The Robinson Library

The Robinson Library >> Lyndon Johnson's Administration, 1963-1969
An Overview of Lyndon Johnson's Administration

Lyndon Johnson succeeded to the presidency upon the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and was subsequently elected to a full term in 1964.

As President, Johnson first had to comfort a nation wracked by the untimely death of President Kennedy. He then turned his attention to the urgent domestic problems facing the nation. He was highly successful in getting Congress to approve many of the social programs Kennedy had proposed, as well as many of his own proposals. Among his most notable achievements in domestic policy involved significant improvements in civil rights. Johnson's skill in congressional politics was not enough to overcome the problems raised by the Vietnam War, however. With the nation deeply divided over that war, Johnson surprised everyone when, on March 31, 1968, he announced that he would not be a candidate for another term.

official White House portrait of LBJ

Election of 1964
Place of Nominating Convention Atlantic City, NJ
Ballot on which Nominated 1st
Republican Opponent Barry M. Goldwater
Electoral Vote 486 (Johnson) to 52 (Goldwater)
Popular Vote 42,995,259 (Johnson) to 27,204,571 (Goldwater)
Age at Inauguration 56
His Vice-President and Cabinet
Vice-President Hubert H. Humphrey (1965)
Secretary of State Dean Rusk
Secretary of the Treasury C. Douglas Dillon
Henry H. Fowler (1965)
Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara
Clark Clifford (1968)
Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy
Nicholas Katzenbach (1965)
Ramsey Clark (1967)
Postmaster General John A. Gronouski
Lawrence F. O'Brien (1965)
W. Marvin Watson (1968)
Secretary of the Interior Stewart L. Udall
Secretary of Agriculture Orville L. Freeman
Secretary of Commerce Luther H. Hodges
John T. Connor (1965)
Alexander B. Trowbridge (1967)
Cyrus R. Smith (1968)
Secretary of Labor W. Willard Wirtz
Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Anthony J. Celebrezze
John W. Gardner (1965)
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Robert C. Weaver (1966)
Secretary of Transportation Alan S. Boyd (1967)
Major Domestic Events of His Administration
Population in 1969: ~205,000,000
November 22, 1963 President John F. Kennedy was shot and fatally wounded while riding through Dallas, Texas.
1964 The 24th Amendment to the Constitution outlawed poll taxes in national elections.
April 1964 Union railroad workers staged a strike which soon became known as "The Railroad Crisis."
July 2, 1964 Congress passed, and Johnson signed, a voting rights law.
1965 The Elementary and Secondary Education Act offered the first major federal aid to elementary and secondary schools.
March 23, 1965 Astronauts Virgil Grissom and John Young made the first Project Gemini manned flight.
August 11-16, 1965 The Watts section of Los Angeles erupted in racially motivated riots.
September 9, 1965 The Department of Housing and Urban Development was established.
1966 Robert C. Weaver became the first black Cabinet member when he was appointed Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
July 1, 1966 Medicare went into effect.
October 15, 1966 The Department of Transportation was established.
1967 Riots broke out in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York City, and Newark.
January 27, 1967 Three astronauts died when their Apollo space capsule caught fire during a launch pad test at Cape Canaveral.
1967 Thurgood Marshall became the first black to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
1967 The 25th Amendment spelled out procedures for succession to the presidency and vice-presidency in the event of disability or death.
1968 Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, outlawing racial discrimination in the sale or rental of houses and apartments.
April 4, 1968 Civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.
June 5, 1968 Senator and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated.
Major World Events of His Administration
1964 Anti-U.S. riots broke out in the Panama Canal Zone.
1964 China exploded its first atomic bomb.
August 1964 North Vietnam torpedo boats attacked U.S. Navy destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin.
1965 U.S. troops were sent to help put down a rebellion in the Dominican Republic.
1965 Sir Winston Churchill, former Prime Minister of Great Britain, died.
1965 The United States first used combat troops in the Vietnam War.
1965 The Early Bird satellite was launched by the United States.
1965 Two United States spacecraft--Gemini 6 and 7--achieved the first space rendezvous.
1966 France withdrew its armed forces from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
1966 The United Nations General Assembly approved a treaty banning the use of nuclear and other mass-destruction weapons in outer space.
1967 The first successful human heart transplant was performed by a surgical team headed by Christiaan Barnard of South Africa.
1968 The United Nations General Assembly passed a treaty to halt the spread of nuclear weapons.

See Also

President John F. Kennedy
Clark Clifford
Robert F. Kennedy
Ramsey Clark
Stewart L. Udall
Orville L. Freeman
Project Gemini
Department of Transportation
Detroit Riot, 1967
Apollo 1 Tragedy
Sir Winston Churchill
North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Questions or comments about this page?

The Robinson Library >> Lyndon Johnson's Administration, 1963-1969

This page was last updated on December 11, 2018.