Coming to the White House during a very critical time and under unexpected circumstances, President Lyndon B. Johnson had to fill the void left by President Kennedy after his untimely death when he was assassinated in 1963.
Childhood and early years
Lyndon Johnson was born on August 27, 1908 in Texas. He was raised in his father’s farmhouse where the family worked really hard to make ends meet. Although Lyndon’s father worked as a state representative, the Johnson family was very poor. The family members had to work various jobs to make a living.
Lyndon was a very active student in high school. He was on the debate team, excelled at public speaking, and loved playing baseball. After high school, Lyndon was not exactly sure what he wanted to do. Soon after, he joined Southwest Texas State Teacher’s College after he decided that he wanted to become a teacher. Before he actually got the chance to teach, he started working with a congressman in Texas. That was when he was drawn to politics and ultimately decided he wanted to work in that field. He then went to Georgetown University to get his law degree.
A congressman and a hero
It was not a long time after his graduation from law school that he was elected to become a congressman himself where he served for about 12 years. When World War II broke out, Johnson took a leave from the Congress to serve in the military. He earned a Silver Star for his services during the war.
Three years after the war ended, in 1948, Johnson ran for Senate and won by only about 90 votes. He continued to serve as a senator for 12 years. In 1955, Lyndon Johnson became the Senate Majority Leader.
In 1960, Johnson wanted to run for presidency, but the Democratic Party chose to nominate John F. Kennedy. Instead, Johnson ran alongside Kennedy as his Vice President. The Democrats won the elections and Johnson became Vice President of the United States.
The unexpected presidency for Lyndon B. Johnson
In 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald shot President Kennedy while riding the car right in front of Vice President Johnson’s car in Dallas, Texas. President Kennedy died immediately and shortly after, Vice President Lyndon Johnson became the 36th President of the United States.
Johnson’s presidency was the beginning of a new era in the United States. He was a very popular President and he used this to pass legislation that made it easier to fight crime, protect minorities and their rights to vote, prevent poverty, and give Americans a better education system.
Johnson’s biggest achievement was making racial discrimination illegal by passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Before the Civil Rights Act, Americans were separated in schools based on their race and skin color. The 1964 Act made this segregation illegal and made all American students and citizens equal.
President Johnson and the Vietnam War
During Johnson’s term, the U.S. became more involved in the Vietnam War. People protested against this decision and Johnson started to lose popularity. He did everything he could to settle things peacefully, but, unfortunately, he failed. President Johnson did not get a second term and retired to his ranch in Texas in 1969. Four years later, in 1973, Lyndon B. Johnson had a heart attack and passed away.
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