182 Facts About Lyndon Johnson


Lyndon Johnson had previously served as the 37th vice president from 1961 to 1963 under President John F Kennedy, and was sworn in shortly after Kennedy's assassination.

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Lyndon Johnson holds the distinction of being one of the few presidents who served in all elected offices at the federal level.

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Lyndon Johnson won election to the United States Senate in 1948 after a narrow and controversial victory in the Democratic Party's primary.

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Lyndon Johnson was appointed to the position of Senate Majority Whip in 1951.

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Lyndon Johnson became the Senate Democratic leader in 1953 and majority leader in 1954.

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The following year Lyndon Johnson was elected to the presidency when he won in a landslide against Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, receiving 61.

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In 1964 Lyndon Johnson coined the term the "Great Society" to describe these efforts.

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Lyndon Johnson followed his predecessor's actions in bolstering NASA and made the Apollo Program a national priority.

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Lyndon Johnson enacted the Higher Education Act of 1965 which established federally insured student loans.

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Lyndon Johnson's presidency took place during the Cold War and thus he prioritized halting the expansion of communism.

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Lyndon Johnson expanded military operations in neighboring Laos to destroy North Vietnamese supply lines.

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At home, Lyndon Johnson faced further troubles with race riots in major cities and increasing crime rates.

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Lyndon Johnson began his presidency with near-universal support, but his approval declined throughout his presidency as the public became frustrated with both the Vietnam War and domestic unrest.

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Lyndon Johnson initially sought to run for re-election; however, following disappointing results in the New Hampshire primary he withdrew his candidacy.

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Lyndon Johnson is one of the most controversial presidents in American history; public opinion and scholastic assessment of his legacy have continuously evolved since his death.

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Lyndon Johnson's administration passed many major laws that made substantial advancements in civil rights, health care, welfare, and education.

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Conversely, Lyndon Johnson is strongly criticized for his foreign policy, namely escalating American involvement in the Vietnam War.

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Lyndon Johnson was the eldest of five children born to Samuel Ealy Johnson Jr.

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Lyndon Johnson had one brother, Sam Houston Lyndon Johnson, and three sisters, Rebekah, Josefa, and Lucia.

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Later, as a politician, Lyndon Johnson was influenced in his positive attitude toward Jews by the religious beliefs that his family, especially his grandfather, had shared with him.

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In school, Lyndon Johnson was a talkative youth who was elected president of his 11th-grade class.

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Lyndon Johnson graduated in 1924 from Johnson City High School, where he participated in public speaking, debate, and baseball.

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Lyndon Johnson left the school just weeks after his arrival and decided to move to southern California.

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Lyndon Johnson worked at his cousin's legal practice and in various odd jobs before returning to Texas, where he worked as a day laborer.

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Lyndon Johnson worked his way through school, participated in debate and campus politics, and edited the school newspaper, The College Star.

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For nine months, from 1928 to 1929, Lyndon Johnson paused his studies to teach Mexican–American children at the segregated Welhausen School in Cotulla, some 90 miles south of San Antonio in La Salle County.

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Lyndon Johnson briefly taught at Pearsall High School before taking a position as teacher of public speaking at Sam Houston High School in Houston.

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Lyndon Johnson secured the position on the recommendation of his father and that of State Senator Welly Hopkins, for whom Lyndon Johnson had campaigned in 1930.

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Lyndon Johnson was elected speaker of the "Little Congress", a group of Congressional aides, where he cultivated Congressmen, newspapermen, and lobbyists.

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Lyndon Johnson met her after he had attended Georgetown University Law Center for several months.

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Lyndon Johnson later quit his Georgetown studies after the first semester in 1934.

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Lyndon Johnson gave his children names with the LBJ initials; his dog was Little Beagle Lyndon Johnson.

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Lyndon Johnson's home was the LBJ Ranch; his initials were on his cufflinks, ashtrays, and clothes.

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Lyndon Johnson was described by friends, fellow politicians, and historians as motivated by an exceptional lust for power and control.

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In 1937, after the death of thirteen-term Congressman James P Buchanan, Johnson successfully campaigned in a special election for Texas's 10th congressional district, that covered Austin and the surrounding hill country.

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Lyndon Johnson ran on a New Deal platform and was effectively aided by his wife.

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President Franklin D Roosevelt found Johnson to be a welcome ally and conduit for information, particularly about issues concerning internal politics in Texas and the machinations of Vice President John Nance Garner and Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn.

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Lyndon Johnson worked for rural electrification and other improvements for his district.

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Lyndon Johnson steered the projects towards contractors he knew, such as Herman and George Brown, who would finance much of Lyndon Johnson's future career.

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Lyndon Johnson's orders were to report to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations in Washington, D C, for instruction and training.

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Lyndon Johnson was sent instead to inspect shipyard facilities in Texas and on the West Coast.

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When, at this time, the plane in which Lieutenant Commander Lyndon Johnson was an observer, developed mechanical trouble and was forced to turn back alone, presenting a favorable target to the enemy fighters, he evidenced marked coolness despite the hazards involved.

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Lyndon Johnson, who had used a movie camera to record conditions, reported to Roosevelt, to Navy leaders, and Congress that conditions were deplorable and unacceptable: some historians have suggested this was in exchange for MacArthur's recommendation to award the Silver Star.

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Lyndon Johnson argued that the southwest Pacific urgently needed a higher priority and a larger share of war supplies.

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Lyndon Johnson prepared a twelve-point program to upgrade the effort in the region, stressing "greater cooperation and coordination within the various commands and between the different war theaters".

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Lyndon Johnson probed the peacetime "business as usual" inefficiencies that permeated the naval war and demanded that admirals shape up and get the job done.

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Lyndon Johnson went too far when he proposed a bill that would crack down on the draft exemptions of shipyard workers if they were absent from work too often; organized labor blocked the bill and denounced him.

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Lyndon Johnson drew crowds to fairgrounds with his rented helicopter, dubbed "The Lyndon Johnson City Windmill".

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Lyndon Johnson raised money to flood the state with campaign circulars and won over conservatives by casting doubts on Stevenson's support for the Taft–Hartley Act .

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Stevenson came in first in the primary but lacked a majority, so a runoff election was held; Lyndon Johnson campaigned harder, while Stevenson's efforts slumped due to a lack of funds.

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US presidential historian Michael Beschloss observed that Lyndon Johnson "gave white supremacist speeches" during the 1948 campaign, in order to secure the white vote.

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However, Lyndon Johnson's victory was based on 200 "patently fraudulent" ballots reported six days after the election from Box 13 in Jim Wells County, in an area dominated by political boss George Parr.

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Stevenson went to court, eventually taking his case before the U S Supreme Court, but with timely help from his friend and future U S Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas, Johnson prevailed on the basis that jurisdiction over naming a nominee rested with the party, not the federal government.

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Once in the Senate, Lyndon Johnson was known among his colleagues for his highly successful "courtships" of older senators, especially Senator Richard Russell, Democrat from Georgia, the leader of the Conservative coalition and arguably the most powerful man in the Senate.

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Lyndon Johnson proceeded to gain Russell's favor in the same way he had "courted" Speaker Sam Rayburn and gained his crucial support in the House.

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Lyndon Johnson was appointed to the Senate Armed Services Committee, and in 1950 helped create the Preparedness Investigating Subcommittee.

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Lyndon Johnson became its chairman, and conducted investigations of defense costs and efficiency.

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Lyndon Johnson gained headlines and national attention through his handling of the press, the efficiency with which his committee issued new reports, and the fact that he ensured that every report was endorsed unanimously by the committee.

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Lyndon Johnson used his political influence in the Senate to receive broadcast licenses from the Federal Communications Commission in his wife's name.

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In January 1953, Lyndon Johnson was chosen by his fellow Democrats to be Minority Leader; he became the most junior senator ever elected to this position.

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Lyndon Johnson's duties were to schedule legislation and help pass measures favored by the Democrats.

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Central to Lyndon Johnson's control was "The Treatment", described by two journalists:.

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Lyndon Johnson moved in close, his face a scant millimeter from his target, his eyes widening and narrowing, his eyebrows rising and falling.

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In 1955, Lyndon Johnson persuaded Oregon's Independent Wayne Morse to join the Democratic caucus.

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Lyndon Johnson announced he would remain as his party's leader in the Senate on New Year's Eve 1955, his doctors reporting he had made "a most satisfactory recovery" since his heart attack five months before.

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Lyndon Johnson made a late entry into the campaign in July 1960 which, coupled with a reluctance to leave Washington, allowed the rival Kennedy campaign to secure a substantial early advantage among Democratic state party officials.

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Caro suggests that Lyndon Johnson's hesitancy was the result of an overwhelming fear of failure.

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Lyndon Johnson attempted in vain to capitalize on Kennedy's youth, poor health, and failure to take a position regarding Joseph McCarthy and McCarthyism.

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Lyndon Johnson had formed a "Stop Kennedy" coalition with Adlai Stevenson, Stuart Symington, and Hubert Humphrey, but it proved a failure.

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Lyndon Johnson received 409 votes on the only ballot at the Democratic convention to Kennedy's 806, and so the convention nominated Kennedy.

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Lyndon Johnson was needed on the ticket to help carry Texas and the Southern states.

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Caro contends that it was then that John Kennedy called Johnson to arrange a meeting; he called Pennsylvania governor David L Lawrence, a Johnson backer, to request that he nominate Johnson for vice president if Johnson were to accept the role.

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Caro continues in his analysis that Robert Kennedy tried to get Lyndon Johnson to agree to be the Democratic Party chairman rather than the vice president.

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Lyndon Johnson refused to accept a change in plans unless it came directly from John Kennedy.

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When John and Robert Kennedy next saw their father Joe Kennedy, he told them that signing Lyndon Johnson as running mate was the smartest thing they had ever done.

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Lyndon Johnson's said she went in and out of the room as they spoke and, while she was in the room, heard them say that Johnson had tried to blackmail JFK into offering him the vice-presidential nomination with evidence of his womanizing provided by FBI director J Edgar Hoover.

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Lyndon Johnson initially sought a transfer of the authority of Senate majority leader to the vice presidency, since that office made him president of the Senate, but faced vehement opposition from the Democratic Caucus, including members whom he had counted as his supporters.

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Lyndon Johnson sought to increase his influence within the executive branch.

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Lyndon Johnson drafted an executive order for Kennedy's signature, granting Johnson "general supervision" over matters of national security, and requiring all government agencies to "cooperate fully with the vice president in the carrying out of these assignments".

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Kennedy similarly turned down early requests from Lyndon Johnson to be given an office adjacent to the Oval Office and to employ a full-time Vice Presidential staff within the White House.

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Branch notes the irony of Lyndon Johnson being the advocate for civil rights when the Kennedy family had hoped that he would appeal to conservative southern voters.

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Lyndon Johnson took on numerous minor diplomatic missions, which gave him some insights into global issues, as well as opportunities for self-promotion in the name of showing the country's flag.

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Lyndon Johnson responded with a recommendation that the United States gain the leadership role by committing the resources to embark on a project to land an American on the Moon in the 1960s.

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Kennedy assigned priority to the space program, but Lyndon Johnson's appointment provided potential cover in case of a failure.

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Lyndon Johnson was touched by a Senate scandal in August 1963 when Bobby Baker, the Secretary to the Majority Leader of the Senate and a protege of Lyndon Johnson's, came under investigation by the Senate Rules Committee for allegations of bribery and financial malfeasance.

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Lyndon Johnson assumed the presidency amid a healthy economy with steady growth and low unemployment, and with no serious international crises.

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Lyndon Johnson was sworn in by U S District Judge Sarah T Hughes, a family friend.

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Cecil Stoughton's iconic photograph of Lyndon Johnson taking the presidential oath of office as Mrs Kennedy looks on is the most famous photo ever taken aboard a presidential aircraft.

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Lyndon Johnson was convinced of the need to make an impression of an immediate transition of power after the assassination to provide stability to a grieving nation in shock.

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Lyndon Johnson retained senior Kennedy appointees, some for the full term of his presidency.

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Lyndon Johnson even retained Attorney General Robert Kennedy, with whom he had a notoriously difficult relationship.

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Lyndon Johnson served primarily as a speechwriter and political analyst.

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In late 1963, Lyndon Johnson launched the initial offensive of his War on Poverty, recruiting Kennedy relative Sargent Shriver, then head of the Peace Corps, to spearhead the effort.

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Lyndon Johnson renewed the effort and asked Bobby Kennedy to spearhead the undertaking for the administration on Capitol Hill.

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Lyndon Johnson was quite familiar with the procedural tactic, as he played a role in a similar tactic against a civil rights bill that Harry Truman had submitted to Congress fifteen years earlier.

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Lyndon Johnson decided on a campaign to use a discharge petition to force it onto the House floor.

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Lyndon Johnson signed the fortified Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law on July 2.

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Legend has it that the evening after signing the bill, Lyndon Johnson told an aide, "I think we just delivered the South to the Republican party for a long time to come", anticipating a coming backlash from Southern whites against Lyndon Johnson's Democratic Party.

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Biographer Randall B Woods has argued that Johnson effectively used appeals to Judeo-Christian ethics to garner support for the civil rights law.

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Woods writes that Lyndon Johnson undermined the Southern filibuster against the bill:.

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Lyndon Johnson wanted a catchy slogan for the 1964 campaign to describe his proposed domestic agenda for 1965.

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In Spring 1964, Lyndon Johnson did not look optimistically upon the prospect of being elected president in his own right.

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Lyndon Johnson emphasized to the parties the potential impact upon the economy of a strike.

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Kennedy was himself undecided about the position and, knowing that the prospect rankled Lyndon Johnson, was content to eliminate himself from consideration.

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Lyndon Johnson, knowing full well the degree of frustration inherent in the office of vice president, put Humphrey through a gauntlet of interviews to guarantee his absolute loyalty and having made the decision, he kept the announcement from the press until the last moment to maximize media speculation and coverage.

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In preparation for the Democratic convention, Lyndon Johnson requested the FBI send a squad of thirty agents to cover convention activities; the objective of the squad was to inform the White House staff of any disruptive activities on the floor.

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Lyndon Johnson was very concerned about potential political damage from media coverage of racial tensions exposed by a credentials fight between the MFDP and the segregationist delegation, and he assigned Humphrey the job of managing the problem.

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The convention became the apparent personal triumph that Lyndon Johnson craved, but a sense of betrayal caused by the marginalization of the MFDP would trigger disaffection with Lyndon Johnson and the Democratic Party from the left; SNCC chairman John Lewis would call it a "turning point in the civil rights movement".

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Nevertheless, the Selma to Montgomery marches in Alabama led by Martin Luther King ultimately led Lyndon Johnson to initiate a debate on a voting rights bill in February 1965.

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Lyndon Johnson angrily denounced the Klan as a "hooded society of bigots, " and warned them to "return to a decent society before it's too late".

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Lyndon Johnson turned to themes of Christian redemption to push for civil rights, thereby mobilizing support from churches North and South.

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In 1967, Lyndon Johnson nominated civil rights attorney Thurgood Marshall to be the first African-American justice of the Supreme Court.

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In 1968, Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which provided for equal housing opportunities regardless of race, creed, or national origin.

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Lyndon Johnson, whose own ticket out of poverty was a public education in Texas, fervently believed that education was a cure for ignorance and poverty, and was an essential component of the American dream, especially for minorities who endured poor facilities and tight-fisted budgets from local taxes.

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Lyndon Johnson made education the top priority of the Great Society agenda, with an emphasis on helping poor children.

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In 1967, Lyndon Johnson signed the Public Broadcasting Act to create educational television programs to supplement the broadcast networks.

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In 1965, Lyndon Johnson set up the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, to support academic subjects such as literature, history, and law, and arts such as music, painting, and sculpture .

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Lyndon Johnson set in motion legislation creating programs such as Head Start, food stamps and Work Study.

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Lyndon Johnson took an additional step in the War on Poverty with an urban renewal effort, presenting to Congress in January 1966 the "Demonstration Cities Program".

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Lyndon Johnson gave the first two Medicare cards to former President Harry S Truman and his wife Bess after signing the Medicare bill at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri.

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In March 1965, Lyndon Johnson sent to Congress a transportation message which included the creation of a new Transportation Department, which would include the Commerce Department's Office of Transportation, the Bureau of Public Roads, the Federal Aviation Agency, the Coast Guard, the Maritime Administration, the Civil Aeronautics Board, and the Interstate Commerce Commission.

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Rather than appointing another Warren-style commission, Johnson accepted Administrator James E Webb's request for NASA to do its investigation, holding itself accountable to Congress and the President.

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Lyndon Johnson maintained his staunch support of Apollo through Congressional and press controversy, and the program recovered.

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Lyndon Johnson finally sent in federal troops with tanks and machine guns.

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Lyndon Johnson called for even more billions to be spent in the cities and another federal civil rights law regarding housing, but this request had little Congressional support.

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Lyndon Johnson's popularity plummeted as a massive white political backlash took shape, reinforcing the sense Lyndon Johnson had lost control of the streets of major cities as well as his party.

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Lyndon Johnson created the Kerner Commission to study the problem of urban riots, headed by Illinois Governor Otto Kerner.

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In 1966, the press sensed a "credibility gap" between what Lyndon Johnson was saying in press conferences and what was happening on the ground in Vietnam, which led to much less favorable coverage.

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Lyndon Johnson ran about even with Republican George Romney in trial matchups that spring.

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Lyndon Johnson blamed "the preachers, liberals and professors" who had turned against him.

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Lyndon Johnson subscribed to the Domino Theory in Vietnam and to a containment policy that required America to make a serious effort to stop all Communist expansion.

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In late summer 1964, Johnson seriously questioned the value of staying in Vietnam but, after meeting with Secretary of State Dean Rusk and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Maxwell D Taylor, declared his readiness "to do more when we had a base" or when Saigon was politically more stable.

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Lyndon Johnson expanded the numbers and roles of the American military following the Gulf of Tonkin Incident.

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Lyndon Johnson was determined to embolden his image on foreign policy, and wanted to prevent criticism such as Truman had received in Korea by proceeding without congressional endorsement of military action.

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Lyndon Johnson decided against retaliatory action at the time after consultation with the Joint Chiefs, and after public pollster Lou Harris confirmed that his decision would not detrimentally affect him at the polls.

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Lyndon Johnson then agreed with Mac Bundy and McNamara that the continued passive role would only lead to defeat and withdrawal in humiliation.

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Lyndon Johnson described himself at the time as boxed in by unpalatable choices—between sending Americans to die in Vietnam and giving in to the communists.

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Lyndon Johnson continued to insist that his decision "did not imply any change in policy whatsoever".

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Lyndon Johnson met with reporters a couple of days later and reassured the nation that he was recovering well.

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The persistent Lyndon Johnson began to seriously consider a more focused bombing campaign against petroleum, oil and lubrication facilities in North Vietnam, in hopes of accelerating victory.

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Also in October 1966, to reassure and promote his war effort, Lyndon Johnson initiated a meeting with allies in Manila—the South Vietnamese, Thais, South Koreans, Filipinos, Australians, and New Zealanders.

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Lyndon Johnson had just received several reports predicting military progress by the summer, and warned Kennedy, "I'll destroy you and every one of your dove friends in six months", he shouted.

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Lyndon Johnson was quite agitated by this recommendation and McNamara's resignation soon followed.

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Lyndon Johnson continued to support Humphrey publicly in the election, and personally despised Nixon.

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Lyndon Johnson reacted, saying "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost middle America".

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Lyndon Johnson then announced an immediate unilateral halt to the bombing of North Vietnam and announced his intention to seek out peace talks anywhere at any time.

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Lyndon Johnson said Kosygin was angry that "we had turned around a carrier in the Mediterranean".

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Lyndon Johnson continued the FBI's wiretapping of Martin Luther King Jr.

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Lyndon Johnson authorized the tapping of phone conversations of others, including the Vietnamese friends of a Nixon associate.

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Lyndon Johnson made eleven international trips to twenty countries during his presidency.

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Lyndon Johnson flew five hundred twenty-three thousand miles aboard Air Force One while in office.

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Also, although it was not made public at the time, Lyndon Johnson had become more worried about his failing health and was concerned that he might not live through another four-year term.

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In early January 1968, Lyndon Johnson asked former speechwriter Horace Busby to draft a withdrawal statement that he could put into his upcoming State of the Union address, but the president did not include it.

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Lyndon Johnson'storians have debated the factors that led to Johnson's surprise decision.

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Lyndon Johnson'ssol says Johnson wanted out of the White House but wanted vindication; when the indicators turned negative he decided to leave.

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Gould says that Lyndon Johnson had neglected the party, was hurting it by his Vietnam policies and underestimated McCarthy's strength until the last minute, when it was too late for Lyndon Johnson to recover.

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Woods says Lyndon Johnson realized he needed to leave for the nation to heal.

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Dallek says that Lyndon Johnson had no further domestic goals, and realized that his personality had eroded his popularity.

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Lyndon Johnson's health was not good, and he was preoccupied with the Kennedy campaign; his wife was pressing for his retirement and his base of support continued to shrink.

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Bennett says Lyndon Johnson "had been forced out of a reelection race in 1968 by outrage over his policy in Southeast Asia".

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Lyndon Johnson reportedly said that if Rockefeller became the Republican nominee, he would not campaign against him .

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Lyndon Johnson appointed Justices Abe Fortas and Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court of the United States.

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Lyndon Johnson anticipated court challenges to his legislative measures in 1965 and thought it advantageous to have a "mole" in the Supreme Court who he thought could provide him with inside information, as he was able to get from the legislative branch.

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Lyndon Johnson insisted on Fortas assuming Goldberg's seat, over Fortas's wife's objection that it was too early in his career.

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When Earl Warren announced his retirement in 1968, Lyndon Johnson nominated Fortas to succeed him as Chief Justice of the United States, and nominated Homer Thornberry to succeed Fortas as associate justice.

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On Inauguration Day, Lyndon Johnson saw Nixon sworn in, then got on the plane to fly back to Texas.

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Lyndon Johnson donated his Texas ranch in his will to the public to form the Lyndon B Johnson National Historical Park, with the provision that the ranch "remain a working ranch and not become a sterile relic of the past".

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Nixon could be defeated, Lyndon Johnson insisted, "if only the Democrats don't go too far left".

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Lyndon Johnson had felt Edmund Muskie would be more likely to defeat Nixon; however, he declined an invitation to try to stop McGovern receiving the nomination as he felt his unpopularity within the Democratic Party was such that anything he said was more likely to help McGovern.

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In March 1970, Lyndon Johnson suffered an attack of angina and was taken to Brooke Army General Hospital in San Antonio.

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Lyndon Johnson had gained more than 25 pounds since leaving the White House; he now weighed around 235 pounds and was urged to lose considerable weight.

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Lyndon Johnson continued to smoke heavily and, although nominally living on a low-calorie, low-cholesterol diet, kept to it only intermittently.

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Lyndon Johnson was still smoking heavily at the time, and told Cronkite that it was better for his heart "to smoke than to be nervous".

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Lyndon Johnson managed to telephone the Secret Service agents on the ranch, who found him still holding the telephone receiver, unconscious and not breathing.

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Lyndon Johnson was airlifted in one of his planes to San Antonio and taken to Brooke Army Medical Center, where cardiologist and Army colonel Dr George McGranahan pronounced him dead on arrival.

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Lyndon Johnson's death came two days after Richard Nixon's second inauguration, which followed Nixon's landslide victory in the 1972 election.

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Lyndon Johnson was buried in his family's private cemetery a few yards from the house in which he was born.

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Lyndon Johnson was often seen as a wildly ambitious, tireless, and imposing figure who was ruthlessly effective at getting legislation passed.

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Lyndon Johnson worked 18- to 20-hour days without break and was absent of any leisure activities.

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Dallek stated that Lyndon Johnson had biographies on all the senators, knew what their ambitions, hopes, and tastes were and used it to his advantage in securing votes.

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Biographer Randall Woods argues that Social Gospel themes Lyndon Johnson learned from childhood allowed him to transform social problems into moral problems.

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Lyndon Johnson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously in 1980.

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