Lyndon Johnson and the Great Society

The Great Society
Thursday/Friday, Mar. 6-7, 2008
• TSWU: How did LBJ’s Great Society
impact U.S. society then and now?
Click the mouse button or press the
Space Bar to display the answer.
Lyndon Johnson and the Great Society
As President, Lyndon Johnson became determined to leave an enduring mark
on the nation, much in the spirit of his hero, Franklin Roosevelt. He committed himself
not only to civil rights, but also to liberal tax cuts, aid to education, health benefits for the
elderly and poor, job training, housing, urban renewal, the environment, and more. He
called his program "The Great Society" and with it surpassed Roosevelt's legislative
achievements. In beating conservative Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential race,
Johnson also bested Roosevelt's landslide victory in 1936.
Johnson's vision proved heady indeed. In whirlwind fashion, he passed laws
affecting almost every area of life, including health, education, jobs, immigration, auto
safety, equal rights, and the environment. Many of the initiatives had a higher price tag
than he or his supporters imagined. Inefficiency, corruption, soaring costs, and political
infighting dogged many Great Society programs. But more than flawed legislation or
political corruption, the Vietnam War shattered Johnson's hopes to create his Great
While the executive branch expanded its role in the lives of Americans, the
judiciary also took an active approach during the 1960s. The Supreme Court under
Justice Earl Warren handed down a series of landmark decisions in the areas of civil
liberties and civil rights. These cases protected the due process rights of accused
criminals, banned prayer in schools, promoted a right to privacy that protected the
purchase and sale of contraceptives and narrowed the legal definition of obscenity, and
forced the reapportionment of legislative districts to follow the principle of "one person,
one vote."
Great Society
Description of the program
Must include at least 5 key
Explain how this program impacts
the U.S. today
Arts and Cultural Institutions
Civil Rights
Consumer Protection
War on Poverty
Student Response
• Create a promotional poster for the Great
Society. You must include visual
depictions and written information for at
least 3 programs created during LBJ’s
time as President.