Lyndon Baines Johnson (August 27, 1908 – January 22, 1973), often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States (1963–1969), a position he assumed after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States (1961–1963). He is one of only four people who served in all four elected federal offices of the United States: Representative, Senator, Vice President, and President. Johnson, a Democrat from Texas, served as a United States Representative from 1937–1949 and as a Senator from 1949–1961, including six years as United States Senate Majority Leader, two as Senate Minority Leader and two as Senate Majority Whip. After campaigning unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in 1960, Johnson was asked by John F. Kennedy to be his running mate for the 1960 presidential election.
Johnson succeeded to the presidency following the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, completed Kennedy's term and was elected President in his own right, winning by a large margin in the 1964 election. Johnson was greatly supported by the Democratic Party and as President, he was responsible for designing the "Great Society" legislation that included laws that upheld civil rights, public broadcasting, Medicare,Medicaid, environmental protection, aid to education, and his "War on Poverty." Johnson was renowned for his domineering personality and the "Johnson treatment," his coercion of powerful politicians in order to advance legislation.
Meanwhile, Johnson escalated American involvement in the Vietnam War, from 16,000 American advisors/soldiers in 1963 to 550,000 combat troops in early 1968, as American casualties soared and the peace process bogged down. The involvement stimulated a large angry antiwar movement based especially on university campuses in the U.S. and abroad. Summer riots broke out in most major cities after 1965, and crime rates soared, as his opponents raised demands for "law and order" policies. The Democratic Party split in multiple feuding factions, and after Johnson did poorly in the 1968 New Hampshire primary, he ended his bid for reelection. Republican Richard Nixon was elected to succeed him. Historians argue that Johnson's presidency marked the peak of modern liberalism in the United States after the New Deal era. Johnson is ranked favorably by some historians because of his domestic policies.
Early yearsLyndon Johnson in 1915
Lyndon Baines Johnson was born in Stonewall, Texas, in a small farmhouse on the Pedernales River, the oldest of five children. His parents, Samuel Ealy Johnson, Jr., and Rebekah Baines, had three girls and two boys: Johnson and his brother, Sam Houston Johnson (1914–78), and sisters Rebekah (1910–78), Josefa (1912–61), and Lucia (1916–97). The nearby small town of Johnson City, Texas, was named after LBJ's father's cousin, James Polk Johnson, whose forebears had moved west from Oglethorpe County, Georgia. Johnson had English, Ulster Scot, and German ancestry. In school, Johnson was an awkward, talkative youth and was elected president of his 11th-grade class. He graduated from Johnson City High School (1924), having participated in public speaking, debate, and baseball.
Johnson was maternally descended from a pioneer Baptist clergyman, George Washington Baines, who pastored eight churches in Texas, as well as others in Arkansas and Louisiana. Baines was also the president of Baylor University during the American Civil War. George Baines was the grandfather of Johnson's mother, Rebekah Baines Johnson (1881–1958).
Johnson's grandfather, Samuel Ealy Johnson, Sr., was raised as a Baptist. Subsequently, in his early adulthood, he became a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). In his later years the grandfather became a Christadelphian; Johnson's father also joined the Christadelphian Church toward the end of his life. Later, as a politician, Johnson was influenced in his positive attitude toward Jews by the religious beliefs that his family, especially his grandfather, had shared with him (see Operation Texas).
In 1926, Johnson enrolled in Southwest Texas State Teachers' College (now Texas State University-San Marcos). He worked his way through school, participated in debate and campus politics, and edited the school newspaper called The College Star, now known as The University Star. He dropped out of school in 1927, and returned one year later, graduating in 1930. The college years refined his skills of persuasion and political organization. In 1927, Johnson taught mostly Mexican children at the Welhausen School in Cotulla, some ninety miles south of San Antonio in La Salle County. In 1930, he taught in Pearsall High School in Pearsall, Texas, and afterwards took a position as teacher of public speaking at Sam Houston High School in Houston. When he returned to San Marcos in 1965, after having signed the Higher Education Act of 1965, Johnson looked back:"I shall never forget the faces of the boys and the girls in that little Welhausen Mexican School, and I remember even yet the pain of realizing and knowing then that college was closed to practically every one of those children because they were too poor. And I think it was then that I made up my mind that this nation could never rest while the door to knowledge remained closed to any American."
Early political career
Johnson briefly taught public speaking and debate in a Houston high school, then entered politics. Johnson's father had served six terms in the Texas legislature and was a close friend of one of Texas's rising political figures, Congressman Sam Rayburn. In 1930, Johnson campaigned for Texas State Senator Welly Hopkins in his run for Congress. Hopkins recommended him to Congressman Richard M. Kleberg, who appointed Johnson as Kleberg's legislative secretary. Johnson was elected speaker of the "Little Congress," a group of Congressional aides, where he cultivated Congressmen, newspapermen and lobbyists. Johnson's friends soon included aides to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, as well as fellow Texans such as Vice President John Nance Garner. He became a surrogate son to Sam Rayburn.President Roosevelt, Governor James Allred of Texas, and Johnson. In later campaigns, Johnson edited Governor Allred out of the picture to assist his campaign.
Johnson married Claudia Alta Taylor (nicknamed "Lady Bird") of Karnack, Texas on November 17, 1934, after he attended Georgetown University Law Center for several months. They had two daughters, Lynda Bird, born in 1944, and Luci Baines, born in 1947. Johnson had a practice of giving people and animals names with his own initials, as he did with his daughters and with his dog, Little Beagle Johnson.
In 1935, he was appointed head of the Texas National Youth Administration, which enabled him to use the government to create education and job opportunities for young people. He resigned two years later to run for Congress. Johnson, a notoriously tough boss throughout his career, often demanded long workdays and work on weekends.
He was described by friends, fellow politicians, and historians as motivated throughout his life by an exceptional lust for power and control. As Johnson's biographer Robert Caro observes, "Johnson's ambition was uncommon—in the degree to which it was unencumbered by even the slightest excess weight of ideology, of philosophy, of principles, of beliefs."
Johnson's success in the Senate made him a possible Democratic presidential candidate. He had been the "favorite son" candidate of the Texas delegation at the Party's national convention in 1956, and appeared to be in a strong position to run for the 1960 Presidential nomination. However, Johnson's late entry into that campaign, coupled with a reluctance to leave Washington, allowed the rival Kennedy campaign to secure a substantial lead among Democratic state party officials. Caro argues that Johnson's apparent ambivalence towards entering the race was caused by an overwhelming fear of failure.
In 1960, after the failure of the "Stop Kennedy" coalition he had formed with Adlai Stevenson, Stuart Symington, and Hubert Humphrey, Johnson received 409 votes on the only ballot at the Democratic convention, which nominated John F. Kennedy. Tip O'Neill, then a representative from Kennedy's home state of Massachusetts, recalled that Johnson approached him at the convention and said, "Tip, I know you have to support Kennedy at the start, but I'd like to have you with me on the second ballot." O'Neill replied, "Senator, there's not going to be any second ballot."
Kennedy realized that he could not be elected without support of traditional Southern Democrats, most of whom had backed Johnson. Kennedy offered Johnson the vice-presidential nomination at theLos Angeles Biltmore Hotel at 10:15 am on July 14, 1960, the morning after being nominated for president. Robert F. Kennedy, who hated Johnson for his attacks on the Kennedy family, said later that his brother offered the position to Johnson as a courtesy and did not expect him to accept. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. and Seymour Hersh quote Robert Kennedy's version of events, writing that John Kennedy would have preferred Stuart Symington as his running-mate but Johnson teamed with House Speaker Sam Rayburn to pressure Kennedy to favor Johnson.
Biographers Robert Caro and W. Marvin Watson offer a different perspective; they write that the Kennedy campaign was desperate to win what was forecast to be a very close 1960 election againstRichard Nixon and Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.. Johnson was needed on the ticket to help carry Texas and the Southern states. Caro's research showed that on July 14, John Kennedy started the process while Johnson was still asleep. At 6:30 am John Kennedy asked Robert Kennedy to prepare an estimate of upcoming electoral votes "including Texas". Robert called Pierre Salinger andKenneth O'Donnell to assist him. Realizing the ramifications of counting Texas votes as their own, Salinger asked him whether he was considering a Kennedy-Johnson ticket, and Robert replied "yes".
At 8 am John Kennedy called Johnson to arrange a meeting. Some time between 9 and 10 am, he called Pennsylvania governor David L. Lawrence, a Johnson backer, to request that Lawrence nominate Johnson for vice president if Johnson were to accept the role. At 10:15 am he went to Johnson's suite to discuss a mutual ticket; the two men were alone for about 30 minutes during which time Johnson said Kennedy would have trouble with Kennedy supporters who were strongly against Johnson. John Kennedy then returned to his suite to announce the Kennedy-Johnson ticket to his closest supporters and Northern political bosses. O'Donnell remembers being angry at what he considered a betrayal by Kennedy who had previously cast Johnson as anti-labor and anti-liberal. Afterward, Robert Kennedy visited with labor leaders who were extremely unhappy with the choice of Johnson and after seeing the depth of labor opposition to Johnson, he ran messages between the hotel suites of his brother and Johnson—apparently trying to undermine the proposed ticket without John Kennedy's authorization.
Robert Kennedy tried to get Johnson to agree to be the Democratic Party chairman rather than vice president. Johnson refused to accept a change in plans unless it came directly from John Kennedy. Despite his brother's interference, John Kennedy was firm that Johnson was who he wanted as running mate; he met with staffers such as Larry O'Brien, his national campaign manager, to say Johnson was to be vice president. O'Brien recalled later that John Kennedy's words were wholly unexpected, but that after a brief consideration of the electoral vote situation, he thought "it was a stroke of genius". When John and Robert Kennedy next saw their father, Joe Kennedy, he told them signing Johnson as running mate was the smartest thing they had ever done.
At the same time as his Vice Presidential run, Johnson also sought a third term in the U.S. Senate. According to Robert Caro, "On November 8, 1960, Lyndon Johnson won election for both the vice presidency of the United States, on the Kennedy-Johnson ticket, and for a third term as Senator (he had Texas law changed to allow him to run for both offices). When he won the vice presidency, he made arrangements to resign from the Senate, as he was required to do under federal law, as soon as it convened on January 3, 1961." (In 1988, Lloyd Bentsen, the Vice Presidential running mate of Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, and also a Senator from Texas, took advantage of "Lyndon's law," and was able to retain his seat in the Senate despite Dukakis' loss toGeorge H. W. Bush.)
Johnson was re-elected Senator with 1,306,605 votes (58 percent) to Republican John Tower's 927,653 (41.1 percent). Fellow Democrat William A. Blakley was appointed to replace Johnson as Senator, but Blakley lost a special election in May 1961 to Tower.
Office President Kennedy and Vice President Johnson prior to a ceremony.
After the election, Johnson found himself powerless. He initially attempted to transfer 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 he had counted as his supporters. This episode led to a memorable quote from Johnson: I now know the difference between a caucus and a cactus: in a cactus, all the pricks are on the outside.
Johnson then also tried to gain advantage in the Executive Branch. Shortly after the inauguration, he sent a proposed executive order to the White House 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." Kennedy's response was to sign a non-binding letter requesting Johnson to "review" national security policies instead. Kennedy similarly turned down early requests from Johnson to be given an office adjacent to the Oval Office, and to employ a full-time Vice Presidential staff within the White House. His lack of influence was thrown into relief later in 1961 when Kennedy appointed Johnson's friend Sarah T. Hughes to a federal judgeship; whereas Johnson had tried and failed to garner the nomination for Hughes at the beginning of his vice presidency, House Speaker Sam Rayburn wrangled the appointment from Kennedy in exchange for support of an administration bill.
Moreover, many members of the Kennedy White House, including the president's brother and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, were actively contemptuous of Johnson and ridiculed his brusque, crude manner. Congressman Tip O'Neill recalled that the Kennedy men "had a disdain for Johnson that they didn't even try to hide....They actually took pride in snubbing him."
Kennedy, however, made efforts to keep Johnson busy, informed, and at the White House often, telling aides "I can't afford to have my vice president, who knows every reporter in Washington, going around saying we're all screwed up, so we're going to keep him happy." Kennedy appointed him to jobs such as head of the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunities, through which he worked with African Americans and other minorities. Though Kennedy may have intended this to remain a more nominal position, Taylor Branch in Pillar of Fire contends that Johnson served to push the Kennedy administration's actions for civil rights further and faster than Kennedy originally intended to go. Branch notes the irony of Johnson, who the Kennedy family hoped would appeal to conservative southern voters, being the advocate for civil rights. In particular he notes Johnson's Memorial Day 1963 speech at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania as being a catalyst that led to more action.
Johnson took on numerous minor diplomatic missions, which gave him limited insights into global issues. He was allowed to observe Cabinet and National Security Council meetings. Kennedy gave Johnson control over all presidential appointments involving Texas, and appointed him chairman of the President's Ad Hoc Committee for Science.
Kennedy also appointed Johnson to fill his role as Chairman of the National Aeronautics Space Council. When, in April 1961, the Soviets beat the US with the first manned spaceflight, Kennedy tasked Johnson with evaluating the state of the US space program, and recommending a project that would allow the US to catch up or beat the Soviets. Johnson responded with a recommendation that the US gain the leadership role by committing the resources to embark on a project to land an American on the Moon in the 1960s.
Johnson was touched by a Senate scandal in August 1963 when Bobby Baker, the Senate Majority Secretary and a protégé of Johnson's, came under investigation by the Senate Rules Committeefor allegations of bribery and financial malfeasance. One witness alleged that Baker had arranged for the witness to give kickbacks for the Vice President. Baker resigned in October, and the investigation stopped from expanding to Johnson. The negative publicity from the affair fed rumors in Washington circles that Kennedy was planning on dropping Johnson from the Democratic ticket in the upcoming 1964 presidential election. However, when a reporter asked on October 31, 1963 if he intended and expected to have Johnson on the ticket the following year, Kennedy replied, "Yes to both those questions."
Assassination of President John F. Kennedy Johnson being sworn in aboard Air Force One by Federal Judge Sarah T. Hughes. On the right is Mrs. Kennedy; to the left is Mrs. Johnson; sitting down near the airplane window is Jack Valenti, White House aide. Assistant Press Secretary Malcolm Kilduff, at bottom left, records the event with adictaphone.
Johnson was sworn in as President on Air Force One at Love Field Airport in Dallas on November 22, 1963, two hours and eight minutes after President Kennedy was assassinated in Dealey Plaza in Dallas. He was sworn in by Federal Judge Sarah T. Hughes, a family friend, making him the first President sworn in by a woman. He is also the only President to have been sworn in on Texas soil. Johnson did not swear on a Bible, as there were none on Air Force One; a Roman Catholic missal was found in Kennedy's desk and was used for the swearing-in ceremony. Johnson being sworn in as president has become the most famous photo ever taken aboard a presidential aircraft.
In the days following the assassination, Lyndon B. Johnson made an address to Congress: "No memorial oration or eulogy could more eloquently honor President Kennedy's memory than the earliest possible passage of the Civil Rights Bill for which he fought so long." The wave of national grief following the assassination gave enormous momentum to Johnson's promise to carry out Kennedy's programs.
One week after the assassination, on November 29, Johnson issued an executive order to rename NASA's Apollo Launch Operations Center and the NASA/Air Force Cape Canaveral launch facilities as the John F. Kennedy Space Center. Canaveral became popularly known as "Cape Kennedy" for a decade.
On the same day, Johnson created a panel headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren, known as the Warren Commission, to investigate Kennedy's assassination. The commission conducted hearings and concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the assassination. Not everyone agreed with the Warren Commission, and numerous public and private investigations continued for decades after Johnson left office.
Johnson retained senior Kennedy appointees, some for the full term of his presidency. The late President's brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, with whom Johnson had a notoriously difficult relationship, remained in office for a few months until leaving in 1964, to run for the Senate. Robert F. Kennedy has been quoted as saying that LBJ was "mean, bitter, vicious—[an] animal in many ways...I think his reactions on a lot of things are correct... but I think he's got this other side of him and his relationship with human beings which makes it difficult unless you want to 'kiss his behind' all the time. That is what Bob McNamara suggested to me...if I wanted to get along."
1964 presidential election
On September 7, 1964, Johnson's campaign managers for the 1964 presidential election broadcast the "Daisy ad". It portrayed a little girl picking petals from a daisy, counting up to ten. Then a baritone voice took over, counted down from ten to zero and the visual showed the explosion of a nuclear bomb. The message conveyed was that electing Barry Goldwater president held the danger of nuclear war. Although it only aired one time, it became an issue during the campaign. Johnson won the presidency by a landslide, with 61.05 percent of the vote (the highest ever share of the popular vote) and the then-widest popular margin in the 20th century — more than 15.95 million votes (this was later surpassed by incumbent President Nixon's defeat of Senator McGovern in1972).President Johnson, Issue of 1973
In mid-1964, the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) was organized with the purpose of challenging Mississippi's all-white and anti-civil rights delegation to the Democratic National Convention of that year as not representative of all Mississippians. At the national convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey the MFDP claimed the seats for delegates for Mississippi, not on the grounds of the Party rules, but because the official Mississippi delegation had been elected by a primary conducted under Jim Crow laws in which blacks were excluded because of poll taxes, literacy tests, and even violence against black voters. The national Party's liberal leaders supported a compromise in which the white delegation and the MFDP would have an even division of the seats; Johnson was concerned that, while the regular Democrats of Mississippi would probably vote for Goldwater anyway, if the Democratic Party rejected the regular Democrats, he would lose the Democratic Party political structure that he needed to win in the South. Eventually, Hubert Humphrey, Walter Reuther and black civil rights leaders (including Roy Wilkins, Martin Luther King, and Bayard Rustin) worked out a compromise with MFDP leaders: the MFDP would receive two non-voting seats on the floor of the Convention; the regular Mississippi delegation would be required to pledge to support the party ticket; and no future Democratic convention would accept a delegation chosen by a discriminatory poll. When the leaders took the proposal back to the 64 members who had made the bus trip to Atlantic City, they voted it down. As MFDP Vice Chair Fannie Lou Hamer said, "We didn't come all the way up here to compromise for no more than we'd gotten here. We didn't come all this way for no two seats, 'cause all of us is tired." The failure of the compromise effort allowed the rest of the Democratic Party to conclude that the MFDP was simply being unreasonable, and they lost a great deal of their liberal support. After that, the convention went smoothly for Johnson without a searing battle over civil rights. Despite the landslide victory, Johnson, who carried the South as a whole in the election, lost the Deep South states of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and South Carolina, the first time a Democratic candidate had done so since Reconstruction.
Johnson began his elected presidential term, ready to fulfill his earlier commitment to "carry forward the plans and programs of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Not because of our sorrow or sympathy, but because they are right."
Civil rights President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Among the guests behind him is Martin Luther King, Jr. Remarks upon Signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Public statement by Johnson of July 2, 1964 about the Civil Rights Act of 1964. "Remarks upon Signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964" MENU 0:00 audio only Problems listening to these files? See media help.
In conjunction with the Civil Rights Movement, Johnson overcame southern resistance and convinced the Democratic-Controlled Congress to pass theCivil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed most forms of racial segregation. John F. Kennedy originally proposed the civil rights bill in June 1963. In late October 1963, Kennedy officially called the House leaders to the White House to line up the necessary votes for passage. After Kennedy's death, Johnson took the initiative in finishing what Kennedy started and broke a filibuster by Southern Democrats in March 1964; as a result, this pushed the bill for passage in the Senate. Johnson signed the revised and stronger bill into law on July 2, 1964. Legend has it that, as he put down his pen, Johnson told an aide, "We have lost the South for a generation", anticipating a coming backlash from Southern whites against Johnson's Democratic Party. Moreover, Richard Nixon politically counterattacked with the Southern Strategy where it would "secure" votes for the Republican Party by grabbing the advocates of segregation as well as most of the Southern Democrats.
In 1965, he achieved passage of a second civil rights bill, the Voting Rights Act, which outlawed discrimination in voting, thus allowing millions of southern blacks to vote for the first time. In accordance with the act, several states, "seven of the eleven southern states of the former confederacy" – Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Virginia — were subjected to the procedure of preclearance in 1965, while Texas, home to the majority of the African American population at the time, followed in 1975.
After the murder of civil rights worker Viola Liuzzo, Johnson went on television to announce the arrest of four Ku Klux Klansmen implicated in her death. He angrily denounced the Klan as a "hooded society of bigots," and warned them to "return to a decent society before it's too late." Johnson was the first President to arrest and prosecute members of the Klan since Ulysses S. Grant about 93 years earlier. He turned the themes of Christian redemption to push for civil rights, thereby mobilizing support from churches North and South.
At the Howard University commencement address on June 4, 1965, he said that both the government and the nation needed to help achieve goals:“ To shatter forever not only the barriers of law and public practice, but the walls which bound the condition of many by the color of his skin. To dissolve, as best we can, the antique enmities of the heart which diminish the holder, divide the great democracy, and do wrong — great wrong — to the children of God... ”
In 1967, Johnson nominated civil rights attorney Thurgood Marshall to be the first African American Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
Immigration President Lyndon B. Johnson signs theImmigration Act of 1965 at Liberty Island as Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Senator Edward Kennedy, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and others look on.
Johnson signed the Immigration Act of 1965, which substantially changed U.S. immigration policy toward non-Europeans. According toOECD, "While European-born immigrants accounted for nearly 60% of the total foreign-born population in 1970, they accounted for only 15% in 2000." Immigration doubled between 1965 and 1970, and doubled again between 1970 and 1990. Since the liberalization of immigration policy in 1965, the number of first-generation immigrants living in the United States has quadrupled, from 9.6 million in 1970, to about 38 million in 2007.
The Great Society program, with its name coined from one of Johnson's speeches, became Johnson's agenda for Congress in January 1965: aid to education, attack on disease, Medicare, Medicaid, urban renewal, beautification, conservation, development of depressed regions, a wide-scale fight against poverty, control and prevention of crime, and removal of obstacles to the right to vote. Congress, at times augmenting or amending, enacted most of Johnson's recommendations.
After the Great Society legislation of the 1960s, for the first time a person who was not elderly or disabled could receive need-based aid from the U.S. government.
Federal funding for education Robert Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson
Johnson 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 minorities who endured poor facilities and tight-fisted budgets from local taxes. He made education a top priority of the Great Society, with an emphasis on helping poor children. After the 1964 landslide brought in many new liberal Congressmen, he had the votes for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965.
For the first time, large amounts of federal money went to public schools. In practice ESEA meant helping all public school districts, with more money going to districts that had large proportions of students from poor families (which included all the big cities). For the first time private schools (most of them Catholic schools in the inner cities) received services, such as library funding, comprising about 12 percent of the ESEA budget. As Dallek reports, researchers soon found that poverty had more to do with family background and neighborhood conditions than the quantity of education a child received. Early studies suggested initial improvements for poor children helped by ESEA reading and math programs, but later assessments indicated that benefits faded quickly and left pupils little better off than those not in the schemes. Johnson's second major education program was the Higher Education Act of 1965, which focused on funding for lower income students, including grants, work-study money, and government loans.
He set up the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, to support humanists and artists (as the WPA once did). Although ESEA solidified Johnson's support among K-12 teachers' unions, neither the Higher Education Act nor the new endowments mollified the college professors and students growing increasingly uneasy with the war in Vietnam. In 1967, Johnson signed the Public Broadcasting Act to create educational television programs to supplement the broadcast networks.
Scandals and controversies
During 1973 testimony before Congress, the CEO of America's largest cooperative of milk producers said that while Johnson was President, his cooperative had leased Johnson's private jet at a "plush" price, which Johnson wanted to continue once he was out of office.
Johnson continued the FBI's wiretapping of Martin Luther King, Jr. that had been previously authorized by the Kennedy administration under Attorney General Robert Kennedy. As a result of listening to the FBI's tapes, remarks on King's personal lifestyle were made by several prominent officials, including Johnson, who once said that King was a "hypocritical preacher." Johnson also authorized the tapping of phone conversations of others, including the Vietnamese friends of a Nixon associate.
In Latin America, Johnson directly and indirectly supported the overthrow of left-wing, democratically elected president Juan Bosch of the Dominican Republic and João Goulart of Brazil, maintaining US support for anti-communist, authoritarian Latin American regimes. American foreign policy towards Latin America remained largely static until election of Jimmy Carter to the presidency in 1977.
Personality and public image
Johnson also took on the image of the Texas cattle rancher, after buying a ranch in Texas and having himself photographed in cowboy attire.Johnson was often seen as a wildly ambitious, tireless, and imposing figure who was ruthlessly effective at getting legislation passed. He worked 18–20-hour days without break and was apparently absent of any leisure activities. "There was no more powerful majority leader in American history," biographer Robert Dallek writes. Dallek stated that Johnson had biographies on all the Senators, knew what their ambitions, hopes, and tastes were and used it to his advantage in securing votes. Another Johnson biography writes, "He could get up every day and learn what their fears, their desires, their wishes, their wants were and he could then manipulate, dominate, persuade and cajole them." At six-foot four inches tall, Johnson had his own particular brand of persuasion, known as "The Johnson Treatment". A contemporary writes, "It was an incredible blend of badgering, cajolery, reminders of past favours, promises of future favours, predictions of gloom if something doesn't happen. When that man started to work on you, all of a sudden, you just felt that you were standing under a waterfall and the stuff was pouring on you."
Johnson gave Nixon "high grades" in foreign policy, but worried that his successor was being pressured into removing U.S. forces too quickly, before the South Vietnamese were really able to defend themselves. "If the South falls to the Communists, we can have a serious backlash here at home," he warned.After leaving the presidency in January 1969, Johnson went home to his ranch in Stonewall, Texas. In 1971, he published his memoirs, The Vantage Point. That year, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum opened near the campus of The University of Texas at Austin. He 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".
During the 1972 presidential election, Johnson endorsed Democratic presidential nominee George S. McGovern, a Senator from South Dakota, although McGovern had long opposed Johnson's foreign and defense policies. The McGovern nomination and presidential platform dismayed him. Nixon could be defeated "if only the Democrats don't go too far left," he had insisted. 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. Johnson's protégé John Connally had served as President Nixon's Secretary of the Treasury and then stepped down to head "Democrats for Nixon", a group funded by Republicans. It was the first time that Connally and Johnson were on opposite sides of a general election campaign.
In March 1970, Johnson was hospitalized at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, after suffering an attack of angina. He was urged to lose considerable weight. He had grown dangerously heavier since leaving the White House, gaining more than 25 lbs and weighing around 235 lbs. The following summer, again gripped by chest pains, he embarked on a crash water diet, shedding about 15 lbs in less than a month. In April 1972, Johnson experienced a massive heart attack while visiting his daughter, Lynda, in Charlottesville, Virginia. "I'm hurting real bad," he confided to friends. The chest pains hit him nearly every afternoon – a series of sharp, jolting pains that left him scared and breathless. A portable oxygen tank stood next to his bed, and he periodically interrupted what he was doing to lie down and don the mask to gulp air. He continued to smoke heavily, and, although placed on a low-calorie, low-cholesterol diet, kept to it only in fits and starts. Meanwhile, he began experiencing severe stomach pains. Doctors diagnosed this problem as diverticulosis, pouches forming on the intestine. Also symptomatic of the aging process, the condition rapidly worsened and surgery was recommended. Johnson flew to Houston to consult with heart specialist Dr. Michael De Bakey, who decided that Johnson's heart condition presented too great a risk for any sort of surgery, including coronary bypass of two almost totally destroyed heart arteries.
Death and funeral“ On Inauguration Day (January 20, 1969), Johnson saw Nixon sworn in, then got on the plane to fly back to Texas. When the front door of the plane closed, Johnson pulled out a cigarette—his first cigarette he had smoked since his heart attack in 1955. One of his daughters pulled it out of his mouth and said, "Daddy, what are you doing? You're going to kill yourself." He took it back and said, "I've now raised you girls. I've now been President. Now it's my time!" From that point on, he went into a very self-destructive spiral. ”
—Historian Michael Beschloss
Johnson died at his ranch at 3:39 p.m CST (4:39 pm EST) on January 22, 1973 at age 64 after suffering a massive heart attack. His death came the day before a ceasefire was signed in Vietnam and just a month after former president Harry S. Truman died. (Truman's funeral on December 28, 1972 had been one of Johnson's last public appearances). His health had been affected by years of heavy smoking, poor diet, and extreme stress; the former president had advanced coronary artery disease. He had his first, nearly fatal, heart attack in July 1955 and suffered a second one in April 1972, but had been unable to quit smoking after he left the Oval Office in 1969. He was found dead by Secret Service agents, in his bed, with a telephone receiver in his hand. The agents were responding to a desperate call Johnson had made to the Secret Service compound on his ranch minutes earlier complaining of "massive chest pains".
Shortly after Johnson's death, his press secretary Tom Johnson (no relation to Johnson) , telephoned Walter Cronkite at CBS; Cronkite was live on the air with the CBS Evening News at the time, and a report on Vietnam was cut abruptly while Cronkite was still on the line, so he could break the news.A memorial wreath at President Johnson's grave in Texas
Johnson was honored with a state funeral in which Texas Congressman J. J. Pickle and former Secretary of State Dean Rusk eulogized him at the Capitol. The final services took place on January 25. The funeral was held at the National City Christian Church in Washington, D.C., where he had often worshiped as president. The service was presided over by President Richard Nixon and attended by foreign dignitaries, led by former Japanese prime minister Eisaku Satō, who served as Japanese prime minister during Johnson's presidency. Eulogies were given by the Rev. Dr. George Davis, the church's pastor, and W. Marvin Watson, former postmaster general. Nixon did not speak, though he attended, as is customary for presidents during state funerals, but the eulogists turned to him and lauded him for his tributes, as Rusk did the day before, as Nixon mentioned Johnson's death in a speech he gave the day after Johnson died, announcing the peace agreement to end the Vietnam War.
Johnson was buried in his family cemetery (which can be viewed today by visitors to the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park in Stonewall, Texas), a few yards from the house in which he was born. Eulogies were given by John Connally and the Rev. Billy Graham, the minister who officiated the burial rites. The state funeral, the last for a president until Ronald Reagan's in 2004, was part of an unexpectedly busy week in Washington, as the Military District of Washington (MDW) dealt with their second major task in less than a week, beginning with Nixon's second inauguration. The inauguration had an impact on the state funeral in various ways, because Johnson died only two days after the inauguration. The MDW and the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee canceled the remainder of the ceremonies surrounding the inauguration to allow for a full state funeral, and many of the military men who participated in the inauguration took part in the funeral. It also meant Johnson's casket traveled the entire length of Capitol, entering through the Senate wing when taken into the rotunda to lie in state and exited through the House wing steps due to construction on the East Front steps .
|Iм'я зв'язок||Тип відносин||Опис|
|1||Lady Bird Johnson||Дружина|
|3||Billie Sol Estes||Друг|
|14||Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh||Знакомый|
|15||Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon||Знакомый|
|17||Valéry Giscard d'Estaing||Знакомый|
|21||Alfredo Stroessner Matiauda||Единомышленник|