It was intended to give consumers more money to spend so as to boost economic growth and create new jobs.
In 1964, the unemployment rate was 5 percent, 4.5 percent in 1965, and 3.8 percent in 1966.
Americans were against discrimination in public places on the basis of race, sex, or national origin.
Discrimination in the buying, selling, and renting of housing, as well as in the hiring and firing of employees, was banned.
Johnson had an urgent sense of purpose.
He had a large presence in his office, intimidating any opposition.
One senator who survived the "Johnson treatment" said that the president would "twist your arm off at the shoulder and beat your head with it" if you did not agree to vote as he wanted.
Richard Russel, Johnson's close friend and an arch- segregationist, was hosted soon after Johnson became president.
The president told Russell to get out of his way.
The Civil Rights Act will be passed if I run over you.
Russell said that he might do that.
"We have talked long enough about equal rights in this country," Johnson told Congress.
It would be the best way to honor Kennedy.
The most important piece of legislation in the twentieth century was produced by their efforts.
The ideals of democracy, equal opportunity, and human dignity were affirmed when the Civil Rights Act was passed.
He was worried that his commitment to civil rights would cost him the election.
Poor housing conditions led to poor health, poor attendance at school or work, alcohol and drug abuse, and single- parent families.
Poverty was more extensive than people realized because it was hidden from view in isolated rural areas or inner- city slums.
Kennedy asked his advisers in the fall of 1963, just before his assassination, to investigate the problem and come up with solutions.
The tax reduction of 1964, which led to one of the longest sustained economic booms in history, generated money for the program.
The "war" on poverty would take a long time and cost a lot.
He didn't expect to eradicate poverty in his life time.
He promised to live in a tar- paper shack.
An Office of Economic Opportunity was created to administer eleven new community based programs.
A Job Corps training program for the long- term unemployed, an Upward Bound program, a Head Start educational program for disadvantaged preschoolers, and a Legal Services Corporation to provide legal assistance for low- income Americans were included.
The Food Stamp Act was approved by Congress in 1964.
President Johnson's successes aroused a Republican counter attack.
When the Republican National Convention was held in San Francisco in the summer of 1964, conservatives ensured Goldwater's nomination.
Calvin Coolidge's goal was to reduce the size of government.
Goldwater was candid.
He was quick to smile and easy to like, but he was out of his depth as a candidate.
He frightened many voters by suggesting the use of atomic weapons.
He criticized Johnson's war on poverty as a waste of money, told students that the federal government should not provide assistance for education, and opposed the nuclear test ban treaty.
Johnson portrayed himself as a centrist.
The election was not close.
Johnson won 61 percent of the popular vote and dominated the electoral vote.
The Lower South was captured by Goldwater.
The Democrats increased their majority in the Senate by two and in the House by thirty-seven.
The Lower South's shift to the Republican party was accelerated by Goldwater's success, and his candidacy inspired a generation of young activists and the formation of conservative organizations that would transform the dynamics of the movement.
Their success would lead to the presidency of Ronald Reagan, the actor who co- chaired the "California for Goldwater" campaign in 1964.
Lyndon Johnson thought his victory in 1964 was a mandate for change.
He knew that his popularity could quickly decline.
He told his aides that he was going to lose votes.
I'm going to hurt someone.
We have to get this legislation done quickly.
His ambitions grew as Johnson's war on poverty grew.
The federal government was seen as the key to raising the quality of life for all Americans.
"We're the most powerful country in the world," Johnson said.
Soon, Johnson was trying to get congressional approval for dozens of new programs.
He convinced Congress to approve a lot of legislative requests focused on education, health care, civil rights, urban renewal, rural poverty, and even cultural offerings such as government- funded public television and radio programming.
Dozens of initiatives to enhance the environment were featured by the Great Society.
Lyndon Johnson's first priorities were federal health insurance and aid for young people to pursue higher education, all liberal proposals that had first been suggested by President Truman in 1945 but were rejected by conservative southern Dem ocrats and Republicans in Congress.
The American Medical Association had been blocking a comprehensive medical- insurance program for twenty years.
Now that Johnson and the Democrats had the votes, the AMA joined Republicans in supporting a bill that only served those over the age of five.
Harry Truman looked on as Johnson signed the bill in Independence, Missouri.
The Higher Education Act of 1965, increased federal grants to universities, created scholarships for low income students, and provided low interest loans for students.
The Higher Education and Medicare Acts helped carry the Great Society through Congress.
The Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1966 allocated $1 billion for impoverished mountain areas.
$3 billion was provided for urban renewal by the Housing and Urban Development Act.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development was established in 1966 and headed by Robert C. Weaver, the first African American cabinet member.
Both Democrats and Republicans supported it, which was the most sweeping revi sion in immigration policies in decades.
Johnson said in his speech that the law would correct the wrong done to those from southern and eastern Europe.
The old system favored immigrants from Great Britain and the countries of western and northern Europe over those from southern and Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa.
The law created ceilings on the number of visas that can be issued to people from outside the Western Hemisphere.
No more than 20,000 people could come from any one country each year.
Under seven "preference" quota, 290,000 immigrants were admitted annually.
40 percent of the total was provided for unmarried adult sons and daughters of citizens and documented immigrants.
The fourth, 10 percent, went to adult married children of U.S. citizens, and the fifth, 24 percent, went to brothers and sisters of citizens.
6 percent was for refugees from political tyranny.
The new law "repairs a deep and painful flaw in the fabric of American life" according to Johnson.
The days of unlimited immigration are over.
Johnson insisted that the new law was not revolutionary.
European immigrants made up less than 10 percent of the total during the 1960s.
The larg est cohort of new Americans were Asians and Latin Americans.
Most of the immigrants who have come to America since 1965, are from Mexico, the Philippines, Cuba, South Korea, China, and Taiwan.
In 1965, Martin Luther King Jr. organized an effort to register 3 million African American voters in the South.
The White House said on February 6 that it would urge Congress to grant voting rights.
Only 250 of the 15,000 blacks of voting age were registered to vote in Alabama.
King told his staff on February 10 that they needed to make a dramatic state ment to get the voting rights bill passed.
The drama happened three weeks later.
On Sunday, March 7, hundreds of black and white civil rights activists assembled near the Edmund Pettus Bridge to begin a fifty- four mile march to the state capitol in Montgomery.
State troopers and local police used bil y clubs, tear gas, and bul whips on the marchers before they reached the bridge.
"Bloody Sunday" was televised for all to see.
Fifty people were hospitalized.
King, torn between congressional appeals to call off the march and the demands of the militant group, announced that a second march would be held.
Once President Johnson agreed to provide soldiers and federal marshals for their protection, a federal judge agreed to allow the marchers to continue.
Some 25,000 people were with the demonstrators when they reached Montgomery.
The battle is in our hands, King said in his address.
The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was given a souvenir pen by President Johnson.
Local officials used to keep black and Latino citizens from voting by requiring literacy tests.
By the end of the year, a quarter of a million African Americans were able to vote.
In 1960 only 14 percent of blacks in Alabama were registered.
The Voting Rights Act was more important than the Civil Rights Act because it gave black voters in the South the power to vote for public officials.
It also helped turn the once solidly Democratic South into a Republican stronghold as many white voters switched parties.
Lyndon Johnson's Great Society programs exceeded Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal because of the nation's booming prosperity during the mid- 1960s.
There was no more money to spend.
The Great Society and war on poverty didn't end urban poverty or rural poverty because the Vietnam War took priority and sucked away funding, and because neither Johnson nor his congressional supporters understood the complexity of chronic poverty.
The Great Society programs led to several victories.
Infant mortality has gone down, college completion rates have gone up, and fewer elderly Americans live in poverty.
Civil rights and voting rights are guaranteed by the federal government.
Medicare and Medicaid are two of the most expensive government programs.
A federal agency protects consumers.
Long term benefits have been produced by Head Start programs.
The federal food stamp program has helped children living in poverty.
Access to higher education has been made possible by scholarships for low income college students.
Johnson's most ambitious programs were ill- conceived.
Many were mismanaged and vastly underfunded.
Some of the problems they were supposed to address worsened.
The challenge of single parent households is a final example.
5 percent of children were born to single mothers in 1960.
The number has gone up to 40 percent because of federal pro grams that provide child support.
The Great Society programs helped reduce poverty from 19 percent in 1964 to 10 percent in 1973.
Conservative backlash over the cost and excesses of the Great Society programs caused a Republican resurgence in 1966.
In the congressional elections of 1966, only thirty- eight of the seventy- one Democrats elected to the House won reelection.
Lyndon Johnson was a novice in foreign affairs.
His presidency would become a victim of Wilson's crusading ideals.
The war in Vietnam reached new levels of intensity as racial vio lence erupted in America's cities.
North Vietnam provided massive support to the Viet Cong in order to overthrow the U.S.-backed government in South Vietnam.
The U.S. had a long standing commitment to prevent a Com munist takeover in Vietnam.
Bombing has been charged with having lost Vietnam.
Thirty to fifty foot wide craters were left by Vietnam.
Johnson wanted to do the same.
A New Frontier and a Great Society 1960-1968 Johnson began to doubt that South Vietnam was worth more extensive military involvement.
Kon Tum senators voted against the resolution.
It wouldn't be a small war.
On February 5, 1965, the Viet Cong attacked the U.S.
The strategy he used was to use overwhelming U.S. firepower to cause as many casualties as possible.
200 Kilometers are hiding.
South Vietnam was thought to be worth more extensive military involvement by Johnson.