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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