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LBJ and Nixon. CHA3U - Harris. LBJ. LBJ different from charismatic JFK Stereotypical Texas politician Loud, crude, loved to shock people Had been Senate majority leader – position gave him great influence over legislation

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Lbj and nixon

LBJ and Nixon

CHA3U - Harris


  • LBJ different from charismatic JFK

  • Stereotypical Texas politician

  • Loud, crude, loved to shock people

  • Had been Senate majority leader – position gave him great influence over legislation

  • Master of compromise –sought middle ground where most people could agree


  • Saw himself as caretaker for both JFK’s policies and his people

  • Asked JFK cabinet and advisers to continue serving under him

  • On first day in office, learned of JFK’s antipoverty initiative

  • Advisors wanted to implement program slowly – instead LBJ wanted to be big and bold

War on poverty
War on Poverty

  • January 8, 1964 – declares War on Poverty

  • $1 billion to series of new programs aimed at ending poverty

  • Job Corps – work training program for young people

  • Head Start – preschool for low income families

The great society
The Great Society

  • JFK inspired, LBJ delivered

  • LBJ pushed legislation through Congress

  • 1964 presidential race – called vision of nation’s future The Great Society

  • Republicans nominate conservative Senator Barry Goldwater

  • Goldwater seen as extreme

The election of 1964
The Election of 1964

  • Goldwater – “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice…”

  • Goldwater bumper sticker – “In your heart you know he is right.”

  • LBJ bumper sticker – “In you gut you know he’s nuts.”

  • LBJ campaign produced “Daisy Girl” TV commercial

  • Implied Goldwater could not be trusted w/ nation’s nuclear arsenal

  • Daisy Girl

The great society1
The Great Society

  • LBJ moved quickly to make vision reality

  • Civil Rights, health care, education, urban renewal were part of Great Society programs

  • 1965 – est. Medicare (health insurance for people over 65) and Medicaid (free health care to needy)

  • Elementary and Secondary Education Act (1965) gave $1.3 billion to schools in poor areas

Failure of the great society
Failure of The Great Society

  • By spring of 1965 LBJ had shifted focus to Vietnam

  • 1966 spending on Vietnam was 18x greater than spending on War on Poverty

  • MLK – “The Great Society was shot down in the battlefields of Vietnam.”

The election of 1968
The Election of 1968

  • After Tet Offensive ¾ of American disproved of LBJ’s handing of war

  • Early 1968 – Democratic Senator Eugene McCarthy challenged LBJ for presidential domination

  • McCarthy almost defeated LBJ in New Hampshire primary

  • McCarthy’s strong showing drew Robert F. Kennedy into race


  • Former senator and U.S. Attorney General

  • Strong national following among poor, Hispanics, and African-Americans

  • Anti-war critic

  • Shocked by split within his own party, LBJ announced he would not seek reelection

  • Wanted to spend last months in office trying to end war

The election of 19681
The Election of 1968

  • McCarthy, RFK and V.P. Hubert Humphrey went head to head in several state primaries

  • RFK won most of them including crucial California primary in June

  • Seemed destined to receive Democratic nomination

The assassination of bobby kennedy
The Assassination of Bobby Kennedy

  • After winning California primary on June 5, 1968 – Kennedy addressed supporters in ballroom

  • Led through kitchen after speech – shaking hands

  • Sirhan Sirhan a Palestinian immigrant emerged from crowd and shot RFK three times

Assassination of bobby kennedy
Assassination of Bobby Kennedy

  • RFK lay wounded, Juan Romero, dishwasher, cradled his head and placed rosary in his hand

  • RFK asked Romero, "Is everybody safe, OK?"

  • RFK died next day

1968 democratic convention
1968 Democratic Convention

  • Democrats meet in Chicago to select nominee

  • V.P. Humphrey wins nomination

  • LBJ manipulates convention and Humphrey’s victory from his Texas ranch

  • Does not want a nominee critical of his war policy

1968 democratic convention1
1968 Democratic Convention

  • 10 000 anti-war protestors massed in Grant Park across from hotel where delegates were staying

  • Chicago Mayor Richard Daley was furious

  • Ordered police to clear protestors

  • August 28 – police clubbed and used tear gas on protestors

  • Hundreds jailed and injured

  • Media widely broadcast unrest

The election of 19682
The Election of 1968

  • Republicans nominate Richard Nixon

  • Appealed to patriotism of mainstream America

  • Promised he had a secret plan to end the war – revealed no details

  • Promised a law and order crackdown on urban crime

  • Former Alabama Governor George Wallace runs as third party candidate

Richard nixon
Richard Nixon

  • Wanted to cut costly programs of Great Society

  • Had support from middle class voters tired of unrest of 1960s

  • Silent Majority

  • Would face domestic and foreign policy crisis


  • Occurs both unemployment and inflation rose

  • Nixon imposed freezes on prices, rents and wages to fight inflation

  • Worked in short term

Apollo 11
Apollo 11

  • July 20, 1969 – Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed Apollo 11 lunar module on Moon

  • “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”

  • b/w 1969-1973 U.S. launched six more Apollo missions

  • Space program led to many innovations adapted for everyday life

Oil embargo
Oil Embargo

  • Arab nations imposed oil embargo in reaction to Yom Kippur War

  • Agreed not to ship oil to U.S. and certain other countries who supported Israel

  • U.S. was dependent on foreign sources for 1/3 of its oil needs.

  • Embargo caused serious problems throughout U.S. economy


  • After Pentagon Papers Nixon told aides “Do whatever has to be done to stop these leaks…”

  • White House organized secret unit called “the plumbers”

  • Plumbers were to carry out illegal activity in name of national security

  • Activities grew into full scale war to guarantee Nixon’s reelection


  • June 1972 – 5 men arrested breaking into Democratic National Committee headquarters in Watergate office and apartment complex in Washington D.C.

  • Carrying wiretap equipment

  • Discovered men were being paid from Nixon campaign fund – “Committee to Re-elect the President”


  • Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein investigated and discovered truth

  • Led to senate investigation of criminal charges and alleged cover up

  • Hearings televised

  • Clear White House deeply involved

  • Former White House Attorney John Dean testified Nixon had been directly involved in cover up

Saturday night massacre
Saturday Night Massacre

  • Surprising revelation that Nixon had secretly recorded conversations

  • Justice Department Special prosecutor Archibald Cox demanded tapes

  • Nixon refused and ordered Attorney General to fire Cox

  • Attorney General refused and resigned

  • Assistant Attorney General resigned

  • Saturday Night Massacre


  • “People have a right to know whether or not their president is a crook. We’ll I am not a crook.

  • July 1974 – Supreme Court rejects Nixon’s argument that tapes were protected by executive privilege

  • House Judiciary Committee begins hearings on whether or not to impeach Nixon


  • Release of Nixon tapes – truth revealed

  • Nixon had directed Watergate cover-up and authorized illegal activities

  • Facing certain impeachment Nixon resigned on August 9th 1974

  • Only president to reign from office

  • Gerald Ford was sworn in as the 38th president

Nixon pardon
Nixon Pardon

  • September 1974 – president Ford granted Nixon full pardon for any crimes he may have committed

  • Many suspected pardon had been agreed upon in advance in exchange for Nixon’s resignation

  • A week later Ford offered clemency to Vietnam draft evaders

  • Controversial decisions likely cost Ford 1976 election

Legacy of watergate
Legacy of Watergate

  • Fueled growing sense of disillusionment in America

  • Shook faith in government

  • Many people were cynical and suspicious of government

  • Contributed directly to Jimmy Carter’s election in 1976 and Reagan Revolution of 1980s