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

‘“They Just Can’t Get the Americans to Do It”’

President Johnson reports to Senator Spessard Holland (D-Dl) about an administration decision to approve a request from the Florida sugar industry to recruit foreign workers for the upcoming harvest season. Holland had supported the sugar growers' request. Johnson also indicated that the administration had not yet received an application for foreign workers from the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, and that the citrus industry had not yet demonstrated a clear need for such workers. Holland protested that the industry "just can't get the Americans to do it." The conversation demonstrates the process by which extra agricultural workers were admitted to the United States during the early and mid-1960s.

‘Troop Levels’

Sending troops into harm's way is arguably the most difficult decision a president confronts. The White House tapes of presidents Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon capture remarkably intimate and candid behind-the-scenes views of presidents agonizing over this decision in another war fought in distant lands for complex geo-political reasons.

‘LBJ Sells the War on Poverty’

Throughout the period leading up to the passage of the Economic Opportunity Act, Lyndon Johnson frequently spoke of the War on Poverty in terms of improving the work habits of the poor and providing them with job and training opportunities. Conservatives were frequent targets of these appeals. This excerpt of a Johnson conversation with Texas Congressman George Mahon offers an example of such an effort to present the War on Poverty in terms of traditional goals and values.

‘“This is Treason”’

Aware that the presidential campaign of Richard Nixon is encouraging the South Vietnamese government to stay away from peace talks with the Americans and the North Vietnamese, President Johnson alerts Sen. Everett Dirksen (R-IL) to the campaign's interference, and asks that Dirksen urge the Nixon team to cease and desist.

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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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