Essay on Lyndon B. Johnson

Published: 2021/12/16
Number of words: 2389

From 1963 to 1969, Lyndon B. Johnson, who is also commonly identified by LBJ was the President of the U.S for two terms. Lyndon was the 37th vice president for three years before he was appointed as the President between 1961 and 1963 after which he became the 36th president of USA. LBJ got born on 27th August 1908, in the Texas community of Johnson City. He the late Sam Early Johnson Jr’s son together with his wife Rebekah Baines Johnson. Lyndon lived a humble life with his brothers and sisters in a family of seven (parents inclusive.) The father was a businessman, a farmer, and a state legislator who worked together with his wife to ensure their children went to school and had the basics.

At school, Johnson engaged in numerous day to day conversations and who was chosen to be the President as he was in 11th grade. In 1924, Johnson left City High School after his graduation, where he was a participant of baseball, public lectures, and debates. At 15, he had the least years than the rest of his class members. Johnson’s parents advised him to go to college, after which he was admitted in “sub-college” at Southwest Texas State Teachers College (SWTSTC) during summer of the year 1924. Fellow learners from high schools did not recognize can take 12th grade required for admission from this collage (Steudeman, et al. 2014, 489). To university. After being in the school for two weeks, he left and opted to spend at Southern California. He toiled in his cousin’s law firm. He also did different odd jobs after which he went back to Texas, where he continued with his regular job.

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Lyndon B. Johnson graduated in 1930 from Southwest State Teachers College, which today is Texas State University situated at San Marcos, Texas. The young Johnson did not fully get support from his dad hence helped pay his school fees by teaching for the disadvantaged Mexican -American students in south Texas. Johnson always remained positive about himself despite that the poverty and discrimination he experienced, making him have all-time wish to work hard and discover solutions to his shortcomings. Johnson change his location to Washington in early 1931, where he was elected to sever as the new U.S. Representative Richard Kleberg of Texas as congressional secretary. People began to discover that Johnson was energetic and capable of doing great things through his hard work. Thus, LBJ started to encounter influential people who helped him gain much knowledge related to the national political course.

Lyndon married a fellow Texan “Lady Bird” Claudia Alta on 17th November 1934, with they bore two daughters after sometime, which were, Lynda and Luci. A year after his marriage, he returned home where he was a nominated as the director of the National Youth Administration. The program was designed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt Lyndon’s political hero, to help young people get jobs. After two years, Johnson began his political career in 193, when he became the U.S. House of Representatives and a Democrat. In these periods, LBJ earned respect as a hard-working Legislator, making him act as a five-time re-elected Democrat. He then later tried for the senate position. Unfortunately, he failed to succeed; however, he was the first member to willingly volunteer to take part in an active duty in the military of the U.S., thus becoming part of the Second World War.

During World, War Johnson had several achievements, which included the Silver Star in the South Pacific, which they attained from serving as a lieutenant commander in the Navy. Johnson got a position in the U.S. Senate in 1948 subsequent to bruising Democratic primary and showed a deft political touch (Ball et al., 1994, 109). In 1953, Johnson was declared the youngest man that had ever served as the minority leader in senate history. He was then selected as a Senate majority leader after serving six terms in the House for two years. Consequently, LBJ became a very powerful figure in Washington because of uniting his party behind important legislation and his capacity to deliver fruitful services with Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower. In 1960, John F. Kennedy had been nominated in the Democratic presidential, so he asked Johnson to the vice-presidential running mate. In this period, Johnson had a great impact on the President, where he helped Mr. President to earn a success against Republican candidate Richard M. Nixon.

In 1960, Johnson was among the presidential of the Democratic Party. During the convention, he severally conflicted with the Democrat leader Kennedy who was a senator then. They cooperated, that lead to their winning of the presidential position from 1960. Vice President Johnson was expected to occupy the office from 22nd November 1963, because President Kennedy got murdered. Johnson was elected President in election done in the following year when he incapacitated Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona. 61.1% people voted for Johnson during the 1964 presidential election; which made him the largest proportion of any candidate’s votes ever since James Monroe’s victory in 1820 (Karatzas et al. 2016). Kennedy succumbed to his death as he was travelling in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas. Johnson was then immediately sworn in to occupy the Presidential vacancy in U.S who promised the entire morning nation to actualize Kennedy’s vision.

Entering the campaign in the late July 1960, Johnson was accompanied by his unwillingness to depart from Washington, that helped Kennedy campaign to gain a significant benefit amid Democratic Party leaders. Johnson underrated Kennedy’s commended attributes of magic power and brightness which was matched with his reputation being more ruthless and sinister Landslide Lyndon. Caro shows Johnson’s reluctance to be the outcome of his fear of fail. Johnson tried unsuccessfully to take advantage of Kennedy’s youth, unstable well-being, and inability to side with Joseph McCarthy. He started the Contain Kennedy coalition accompanied by Adlai, Stuart, and Hubert, without success. The votes that Johnson got were 409 on single ballot during the Democratic meeting compared to 806 for Kennedy. Therefore, the pattern was named Kennedy. During that time, Tip O’Neill was the representative of Kennedy, Massachusetts. He recalls Johnson coming to him during the meeting and saying, “Tip, I know you have to support Kennedy from the start, but I want to have you with me on the second ballot.” O’Neill responded that Senator was not going to be in second ballot (Suskind, 2004).

Johnson first enacted President Kennedy’s measures that he had been advising at his before his death. He emphasized a fresh civil rights bill together with a tax cut and guided the Nation to develop a significant society that matches the marvels of man’s labor. In January 1965, the Greater Society program was an agenda for Johnson Congress: Education Aid, Disease Control, Medical Care, Urban Regeneration, Beautification, Maintenance, Improvement of Miserable Regions, Large-Scale Lack Alleviation, and Crime Management and Avoidance by removing barriers to voting rights (Paul et al. 2016). Congress quickly accepted Johnson’s recommendations by supplementing or modifying them from time to time. Millions of seniors found help with Medicare’s 1965 Social Security Amendment.

Johnson’s leadership experienced a Cold War America which forced him to make it a priority to prevent the enlargement of Marxist-Leninist governments. Before 1964, the United States had a notable occurrence in Vietnam, where it supplied weapons, trained, and extended relief to the Southern part of Vietnam to manage the Communist group in the area. After a naval, clash, 1964, Congress officiated the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, authorizing Johnson to introduce a complete-scale military movement in Southeast Asia, indicating a step of U.S. engagement during the War at Vietnam. The count of troops that America released in Vietnam increased intensively. American fatalities skyrocketed together with the demises of Vietnamese inhabitants while the war was ongoing. Anti-war drive and public view was began in 1968 by Tet Offensive over the war. Several people declared an end to American participation, and resistance to the war grew amid writing students on the college campus.

Johnson faced many challenges and problems in 1965 when summer riots arose, and crimes rates soared in major cities. His political challengers grabbed the chance to put forward petition for a policy of law and order. As Johnson was starting his presidency with general approval, his backing decreased as the war and civil conflict disappointed the public. In the 1968 presidential election, he resigned when an unsatisfactory outcome in the New Hampshire primary election, with Republican candidate Richard Nixon eventually winning the election. Despite Johnson’s effort to achieve a settlement, fighting continued, and therefore, he failed to end Communist aggression. In the year 1968 around many controversies over the war had become acute. In the same period, he began to withdraw from participation in re-election to direct his complete strength to the desire for peace. However, peace talks were underway; therefore, he did not see them succeed.

In his time as the president, Johnson conducted 11 global travels to 20 countries. Throughout his tenure, he traveled 841690 kilometers using Air Force One. Protests sparked against the war by protesters when he travelled to Australia in October 1966. One of the greatest rare international tours in presidential past took place as it approached Christmas 1967. The President started his travelling by visiting a service held in respect to Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt, who met his death as he swimming and is assumed to have drowned. The White House failed to disclose to the media about the President’s first presidential trip to the world. The trip was 43,386.3 km in just 112.5 hours which was equivalent to 4.70 days. Air Force One went through the equator two times, stopping at Travis Air Force Base, Honolulu, Pago Pago, Canberra, Melbourne, Vietnam, Karachi, and Rome.

Johnson was a healthy man in his early stages of life; however, in the year 1970he suffered a severe angina attack and was rushed to San Antonio in Broke Army Hospital. He received treatment Lyndon and recovered for about two years, then got another heart attack in 1972 as he visited his daughter Lynda who was in Virginia. In this period, Lyndon suffered many chest pains, jolting aches that terrified him and made him breathless. Thus, a portable oxygen tank was placed right beside his bed to ensure his safety, where he lay most of his time. Despite the treatments and medications, his situation worsened day after day because of smoking heavily, and he began experiencing severe abdominal pains diagnosed and diverticulosis.

Johnson died at the age of 64 on 22nd January 1973, after suffering a huge heart attack in his bedroom (Logsdon et al. 2010, 235). His death helped Richard Nixon to become victorious in the 1972 election because the second inauguration was two days before Johnson’s death. The funeral service was conducted at the National City Christian Church situated in Washington. It is the church where he repetitively went to worship in his time of presidency. He was later buried in his family’s private graveyard, a few meters from the home where he was born. The state funeral, the last President before Richard Nixon in 1994, was among the unpredictably hectic week in Washington as the Washington Military District (MDW) faced another main challenge less than a week after Nixon’s next inauguration. The inauguration influenced the state funeral in numerous ways, the inauguration occurred two days before the death of Johnson.

Public opinion over Johnson’s legacy repetitively advanced from the time of his death, and the general ranked him in the higher rank. His local guidelines made major improvements in healthcare, civil rights, and welfare because of his domestic policies. Although, he remained condemned for escalating the Vietnam war, which had caused the death of almost 60000 American service members. He was convicted because he was in charge of the explosive dropped in Vietnam, which were over 7.5 million tons, including noxious herbicide.

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Johnson is often regarded as an extremely motivated, untiring, and dignified figure who was cruelly effectively pushing through legislation. He works from eighteen to twenty hours not taking a break and does not have any recreational deeds. Biographer Robert Dallek writes: “There has never been a stronger majority leader in American history. Dallek said Johnson has biographies of every senator, knows their motivations, expectation, and likes, and uses them to benefit himself to secure votes. Extra Johnson biographer wrote: “Johnson used to wake up daily and find out their fears, desires, and then he could influence, dictate, entice and coax them (Frame, et al. 2018, 145).

The person elected to the White House by the greatest percentage of the voters in U.S. history and who passed as many laws than the rest of American politician currently appears to be the public’s best memory of succeeding a murdered hero, plunging the country into a quagmire in Vietnam, deceiving his holy wife, revealing his stomach, applying profanity, making dogs pick his ears, swimming unclothed with him counsellors in the White House swimming pool and emptied the bowels when doing formal business. But, among all these issues, Johnson’s reputation suffered severally from his handling of the Vietnam War, which superseded his civil rights as well as domestic policy achievements and lead to Johnson’s regret for managing “the woman I liked the Great Society.

Work Cited

Ball, Moya Ann. “The Phantom of the Oval Office: The John F. Kennedy Assassination’s Symbolic Impact on Lyndon B. Johnson, His Key Advisers, and the Vietnam Decision-Making Process.” Presidential Studies Quarterly (1994): 105-119.

Frame, Gregory. “‘You’ve got to decide how you want history to remember you’: The Legacy of Lyndon B. Johnson in Film and Television.” Constructing Presidential Legacy: How We Remember the American President. Edinburgh University Press, 2018. 133-57.

Karatzas, Konstantinos D. “LYNDON B. JOHNSON AND THE CIVIL RIGHT ACT OF 1964.” Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations/Vestnik Volgogradskogo Gosudarstvennogo Universiteta. Seriâ 4, Istoriâ, Regionovedenie, Mezdunarodnye Otnošeniâ 21.3 (2016).

Logsdon, John M. “John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon.” John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon. Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2010. 223-244.

Paul, Catherine A. “Elementary and secondary education act of 1965.” Social Welfare History Project (2016).

Steudeman, Michael J. “The Guardian Genius of Democracy”: The Myth of the Heroic Teacher in Lyndon B. Johnson’s Education Policy Rhetoric, 1964–1966.” Rhetoric & Public Affairs 17.3 (2014): 477-510.

Suskind, Ron. The price of loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the education of Paul O’Neill. Simon and Schuster, 2004.

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