Lyndon Baines Johnson (August 27, 1908 - January 22, 1973), often
referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States
(1963–1969), a position he assumed after his service as the 37th Vice
President of the United States (1961–1963). He is one of only four
people who served in all four elected federal offices of the United
States: Representative, Senator, Vice President, and President. Johnson,
a Democrat from Texas, served as a United States Representative from
1937–1949 and as a Senator from 1949–1961, including six years as United
States Senate Majority Leader, two as Senate Minority Leader and two as
Senate Majority Whip. After campaigning unsuccessfully for the
Democratic nomination in 1960, Johnson was asked by John F. Kennedy to
be his running mate for the 1960 presidential election.
Johnson succeeded to the presidency following the assassination of John
F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, completed Kennedy's term and was
elected President in his own right, winning by a large margin over Barry
Goldwater in the 1964 election. Johnson was greatly supported by the
Democratic Party and as President, he was responsible for designing the
"Great Society" legislation that included laws that upheld civil rights,
public broadcasting, Medicare, Medicaid, environmental protection, aid
to education, and his "War on Poverty." Johnson was renowned for his
domineering personality and the "Johnson treatment," his coercion of
powerful politicians in order to advance legislation.
Meanwhile, Johnson escalated American involvement in the Vietnam War,
from 16,000 American advisors/soldiers in 1963 to 550,000 combat troops
in early 1968, as American casualties soared and the peace process
bogged down. The involvement stimulated a large angry antiwar movement
based especially on university campuses in the U.S. and abroad. Summer
riots broke out in most major cities after 1965, and crime rates soared,
as his opponents raised demands for "law and order" policies. The
Democratic Party split in multiple feuding factions, and after Johnson
did poorly in the 1968 New Hampshire primary, he ended his bid for
reelection. Republican Richard Nixon was elected to succeed him.
Historians argue that Johnson's presidency marked the peak of modern
liberalism in the United States after the New Deal era. Johnson is
ranked favorably by some historians because of his domestic policies. (Click
here for full Wikipedia article.)
A President's hardest task is not to do what is right, but to know what
At times history and fate meet at a single time in a single place to
shape a turning point in man's unending search for freedom.
Being president is like being a jackass in a hailstorm. There's nothing
to do but to stand there and take it.
Boys, I may not know much, but I know chicken shit from chicken salad.
Education is not a problem. Education is an opportunity.
Every man has a right to a Saturday night bath.
Freedom is not enough.
Friendly cynics and fierce enemies alike often underestimate or ignore
the strong thread of moral purpose which runs through the fabric of
Greater love hath no man than to attend the Episcopal Church with his
Guns... are all symbols of human failure. They are necessary symbols.
They protect what we cherish. But they are witness to human folly.
Hell, by the time a man scratches his ass, clears his throat, and tells
me how smart he is, we've already wasted fifteen minutes.
I have learned that only two things are necessary to keep one's wife
happy. First, let her think she's having her way. And second, let her
I seldom think of politics more than 18 hours a day.
I want real loyalty. I want someone who will kiss my ass in Macy's
window, and say it smells like roses.
I'd rather give my life than be afraid to give it.
If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River,
the headline that afternoon would read: "President Can't Swim."
If two men agree on everything, you may be sure that one of them is
doing the thinking.
It is important that the United States remain a two-party system. I'm a
fellow who likes small parties and the Republican Party can't be too
small to suit me.
It's damned easy to get in a war but it's gonna be awfully hard to ever
It's probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than
outside the tent pissing in. (re: J. Edgar Hoover)
Light at the end of the tunnel? We don't even have a tunnel; we don't
even know where the tunnel is.
Make no mistake. There is no such thing as a conventional nuclear weapon.
Making a speech on economics is a lot like pissing down your leg. It
seems hot to you, but it never does to anyone else.
My generals are always right about other people's wars and wrong about
Never make a speech at a country dance or a football game.
Never miss an opportunity to say a word of congratulations upon anyone's
achievement, or express sympathy in sorrow or disappointment.
Never trust a man unless you've got his pecker in your pocket.
Our safest guide to what we do abroad is always what we do at home.
Poverty must not be a bar to learning and learning must offer an escape
Son, in politics you've got to learn that overnight chicken shit can
turn to chicken salad.
The CIA is made up of boys whose families sent them to Princeton but
wouldn't let them into the family brokerage business.
The fact that a man is a newspaper reporter is evidence of some flaw of
The fifth freedom is freedom from ignorance.
The future holds little hope for any government where the present holds
no hope for the people.
The guns and the bombs, the rockets and the warships, are all symbols of
The presidency has made every man who occupied it, no matter how small,
bigger than he was; and no matter how big, not big enough for its
The world has narrowed to a neighborhood before it has broadened to a
There are plenty of recommendations on how to get out of trouble cheaply
and fast. Most of them come down to this: Deny your responsibility.
There is no Constitutional issue here. The command of the Constitution
is plain. There is no moral issue. It is wrong- deadly wrong- to deny
any of your fellow Americans the right to vote in this country. There is
no issue of States' rights or National rights. There is only the
struggle for human rights.
Until justice is blind to color, until education is unaware of race,
until opportunity is unconcerned with the color of men's skins,
emancipation will be a proclamation but not a fact.
We have entered an age in which education is not just a luxury
permitting some men an advantage over others. It has become a necessity
without which a person is defenseless in this complex, industrialized
We have talked long enough in this country about equal rights. It is
time now to write the next chapter-and to write it in the books of law.
When the burdens of the presidency seem unusually heavy, I always remind
myself it could be worse. I could be a mayor.
While you're saving your face, you're losing your ass.
Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.
You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will
convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would
do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered.
You know, doing what is right is easy. The problem is knowing what is
Lyndon B. Johnson,
Quotes of the day
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