Johnson, Lyndon Baines

A Democratic party political leader of the twentieth century, who was president from 1963 to 1969. Johnson rose to power in the Senate. He was elected vice president in 1960, running with John F. Kennedy, and became president after Kennedy was assassinated. Known for his extraordinary political skill, Johnson guided many of Kennedy's New Frontier projects through Congress, including the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He also started his own set of domestic programs, known as the Great Society, which included the War on Poverty. In 1965, Johnson began a sharp increase in American military involvement in the Vietnam War, which took resources away from the Great Society and was opposed by many of his fellow Democrats. Greatly frustrated by his difficulties over the war in Vietnam, he declined to run for reelection in 1968.

Notes for Johnson, Lyndon Baines

Johnson, a Texan (see Texas), often tried to project an image of a blustery, sometimes coarse, rancher.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.