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 is right.
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 American history.
Greater love hath no man than to attend the Episcopal Church with his wife.
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 have it.
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 extricate yourself.
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 our own.
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 from poverty.
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 character.
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 human failure.
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 demands.
The world has narrowed to a neighborhood before it has broadened to a brotherhood.
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 society.
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 right.