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Lyndon B. Johnson. Background/Family Side.

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background family side
Background/Family Side

He was born on August 27, 1908 near Johnson City in Texas. His father struggles to raise his two sons and three daughters while his mother always encouraged reading books. He graduated from Southwest State Teacher's College in San Marcos Texas. He had a talent for attracting affection which helped him be elected Speaker of the Little Congress. 

highlights of his political rise to presidency
Highlights of his political rise to Presidency
  • Johnson moved to politics after briefly teaching public speaking in a high school in Houston.
  •  He served in the House of Representatives starting April 10, 1937.
  • He then ran for Senate in 1948 where he won by a landslide.
  • In 1960, he ran for Vice Presidency under the Democratic party.
  • He seceded as President after Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.
Congressman in the House of Representatives from April 10, 1937 to January 3, 1949

Ran for Senate in 1948 but only won by a landslide of eighty-seven votes. This gave him the nickname “Landslide Lyndon”

Although Kennedy had no interest in Lyndon being his running-mate and Vice President during the 1960 election, Lyndon still decided to seek the Vice Presidency position and pressured Kennedy into letting him do so.

Was sworn into office hours after Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.

In the election of 1964 against Senator Barry Goldwater, Johnson won Presidency by a 61% popular vote.

political continued
Political (continued)
  • Johnson increasingly focused on the American military effort in Vietnam. He firmly believed in the Domino Theory and that his containment policy required America to make a serious effort to stop all Communist expansion.
  • Acts signed in 1964 : Civil Rights Act of 1964, Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964, Wilderness Act, Nurse Training Act, Food Stamp Act of 1964, Economic Opportunity Act
  • Acts signed in 1965 : Higher Education Act of 1965, Social Security Act of 1965, Voting Rights Act, Immigration and Nationality Services Act of 1965
  • Acts signed in 1966 : Freedom of Information Act (United States)
  • Acts signed in 1967 : Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Public Broadcasting Act of 1967
  • Acts signed in 1968 : Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, Bilingual Education Act, Fair Housing, Gun Control Act of 1968
  • Enrolled in Southwest Texas State Teacher’s College (now Texas State University-San Marcos) in 1926
  • Before he became a politician, Johnson was a teacher. He taught at Welhausen School in Cotulla and then at Pearsall High School. Afterwards he took a teaching position of public speaking at Sam Houston High School.
  • Had a lifelong commitment to the belief that education was the cure for both ignorance and poverty and was an essential component of the American Dream, especially for the minority.
  • Supported Civil Rights for African Americans during Kennedy’s presidency.
intellectual continued
Intellectual (continued)
  • Johnson’s order to bomb Vietnam during the war led to a hostile world opinion; the blasting of an underdeveloped country by a mighty superpower struck many critics as obscene.
  • After the murder of a civil rights worker, noting that four members of the Ku Klux Klan were connected to the death, Johnson denounced the Klan as a "hooded society of bigots," and warned them to "return to a decent society before it's too late."
  • During the revolt in the Dominican Republic, Johnson speedily announced that the D.R. was the target of a Castro-like coup by “Communist conspirators”
  • Great-grandfather, George Washington Baines, Sr., was one of the best-known Baptist leaders in the early history of Texas.
  • Johnson was a Disciple of Christ. He was a member of the Stone-Campbell (Restoration Movement) denomination known as the "Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)."
  • Johnson was baptized in 1923. Had been exposed to the preaching and teaching of his mother's Baptist congregation; however, he independently decided that the beliefs of the Disciples were in accord with his own views, and, on that basis, he became, and remained, a member of the Disciples of Christ.
  • Rebekah Baines Johnson, the President's mother, was a Baptist, as were most of her ancestors for several generations.
religious continued
Religious (continued)
  • Grandfather, Sam Ealy Johnson, Sr., was raised as a Baptist. In his early manhood, he became a member of the Christian Church. In his later years, he affiliated with the Christadelphians. Father, Sam Ealy Johnson, Jr., also joined the Christadelphian Church toward the end of his life.
  • Johnson frequently quoted the Bible to illustrate points that he wanted to make. His favorite quotation was from Isaiah 1:18, "Come now, and let us reason together."
arts culture
  • Under Johnson’s “Great Society” program, the first human spaceflight to the Moon, Apollo 8, was successfully flown by NASA in December 1968. The President congratulated the astronauts, saying, "You've taken ... all of us, all over the world, into a new era."
  • Set in motion bills and acts that would start up programs such as Head Start, food stamps, work study, Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Under Johnson’s “Great Society” program, space travel was now made possible.
  • Two weeks after taking the oath of office, Johnson imposed a 25% tax on potato starch, dextrin, brandy, and light trucks due to a situation known as the Chicken War that started when France and Germany placed tariffs on imports of U.S. chickens.
  • Johnson’s “Great Society” program came just as the United States' post-war prosperity was starting to fade, but before the coming decline was being felt by the middle and upper classes.
  • The Baby Boom generation between 1965 and 1980 caused two and a half times more Americans to go into the labor force than in 1950 and 1965.
  • Johnson’s “Great Society” program aimed towards: aid to education, medical care for the elderly and indigent, immigration reform, and a new voting rights bill.
  • As a supporter of civil rights for the African American population of the United States, Johnson persuaded Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • Set in motion bills and acts that would start up programs such as Head Start, food stamps, work study, Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Urban riots were the start of the plummet for Johnson’s presidency, including his Great Society program which lost supporters after the Detroit riot in 1967.
  • "Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?" was a popular chant with college students pertaining to the Vietnam War.
key domestic policy
Key Domestic Policy

Johnson replaced President Kennedy when he was assassinated on November 22, 1963. The following year Congress passed a tax reduction law that promoted economic growth which launched the program WAR ON POVERTY. Johnson secured a strong civil rights acts which eventually proved to be a vital source of legal authority against sexual discrimination and race. His domestic program was called Great Society. Congress passed the Medicare program, funded the WAR ON POVERTY and passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

key foreign policy
Key Foreign Policy

Johnson became very involved with Vietnam. In February 1965, U.S. planes bombed North Vietnam. Some qualities that led to his involvement in Vietnam and in the Dominican Republic were his faith in the U.S. military, his views against communism, and his temperamental activism. WHile the country as involved in a foreign county, Vietnam, back at home racial tensions grew ever so much. There were riots between 1965 and 1968, and a downfall to Johnson's Great Society programs which led to more support for the Republicans. The policy that truly hurt him was the one of military escalation in Vietnam. Some results of this policy were inflation, rising criticism, and deflected attention from domestic concerns. This escalations also cost the U.S. the war and made Johnson's instincts fail.

one quote
One Quote

"The guns and the bombs, the rockets and the warships are symbols of human failure."

  • Used JFK's death and the appeal to the Southerner's self-interest and his Southern background to get the civil rights legislation passed.
  • 1965 Higher Education Act gave aid to poor black colleges and led African American college students to quadruple within a decade. Introduced Medicare and Medicaid helped address the issue of poor health in the minorities,and halved African American infant mortality.
  •  Sent the 1st human spaceflight to the moon December 1968.
  • His presidency was overshadowed by JFK's death and the Vietnam War (in which he decided to escalate).
  • He did not trust his military commanders' judgments on whether or whether not there was a possible target on the battle field. By doing this, he damaged his own military more than what the opposing side could have done.
  • The "Great Society".  Welfare and medicaid cause some people not to make an effort for money through education and hard work. This has also lowered the standard of living  even though the rest of the people are trying to work hard for an easy life.
one word
One Word


impact on current events
Impact on Current Events

Johnson’s Great Society program has impacted the U.S. today because the elderly do not have to struggle with money thanks to social security as well as with Medicare. And because of his intense support to education, many students (especially those that are part of the minority) have the opportunity to increase their education with little worry about the cost.

recordings videos
  • The President's News Conference(Feburary 29,1964)
  • The Presient's Inaugural Adress(January 20,1965)
  • Adress to the Nation Upon Proclaiming a Day of Mourning Following the Death of Dr. King(April 5, 1968)

John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts was nominated for president in 1960. He then chose Lyndon B. Johnson to be his running mate to "balance the democratic ticket." In November of 1960, the Democrats defeated the Republicans Richard Nixon and Henry Lodge. 

  • "Lyndon B. Johnson."  <>
  •  "Great Society." <>
  • "The Religious Affiliation of U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson." <>
  • "Religion and President Johnson." <


  • David, Lizabeth, and Thomas Bailey. The American Pageant. 13th ed. Boston, MA: Hartford, 2006
group members
Group Members
  • Hasley Pineda
  • Aizabelyn Cruz                        APUSH Period 1
  • Genesis M. Garcia