History

The Life of Lyndon B. Johnson in a Nutshell

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Lyndon Baines Johnson was born in 1908. He was the first of six children born to parents who owned a tiny farm in Stonewall, Texas. The little farm was right on the Pedernales River in the Texas Hill Country.  The Johnson ancestors had settled in Texas years before the Civil War took place. Johnson City was named after the Johnson clan.

Johnson’s father was much more interested in politics than farming, which caused him to loose the family farm and home.  They stuck together struggling the rest of their life.  Turns out his father was no better at politics than he was at farming.

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Photo: jfklibrary.org

Lyndon was a very poor student all through school. He still managed to go to and graduate from  Southwest Texas State Teachers College in 1927. For a short time, he was a teacher  in Cotulla, Texas. But, just like his father, he had politics in his soul. He worked very hard and called in a few favors when he finally was elected as legislative secretary to a Texas congressman in 1931. Johnson had to leave his beloved Texas behind, but he knew one day he’d return. Washington, D.C. was calling him and he quickly climbed the ladder of political success.

In 1934, he met and married a true Southern Belle, named Claudia Alta Taylor, known to everyone as Lady Bird. She came from money and gave her inheritance to her husband to finance his political career. She later bought a radio and a television station. This investment made them quite wealthy. Together they had two daughters, Lynda Bird and Luci Baines Johnson.

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Photo: commons.wikimedia.org

Time went on and finally he became Vice President Johnson to President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Together they supported and encouraged the space program and as vice president, LBJ (the name he went by most often) was in complete control of it. He negotiated the nuclear test ban treaty, and between himself and JFK , they fought for equal opportunity for minorities. It became unlawful to discriminate due to race. He also strongly backed Kennedy’s decision to send in American military into South Vietnam.

America was changing for the best when tragedy struck.  A visit to Dallas, Texas turned into a nightmare. That fateful shot which took the President Kennedy’s life shook the world.  Within an hour of his death, Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as President of the United States of America inside Air Force One. He continued that term and won the USA vote by a landslide to lead another four years.

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Photo: pbworks.com

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