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LBJ: “Let us continue”. Quickly pushed thru Congress 2 key “Kennedy” bills: $10B tax reduction – led to  consumer spending & job growth Civil Rights Act (1964) – declared segregation in public facilities illegal. Lyndon Johnson in Action. 1964: LBJ waged “war on poverty”

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LBJ: “Let us continue”

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LBJ: “Let us continue”

  • Quickly pushed thru Congress 2 key “Kennedy” bills:

    • $10B tax reduction – led to  consumer spending & job growth

    • Civil Rights Act (1964) – declared segregation in public facilities illegal


Lyndon Johnson in Action

  • 1964: LBJ waged “war on poverty”

    • Office of Econ Opportunity

    • Job Corps for HS dropouts

    • Head Start for preschoolers

    • Adult ed / technical training opportunities

  • 10,000,000 fewer in poverty by 1970

In 1964, the U.S. had 35 million poor people


The Election of 1964

  • 1964: LBJ ran against:

    • Cons Repub Barry Goldwater rejected LBJ’s liberal welfare programs & called for a stronger foreign policy stance

    • Segregationist George Wallace

  • LBJ won in a landslide & the Democrats took control of Congress for 1st time in 25 years


The Great Society

  • “Great Society” domestic agenda:

    • Medicare & Medicaid extended health insurance to elderly & poor

    • $1 billion for schools

    • Voting Rights Act of 1965 banned literacy tests & provided federal registrars for polls


The Triumph of Reform

  • By 1965, Congress passed 89 social agenda laws or reforms

    • Great Society most comprehensive agenda of social reform since FDR

    • But…Vietnam War pulled down his social agenda efforts


Johnson Escalates the Vietnam War


LBJ Escalates the Vietnam War

“I am not going to lose Vietnam. I am not going to be the president who saw Southeast Asia go the way China went.”

—LBJ

  • LBJ continued JFK’s strong foreign policy positions too:

    • CIA-sponsored coups in Brazil, Panama, & the Dominican Republic

    • Continued Eisenhower & JFK policies towards Vietnam

  • LBJ found himself under attack from Congress, the media, & universities


LBJ Escalates the Vietnam War

  • 1964:

    • Bombed N Vietnam – revenge for attack on USS Maddox in Gulf of Tonkin

  • Gulf of Tonkin Resolution gave LBJ authority to:

    • Defend S Vietnam at any cost

    • Unlimited military intervention at LBJ’s discretion


The Vietnam War


Escalation

  • 1965 marked beginning of full-scaleUSinvolvement in Vietnam

    • LBJ said “without US action, defeat is inevitable”

    • Authorized bombing of NV/requested 50,000soldiers

    • Never explained how US would win

Advisors wanted 100,000 troops in 1965 & 100,000 more in 1966; Estimations were 500 U.S. deaths per month


Stalemate

  • 1968: 500,000 US troops in Vietnam

    • US bombings & “search & destroy” attacks ineffective

    • Soviet & Chinese weaponry freely flowed into N Vietnam

    • Reckless bombings killed thousands of innocent civilians

  • The bloody stalemate & media depictionofthewarledtoprotests


Image of the “My Lai Massacre,” 1968


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