Video: 1965: LBJ and the Great Society

National Association of Scholars

In the mid-1960s, President Lyndon B. Johnson launched a series of domestic programs termed the "Great Society" that sought to rival the New Deal agenda of Franklin D. Roosevelt's Administration. The programs announced a "war on poverty" in addition to domestic priorities including civil rights (the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965), education (the Higher Education Act of 1963), health (the Social Security Act of 1965, which created Medicare and Medicaid, and the Food Stamp Act of 1964), the arts (the creation of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities and the establishment of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting), transportation (the establishment of the Department of Transportation), and the environment (Water Quality Act of 1965, Clean Air Act of 1963, Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966, National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, and many more). The changes from the Great Society programs were sweeping, and many of the acts passed under President Johnson's "Great Society" still remain important programs and institutions today.

What results have Great Society programs obtained for the American people over the last 50 years? Have these programs been successful?

This event features Randall Woods, Cooper Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Arkansas; Julia Sweig, non-resident senior research fellow at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas-Austin, former senior fellow and Nelson and David Rockefeller Chair and Director for Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations; and David Zarefsky, Emeritus Professor of Communication at Northwestern University and President of the Rhetoric Society of America.

The discussion will be moderated by David Randall, Director of Research at the National Association of Scholars.

You may find links to purchase the speakers' books by clicking here.

Photo by Cecil Stoughton, White House Press Office (WHPO) -, Public Domain,

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