Miller Center

Lyndon B. Johnson (1908 – 1973)

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Life in Brief: On November 22, 1963, John F. Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas. The event thrust Lyndon Johnson into the presidency. A man widely considered to be one of the most expert and brilliant politicians of his time, Johnson would leave office a … more life in brief »

Essays about Lyndon B. Johnson

Facts about Lyndon B. Johnson

36th President of the United States (1963 – 1969)
August 27, 1908, Johnson City, Texas
Political Party
January 22, 1973
Southwest Texas State Teachers College (now Texas State University-San Marcos), graduated 1930; Georgetown Law School, attended 1934
Disciples of Christ
November 17, 1934, to Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Taylor (1912–2007)
Lynda Bird (1944– ); Luci Baines (1947– )
Teacher, Public Official
Near Johnson City, Texas

The Vantage Point: Perspectives of the Presidency, 1963–1969 (1971)

Lyndon B. Johnson Exhibits

‘Gatecrashing the White House (Telephone)’

Future Supreme Court justice Abe Fortas, on a secret mission to Puerto Rico at President Johnson's behest, gives the President an update on the latest efforts to bring peace and stability to the Dominican Republic. Because the calls were coming in over an unencrypted line, Fortas and Johnson used a variety of ad hoc codes in an attempt to disguise at least to some degree the topics of their conversations. Part way through, the call is gatecrashed by some uninvited guests, and Fortas tries desperately to get their attention and get them off the line.

‘Selma, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Lyndon Johnson Tapes’

Between November 1964 and August 1965, Johnson recorded approximately 70 telephone calls that addressed the voting rights struggle, the Selma–Montgomery events, and the legislation he eventually signed into law as the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

‘“I Thought We Were Going to Have CCC Camps”’

On August 7, 1964, one day before the final House vote on the Economic Opportunity Bill, Lyndon Johnson expressed his underlying discomfort with the anti-poverty legislation as written by his aides and with the form of the War on Poverty that would result. Speaking with Special Assistant Bill Moyers, Johnson contrasted his own initial conception of the anti-poverty program as an extension of New Deal work programs such as the Civil Conservation Corps (CCC) and National Youth Administration (NYA) with its final character as an experiment in federally-sponsored social change. Johnson began the exchange by telling Moyers that "I'm going to re-write your poverty program."

‘LBJ and The Logic of Escalation’

Five days before this call, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had given a speech in Petersburg, Virginia, to a chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. According to the New York Times, King declared that "the war in Vietnam must be stopped" and called for "a negotiated settlement even with the Vietcong." . . .

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Featured video:

Speech Before Congress on Voting Rights (March 15, 1965)

Presidential Speech Archive

Citation Information

Consulting Editor

Kent Germany

Professor Germany is an assistant professor of history and African American studies at the University of South Carolina. His writings include:

New Orleans After the Promises: Poverty, Citizenship, and the Search for the Great Society (University of Georgia Press, 2007)

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