Great Society

  • Michael Harrington's "The Other America" is Published

    This study shocked Americans about the large number of people living in squalor, about 25% of the total population. This book was brought to the attention of JFK who wanted to address the problem of poverty in America. It will influence LBJ in declaring his war on poverty
  • Clean Air Act Passed

    This act encouraged state and local governments to set up pollution-control programs. 2 years later, amendments established the first pollution-emission standards for automobiles. The Air Quality Act of 1967 further strengthened federal authority to deal with air pollution. Meanwhile, the Water Quality Act of 1965 and the Clean Waters Restoration Act of 1966 enabled states and the federal government to fight water pollution
  • LBJ Gives "Great Society" Speech at Commencement

    At the University of Michigan, LBJ called for the creation of “a society of success without squalor, beauty without barrenness, works of genius without the wretchedness of poverty.” He sought to wipe out poverty, end segregation and enhance the quality of life for all Americans. His program would rival FDR’s New Deal
  • Economic Opportunity Act Signed into Law

    Created an independent federal agency, the Office of Economic Opportunity, to spend nearly $1 billion on antipoverty programs. The OEO managed Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), whose workers taught literacy and other skills in poor areas. It ran the Job Corps, which taught job skills to poor youth, and implemented Community Action Programs (CAPs), which encouraged the poor to organize themselves in American cities.
  • Wilderness Act Passed

    This Act preserved 9.1 million acres from development. LBJ’s wife, Lady Bird, campaigned to limit outdoor advertising and contribute to the beautification of the nation’s highways.
  • Election of 1964

    Lyndon Johnson ran against Sen. Barry Goldwater (AZ). Goldwater’s campaign made LBJ look moderate as he proposed all-out war in Vietnam. LBJ won by a landslide. Democrats also received up to 2-1 majorities in Congress. The result was that LBJ pushed through Congress a series of measures before the Vietnam War eroded his political standing.
  • Education Acts Passed

    The Elementary and Secondary Education Act was the first general federal aid program for public schools, allocating $1.3 for textbooks and special education. The Higher Education Act funded low-interest student loans and university research facilities.
  • Congress Begins to Pass Programs for Cultural Enrichment

    Congress established the National Endowment for the Arts to fund the visual and performing arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities to support scholarly research. The Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 established a nonprofit corporation to support educational and cultural programming.
  • LBJ Signs Social Security Amendments

    These amendments created Medicare, federally funded health insurance for the elderly, and Medicaid, which helped states offer medical care to the poor.