Lyndon B. Johnson | The White House

Linden b johnson

Biography of President Johnson and past presidents courtesy of the White House Historical Association.

in the 1960 campaign, lyndon b. Johnson was elected Vice President as John F. Kennedy’s running mate. On November 22, 1963, when Kennedy was assassinated, Johnson was sworn in as the 36th President of the United States, with a vision of building “a great society” for the American people.

“a great society” for the American people and their fellow men elsewhere was the vision of lyndon b. johnson. in the first years of his term he won approval of one of the most extensive legislative programs in the nation’s history. Maintaining collective security, he continued the escalating struggle to stop the communist invasion of Vietnam.

Johnson was born on August 27, 1908, in central Texas, not far from the city of Johnson, a city his family had helped establish. he felt the pinch of rural poverty as he grew up, working his way through Southwestern Texas State Teachers College (now known as Texas State University-San Marcos); he learned compassion for the poverty of others when he taught students of Mexican descent.

In 1937 he successfully campaigned for the House of Representatives on a New Deal platform, with effective help from his wife, the former Claudia “Lady Bird” Taylor, whom he had married in 1934.

during world war ii, he served briefly in the navy as a lieutenant commander and earned a silver star in the south pacific. After six terms in the House, Johnson was elected to the Senate in 1948. In 1953, he became the youngest minority leader in Senate history, and the following year, when the Democrats won control, in the majority leader. With rare skill he won approval of a number of key Eisenhower measures.

In the 1960 campaign, Johnson, as John F. Kennedy’s running mate, he was elected vice president. On November 22, 1963, when Kennedy was assassinated, Johnson was sworn in as President.

First he got into law the measures that President Kennedy had been calling for at the time of his death: a new civil rights law and a tax cut. then he urged the nation to “build a great society, a place where the meaning of man’s life matches the wonders of man’s work.” In 1964, Johnson won the presidency with 61 percent of the vote, garnering the largest popular margin in US history: more than 15,000,000 votes.

the great society agenda became johnson’s agenda for congress in january 1965: aid education, attack disease, health insurance, urban renewal, beautification, conservation, development of depressed regions, struggle on a large scale against poverty, control and prevention of delinquency and delinquency, removal of obstacles to the right to vote. Congress, sometimes adding to or modifying it, quickly enacted Johnson’s recommendations. Millions of seniors found help through the 1965 medicare amendment to the social security law.

Under Johnson’s leadership, the country undertook spectacular space exploration in a program he had championed since its inception. When three astronauts successfully orbited the moon in December 1968, Johnson congratulated them: “You have led…all of us, around the world, into a new era. . . . ”

Yet two major crises had gathered momentum since 1965. Despite the start of new anti-poverty and anti-discrimination programs, riots and riots in black ghettos troubled the nation. President Johnson consistently lobbied him against desegregation and for law and order, but there was no early solution.

The other crisis arose in Vietnam. Despite Johnson’s efforts to end the communist aggression and reach an agreement, the fighting continued. Controversy over the war had escalated in late March 1968, when he limited the bombing of North Vietnam to start negotiations. at the same time, he shocked the world by withdrawing as a re-election candidate so that he could devote all his efforts, without political obstacles, to the pursuit of peace.

when he left office, peace talks were underway; He didn’t live to see them succeed, but he did die suddenly of a heart attack on his Texas ranch on January 22, 1973.

To learn more about President Johnson, visit the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum

learn more about lyndon b. Johnson’s wife, Claudia Taylor (Lady Bird) Johnson.

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