Miller Center

Lyndon B. Johnson (1908 – 1973)

[cite this]
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

‘Ground Troops and the Tonkin Gulf Resolution’

In this morning telephone conversation with the secretary of defense, Johnson expresses dismay at recent proposals, prepared by his most senior civilian officials, for U.S. action in Vietnam. Speaking with Secretary McNamara about various options open to the administration, Johnson reflects on the August 1964 Tonkin∇ Gulf Resolution and its implications for an expanded American military commitment.

‘The Best in the Army’

In this conversation snippet, Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara responds to the President's question about a possible replacement for Henry Cabot Lodge as ambassador to South Vietnam. Due to his wife's declining health, Lodge was hinting at his desire to leave his post in Saigon. He departed before the end of the month. Against evident skepticism from Johsnon, McNamara touted Gen. William C. Westmoreland as Lodge's replacement. Johnson largely accepted McNamara's ringing endorsement.

‘My Head Hurts’

In this call on election evening, Johnson gets an update from Washington on the situation in Vietnam from his national security adviser, McGeorge Bundy. In the process, Johnson tells Bundy of the physical toll the campaign had taken on him. In a subsequent call with Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Johnson described himself as "punch drunk." Having campaigned late into the evening in Houston and Austin, Johnson had returned to his ranch near Johnson City. Early on election day he had cast his vote at the local court house and had then returned to the ranch to recuperate before his scheduled departure for the Driskill Hotel in nearby Austin later that evening to await the election returns.

‘Dr. Martin Luther King, LBJ, and JFK’

For Black History Month we have released some new transcripts of conversations between Dr. Martin Luther King and President Johnson from 1965.

more exhibits »

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)

Richard Nixon »

« John F. Kennedy