Lyndon B Johnson was the President of the United States from 1963 to 1969. He was a senator, two-time Senate Minority Leader, two-time Senate Majority Whip and spent six years as the Senator Majority Leader before becoming the thirty-sixth president. He was the vice president for two years before his presidency.
1. Of the several Lyndon B Johnson major accomplishments, the Great Society legislation was perhaps the most significant. It was his signature legislation that upheld civil rights, brought in laws governing public broadcasting, environmental protection, Medicare and Medicaid, abolition of poverty and aid to education.
2. He brought in the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 & 1968 that outlawed racial segregation. The laws also ensured equal housing opportunities for all regardless of creed, religion, race and national origin. He also enforced voting rights to eliminate all kinds of discrimination in voting through the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
3. Lyndon B Johnson showed the way and proved he was ahead of his peers when he appointed the first African American judge, Thurgood Marshall, in the Supreme Court.
4. Johnson was passionate about education, which led him to bring in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and Higher Education Act. The law allowed the improvement of schools with special funding. He particularly focused on the schools in the poorer districts across the country.
5. President Johnson set up the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts which provided optimum support to artists and humanists.
6. His pledge to alleviate poverty saw him initiating food stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, Work Study and Head Start among various other programs. He did manage to make an impact on poverty during his six years in office.
7. President Lyndon B Johnson oversaw the Apollo 8 program, the first manned flight to the Moon.
8. While domestically President Johnson had several innovative initiatives, he was not too far behind with his foreign policies or stands on immigration and other matters. He brought in the Immigration Act of 1965, which allowed non Europeans an easier route to immigrate to the United States. Till then the immigration system was largely biased or focused on Europeans. Other nationalities were not benefited but the liberalization of the system changed that reality.
While in hindsight not many may agree with his move to increase the presence of American troops in Vietnam, it was a smart move at that time when he increased the count of 16,000 soldiers and advisors to almost 600,000 combat troops.