhouse on the Pedernales River. His parents, Samuel Ealy Johnson, Jr. and Rebekah Baines, had three girls and two boys: Johnson and his brother, Sam Houston Johnson (1914–1978), and sisters Rebekah (1910–1978), Josefa (1912–1961), and Lucia (1916–1997).Sony VAIO VGN-FW94FS Battery

The nearby small town of Johnson City, Texas was named after Johnson's father's cousin, James Polk Johnson, whose forebears had moved west from Georgia. The Johnsons were of Scots-Irish and English ancestry. In school, Johnson was an awkward, talkative youth and was elected president of his 11th-grade class.Sony VAIO VGN-FW94GS Battery

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 clergyman, George Washington Baines, who pastored some eight churches in Texas as well as others in Arkansas and Louisiana.Sony VAIO VGN-FW94HS Battery

Baines was also the president of Baylor University during the American Civil War. George Baines was the grandfather of Johnson's mother, Rebekah Baines Johnson (1881–1958).

Johnson's grandfather Samuel Ealy Johnson, Sr. was raised as a Baptist. Subsequently, in his early adulthood, he became a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).Sony VAIO VGN-NS10E/S Battery

In his later years the grandfather became a Christadelphian; Johnson's father also joined the Christadelphian Church toward the end of his life.[7]Later, as a politician, Johnson was influenced in his positive attitude towards Jews by the religious beliefs that his family, especially his grandfather, had shared with him (see Operation Texas).Sony VAIO VGN-NS10J/S Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-NS10L/S Battery

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, some ninety miles south ofSan Antonio in La Salle County.Sony VAIO VGN-NS110E/L Battery

In 1930 he taught in Pearsall High School in Pearsall, Texas, 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, Johnson looked back:Sony VAIO VGN-NS110E/S Battery

"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. Sony VAIO VGN-NS110E/W Battery
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.Sony VAIO VGN-NS115N/S Battery

Johnson's father had served five terms in the Texas legislature and was a close friend of one of Texas's rising political figures, Congressman Sam Rayburn. In 1930, Johnson campaigned for Texas State Senator Welly Hopkins in his run for Congress.Sony VAIO VGN-NS11J/S Battery

Hopkins recommended him to Congressman Richard M. Kleberg, 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.Sony VAIO VGN-NS130E/L Battery

Johnson's friends soon included aides to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, as well as fellow Texans such as Vice President John Nance Garner. He became a surrogate son to Sam Rayburn.

Johnson married Claudia Alta Taylor (already nicknamed "Lady Bird") of Karnack,Sony VAIO VGN-NS130E/S Battery

Texas on November 17, 1934, after having attended Georgetown University Law Center for several months. They had two daughters, Lynda Bird, born in 1944, and Luci Baines, 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.Sony VAIO VGN-NS130E/W Battery

In 1935, he was appointed head of the Texas National Youth Administration, 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.Sony VAIO VGN-NS140E/L Battery

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 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." Sony VAIO VGN-NS140E/S Battery

Congressional career

House of Representatives

In 1937 Johnson successfully contested a special election for Texas's 10th congressional district, which covered Austin and the surrounding hill country. He ran on a New Deal platform and was effectively aided by his wife. He served in the House from April 10, 1937, to January 3, 1949.Sony VAIO VGN-NS140E/W Battery

President Franklin D. Roosevelt found Johnson to be a welcome ally and conduit for information, particularly with regard to issues concerning internal politics in Texas (Operation Texas) and the machinations of Vice President John Nance Garner and Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn.Sony VAIO VGN-NS190J/L Battery

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 Brothers, Herman and George, who would finance much of Johnson's future career.Sony VAIO VGN-NS190J/S Battery

In 1941, he ran for the U.S. Senate in a special election against the sitting Governor of Texas, radio personality W. Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel. Johnson lost the election.

War record

After America entered World War II in December 1941, Johnson, still in Congress,Sony VAIO VGN-NS190J/W Battery

became a commissioned officer in the Naval Reserve, then asked Undersecretary of the Navy James Forrestal for a combat assignment. Instead he was sent to inspect the shipyard facilities in Texas and on the West Coast. In the spring of 1942, President Roosevelt needed his own reports on what conditions were like in the Southwest Pacific.Sony VAIO VGN-NS235J/L Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-NS235J/P Battery

Johnson reported to General Douglas MacArthur in Australia. Johnson and two Army officers went to the 22nd Bomb Group base, which was assigned the high risk mission of bombing the Japanese airbase at Lae in New Guinea. A colonel took Johnson's original seat on one bomber, and it was shot down with no survivors.Sony VAIO VGN-NS235J/S Battery

Reports vary on what happened to the B-26 Marauder 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.Sony VAIO VGN-NS235J/W Battery

Other airplanes that continued to the target didcome 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, the military's third-highest medal, although it is notable that no other members of the flight crew were awarded medals,Sony VAIO VGN-NS240E/L Battery

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, 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,Sony VAIO VGN-NS290J/L Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-NS290J/S Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-NS50B/L Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-NS50B/W Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-NS51B/L Battery

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,Sony VAIO VGN-NS51B/P Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-NS51B/W Battery

This election was highly controversial: in a three-way Democratic Party primary 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".Sony VAIO VGN-NS52JB/L Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-NS52JB/P Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-NS52JB/W Battery

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, publisher Frank W. Mayborn, who rushed back to Texas from a business trip in Nashville, Tennessee.Sony VAIO VGN-NS70B/W Battery

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 ballots in Precinct 13 in Jim Wells County that had curiously been cast in alphabetical order and all just at the close of polling.Sony VAIO VGN-NS71B/W Battery

(All of the people whose names appeared on the ballots were found to have been dead on election day.) Robert Caro 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 Countyalone.Sony VAIO VGN-NS72JB/W Battery

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—Johnson prevailed.Sony VAIO VGN-NS90HS Battery

Johnson was elected senator in November and went toWashington, D.C., 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,Sony VAIO VGN-NS92JS Battery

especially Senator Richard Russell, patrician leader of the Conservative coalitionand 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.Sony VAIO VGN-NS92XS Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-NW21EF/S Battery

These investigations tended to dig out old forgotten investigations and demand actions that were already being taken by the Truman Administration, although it can be said that the committee's investigations caused the changes. Johnson's brilliant handling of the press,Sony VAIO VGN-NW21JF Battery

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 in his wife's name.

In 1951, Johnson was chosen as Senate Majority Whip under a new Majority Leader, Ernest McFarland of Arizona, and served from 1951 to 1953.Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF Battery

Senate Democratic leader

In the 1952 general election Republicans won a majority in both House and Senate. Among defeated Democrats that year was McFarland, who lost to then-little-known Barry Goldwater, Johnson's future presidential opponent.Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF/W Battery

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 became Senate Minority Leader after Tom Daschle's defeat).Sony VAIO VGN-NW21ZF Battery

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, Johnson was re-elected to the Senate, and since the Democrats won the majority in the Senate, Johnson became majority leader.Sony VAIO VGN-NW31EF/W Battery

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 worked smoothly together in passing Eisenhower's domestic and foreign agenda.Sony VAIO VGN-NW31JF Battery

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,Sony VAIO VGN-NW320F/B Battery

the bill ended up being far weaker than it originally started, but it still became law and Johnson tried to give himself credit for it's "passage".

Historians Caro and Dallek consider Lyndon Johnson the most effective Senate majority leader in history.Sony VAIO VGN-NW320F/TC Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-NW35E Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-NW380F/S Battery
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.Sony VAIO VGN-NW380F/T Battery
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.Sony VAIO VGN-NW50JB Battery
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.

Vice Presidency


Johnson's success in the Senate made him a possible Democratic presidential candidate.Sony VAIO VGN-NW51FB/N Battery

He was the "favorite son" 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, and Hubert Humphrey, Johnson received 409 votes on the only ballot at the Democratic convention, which nominated John F. Kennedy.Sony VAIO VGN-NW51FB/W Battery

Tip O'Neill, then a representative from Kennedy's home state of Massachusetts, 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."Sony VAIO VGN-NW70JB Battery

Kennedy realized that he could not be elected without support of traditional Southern Democrats, 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.Sony VAIO VGN-NW71FB/N Battery

Others (such as W. Marvin Watson) say that the Kennedy campaign was desperate to win the 1960 election against Richard Nixon and Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., and needed Johnson on the ticket to help carry Southern states. According to still other sources, Kennedy did not want Johnson as his running-mate and did not want to ask him.Sony VAIO VGN-NW71FB/W Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-NW91FS Battery

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).Sony VAIO VGN-NW91GS Battery

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, the Vice Presidential running mate of Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis,Sony VAIO VGN-NW91VS Battery

and also a Senator from Texas, took advantage of "Lyndon's law," and was able to retain his seat in the Senate despite Dukakis' loss to George H. W. Bush. The same went for Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut in 2000 after Al Gore lost to George W. Bush.Sony VAIO VGN-SR11M Battery

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's 927,653 (41.1%). Fellow Democrat William A. Blakley was appointed to replace Johnson as Senator, but Blakley lost a special election in May 1961 to Tower.Sony VAIO VGN-SR11MR Battery


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.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140D Battery

His lack of influence was thrown into relief later that year when Kennedy appointed Johnson's friend Sarah T. Hughes to a federal judgeship; whereas Johnson had tried and failed to garner the nomination for Hughes at the beginning of his vice presidency,Sony VAIO VGN-SR140D/B Battery

House Speaker Sam Rayburnwrangled 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.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140D/P Battery

Kennedy appointed him to jobs such as head of the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunities, through which he worked with African Americans and other minorities. Though Kennedy may have intended this to remain a more nominal position,Sony VAIO VGN-SR140D/S Battery

Taylor Branch in Pillar of Firecontends 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.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140E Battery

In particular he notes Johnson's Memorial Day 1963 speech at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 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 meetings.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140E/B Battery

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, Kennedy tasked Johnson with coming up with a 'scientific bonanza' that would prove world leadership.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140E/P Battery

Johnson knew that Project Apollo and an enlargedNASA 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,Sony VAIO VGN-SR140E/S Battery

the Senate Majority Secretary and a protege of Johnson's, came under investigation by the Senate Rules Committee for allegations of bribery 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.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140N/S Battery

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 Oneat Love Field Airport in Dallas on November 22,Sony VAIO VGN-SR165E/B Battery

1963 two hours and eight minutes afterPresident Kennedy was assassinated in Dealey Plaza in Dallas.He was sworn in by Federal Judge Sarah T. Hughes, 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.Sony VAIO VGN-SR165E/P Battery

Johnson did not swear on a Bible, as there were none on Air Force One; a Roman Catholic missal was found in Kennedy's desk and was used for the swearing-in ceremony.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190EBJ Battery

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."Sony VAIO VGN-SR165E/S Battery

Johnson created a panel headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren, known as the Warren Commission, to investigate Kennedy's assassination. The commission conducted hearings and concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the assassination.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190EBQ Battery

Not everyone agreed with the Warren Commission, and numerous public and private investigations continued for decades after Johnson left office.The wave of national grief following the assassination gave enormous momentum to Johnson's promise to carry out Kennedy's programs.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190EEJ/C Battery

He retained senior Kennedy appointees, some for the full term of his presidency. The late President's brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, with whom Johnson had a notoriously difficult relationship, remained in office for a few months until leaving in 1964 to run for the Senate.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NAB Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NBB Battery

That is what Bob McNamara 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 broadcast the "Daisy ad". It portrayed a little girl picking petals from a daisy, counting up to ten.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NDB Battery

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 president held the danger of nuclear war. Although it only aired one time, it became an issue during the campaign.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NEB Battery

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 in 1972). Johnson's popular vote margin of over 22 percentage points is a record that stands to this day.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NGB Battery

In mid-1964, the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (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.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190PAB Battery

At the national convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey 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 in which blacks were excluded because of poll taxes, literacy tests, and even violence against black voters.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190PCB Battery

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,Sony VAIO VGN-SR190PFB Battery

he would lose the Democratic Party political structure that he needed to win in the South. Eventually, Hubert Humphrey, Walter Reuther and black civil rights leaders (including Roy Wilkins, Martin Luther King, and Bayard Rustin) worked out a compromise with MFDP leaders:Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VN Battery

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,Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VN Battery

they voted it down. As MFDP Vice ChairFannie Lou Hamer 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,Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VRN Battery

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 states of Louisiana,Sony VAIO VGN-SR19XN Battery

Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and South Carolina, 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.Sony VAIO VGN-SR19XN Battery

Not because of our sorrow or sympathy, but because they are right.” "1964 Year In Review"

Johnson and the 1963 Chicken Tax

Johnson played a role in a historic episode during the early 1960s, known as the Chicken War.France and West Germany had placed tariffs on imports of U.S. chicken.Sony VAIO VGN-SR210J/S Battery

Diplomacy failed  and on December 4, 1963, two weeks after taking office, President Johnson imposed a 25 percent tax (almost 10 times the average U.S. tariff) on potato starch, dextrin, brandy, and light trucks.Officially, the tax targeted items imported from Europe as approximating the value of lost American chicken sales to Europe.Sony VAIO VGN-SR21M/S Battery

In retrospect, audio tapes from the Johnson White House reveal a quid pro quo unrelated to chicken. In January 1964, President Johnson attempted to convince United Auto Workers's president Walter Reuther not to initiate a strike just prior the 1964 election and to support the president's civil rights platform.Sony VAIO VGN-SR21RM/H Battery

Reuther in turn wanted Johnson to respond to Volkswagen's increased shipments to the United States.

The Chicken Tax directly curtailed importation of German-built Volkswagen Type 2 vans in configurations that qualified them as light trucks—that is, commercial vans and pickups.Sony VAIO VGN-SR21RM/S Battery

"In 1964 U.S. imports of "automobile trucks" from West Germany declined to a value of $5.7 million—about one-third the value imported in the previous year. Soon after, Volkswagen cargo vans and pickup trucks, the intended targets, "practically disappeared from the U.S. market."Sony VAIO VGN-SR220J/B Battery

As of 2009, the Chicken tax on light trucks remains in effect, having protected U.S. domestic automakers from foreign light truck production. Robert Z. Lawrence, professor of International Trade and Investment at Harvard University, contends the Chicken Tax crippled the U.S. automobile industry, by insulating it from real competition in light trucks for 40 years.Sony VAIO VGN-SR220J/H Battery

Civil rights

In conjunction with the civil rights movement, Johnson overcame southern resistance and convinced Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed most forms of racial segregation. John F. Kennedy originally proposed the civil rights bill in June 1963.Sony VAIO VGN-SR240J/B Battery

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 filibusterby Southern Democrats begun in March 1964 and pushed the bill through the Senate.Sony VAIO VGN-SR240N/B Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-SR290JTH Battery

In 1965, he achieved passage of a second civil rights bill, the Voting Rights Act, 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" -Sony VAIO VGN-SR290JTJ Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-SR290JTQ Battery

After the murder of civil rights worker Viola Liuzzo, Johnson went on television to announce the arrest of four Ku Klux Klansmen 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."Sony VAIO VGN-SR290JVB/C Battery

Johnson was the first President to arrest and prosecute members of the Klan since Ulysses S. Grant about 93 years earlier. He turned the themes of Christian redemption to push for civil rights, thereby mobilizing support from churches North and South.Sony VAIO VGN-SR290JVH/C Battery

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

To shatter forever not only the barriers of law and public practice, but the walls which bound the condition of many by the color of his skin.Sony VAIO VGN-SR290NTB Battery

To dissolve, as best we can, the antique enmities of the heart which diminish the holder, divide the great democracy, and do wrong — great wrong — to the children of God...

In 1967, Johnson nominated civil rights attorney Thurgood Marshall to be the first African American Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.Sony VAIO VGN-SR29VN/S Battery


Johnson signed the Immigration Act of 1965,  which substantially changed U.S. immigration policy toward non-Europeans.[54]According to OECD, "While European-born immigrants accounted for nearly 60% of the total foreign-born population in 1970, they accounted for only 15% in 2000."Sony VAIO VGN-SR29XN/S Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-SR2RVN/S Battery

Great Society

The Great Society 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, beautification, conservation,Sony VAIO VGN-SR390NAH Battery

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 many 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.Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/P Battery

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, especially for minorities who endured poor facilities and tight-fisted budgets from local taxes.Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/S Battery

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(ESEA) of 1965. For the first time, large amounts of federal money went to public schools.Sony VAIO VGN-SR49VN/H Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-SR51B/P Battery

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,Sony VAIO VGN-SR51B/S Battery

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, which focused on funding for lower income students, including grants, work-study money, and government loans.Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF Battery

He set up the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, to support humanists and artists (as the WPA once did). Although ESEA solidified Johnson's support among K-12 teachers' unions, neither the Higher Education Act nor the Endowments mollified the colle

ge professors and students growing increasingly uneasy with the war in Vietnam.Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/P Battery

In 1967 Johnson signed the Public Broadcasting Act 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 and the Economic Opportunity Act, which was in association with the war on poverty. Johnson set in motion bills and acts, creating programs such as Head Start, food stamps, Work Study, Medicare and Medicaid, which still exist today.Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/S Battery

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 and his wife Bess after signing the medicare bill at the Truman Library.Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/W Battery

Lower income groups receive government-sponsored medical coverage through the Medicaid program.

Gun control

On October 22, 1968, Lyndon Johnson signed the Gun Control Act of 1968, one of the largest and most far reaching federal gun control laws in American history.Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MR Battery

This act represented a dramatic increase in federal power. Much of the motivation for this large expansion of federal gun regulations came as a response to the murders of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King.Sony VAIO VGN-SR59VG Battery

Space Race

During Johnson's administration, NASA conducted the Gemini manned space program and the Apollo program, including Apollo 7; and the first human spaceflight to the Moon, Apollo 8, 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."Sony VAIO VGN-SR59VG/H Battery

On July 16, 1969, Johnson attended the Apollo 11 launch—the first former or incumbent US president to witness a rocket launch.

All US manned flights after Gemini 3 were controlled from the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, renamed for Johnson in 1973.Sony VAIO VGN-SR70B/S Battery

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 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.Sony VAIO VGN-SR72B/P Battery

Newark burned in 1967, where six days of rioting left 26 dead, 1500 injured, and the inner city a burned out shell. In Detroit in 1967, Governor George Romney 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.Sony VAIO VGN-SR72B/S Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-SR73JB/S Battery

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 to study the problem of urban riots, headed by Illinois Governor Otto Kerner.Sony VAIO VGN-SR74FB/S Battery

Backlash against Johnson: 1966–67

Johnson's problems began to mount in 1966. The press had sensed a "Credibility gap" 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.Sony VAIO VGN-SR90FS Battery

By year's end, the Democratic governor of Missouri 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;Sony VAIO VGN-SR90NS Battery

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;Sony VAIO VGN-SR90S Battery

a 4.5% jump inconsumer prices was worrisome, as was the rise in interest rates. Johnson asked for a temporary 6% surcharge in income taxes 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.Sony VAIO VGN-SR90US Battery

He ran about even with Republican George Romney 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."Sony VAIO VGN-SR91NS Battery

He also blamed "the preachers, liberals and professors" who had turned against him.In the congressional elections of 1966, the Republicans gained three seats in the Senate and 47 in the House, reinvigorating the Conservative coalition and making it impossible for Johnson to pass any additional Great Society legislation.Sony VAIO VGN-SR91PS Battery

Vietnam War

Johnson increasingly focused on the American military effort in Vietnam. He firmly believed in the Domino Theory and that his containment policy required America to make a serious effort to stop all Communist expansion.Sony VAIO VGN-SR91S Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-SR91US Battery

Johnson expanded the numbers and roles of the American military following the Gulf of Tonkin Incident(less than three weeks after the Republican Convention of 1964, which had nominated Barry Goldwater for President).

The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, 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.Sony VAIO VGN-SR92NS Battery

By the end of 1964, there were approximately 23,000 military personnel in South Vietnam. U.S. casualties for 1964 totaled 1,278.[70]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.Sony VAIO VGN-SR92PS Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-SR92S Battery

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."Sony VAIO VGN-SR92US Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-SR93DS Battery

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.Sony VAIO VGN-SR93JS Battery

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, and in a conversation with Robert McNamara, Johnson assailed "the bunch of commies" running the New York Timesfor their articles against the war effort.Sony VAIO VGN-SR93PS Battery

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."Sony VAIO VGN-SR93YS Battery

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, he said, "If we allow Vietnam to fall, tomorrow we’ll be fighting in Hawaii, and next week in San Francisco."Sony VAIO VGN-SR94FS Battery

After the Tet offensive of January 1968, his presidency was dominated by the Vietnam War more than ever. Following evening news broadcaster Walter Cronkite'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."Sony VAIO VGN-SR94GS Battery

As casualties mounted and success seemed further away than ever, Johnson's popularity plummeted. College students and others protested, burned draftcards, and chanted, "Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?" Johnson could scarcely travel anywhere without facing protests,Sony VAIO VGN-SR94HS Battery

and was not allowed by the Secret Service to attend the 1968 Democratic National Convention, where hundreds of thousands of hippies, yippies, Black Panthers and other opponents of Johnson's policies both in Vietnam and in the ghettos converged to protest. Thus by 1968, the public was polarized,Sony VAIO VGN-SR94VS Battery

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.Sony VAIO VPC CW2MFX/PU Battery

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 as President:Sony VAIO VPC S11V9E/B Battery

I knew from the start that I was bound to be crucified either way I moved. If I left the woman I really loved — the Great Society - in order to get involved in that bitch of a war on the other side of the world, then I would lose everything at home.Sony VAIO VPCB119GJ/B Battery

All my programs.... But if I left that war and let the Communists take over South Vietnam, then I would be seen as a coward and my nation would be seen as an appeaser and we would both find it impossible to accomplish anything for anybody anywhere on the entire globe.Sony VAIO VPCB11AGJ Battery

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 oral history archives, Johnson's Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara stated that a carrier battle group,Sony VAIO VPCB11AVJ Battery

the U.S. 6th Fleet, sent on a training exercise toward Gibraltar 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,Sony VAIO VPCB11V9E Battery

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."Sony VAIO VPCB11X9E Battery

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."Sony VAIO VPCCW18FJ/P Battery

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.Sony VAIO VPCCW18FJ/R Battery

The Soviet naval squadron in the Mediterranean was sufficiently strong to act as a major restraint on the U.S. Navy.[83]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".Sony VAIO VPCCW18FJ/W Battery


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.Sony VAIO VPCCW19FJ/W Battery

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 Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota challenged Johnson as an anti-war candidate in the New Hampshire primary, hoping to pressure the Democrats to oppose the war.Sony VAIO VPCCW1AFJ Battery

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 of New York entered the race. Internal polling by Johnson's campaign in Wisconsin, the next state to hold a primary election, showed the President trailing badly.Sony VAIO VPCCW1AHJ Battery

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).Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E Battery

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.Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/B Battery

The fourth group were traditionally segregationist white Southerners, who rallied behind George C. Wallaceand the American Independent Party. 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.Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/L Battery

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:Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/R Battery

"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. Johnson had grown to dislike Humphrey by this time;Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/W Battery

personal correspondences between the President and some in the Republican Party suggested Johnson tacitly supported Nelson Rockefeller's campaign. He reportedly said that if Rockefeller became the Republican nominee, he would not campaign against him (and would not campaign for Humphrey).Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/B Battery

In what was termed the October surprise, 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", effective November 1, should the HanoiGovernment be willing to negotiate and citing progress with the Paris peace talks.Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/L Battery

In the end, the divided Democratic Party crumbled enabling Republican Richard Nixon 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.Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/R Battery

Coincidentally, Johnson died just two days after what would have been the end of his second full term.

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.Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/W Battery

Johnson continued the FBI's wiretapping of Martin Luther King, Jr. 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.”Sony VAIO VPCCW26EC Battery

Johnson also authorized the tapping of phone conversations of others, including the Vietnamese friends of a Nixon associate.

In Latin America, Johnson directly and indirectly supported the overthrow of left-wing, democratically elected president Juan Bosch of theDominican Republic and João Goulart of Brazil,Sony VAIO VPCCW26FX/B Battery

maintaining US support for anti-communist, authoritarian Latin American regimes. American foreign policy towards Latin America remained largely static until election of Jimmy Carter 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.Sony VAIO VPCCW28EC Battery

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 vote.Sony VAIO VPCCW28FJ/P Battery

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".Sony VAIO VPCCW28FJ/R Battery

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."Sony VAIO VPCCW28FJ/W Battery

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


After leaving the presidency in January 1969, Johnson went home to his ranch in Stonewall, Texas.Sony VAIO VPCCW29FJ/W Battery

In 1971, he published his memoirs, The Vantage Point. That year, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum opened near the campus of The University of Texas at Austin. He donated his Texas ranch in his will to the public to form the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, with the provision that the ranch "remain a working ranch and not become a sterile relic of the past".Sony VAIO VPCCW2AFJ Battery

During the 1972 presidential election, Johnson supported Democratic presidential nominee George S. McGovern, a Senator from South Dakota, although McGovern had long opposed Johnson's foreign and defense policies. Johnson's protege John Connally had served as President Nixon's Secretary of the Treasury and then stepped down to head "Democrats for Nixon",Sony VAIO VPCCW2AHJ Battery

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

On Inauguration Day, Johnson saw Nixon sworn in, then got on the plane to fly back to Texas. When the front door of the plane closed, Johnson pulled out a cigarette—first cigarette he had smoked since his heart attack in 1955. One of his daughters pulled it out of his mouth and said, "Daddy, what are you doing? You're going to kill yourself." He took it back and said, "I've now raised you girls. I've now been President. Now it's my time!" From that point on, he went into a very self-destructive spiral.
—Historian Michael Beschloss[96]

Lyndon Baines Johnson died at his ranch at 3:39 p.m CST (4:39 pm EST) on January 22, 1973 at age 64 after suffering a massive heart attack.Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E Battery

His death came the day before a ceasefire was signed in Vietnam and almost a month after former president Harry S. Truman died. His health had been affected by years of heavy smoking, poor diet, and extreme stress;Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/B Battery

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.Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/L Battery

He was found dead by Secret Service agents, in his bed, with a telephone in his hand. (The Age, 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 Newsat 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.Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/P Battery

Johnson was honored with a state funeral in which Texas Congressman J. J. Pickle and former Secretary of State Dean Rusk eulogized him at the Capitol. The final services took place on January 25. The funeral was held at the National City Christian Church in Washington, D.C., where he had often worshiped as president.Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/R Battery

The service was presided over by President Richard Nixon and attended by foreign dignitaries such as former Japanese prime minister Eisaku Sat?, 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, former postmaster general.Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/W Battery

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),Sony VAIO VPCCW2S5C CN1 Battery

a few yards from the house in which he was born. Eulogies were given by John Connallyand the Rev. Billy Graham, the minister who officiated the burial rites. The state funeral, the last until Ronald Reagan's in 2004, was part of an unexpectedly busy week in Washington,Sony VAIO VPCCW2S5C CN1 Battery

as the Military District of Washington(MDW) dealt with their second major task in less than a week, beginning with Nixon's second inauguration.The inauguration had an impact on the state funeral in various ways, because Johnson died only two days after the inauguration.Sony VAIO VPCF112FX/B Battery

The MDW and the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee 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.Sony VAIO VPCF115FG/B Battery

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.Sony VAIO VPCF116FGBI Battery


The Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas, was renamed the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, 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. The Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomacwas dedicated on September 27, 1974.Sony VAIO VPCF117FJ/W Battery

The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs was named in his honor, as is the Lyndon B. Johnson National Grassland.

Interstate 635 in Dallas is named the Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway.

Johnson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously in 1980.Sony VAIO VPCF117HG/BI Battery

On March 23, 2007, President George W. Bush signed legislation naming the United States Department of Education headquarters after President Johnson.

Runway 17R/35L at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is known as the Lyndon B. Johnson Runway.Sony VAIO VPCF118FJ/W Battery

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.Sony VAIO VPCF119FC Battery


  • Referenced in the anti-war song "Super-bird" by Country Joe & the Fish, and "Lyndon Johnson Told the Nation" by Tom Paxton.
  • A snippet of a Johnson speech is used for the opening of "Killing Floor" by the Electric Flag.Sony VAIO VPCF119FC/BI Battery
  • English band Enjoy Destroy named a song LBJwith the chorus containing the slogan, Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?
  • Steven Stucky's work August 4, 1964to be premiered in Dallas in celebration of the 100th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson's birth.Sony VAIO VPCF119FJ/BI Battery
  • 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 Hairincludes the song "Initials (L.B.J.)", which is sung by the Tribe.Sony VAIO VPCF11AFJ Battery


  • In the popular television series Seinfeld, Lyndon B. Johnson was considered by George Costanza 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.Sony VAIO VPCF11AGJ Battery
  • 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.Sony VAIO VPCF11AHJ Battery
  • In the animated television series King of the Hill, 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'KnowJohnson is portrayed by Sam Brown, and is shown encouraging the assassination of John F. Kennedy.Sony VAIO VPCF11JFX/B Battery
  • In the last segment of documentary The Men Who Killed Kennedywhich aired on The History Channel, Johnson was directly implicated as being involved in Kennedy assassination, one of manyunproven conspiracy theories.
  • In an episode of Wizards of Waverly Place, 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!"Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E Battery
  • In an episode of The Venture Bros., Johnson and his wife "Lady Hawk" appear as super villains.
  • Johnson appeared as an animated caricature of himself in an episode of The Flintstonesentitled, "Shinrock A Go-Go", which originally aired on December 3, 1965.Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E/H Battery


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