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AMERICAN HISTORY

36th President: Lyndon Baines  Johnson
Years in Office:  1963 -- 1969  ( 6 yrs )
Party: Democrat
Vice President: Hubert H. Humphrey
First Lady: Claudia Taylor Johnson
Year Born:  1908
Year Died: 1973  ( 65 yrs old )

Lyndon Johnson came from humble beginnings - a farm house on the Pedernales in Texas.  After working his way through Southwest Texas State Teachers College,  he taught debate and public speaking at a Houston high school.

    He ventured into politics as a mere secretary to a congressman, but by 1937 he was elected to the House of Representatives and went on to serve five terms.  He ascended to the Senate in 1948 in a runoff election which he won by 87 votes.  In 1953, he became Senate minority leader and majority leader two years later.  It was Johnson who pushed through the Senate the first civil rights bill in more than 80 years.

    He settled for the second spot on the presidential ticket in 1960, and on November 22, 1963, a bullet ended the life of JFK and vaulted Johnson into the office as the fourth U.S. president to ascend in that manner.

    The first Southern president of the 20th century, LBJ was elected the following year in the biggest landslide to date in the nation's history.  That gave him the mandate to install his "Great Society,"  an attempt to rid the nation of hunger, disease and poverty.  Vietnam was Johnson's stumbling block,  and in 1968 he made the stunning announcement that he would not seek re - election.