US Presidents
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U.S. Presidents
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John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard M. Nixon
Gerald R. Ford
Jimmy Carter
Ronald Reagan
George Bush
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George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Donald Trump


Key Dates

1930 Lyndon B. Johnson graduated from Southwest Texas Teachers College.

1937 Lyndon Johnson was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

1941 Johnson served in the U.S. Navy during WW II.

1948 Johnson was elected to the U.S. Senate.

1960 Lyndon B. Johnson was elected Vice President under Kennedy.

1963 Lyndon Baines Johnson became President when Kennedy is assassinated.

1964 Johnson was elected president.

1964 The Civil Rights Act was passed.

1965 Civil Rights marched from Selma to Montgomery takes place.

1968 More than 500,000 U.S. troops were fighting in Vietnam.

1968 Martin Luther King was assassinated.

1973 Lyndon B. Johnson died.



Lyndon Baines Johnson
1963 - 1969
36th President

Lyndon Baines Johnson was born near Stonewall, Texas on August 27, 1908.

He learned the alphabet when he was two years old.

When Lyndon was young he use to run away. Some people thought he did this for attention. When he was four he would run away to the school a mile from his house. His mother talked the teacher into taking him in the school even though he was only four.

As a young boy, Lyndon like to go with his father when he was campaigned. His father, Sam Johnson, was a state legislator in Texas.

When he was a young student he one day told his friends that "Someday, I am going to be president of the United States."

President Johnson was one of two Presidents born in Texas.

At fifteen he ran away from home and traveled to California where he worked as a grape picker and auto mechanic.

LBJ 1915

Lyndon in 1915. Source: http://www.lbjlibrary.org/assets/lbj_tools/photolab/
photos/1/medium/15-13-2_med.jpg

In high school, he had a girl friend named Kitty Clyde. Her father wouldn't let her go out with Lyndon because he thought Lyndon would amount to anything. When his was president Lyndon took Kitty Clyde and her husband for a ride on Air Force One.

He attended college and taught school. He had three jobs teaching school. Two in southern Texas (Cotulla and Pearsall.) He also taught one year at Sam Houston High School. He was a speech teacher and debate coach at Sam Houston. Lyndon was a very good teacher.

He left his teaching job for his first political job. He became secretary for Congressman Richard Kleberg, from Texas. This started his political career.

Lyndon Baines Johnson married Claudia Alra "Lady Bird" Taylor when she was 21. They were married on November 17, 1934 in San Antonio, Texas. They had two daughters, Lynda Bird and Luci Baines. Johnson proposed to Lady Bird two days after he met her.

In his first attempt to become a Senator he lost in a very close race. On the day of the election he thought he had won and he and his team celebrated. The next day votes began to shift and he lost. The Texas election was not completely legal.

During his campaign for the US Senate in 1941, he pledged that if war broke out, he leave the his office and volunteer for the armed forces. (He did join the Navy and flew as an observer on one flight in a combat zone.

He was the first candidate to use a helicopter to campaign. They would fly from small town to small town and Lyndon would get out an give speeches. Most people hard never seen a helicopter before so he drew large crowds.

In 1948, he made his second try to become a Senator. He won the election by only 87 votes. He and others referred to him as Landslide Lyndon.

Lyndon Johnson was the youngest Senate Leader and is rated by some historians as the best Senate Leader.



Lyndon Johnson was in the military during WWII. He was awarded the Silver Star by General MacArthur after Johnson's plane was attacked by Japanese airplanes.

He was the first president to wear contact lenses while he was President. President Ford also wore contacts while he was in office and Reagan was one of the early adopters of contact lenses.

Lyndon liked ice cream, pancakes, seafood, spinach souffle, sweet potatoes with toasted marshmallows. It was also rumored that he had a barbeque on the roof of the White House..

When people would visit his ranch in Texas he would take them deer hunting. When Robert Kennedy visited the ranch and shot a deer. He didn't hold the gun correctly and was knocked down by the gun firing. Johnson told him they would have to teach him to shoot like a man. He and Bobby never go along after that.

He was Vice President under John F. Kennedy.

Johnson and Bobby Kennedy were the only two people allowed to use the Rose Garden entrance to the White House.

Lyndon Johnson taking the oath of office on Air Force Once following the assassination of John Kennedy, Dallas, Texas, November 22, 1963.
Credit: Lyndon Baines Johnson Library (click on image for larger image.

He became President when Kennedy was assassinated. While Johnson was in a hospital room at the hospital were the doctors were working on Kennedy, the press secretary came in to tell the group that John Kennedy was dead. He started with "Mr. President." He was the first person to address Lyndon Johnson as Mr. President.

Lyndon Baines Johnson was the first President sworn in by a woman. He was sworn in by Federal District Judge Sarah Hughes. Also, he was the first President to be sworn in on an airplane. The plane was not in flight.

Lyndon refused to leave Dallas until he was sworn in as president.

Lyndon Johnson did not have a Vice President during his first term. Hubert Humphrey (1965-1969) was Vice President during his second term.

One of his campaign slogans was "All the Way with LBJ."

In his second inaugural address, President Johnson announce the "War on Poverty."

Johnson was named Time Magazine man of the year in 1964.

The Johnson's had two Beagles as pets. Their name was Him and Her.

President Johnson was 6 foot 3 inches tall and weighed 210 when he became President.

White House staffers said they Johnson would tell them to follow him into the bathroom and continue their conversations he relieved himself.

President Lyndon Johnson was responsible for getting the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed.

During a televised speck, Dr. Martin Luther King cried (for joy) when he heard the president say "We shall overcome.

He signed the Civil Rights Act into law on July 2, 1964.

Johnson also appointed Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court. He was the first African American to be a Justice of the Supreme Court.

In 1964, he ran against Barry Goldwater. During the campaign the Democrats ran a TV ad showing a girl picking petals off of a daisy and counting. When she reached 10 her voice was replaced by a man counting down to zero. Then they showed a mushroom cloud of an atomic bomb. The ad only ran once, but was shown on the news and hurt Goldwater's chance to become President.

Lyndon Baines Johnson went without a Vice President until he was elected for his own term in 1964.

Johnson was the first person from the South elected president since Zachory Taylor was elected president in 1848.

Johnson also appointed the first African American to the Supreme Court.

Lyndon Baines Johnson used to go through the White House at night turning lights off that were not needed. He did not want to waste the taxpayers money.

LBJ loved to give gifts. In his first year as President he spent over 3 times as much as his predecessor on gifts. He particularly liked giving electric toothbrushes. "I give these toothbrushes to friends," he explained, "for then I know that from now until the end of their days they will think of me the first thing in the morning and the last at night." His biographer Doris Kearns received more than 12 from Johnson in 10 years.

The entire family had the initials, LBJ. (Lyndon Basin Johnson, Lady Bird Johnson, Lynda Bird Johnson and Luci Baines Johnson.)

He was notorious for taking guests on 90-mph rides around his 415-acre LBJ Ranch in Texas in his Lincoln.

Lyndon would sometimes lift up shirt and show people his scars from surgery.

He liked to play golf, but never told anyone his scores.

He had a soda fountain installed that served Fresca. It was his favorite brand of soda.

After his heart attack, an aide inquired if he should cancel Johnson order for two suits. He had ordered a brown and a blue suit. His reply was, "Let them go ahead with the blue one. We can use that no matter what happens.

He had tow beagles for pets. Their names were Him and Her. Criticized by the press for picking up one of the beagles by its ears.

During Lyndon Johnson's term the US was involved in the Vietnam War and in the war in the Dominican Republic in 1965.

Lyndon Johnson was the first president to name a black person to his Cabinet.

Lyndon Baines Johnson died on January 22, 1973. He is buried in a family plot near Johnson City, Texas.

Quotes:

"Strike down ignorance, poverty, and disease, and Communism without its allies will wither and die." May 4, 1961

"Words wound. But as a veteran of twelve years in the U.S. Senate, I happily attest they do not kill."

"Poverty has many roots, but the tap root is ignorance."

 

Topics


NEW Facts about the Inaugurations

Nicknames for the Presidents

First Ladies

Presidents who died in office

Assassinations and Assassination Attempts

Vice Presidents who became Presidents

Presidential Salaries

Oldest living Presidents

Presidents' Military Service

Preidential Timeline of Key Dates

Books about U.S. President

Pets of the Presidents

Chronlogical (by Year) Order
Of the Presidents.

 

 



Sources:

The Presidents of the United States. 22 September 2004: http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/

Davis, Gibbs and Ilus. David A. Johnson. Wackiest White House Pets. New York: Scholastic Press, October 2004

James, Barber and Amy Pastan. Smithsonian Presidents and First Ladies. New York: DK Publishing, 2002

Kane, Joseph Natan. Facts about the Presidents from Washington to Johnson. New York: H.W. Wilson Company, 1964.

McCullough, Noah, The Essential Book of Presidential Trivia. Random House, USA, 2006

Pine, Joslyn, Presidential Wit and Wisdom: Memorable Quotes from George Washington to Barack Obama . Dover Publications, Mineola, New York, 2009

Huffington Post web site.

Lang, Stephen, The Complete Book of Presidential Trivia, Pelican Publishing Company, Gretna, 2011

O'Reilly, Bill, and Dugard, Martin, Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever, Henry Holt and Company, New York, 2011

St. George, Judith In the Line of Fire: Presidents' Lives at Stake , Scholastic Inc. New York, 2001

In addition to these books, I have also read and have used information from those listed on my Books About Presidents page.

 

Additional Sources for This Page:

This is an excellent set of books on Lyndon Johnson. I read all four and enjoyed each of the books.

The Path to Power (The Years of Lyndon Johnson,) by Robert A. Caro.

Means of Ascent (The Years of Lyndon Johnson) by Robert A. Caro.

Master Of The Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson by Robert A. Caro.

The Passage of Power (The Years of Lyndon Johnson) by Robert A. Caro.


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This page was last updated on Thursday, February 25, 2016

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