Leaders » Political Leaders » LYNDON B. JOHNSON
|Full name||: Lyndon B. Johnson|
|Alias||: Lyndon B. Johnson|
|Animals||: The Monkey|
|Father||: Samuel Ealy Johnson Jr.|
|Mother||: Rebekah Baines|
|Siblings||: Sam Houston Johnson, Rebekah Johnson, Josefa Johnson, Lucia Johnson|
|Wife||: Lady Bird Johnson|
|Children||: Luci Baines Johnson, Lynda Bird Johnson Robb|
|Education||: 1930 - Texas State University 1924 - Johnson City Senior High School|
|Activists||: Political Leaders , Presidents|
Lyndon Baines Johnson was the 36th President of the United States who served from 1963 to 1969. He had been elected the Vice President as John F. Kennedy's running mate in the 1960 presidential campaign and was made the President in November 1963 following the assassination of President Kennedy. Coming to the helm of political affairs in the chaos following a beloved president’s death, Johnson took forward the legacy of his predecessor by obtaining enactment of the new civil rights bill and a tax cut that the late President Kennedy had been advocating at the time of his death. The dignified way in which he managed the affairs after suddenly being pushed into presidency following Kennedy’s assassination earned him the respect of the masses and he easily won the presidential election in 1964 and was inaugurated the president in his own right for a full term in 1965. As the president he implemented several social service programs and called for the creation of the “Great Society” which was one of his major agendas. He also declared a “War on Poverty” which helped millions of poor Americans in achieving better quality of life during his administration. Lyndon Johnson is ranked favorably by historians became of his stance on civil rights, gun control, and social security
He embarked on a teaching career following his graduation and also entered politics. In 1930, Congressman Richard M. Kleberg made Johnson his legislative secretary, and he was elected speaker of the "Little Congress," a group of Congressional aides.
In 1935, he was appointed head of the Texas National Youth Administration, and a couple of years later he successfully contested a special election for Texas's 10th congressional district. He served in the House from April 1937 to January 1949.
In between, he had also served in the U.S. Naval Reserve during the World War II. He was commissioned as a lieutenant commander in 1941 and served on a tour of the South Pacific and flew one combat mission. His plane survived an attack by Japanese fighters and he was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry. He returned to his political career in 1942.
In the 1952 general election Republicans won a majority in both the House and Senate. Johnson, a Democrat, was chosen by his colleagues to be the Minority Leader in 1953. He was the youngest Minority Leader in Senate history. The next year the Democrats won control and Johnson became the Majority Leader.
In 1960, Johnson was chosen by the Democrats as the vice presidential nominee to run alongside with the presidential nominee, John F. Kennedy. The Kennedy-Johnson ticket won the election against Republican candidate Richard Nixon by a very narrow margin.
Johnson assumed the office of the Vice President of the United States on January 20, 1961. In this position he headed the space program and pushed for equal opportunity legislation for minorities. He also supported the President’s decision to send American military advisors to South Vietnam to help fight off a communist insurgency.
On November, 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Johnson took the presidential oath within hours of Kennedy’s death. He became the Pesident at a time when the nation was reeling in shock and grief following the death of Kennedy.
As soon as he assumed power, he addressed the citizens and informed them that he would be taking forward the plans Kennedy had been discussing at the time of his death. Johnson pushed for the civil rights bill Kennedy had been fighting for and signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Johnson stood for the presidency in his own right in the 1964 presidential election. His proposal of the “Great Society” was a major agenda in his campaign. He called for reforms in the education sector, better medical care to the Americans, and improvement in the lives of the financially underprivileged and the elderly.
Johnson and his vice presidential running mate Hubert Humphrey easily won the election against the Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater and his vice presidential running mate, William E. Miller. Johnson was once again sworn in as the president.
As President, Johson signed many acts in order to set the pace for the creation of the Great Society. This included the Economic Opportunity Act, as part of the war on poverty. He also implemented legislation to create programs such as Head Start, food stamps and Work Study. Many Americans benefitted as a result of these legislations and poverty levels dropped.
Several prominent men including John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated over the recent past and Johnson signed the Gun Control Act of 1968, to keep a tab on the ownership of firearms.
Lyndon Johnson was a popular president and it was expected that he would run for re-election in 1968. However, he shocked the nation by announcing that he would not be running for another term and retired to his ranch after stepping down as the president on January 20, 1969.
Lyndon B. Johnson proposed the creation of the “Great Society”, to bring about the betterment of the cities, the environment, and education. He signed several important legislations to make this vision a reality: Higher Education Act of 1965, Coinage Act of 1965, Social Security Act of 1965, Animal Welfare Act of 1966, Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, Civil Rights Act of 1968, and Gun Control Act of 1968.
Lyndon Baines Johnson was born on August 27, 1908 in Stonewall, Texas, to Samuel Ealy Johnson Jr. and Rebekah Baines. He was the eldest among his siblings and had one brother and three sisters. His father was a rancher and part-time politician.
Lyndon Johnson was a confident and talkative boy who actively participated in public speaking, debate, and baseball. He graduated from Johnson City High School in 1924 at the age of 15.
He did a series of odd jobs for three years after his high school graduation and finally enrolled at Southwest Texas State Teachers College at San Marcos. He started working as a teacher while pursuing his studies. During this time, the acute poverty of some of his students deeply impacted his mind. He graduated from college in 1930.
He married Claudia Alta "Lady Bird" Taylor in November 1934. The couple had two daughters. His wife was a smart woman and supported him well throughout his political career.
Johnson suffered from ill health and heart problems during the last months of his life. He died suddenly of a heart attack at his Texas ranch on January 22, 1973.
The Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston was renamed the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in his honor in 1973.
Texas created a legal state holiday—Lyndon Baines Johnson Day—to be observed on August 27 to mark Johnson's birthday.