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The LBJ Years.

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1 The LBJ Years

2 Lyndon B. Johnson 1908 – 1973 36th President (1963-69)
Served in Congress for the state of Texas for 24 years before becoming JFK’s Vice-President Assumed the presidency upon Kennedy’s death Dedicated himself to seeing Kennedy’s programs reach fruition

3 LBJ’s “Great Society” Johnson’s programs aimed at eliminating poverty and racial injustice – a rebirth of JFK’s “New Frontier” Proposed major reforms in civil rights, welfare, education, health, arts & culture, and transportation

4 Civil Rights Civil Rights Act of 1964: Banned segregation of public facilities, racial discrimination in hiring Voting Rights Act of 1965: banned literacy tests Immigration and Nationality Services Act of 1965: abolished national-origin immigration quotas Civil Rights Act of 1968: banned housing discrimination, provided constitutional protections to Native Americans

5 “War on Poverty” Johnson believed that the best way to deal with poverty was not simply to raise the incomes of the poor but to help them better themselves through education, job training, and community development. Between 1964 and 1966, LBJ spent $3 billion on antipoverty programs

6 Economic Opportunity Act of 1964
Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO): oversaw community-based antipoverty programs Neighborhood Youth Corp: provided job experience to poor urban teens while encouraging them to graduate high school Job Corps: helped disadvantaged youth gain marketable job skills Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA): domestic version of the Peace Corps

7 Education Head Start: offered pre-school for children of the poor
Upward Bound: program which helps poor teens go to college Elementary & Secondary Education Act of 1965: provided federal money for schools to the states (current form of program is called “No Child Left Behind”) Higher Education Act of 1965: increased federal money to universities, provided money for scholarships for poor students Bilingual Education Act of 1968: provided federal money for establishment of ESL programs

8 Health Food Stamps: provided assistance to low-income families by subsidizing food expenses Medicare: provides no-cost health insurance to senior citizens Medicaid: subsidized health care program for poor or disabled persons

9 Arts & Culture National Endowment for the Arts: provided federal funds for arts education National Endowment for the Humanities: provided federal funds for humanities (English, History) education Public Broadcasting Service (PBS): provides noncommercial educational television programming National Public Radio (NPR): provides noncommercial educational radio programming

10 Transportation National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966
Highway Safety Act of 1966 Both set new federal guidelines for safety in automobile design and road design and construction Largely the result of increased public awareness of traffic safety due to Ralph Nader’s Unsafe at Any Speed which exposed car makers’ reluctance to improve safety due to increased costs

11 LBJ & Civil Rights President Kennedy was assassinated before he could gain passage of the new civil rights bill, but President Johnson, a Southerner, committed himself to pushing the bill through in Kennedy’s memory and had the connections in Congress to make it happen.

12 Civil Rights Act of 1964 Made segregation illegal in public facilities such as restaurants, parks, libraries, and theaters Allowed US Attorney General to prosecute violators Banned discrimination in the workplace and created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to monitor discrimination

13 24th Amendment Ratified in 1964
Specifically banned the use of poll taxes (a tax that must be paid in order to vote) a common way of preventing poor blacks from voting in Southern states

14 Selma March & Bloody Sunday
1965 Dr. King led a demonstration in Selma, AL to register black voters White law enforcement attacked, beat, and arrested over 2000 demonstrators In protest, King organized a march from Selma to Montgomery, but the marchers were attacked and beaten by law officers while kneeling in prayer – an attack now known as “Bloody Sunday” – all on national television

15 Voting Rights Act of 1965 Allowed the Attorney General to circumvent local voting examiners in cases where discrimination is suspected Banned literacy tests as a voting requirement Highly successful - by the end of 1965 alone, more than 250,000 Southern blacks had registered to vote

16 Watts Riot Poor living conditions for blacks in American urban areas led to high racial tensions In August 1965, a race riot broke out in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles over police brutality, killing 34 and doing over $45 million in damage before order was restored by 14,000 National Guardsmen Violent riots would follow in other major US cities over the next 3 years

17 Kerner Commission President Johnson appointed a commission to study the causes for urban unrest and to make recommendations for preventing future riots The commission concluded that white racism was to blame and recommended the creation of inner-city jobs and the construction of affordable inner-city housing to ease economic burdens on urban blacks

18 Chicago Movement Dr. King also attempted to enact economic reforms in poor, black urban areas by moving into an urban slum in Chicago in 1965, but met with little success other than empty promises about improving the slums from city officials

19 Black Power As the gains of the civil rights movement began to slow, many blacks, especially those in the urban North, began to question the non-violent tactics of Dr. King and his supporters Many also began to call for the expulsion of whites from civil rights groups like CORE and the SNCC and for blacks to take sole power over civil rights movements into their own hands

20 Nation of Islam Founded in 1930
Sometimes called the “Black Muslims,” they preached black nationalism and that blacks should separate themselves from white society and its trappings Attempted to create their own separate society within a society

21 Malcolm X 1925 – 1965 Joined the Nation of Islam while in prison, dropping his “white” last name of Little in favor of his family’s lost African name, replaced by X Became famous for his endorsement of winning equality “by any means necessary” (even violence) Traveled to Mecca in 1964, where he had a religious awakening and returned encouraging racial cooperation Assassinated for criticizing the Nation of Islam

22 Stokely Carmichael 1941 – 1998 Participated in the Freedom Rides and other civil rights activities, but over time became more radical and more involved with the Black Power movement As president of SNCC, he expelled all white members, not out of racism, but out of the belief that the two groups had separate interests Later became involved with the Black Panthers and began to endorse violent tactics in retaliation to police brutality Ended his days living in Africa supporting a new Pan-African movement

23 Black Panthers Founded in 1966
Believed that only an armed revolution against white society would force whites to grant true civil rights to blacks Called on African-Americans to take control of services such as schools and law enforcement within their own communities More radical elements became involved in drug trafficking as a way to fund the movement and resorted to violent confrontations with police Movement dissipated in the mid-1970s

24 Civil Rights Act of 1968 Banned discrimination in the sale, rental, or financing of housing due to race, ethnicity, or color Passed in response to many blacks being forced to live in poor-quality slums due to no other housing being open to them

25 MLK Assassinated April 4, 1968
King was shot while standing on the balcony at the hotel he was staying at in Memphis, TN The killing triggered race riots across the United States Escaped convict James Earl Ray was convicted of the murder, but controversy surrounds his conviction

26 The Counter-culture Upper and middle class white youth began to abandon the mores of their parents’ generation and create a new society, one that promoted the virtues of “sex, drugs, and rock and roll” Sometimes these “hippies” lived and worked together in classless communes, pursuing the ideals of tolerance and cooperation, or pursuing new religious experiences such as Unification (a messianic cult) or Hare Krishna (an offshoot of Hinduism)

27 The Beatles 1960 – 1970 Rock group who led the “British Invasion” of English musical acts which became popular in the US The band would reflect the youth culture of the ’60s – fairly innocent and clean-cut at the beginning of the decade and heavily immersed in the anti-Vietnam War, pro-peace drug culture at the end

28 Bob Dylan 1941 – Present Singer-songwriter who began to move rock away from the innocent sounds of the 1950s and early ’60s to a format used to promote real social change and to protest injustices

29 Students for a Democratic Society
Organization run by college students which, in its 1962 Port Huron Statement, urged ordinary Americans to stop idly standing by while the nation was run by wealthy elites and powerful corporations who oppressed the poor and other minority groups Carried out protests against the Vietnam War, racism, poverty, and a variety of other social injustices

30 Free Speech Movement In 1964, the Univ. of California moved to restrict students’ rights to distribute literature and recruit for political causes on campus Students responded by boycotting classes and staging a sit-in at the school’s administration building, prompting police to arrest over 700 protesters Eventually, the Supreme Court upheld the students’ right to free speech on campus

31 The Gulf of Tonkin In August 1964, US warships off the Vietnamese coast were attacked by North Vietnamese torpedo boats The US ships had been assisting the South in espionage against the North, but were attacked without direct provocation Aug. 7, 1964: Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, authorizing President Johnson to take “all necessary measures” to repel any threat to US forces in the region

32 Operation Rolling Thunder
Johnson decided to respond to attacks on US forces with a sustained bombing campaign against the North, beginning in March 1965 The same month, Johnson ordered US combat troops into Vietnam

33 Vietcong Tactics Hit-and-run Guerrilla warfare
Booby traps, land mines, and suicide bombings Often wore no military uniforms so that they could blend in with the local population

34 The Ho Chi Minh Trail Network of jungle paths which allowed for arms, supplies, and soldiers to move south out of North Vietnam, often through the neighboring nations of Laos or Cambodia US could not strike at the these supply lines because they passed through countries not involved in the war

35 US Tactics in Response Napalm: jellied gasoline which explodes on contact, coating everything it contacts with a burning gel Agent Orange: chemical defoliant which stripped leaves from trees, destroying the Vietcong’s cover


37 Underestimating the Enemy
North had a willingness to accept huge numbers of casualties North received extensive military support from both the Chinese and the Soviets

38 US Policy Makes the War Unwinnable
President Johnson was unwilling to order a full-scale invasion of North Vietnam due to fears that it would provoke China into entering the war directly Johnson’s refusal to act to cut off the Ho Chi Minh Trail meant that supplies would continue to flow uninterrupted

39 The “Television War” Public support for the war had been high in the mid-60s, but as the reality of the war was displayed nightly on television news programs, American’s enthusiasm quickly eroded Viewers had to decide whether to believe the government’s claims that we were winning, or trust what they saw on TV – they chose television

40 “Hawks” vs. “Doves” Hawks supported escalating the war as a noble fight against communism, buying into the “domino theory” that if Vietnam fell, so would all of Southeast Asia Doves opposed the war and called on the government to pull out of Vietnam completely


42 Teach-Ins Beginning with the University of Michigan and spreading to hundreds of college campuses nationwide, professors and students joined together in abandoning their courses in favor of holding serious debates over whether or not the war in Vietnam was ethical

43 The Draft College students (who tended to be from white, middle or upper-class families) could win draft deferments, while those who could not afford college (many from poor minorities) found themselves more at risk of being drafted and deployed to Vietnam African Americans made up about 10% of the US population, but accounted for 20% of US casualties during the war

44 Draft-dodging Many publicly burned their draft cards or refused to register Some chose to leave the US, fleeing to Canada or Europe Some refused to serve when drafted, choosing to do time in prison over fighting

45 High Profile Protests April 1965: SDS organized a march on Washington of more than 20,000 protestors April 1967: MLK spoke out in protest of the war, especially its high toll on poor minorities Oct. 1967: A second protest in Washington drew thousands more than the one two years before

46 The Tet Offensive January 1968
During the holiday season of Tet (Vietnamese New Year) the Vietcong launched a surprise attack, hitting nearly every US base and major South Vietnamese city at the same time

47 Tet Attack on US Embassy
The Vietcong even attacked the US Embassy in the capital of Saigon The Tet Offensive was a costly failure for the Vietcong, costing them huge casualties, but the American public was deeply shocked that such an attack could have occurred from an enemy the government claimed was nearly beaten

48 The Media Turns Against the War
The Wall Street Journal began to openly criticize the war as a failure CBS Evening News anchorman Walter Cronkite declared “It is more certain than ever that the bloody experience in Vietnam is to end in a stalemate” President Johnson’s approval rating plummeted to 26%

49 LBJ Declines to Run Again
Due to the unpopular war in Vietnam, the Democratic Party was badly divided, with no one (including LBJ) appearing to be the front runner for the 1968 presidential nomination The expense of the war was keeping LBJ from being able to fund his Great Society programs sufficiently enough to make them successful Johnson surprised everyone when he announced in March 1968, "I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.“

50 Robert Kennedy Assassination
The top candidate to win the Democratic nomination, JFK’s younger brother Robert, was shot and killed on June 6, 1968 by a Palestinian who was angry over Kennedy’s support of Israel “Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not.”

51 Election of 1968 After a tumultuous Democratic National Convention in Chicago, which saw widespread protests and violent clashes with police by antiwar protestors, the Democratic Party nominated LBJ’s Vice-President Hubert Humphrey The Republicans nominated Richard Nixon George Wallace ran as an independent, pro-segregation candidate Nixon won by a wide margin

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