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Lyndon Baines Johnson Essay

1516 words - 7 pages

Lyndon Johnson led the country for five years (1963-1968) after President John FitzgeraldKennedy died of gunshot wounds on November 22, 1963. He formulated many policies andcarried out many others that Kennedy could not finish. He faced many foreign problems as well,including the Vietnam War and the Cold War. How he dealt with foreign problems put him nearlast if not last in foreign affairs, when compared to other presidents. Johnson always talked totourists and met reporters informally. He entertained many distinguished guests at his ranch inTexas. Also, Lyndon and his wife Claudia (Lady Bird) Johnson held formal and informal dances atthe white house. His presidency left added a lot in the ...view middle of the document...

This was approved by Congresswithout a problem. A new housing law provided five billion dollars in federal funds to help theneedy buy houses and rent apartments passed in 1968. Congress also passed a tax cut for bothindividuals and corporations. (Peter Lisagor, 148-149)Civil rights was a large part of Johnson's presidency. It did not take him long todevelop civil rights laws. A new civil rights law opened to Negroes all hotels, motels, restaurants,and other businesses that serve the public. It guaranteed equal job opportunities for all people.Also, Congress passed a voting rights law that ensured voting rights for Negroes and outlawedliteracy tests as a voting requirement. The Civil Rights Act of 1968 ended racial discrimination inthe sale or rental of houses and apartments. To add the civil rights developments by Johnson, heappointed the first Negro cabinet member and first Negro Supreme Court judge. Robert C.Weaver was selected to be the secretary of housing and urban development. (Peter Lisagor, 149-151) Thurgood Marshall was set as the first Negro Supreme Court justice(Robert S. Summers,2). The Railroad Crisis, in April of 1964, plunged Johnson into on of America'stoughest labor disputes. After years of disputing between union workers and train companies overwork rules the companies announced new rules that resulted in a union strike. Johnson arranged afifteen-day delay of the strike and put company and union leaders in a White House room andunder pressure from Johnson the dispute was settled in only twelve days.(Peter Lisagor, 149)During his first full term he used even more policies and passed even more laws.In May 1964 Johnson stated '. . . we have the opportunity to move not only toward the richsociety, but upward to the Great Society.' The term Great Society was used to describe many ofhis domestic programs. Congress passed his Appalachia bill which improved the living standardsin the Appalachian Mountain region. It also passed his proposals for increased federal aid toeducation, a cut in excise taxes, stronger automobile safety measures, and the establishment of theDepartment of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Transportation. LyndonJohnson also succeeded in passing his Medicare plan.(Peter Lisagor, 150)Johnson inherited many of the foreign affairs problems concerning the UnitedStates. A Cold War with Russia and other Communist countries kept the world in continualdanger of a nuclear war. This problem has been around for some of Kennedy's term. The first realcrisis in foreign affairs for Johnson was in early 1964 when anti-U.S. riots broke out in the CanalZone. The tension eased after Johnson agreed with Panama's president to discuss outstandingproblems.(Peter Lisagor, 149)Johnson stated soon after becoming president, 'This nation will keep itscommitments from South Vietnam to West Berlin. We...

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