Ronald Reagan (The Little Red Hen) Video — To Hell with the Political Class — The Socialism and Fascism of the New Deal — Commemorating Roosevelt’s Death, Democrats Praise His Legacy of Liberalism — Johnson “Great Society” Video — NYT References


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“It wasn’t under me that we started buying a bunch of shares of banks.” It wasn’t on my watch that we passed a massive new entitlement, the prescription drug plan, without a source of funding. We’ve actually been operating in a way that has been entirely consistent with free-market principles, and some of the same folks who are throwing the word socialist around can’t say the same.”

President Obama Telephone Call To NYT, March 7, 2009

The term ”Great Society” was coined by Johnson in a speech at the University of Michigan in May 1964. ”We have the opportunity,” he declared, ”to move not only toward the rich society and the powerful society, but upward to the Great Society.”

Although some Great Society measures were enacted in 1964 and a few in 1966 and afterward, the main elements of the Johnson program were approved in a frenetic nine-month period in 1965.

Johnson had just been elected in a landslide over Barry Goldwater. For the only time in this century except for four years in the late 1930’s, a President’s party had a 2-to-1 majority in both houses of Congress. The economy was strong and growing.

And most people not only shared the President’s dream for an end to poverty and racial injustice and a better life for all Americans but also believed with him that it was in the Government’s power to fulfill that dream.


The Little Red Hen


To Hell with the Political Class

Simply put, the government needs to relearn its place.

Pajamas Media – August 23, 2009 – by Melissa Clouthier

It’s no big mystery why President Obama’s poll numbers have dropped like a scorching potato on a summer day in Houston: He’s stinking it up. The man came into office with a 72% approval rating. Nearly everyone gave him the benefit of the doubt. Six months of flimflam have soured all except his most adoring sycophants.

The press still loves Barack Obama. Enough said. For everyone else, for those who hoped for change, disappointment mounts. Maegan Carberry expresses the frustrations of young Obama voters:

To single out health care is myopic, when what’s really happening is a collective re-evaluation of Obama’s delivery on his campaign promises to our generation. Young people, many of whom were first-time political participants in ‘08, are often not seasoned in the way governing works. After disappointments like failed bipartisanship on the stimulus bill, lip service on torture, a perplexing stance on gay marriage that even

Dick Cheney’s got right, half-hearted transparency and use of new media tools, and an ambiguously undefined and possibly unwinnable war in Afghanistan, we’re frustrated. We signed on for change in Washington, and our leader is not cracking down on the Democratic Congress and its futile leadership, which has disappointed us for almost a decade.

Strap on your boots, liberals. It’s about to get worse. An Air America host called President Obama a “charming liar.” That’s being charitable. By years end, the word “charming” will be dropped.

To Liberals and Democrats hoping for the socialist promised land, conservatives feel your pain. They’ve been there. Hell, they’re still there. Those who voted for Republicans hoping for sensible government, fiscal restraint and less intrusion got none of it — even when Republicans controlled the House, Senate and Executive branches. Can you say Drug Plan to buy off seniors and drug companies? Can you say TARP?

The reason President Obama is tanking so quickly, though, is that he has a problem that President Bush didn’t have: Candidate Obama promised the world, sun, stars, and moon to everyone. People pinned their hopes and dreams on him.

He stayed vague and hope-n-changy enough that all people felt reassured when he spoke to them. The  problem is, he said whatever worked to whatever crowd he stood before. Or rather, his words were suitably bland that people projected their desires on his words. They heard what they wanted to hear, but what was he saying?

… The Democrats pushed through a pork-laden, special-interest awarding stimulus bill that benefited no one besides political cronies. This was Nancy Pelosi’s gift to the big corporate Democrat donors. On election night, I talked to a prominent liberal blogger who said,”Well, we’ll just have to keep big special interests out of the White House.” I laughed out loud and said, “Good luck with that. They’re already there. They’re your problem now.”

But really, the political class and the various special interest parasites sucking off the American taxpayer are everyone’s problem. The Tea Party movement was not born of President Barack Obama, much as the left would like to think so.

Discontent raged around the TARP bailouts after years of excessive spending and Americans were helpless to stop it. It took me hours to unwind the root of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mess, and as fear-inducing bank failures struck me, the bailouts couldn’t assure that they wouldn’t fail anyway. And, in fact, many have. Meanwhile, the remaining banks prop up real estate, but that will soon end and then what?

And now, the President and Congress want to push through Health Care Reform, that won’t help people’s health, cares little for the American taxpayer, and is anything but reform. And while California and Michigan face 15% unemployment rates and higher in some cities/industries, these same people want to raise taxes on Americans and kill the energy industry with Cap and Trade. It’s sheer insanity.

It’s like the politicians live in some dream state where the reality of paying the bills doesn’t exist. It’s like they believe the American people will lay down and consent to a vast redistribution of hard-earned wealth when they’ve already lost so much to the hands of a wrong-headed governance.

But that’s exactly where politicians live. It’s a bubble land of no consequences. The only thing that engenders fear is the prospect of losing personal power. But even that concerns them little as they rig the system so that incumbents can enjoy permanent places of power. They spend the taxpayer’s money like tax revenue falls from magical, ever-producing gold trees. Americans thought this new administration would be rational. It’s not just more of the same. It’s worse.

And while the Democrats hatch plans to bury America in a tax and regulatory burden never before seen, where are the Republicans?

… The Republicans have zero power. None. Their mismanagement when they had the reins has sent them into the political wilderness and yet they refuse to even fight rhetorically now when they have nothing to lose. The war of ideas is being fought  by an out-of-power Republican Governor from the furthest reaches of America. Sarah Palin is the only one willing to call B.S. on the nonsense in plain language.

The Republicans worry about being called obstructionists instead of worrying that they have no core principles that they can, without hypocrisy, champion or defend. Believe something already! And then, vote a value without undercutting it by amoral behavior. Yeah, that might happen. The only chance of it happening is an engaged populace holding their feet to the fire.

The people, at long last, rise. The political class needs guidance, to put it mildly. Basically, things have been good enough and people have been busy enough that they stopped holding those entrusted with the keys to the law and treasury accountable. That time is over. All politicians, both Republicans and Democrats, would like the grassroots people to just go away. It seems evident that these folks are just getting warmed up.

Call them the mob, terrorists, haters, un-American, disloyal, treasonous, immoral, racist, deranged. They’re not going away. They are Americans. They deserve better than what they’re getting from the ruling class. Tonight, a friend tweeted this timely quote:

“It is the responsibility of the patriot to protect his country from it’s government.” – Thomas Paine

The government needs to relearn its place.


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The Socialism and Fascism of the New Deal

Hornberger’s Blog

by Jacob G. Hornberge, January 14, 2009

In the ongoing debate over Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, there are important things that pro-New Dealers would prefer not be mentioned, such as the similarities between Roosevelt’s philosophy and programs and those of Mussolini, Stalin, and Hitler.

For more than 125 years, the American people had lived under an economic system in which people kept everything they earned and decided for themselves what to do with it. Economic activity was, by and large, free of government regulation. Charity was voluntary, even with respect to taking care of parents.

That’s what was known as freedom, free markets, and free enterprise. Notwithstanding what statists say about the supposed horrors of the Industrial Revolution, this unique and unusual economic system brought about the most prosperous — and most charitable — nation in history.

By the early 20th century, however, there were exceptions creeping into the system. These included the enactment of the 16th Amendment and the Federal Reserve System in 1913 and the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890.The New Deal, however, succeeded in permanently establishing an entirely new economic system in America, one we commonly refer to today as the welfare state and the regulated economy.

Roosevelt’s system was based on using the force of government to take money from people in order to give it to other people. That’s what Social Security was all about. It was also based on the power of government to control and regulate the economic activities of the people. That’s what the SEC was all about.

To make Americans feel good about what was happening, Roosevelt did his best to convince them that they weren’t really abandoning the economic system of their ancestors but instead actually saving it. In actuality the New Deal was rooted in the same philosophy and ideas on which Mussolini’s fascist system in Italy and Stalin’s and Hitler’s socialist systems in the Soviet Union and Germany were based. One of the best books to read along this line is Three New Deals: Reflections on Roosevelt’s America, Mussolini’s Italy, and Hitler’s Germany’s 1933-1939 by Wolfgang Shivelbush.

Consider Social Security, the crown jewel of Roosevelt’s New Deal. Guess whose bust is proudly displayed on the website of the U.S. Social Security Administration. Otto von Bismarck’s! He was the Iron Chancellor of Germany and introduced Social Security to Germany. He got the idea of Social Security from German socialists. Not surprisingly, Social Security was also an important program in Hitler’s program of National Socialism.

Consider Roosevelt’s National Industrial Recovery Act. It required American businesses and industries to form cartels, which would set prices that had to be followed by everyone in the cartel. The NIRA was similar to the fascistic programs that Mussolini was establishing in Italy. Mussolini believed in leaving property under private ownership but placing it under government control. That’s what Roosevelt believed in also.

Barack Obama plans to establish a huge public-works program, in which the federal government spends hundreds of millions of dollars on highways and other infrastructure. His plan is based on a similar plan that Roosevelt employed as part of his New Deal. Roosevelt’s plan was similar to that of Hitler, who was doing the same thing in Germany. That’s what the construction of the Autobahn was all about.

The economic crisis facing Americans today leaves them with a choice: whether to continue embracing the socialistic and fascistic philosophy and programs that have guided our nation since the time of the New Deal or to restore the principles of individual freedom, free markets, and free enterprise on which our nation was based. Let’s hope Americans make the right decision because the stakes, obviously, are very high.

Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.


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By PETER BAKER

Published: May 15, 2009

WASHINGTON — President Obama told doctors and insurers Monday that revamping health care would “lay a new foundation for our economy.” He told graduating college students Wednesday that “we need to build a new foundation.” He told consumers Thursday that protecting them was vital “to the new foundation we seek to build.”

Ready for a new New Deal? How about the New Foundation? As Mr. Obama labors to pull the country out of the deepest recession since the Great Depression and simultaneously overhaul energy, education and health care, he has coined an expression to encapsulate his ambitious program in the same way Franklin D. Roosevelt did in the 1930s.

New Foundation may not come tripping off the tongue quite as easily as New Deal — it has twice as many syllables, after all — but it has become a staple of Mr. Obama’s speeches in the last month. Whether a 21st-century public buys a 20th-century political technique is another question.

“Every administration seeks to brand itself, and New Foundation certainly captures the recovery and rebuilding project on the president’s hands,” said Joel P. Johnson, a White House counselor under President Bill Clinton. “But only history decides whether or not it sticks or whether or not an era can be defined in a phrase. If he produces results, then New Foundation could be one for the books. If not … .”

Mr. Obama introduced the catchall phrase in his Inaugural Address in January. “The state of our economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth,” he said that day.

But it took months before White House officials decided to emphasize the phrase in a sustained way. Then he gave a much-ballyhooed speech at Georgetown University on April 14 to lay out a broader vision for his presidency, and used the phrase eight times. He cited a parable from the Sermon on the Mount about two men who build houses, one on sand and the other on rock; the former is blown away by a storm, the latter remains standing tall against the winds. The talk was called “the New Foundation speech,” and in the month since then, Mr. Obama has weaved the phrase into 14 public addresses.

The signal that his advisers wanted to establish it as a formal rubric came last month on the night of his most recent prime-time news conference, when prepared introductory remarks released by the White House capitalized the phrase as New Foundation.

While White House officials did not respond to inquiries on the phrase, John D. Podesta, who ran Mr. Obama’s transition and still advises him informally, said it makes it “easy to understand why three big reform projects — health, energy and education — are part of a coherent overall economic strategy for sustainable equitable growth.”

Stanley B. Greenberg, a Democratic pollster, said it describes both the status of the country Mr. Obama inherited as well as where he wants to take it.

“It is making a values critique and values offer — a country whose leaders were irresponsible, greedy, hiding from big problems and thinking only of the short term without accountability,” Mr. Greenberg said. “New Foundation captures the idea of acting with seriousness of purpose with responsibility and for country.”

Others are not so sure.

“I think recent attempts to coin phrases suffer from over testing and over focus-grouping,” said Russ Schriefer, a Republican political strategist.

Mr. Schriefer said he was “not sure F.D.R. contracted with the Gallup organization to test the phrase New Deal. That combined with our 24/7 news cycle, the contact sport of cable news, it is harder to stay on message for a week let alone an entire administration.”

Such slogans used to be common even before F.D.R. introduced his “New Deal for the American people” in accepting the Democratic nomination in 1932. Theodore Roosevelt promised a Square Deal, Woodrow Wilson a New Freedom, Harry S. Truman a Fair Deal, John F. Kennedy a New Frontier and Lyndon B. Johnson a Great Society.

More recent presidents have had trouble making their labels stick. Mr. Clinton called for a New Covenant in a series of speeches at Georgetown in 1991 as he ran for president, but pollsters turned thumbs down and he largely dropped it. George W. Bush championed an Ownership Society when he ran for re-election in 2004, but that too made little public impression.

Robert Dallek, a presidential historian, suspects Mr. Obama’s expression may suffer the same fate.

“I’m not sure what it means,” Mr. Dallek said. “The successful slogans tied in a convincing way to current events. T.R.’s Square Deal, F.D.R.’ s New Deal, J.F.K.’s New Frontier and L.B.J.’s Great Society all resonated because they summed up what their presidents intended and what the public was eager for at the time.

“I guess you could say the same for the New Foundation,” he added, “but foundation doesn’t strike me as a word people will comfortably take to.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/15/us/politics/15web-baker.html


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Roosevelt made the most noise, however, by picking a fight with the nouveau riche industrialists. Roosevelt himself was a brownstone Knickerbocker, whose caste marks included Groton, Harvard and the Porcellian club. He turned against his class, Morris suggests, in part because he found rich men boring. ”You expect a man of millions,” Roosevelt said, ”to be a man worth hearing; but as a rule they don’t know anything outside their own businesses.”

But his chief motive in taking on the great début de siècle industrial combinations was a growing conviction that they were taking unfair advantage of their competitors and customers. ”I am not deeply interested in” economic issues, he admitted as his administration wound down; ”my problems are moral problems, and my teaching has been plain morality.” Roosevelt’s friend Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. warned that ”no part of the conduct of life” would be safe from government interference on such vague principles. But Roosevelt and his fellow Progressives were off to the races.

Roosevelt’s perfervid self-confidence would bear fruit in 1912, outside the scope of ”Theodore Rex,” when the ex-president split the Republican Party and ran on the Bull Moose ticket. The aftershocks of that campaign would include the New Deal — for if Wilson established all the administrative precedents for Franklin Roosevelt, cousin Theodore anticipated the moral fervor. Morris is not as enamored of flags, war and big government as Roosevelt was, but he too feels the tug. A combination of diffidence and enthusiasm allows him to write of our past — which looks like our future — with energy and clarity.


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Commemorating Roosevelt’s Death, Democrats Praise His Legacy of Liberalism

By R. W. APPLE Jr., Published: Thursday, April 13, 1995

Fifty years ago today, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the visionary President who led the nation out of the shadow of the Great Depression to the brink of victory in history’s first global war, died in this tiny spa southwest of Atlanta.

Roosevelt had come here, as he did more than 40 times in his Presidency, seeking relief from the effects of the polio that had left his legs paralyzed. When he succumbed to a cerebral hemorrhage in the first year of his fourth term, American troops under his command were crossing the Elbe River in Germany, 60 miles from Berlin, and fighting on Okinawa, the last stepping-stone to the home islands of Japan.

He was 63 years old. Hated as well as loved in his lifetime, Roosevelt has since come to be seen as the greatest President of this century and as one of the greatest of all.

Both President Clinton and Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Georgian, have claimed the mantle of the great New Dealer. But it was Mr. Clinton who came to Warm Springs today to celebrate Roosevelt and his works and to denounce public cynicism and disunity in contemporary America.

“I wish that President Roosevelt were here,” Mr. Clinton said, “to deride those who are cynical, those who are negative, and most of all, those who seek to play on fears to divide us. This country did not get here by permitting itself to be divided at critical times — by race, by religion, by region, by income, you name it.”

Mr. Clinton said at commemorative ceremonies that “even though Roosevelt was the architect of grand designs, he touched Americans, millions of them, in a very personal way.” His own maternal grandfather, the President recalled, “really thought Franklin Roosevelt cared about whether he had a job,” though he was only a poor farmer.

“He showed us how to be a nation in a time of great stress,” Mr. Clinton said of Roosevelt.

Mr. Gingrich has seized not upon Roosevelt’s themes but his techniques, especially his proclivity for bold experimentation, even borrowing the phrase “100 Days” to describe the initial phase of the Republican takeover of Congress. But Mr. Gingrich’s assertions were rejected today, sometimes angrily, by speaker after speaker, although none mentioned his name.

No Republican officials came here to state their case.

Indeed, the ceremony turned into a paean to Democratic liberalism, full of vows that its day would come again.

Roosevelt was remembered as the father of the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Securities and Exchange Commission and other Federal agencies that Mr. Gingrich and many of his followers disdain as bloated bureaucracies. He was lionized as a founder of the United Nations, another frequent target of the conservatives on Capitol Hill.

Fifty years ago, as today, the azaleas and the dogwoods were in riotous bloom here as Roosevelt spent a busy morning signing letters and documents. Then, before lunch, he posed, for the artist Elizabeth Shoumatoff.

With them in the living room of the Little White House, a low frame building where he spent holidays throughout his Presidency, were three other women, all close friends: Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd, who was at one time his mistress, Laura Delano, a cousin, and Margaret Suckley, a neighbor from the Hudson Valley who was one of his closest companions in the final years of his life. Eleanor Roosevelt was not here.

At 1 o’clock, the butler came in to set the table for lunch. Suddenly, Miss Shoumatoff later recalled, “he raised his right hand and passed it over his forehead several times in a strange, jerky way.” Then the President’s head slumped forward.

Miss Suckley went to his side. She described the scene in her journal, which, entitled “Closest Companion,” has just been published by Houghton Mifflin.

“He looked at me with his forehead furrowed in pain and tried to smile. He put his left hand up to the back of his head and said, ‘I have terrific pain in the back of my head.’ “

Then he collapsed. Carried to his bedroom, he died about 3:15 P.M. without regaining consciousness.

In London, Churchill said, “I felt as if I had been struck a physical blow.” He mourned the loss of “this shining personality.” In Moscow, Stalin advised that an autopsy be performed to see if Roosevelt had been poisoned.

As the news poured from radios, many Americans learned for the first time what the words “cerebral hemorrhage” meant. All across the country, signs appeared in shops and restaurant windows saying, “Closed out of Reverence for F.D.R.”

Today, former President Jimmy Carter, whose home in Plains, Ga., is only 90 miles from Warm Springs, and Gov. Zell Miller of Georgia joined Mr. Clinton and a crowd of several thousand for the memorial ceremony. Mr. Carter was one of five people honored with medals by the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute.

In a brief, pungent speech, Mr. Carter described as “a travesty” Republican claims to be carrying on the Roosevelt tradition. Roosevelt was interested in the poor, the former President said, and the Republicans are interested in the rich.

Two veterans of the New Deal traveled to Warm Springs to mark the occasion: John Kenneth Galbraith, the Harvard economist, now 86, who served in the Office of Price Administration, and David Ginsburg, 83, a Washington lawyer who served as a Presidential speech writer under Samuel I. Rosenman.

Also on hand were four of Roosevelt’s two dozen grandchildren — Christopher, whose father was Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr., and who lives in Chappaqua, N.Y., and Anne, of Chicago, Michael, of San Francisco, and James Roosevelt Jr., of Boston, all children of James Roosevelt. Four great-grandchildren were here.

Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., one of the most noted of Roosevelt’s biographers, who worked in the Kennedy White House, quoted from Roosevelt’s second inaugural address to rebut the recent Republican claims to the Roosevelt political inheritance.

“The test of our progress,” Roosevelt said then, in 1937, “is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have little.”

William vanden Heuvel, president of the Roosevelt Institute, which helped organize today’s event, said in an interview that Roosevelt “would have laughed at guys like Newt Gingrich and Jesse Helms; he wouldn’t have taken them seriously.” Mr. vanden Heuvel said he had nevertheless invited Mr. Gingrich to the ceremony last January but never received a response.

The institute’s board issued a statement denouncing what it termed, “A partisan attempt to appropriate F.D.R.’s name by those who seek to dismantle his works and distort his legacy.”

But Mr. Clinton argued, in a talk with reporters on board Air Force One as it flew from Washington to nearby Fort Benning, that Roosevelt would have supported certain aspects of the Republicans’ Contract With America. The two he mentioned were the bills he signed into law: the effort to reduce Congressional mandates for which Federal money is not provided and the requirement that members of Congress live by the same laws as everyone else.

In the interview, Mr. Clinton said the nation’s needs had radically changed since the New Deal, a point Mr. Gingrich makes, too.

“We don’t need the kind of big, centralized, organized, top-down sort of projects that we had,” the President said. “We can have smaller, less bureaucratic, more entrepreneurial, flexible Government because we’re living in a totally different time.”

A version of this article appeared in print on Thursday, April 13, 1995, on section B page 8 of the New York edition.

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Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 31st president of the United States, held that title longer than any man in history and dealt, during his time, with some of the greatest problems internal or external, which had faced the nation.

The internal crisis which existed at the time of his first inauguration, on March 4, 1933, when the nation’s economic system was faltering and its financial organism paralyzed by fear, was followed in his third term by the global war during which he and Winston Churchill emerged as leaders of the English-speaking world.

The years in between were packed with swift and drastic social and economic changes to make Mr. Roosevelt the most controversial figure in American history. Beloved by millions, hated, admired, feared and scorned by countless adversaries, he did much to shape the future of the nation he headed and the world.

As the young New York State senator who won national acclaim before he was 30; as the assistant secretary of the Navy before and during U.S. participation in the First World War; as the unsuccessful Democratic nominee for vice president in 1920 and as the governor of New York for two terms beginning in 1928, he had acheived unusual honors even before his presidency.

He died from a cerebral hemorrhage in Warm Springs, Ga. in 1945 during his fourth term as president. He was 63. Adapted from “Roosevelt Regime, From ’33, Longest in Nation’s History,” April 13, 1945

Read the news of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death

The Fireside Chats (wp3)

On the Bank Crisis

On Progress During the First Two Months

On Government and Capitalism

Highlights from the Archives

F.D.R. and the Stuff of His War

By EDWARD ROTHSTEIN The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum’s informative show reveals just how important his leadership was during World War II. February 3, 2006artsReview

Behind the Cigarette Holder

By JEFF SHESOL In the decade after Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s death in 1945, Washington was noisy with the earnest clatter of typewriters. Public servants of all stripes labored to publish their recollections of Roosevelt. November 2, 2003artsReview

Commemorating Roosevelt’s Death, Democrats Praise His Legacy of Liberalism

By R. W. APPLE Jr. Fifty years ago today, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the visionary President who led the nation out of the shadow of the Great Depression to the brink of victory in history’s first global war, died in this tiny spa southwest of Atlanta. April 13, 1995usNews

The Bitter Legacy of Yalta: Four Decades of What-Ifs

By JASON DePARLE Almost 45 years after Franklin D. Roosevelt returned from the Yalta conference, his heady vision of self-determination in Eastern Europe may finally be coming to pass, though in a manner quite different from the one he foresaw. In the intervening decades, ”Yalta” has been one of the most charged words in the American political vocabulary – a potent symbol that critics have used to conjure sins from gross naivete to outright treason. November 26, 1989weekinreviewNews

pay article Roosevelt-Churchill Letters Depict Tensions

By EDWIN McDOWELL New insight into serious strains that developed between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston S. Churchill, after they forged a military alliance to defeat the Axis powers, has come to light in the complete correspondence between the two leaders. July 11, 1984nytfrontpageNews

Other Content

A list of resources from around the Web about Franklin Delano Roosevelt as selected by researchers and editors of The New York Times.

Books About Roosevelt




Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th President of the United States, declared that he wanted to be “the President who helped the poor to find their own way,” the “President who helped to end hatred among his fellow men and who promoted love among the peoples of all races, all regions and all parties.” During his administration he would sign into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the most comprehensive civil rights legislation since Reconstruction, and his Great Society reforms would lead to lasting changes in education, medical care for the elderly, and social welfare.

The Vietnam War, however, would sink Johnson’s presidency. Despite early doubts about the war, he would commit more and more troops to that conflict – which would eventually claim the lives of 58,000 Americans and three million Vietnamese. As the war ground on, with no end in sight, Johnson found himself increasingly under fire from both hawks and doves, the right and the left. On March 31, 1968, he announced he would not run for re-election.

Read the full obituary

LBJ’s Fateful Day: Aug. 4, 1964

Telephone recordings and images from the LBJ Library and Museum help recreate the events of Aug. 4, 1964, the inspiration behind Steven Stucky’s new composition.

Highlights From the Archives

Word for Word/The Johnson Tapes; Eavesdropping on the Brokering Of Presidential Power

By SAM ROBERTS ”I DO understand power, whatever else may be said about me,” Lyndon B. Johnson once explained. ”I know where to look for it, and how to use it.” As the Senate majority leader, Johnson consummately brokered power as a legislator (”Master of the Senate,” the latest installment in Robert A. Caro’s multi-volume biography, is being published this month). Later, as president, Johnson perfected his use of power and also found its exercise more problematic. April 21, 2002washingtonNews

Critic of War in Vietnam Is Now Praising Johnson

By R. W. APPLE Jr. For all his achievements, Lyndon B. Johnson is still remembered mainly as the president who presided over the wretched war in Vietnam, the most loathed in American history. But this week John Kenneth Galbraith, the eminent economist, came to Texas to seek, as he put it, ”substantial modification” of the historical record — ”a more modest, I trust more informed,” view of Johnson’s five years in the White House. November 27, 1999usNews

In All Recorded History . . .

By MICHAEL R. BESCHLOSS I was hunched over a transcribing machine, my foot on the pedal, listening to the first of the tapes Lyndon Johnson secretly made of 10,000 of his private conversations. Before deciding to create a book based on the tapes, I wanted to make sure they did not simply show Johnson posturing for the microphone, but instead captured all facets of his daily private and public life — heroic and otherwise. November 9, 1997opinionOp-Ed

L.B.J.’s Great Society

By TOM WICKER ”This country,” President Lyndon Johnson once said, ”is rich enough to do anything it has the guts to do and the vision to do and the will to do.” You’d never catch Ronald Reagan or George Bush expressing that kind of confidence in America, despite the patriotism they so fulsomely extol. May 7, 1990opinionOp-Ed

20 Years Later, the Great Society Flourishes

By DAVID E. ROSENBAUM Twenty years ago, these were facts of American life: Half of all Americans over 65 had no medical insurance, and a third of the aged lived in poverty. More than 90 percent of the black adults in many Southern counties were not registered to vote. Nationwide, at all levels of government, there were only a couple hundred black elected officials. Today most Americans would find those situations unacceptable, and indeed they have been reversed, in large part because of laws enacted in 1965, the high-water mark of Lyndon B. Johnson’s drive for what he called the Great Society. April 17, 1985nytfrontpageNews

pay article Rostow Says Johnson Was Informed of Dispute on Vietnam Foe’s Forces

By M. A. FARBER Walt W. Rostow, President Johnson’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs, testified in Federal Court here yesterday that as early as a year before the Tet offensive of 1968, he informed the President of an unresolved dispute among intelligence analysts over the scope of enemy strength in South Vietnam. October 16, 1984artsNews

A list of resources from around the Web about Lyndon B. Johnson as selected by researchers and editors of The New York Times.

Books About Johnson

Speeches


president johnson


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