(VUS.13,14,15) Lyndon B. Johnson – “A Great Society”

  • Johnson becomes President

    Johnson becomes President
    Sworn in aboard Air Force 1, Johnson succeeded the assassinated John F. Kennedy. Selected to help balance the ticket as a Southern Democrat (from Texas), Johnson would embark on his own ambitious programs of building a “Great Society”. Unfortunately for Johnson, the necessities of a growing war in Vietnam would undermine these aspirations.
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    Lyndon B. Johnson Administration

    Selected to help balance the ticket as a Southern Democrat (from Texas), Johnson would embark on his own ambitious programs of building a “Great Society”. Unfortunately for Johnson, the necessities of a growing war in Vietnam would undermine these aspirations.
  • 24th Amendment is Ratified (VUS.14b)

    24th Amendment is Ratified (VUS.14b)
    This amendment banned poll taxes; that is, taxes paid as a pre-requisite to voting. Poll taxes had been used to disenfranchise Southern African-Americans. MORE
  • Johnson announces A Great Society (VUS.14b)

    Johnson announces A Great Society (VUS.14b)
    In a special message, LBJ announced his plans to build a “Great Society”. To bridge the growing gap between the rich and poor, Johnson envisioned aid to education, medical care assistance, urban renewal, and civil rights. MORE
  • Johnson Signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (VUS.14b)

    Johnson Signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (VUS.14b)
    This law, banning discrimination in jobs and public accommodations based on race, religion, color, national origin and gender was the broadest Civil Rights law to date. By putting pressure on Congress to pass the law originally proposed by JFK (as Kennedy refused to fight for it), and pressure as a result of Dr. King’s March on Washington, this was a major victory for the Civil Rights Movement. MORE
  • Mississippi Burning (VUS.14b)

    Mississippi Burning (VUS.14b)
    Three civil rights workers were found murdered in Mississippi. They were participating in the Freedom Summer, a drive to enhance voter registration and participation among Blacks in the South.
  • The Tonkin Resolution (VUS.13b)

    The Tonkin Resolution (VUS.13b)
    In response to an American ship being attacked in Vietnam, the President was authorized by Congress to pursue military action in Vietnam. LBJ would now be known for his efforts in escalating the war in Vietnam to include US ground troops – and a draft. MORE
  • LBJ is Re-elected!

    LBJ is Re-elected!
  • Malcolm X Assassinated (VUS.14b)

    Malcolm X Assassinated (VUS.14b)
    Representing portions of the Civil Rights movement that had grown impatient with the non-violent course of the movement, groups like the Black Muslims and Black Panthers were more confrontational and militant. Malcolm X was killed by members of his own organization, but this shows fragmentation of the Civil Rights movement.
  • Operation Rolling Thunder (VUS.13b)

    Operation Rolling Thunder (VUS.13b)
    LBJ authorizes bombing of North Vietnam – the US drops more tonnage of bombs on North Vietnam than on Germany during WW2. Johnson becomes a target for opposition as bombing affects civilians as well as military targets. MORE
  • A March in Selma (VUS.14b)

    A March in Selma (VUS.14b)
    To raise awareness for the need of secured voting rights, Dr. King leads a march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. The non-violent marchers were attacked by police, dogs and tear gas. Captured on television and broadcast to the world, more sympathy was directed toward the need for equal rights protections. Johnson had requested voting rights legislation a week earlier.
  • Elementary and Secondary Education Act

    Elementary and Secondary Education Act
    As part of his Great Society, Johnson extends federal aid to public education.
  • Escalation! (VUS.13b)

    Escalation! (VUS.13b)
    LBJ increases the number of troops sent to Vietnam, indicating the determination to continue the war effort. Johnson exclaimed he would “not be the first President to lose a war”. MORE
  • Medicare and Medicaid

    Medicare and Medicaid
    LBJ signs legislation as part of his Great Society, creating a system of aid in health care for the elderly and poor.
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VUS.14b)

    Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VUS.14b)
    LBJ signs the legislation that banned literacy tests and allowed federal registrars to investigate instances of discrimination in voter registration. As a result of awareness from Dr. King’s Selma March, and again tremendous pressure mounted by LBJ against Congress, this law resulted in a huge increase in black voter participation throughout the South. MORE
  • Formation of Department of Housing and Urban Development (VUS.14b)

    Formation of Department of Housing and Urban Development (VUS.14b)
    Designed as part of the Great Society, this department was to develop and execute policies on housing and metropolises. LBJ appointed Robert Weaver to be the head of the department. Weaver was the first African-American to be appointed to a cabinet position!
  • Miranda v. Arizona (VUS.15a)

    Miranda v. Arizona (VUS.15a)
    The Supreme Court ruled that suspects must be made aware of their Constitutional Rights when arrested and questioned by policy. This ruling further demonstrating the efforts of the court to extend protections of individual rights. MORE
  • Black Panther Party Founded (VUS.14b)

    Black Panther Party Founded (VUS.14b)
    Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seal found a new and more militant Civil Rights organization. Growing impatient with slow results from the non-violent methods of the SCLC, the Black Panthers believe in “black power” and armed resistance to discrimination. MORE
  • 25th Amendment Ratified

    25th Amendment Ratified
    This amendment provided for the order of Presidential Succession in case of death or incapacitation. The amendment clarifies that the Vice-President would become the President, not the “acting president” as originally assigned in the Constitution. The Amendment extends the line of succession through the Speaker of the House, the President Pro-Tem of the Senate, and the President’s Cabinet. MORE
  • Johnson Appoints Thurgood Marshall to Supreme Court (VUS.15a)

    Johnson Appoints Thurgood Marshall to Supreme Court (VUS.15a)
    Thurgood Marshall, the NAACP lawyer who argued in the Brown v Board of Education case, became the first African-American to serve on the Supreme Court. MORE
  • Anti-war demonstration (VUS.13b)

    Anti-war demonstration (VUS.13b)
    Demonstrators marched on the Pentagon in an attempt to shut it down, showing the changing of public opinion of the Vietnam War. MORE
  • The Tet Offensive (VUS.13b)

    The Tet Offensive (VUS.13b)
    The Vietminh (Northern Communist Army) and the Vietcong (South Vietnamese pro-communist fighters) coordinated massive attacks at most major bases across Vietnam. While American forces held, the action proved that we had underestimated the size of the resistance, and that the war was not as close to being over as the Government had led us to believe. Opinions were changing about the conflict! MORE
  • Bobby Kennedy for President!

    Bobby Kennedy for President!
    The younger brother of John F. Kennedy, Bobby announced that he would enter the race for the Democratic nomination for President. MORE
  • the My Lai Massacre (VUS.13b)

    the My Lai Massacre  (VUS.13b)
    The event would not be public until November of 1969, but hundreds of unarmed women and children were killed by American forces in Vietnam. The news would further damage the public opinion of the war in Vietnam. This incident, along with others, would spark anti-veteran feelings resulting in the indifference and hostility faced when returning home. MORE
  • LBJ Will Not Run

    LBJ Will Not Run
    Johnson announced that he would not seek and would not accept nomination for re-election by the Democratic Party. The news shocked many of those still hoping for LBJ’s Great Society.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Assassinated! (VUS.14b)

    Martin Luther King, Jr. Assassinated! (VUS.14b)
    While in Memphis, Tennessee, attempting to draw a peaceful conclusion to a municipal sanitation workers strike, Dr. King was assassinated by James Earl Ray, touching off riots in major cities of the US. MORE
  • Bobby Kennedy Assassinated!

    Bobby Kennedy Assassinated!
    After winning the California Democratic Primary, Bobby Kennedy was gunned down as he was exiting a hotel through the back of a kitchen. Again, the nation was stunned. MORE
  • Democratic National Convention (VUS.13b)

    Democratic National Convention (VUS.13b)
    Violence erupted at the Democratic National Convention as police clashed with protesters outside the arena in Chicago.
  • Richard Nixon Wins!

    Richard Nixon Wins!
    Nixon, promising “Peace with Honor” in Vietnam and “Law and Order” at home, won the presidency. MORE
  • The Brezhnev Doctrine (VUS.13b)

    The Brezhnev Doctrine (VUS.13b)
    The Soviet Premier announced that the USSR had the right to intervene anywhere in its sphere of influence. This would become a major piece of Soviet foreign policy for the remainder of the Cold War.