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Lyndon Baines Johnson & The Great Society. The goals of the Great Society were to end poverty and racial injustice, create a higher standard of living, provide equal opportunity for all, and improve the quality of life for all. War on Poverty– Economic Opportunity Act.

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Lyndon Baines Johnson & The Great Society

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Lyndon Baines Johnson & The Great Society

  • The goals of the Great Society were to end poverty and racial injustice, create a higher standard of living, provide equal opportunity for all, and improve the quality of life for all

War on Poverty– Economic Opportunity Act

  • Created job training for young people
  • VISTA– Volunteers in Service to America
  • Head Start– educational program for underprivileged preschoolers
  • Community Action Program– encouraged poor to participate in public- works programs

The Great Society: Education

  • Elementary & Secondary Education Act of 1965– Gave $1 billion to purchase textbooks & new library materials


  • Established Medicare: hospital insurance and medical insurance for almost all over the age of 65
  • Medicaid: health insurance for welfare recipients

Congress gave money to build low- rent public housing and help families in need pay for better private housing

  • Established new cabinet post to handle housing issues: HUD (Dept. of Housing & Urban Development)
  • LBJ appointed Robert Weaver as Sec. of HUD– first African- American member of the cabinet




  • Ended immigration quotas with the Immigration Act of 1965

Silent Spring (Rachel Carson) showed the effects of pesticides and pollution on the environment

  • Book led to demand for environmental cleanup
  • Water Quality Act, Air Quality Act, Wilderness Preservation Act, Clean Air Act Amendment (set motor vehicle emission standards)
  • Johnson wanted worst chemical polluters to be investigated

The Environment

NYC, 1963

Rachel Carson

Cuyahoga R.,



Consumer Protection

  • Truth- in- Packaging Act
  • Nader’s Unsafe at Any Speed led to increased automobile safety standards for tires & automobiles
  • Dept. of Transportation created

Chevrolet Corvair


The Warren Court– Brown v. Board of Education

  • Earl Warren was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court during the 1960s
  • This Court was known for its liberal changes to American society
  • Some of those included the banning of prayer in public schools & ending state required loyalty oaths
  • Brown v. Board of Education=
  • Desegregated schools


  • Warren Court decided that states should redraw their district lines so that citizens would be more accurately represented
  • 1 Rep. for a district of 200,000 people ≠ 1 Rep. for 600,000 people
  • Therefore, district lines must be redrawn to better suit needs of people

Mapp v. Ohio

  • Evidence obtained illegally may not be used in state courts
  • Called the exclusionary rule

Dollree Mapp


Gideon v. Wainwright

  • Criminal courts must provide free legal counsel to those who cannot afford it

Peter Francis Geraci


Escobedo v. Illinois

  • An accused person has the right to have a lawyer present when they are being questioned by police

Miranda v. Arizona

  • All suspects must be read their rights before questioning takes place

Impact of the Great Society

  • Power of federal government expanded
  • Number of poor people decreased from 21% (1962) to 11% (1973)

Vietnam & the end of LBJ’s Presidency

  • Vietnam caused the end of the Great Society and LBJ’s Presidency
  • Money, time, and resources the LBJ wanted to use for things like education and fighting poverty had to be diverted toward the war effort
  • In 1967, the US spent over $300,000 to kill one Vietcong. It spent about $50 to help one American out of poverty

Frustration, a lack of public support, division within the Democratic Party and continued problems at home and in Vietnam led to Johnson’s decision not to run for reelection in 1968

  • Johnson retired to his Texas ranch in 1969, wrote his memoirs (The Vantage Point), supervised the building of his presidential library (in Austin, TX at the University of Texas, and died suddenly of a heart attack in 1973