Lyndon Baines Johnson Timeline
Timeline Description: Lyndon Baines Johnson was the 36th president of the United States. He assumed office after the death of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963. After defeating Barry Goldwater in a landslide in the 1964 election, Johnson declined to run again in 1968.

Date Event
August 27, 1908 Johnson is born in Stonewall, Texas.

Johnson is the first of five children born to Samuel and Rebekah Johnson. He is born in a farmhouse near Stonewall, Texas, a town that he would consider home for the rest of his life.
May 1930 Johnson graduates from Southwest State Teacher's College.

Johnson earns a degree in education from Southwest State Teacher's College in San Marcos, Texas. After making money to pay for his education by teaching at poor Mexican students in southern Texas, Johnson develops a lifelong interest in fighting poverty.
November 17, 1934 Lyndon Johnson and Claudia "Lady Bird" Taylor are married.

Johnson marries fellow Texan Claudia Taylor, more commonly known as Lady Bird, in San Antonio the day after he proposes. A college graduate, Lady Bird was considering a career as a teacher before she met Johnson.
April 10, 1937 Johnson begins service as a congressman.

Following the death of Congressman James Buchanan, who was from Johnson's home district in Texas, Johnson wins a special election to fill the seat. He will be re-elected five times.
June 21, 1940 Johnson joins the Navy.

Johnson joins the Navy reserves and is appointed Lieutenant Commander. He will go on to serve in the South Pacific in World War II and is awarded a Silver Star by General Douglas MacArthur.
November 1948 Johnson is elected to the U.S. Senate.

After returning from the war, Johnson is elected to the U.S. Senate. He will become the Senate Minority Leader in 1953, the youngest person in history to hold this position.
July 2, 1955 Johnson has a heart attack.

A heavy smoker, Johnson suffers a massive heart attack and is hospitalized for several weeks. Doctors urge him to quit smoking by Johnson refuses.
November 8, 1960 Kennedy and Johnson win the 1960 presidential election.

In a narrow victory, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson defeat the Republican ticket of Richard Nixon and Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. Johnson was selected as Kennedy's running mate to help Kennedy win the southern vote.
November 22, 1963 Johnson is sworn in as president of the United States.

Following the assassination of President Kennedy, Johnson becomes the president of the United States. He is sworn in on Air Force One while the plane was still in Dallas, with First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy at his side.
July 2, 1964 Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Using all of his political influence, Johnson successfully pushes for the Civil Rights Act. When he signs it on July 2, 1964, it brings to an end centuries of legal discrimination against both African Americans and women of all races.
August 5, 1964 Johnson asks Congress to authorize military action in Southeast Asia.

Johnson asks Congress to approve military action in Southeast Asia after two American ships were supposedly attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution is passed and the Vietnam War escalates, but it is now believed that the second American ship was never attacked.
November 3, 1964 Johnson wins the presidential election in a landslide.

Johnson easily defeats Republican Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential election. It will be a challenging term for Johnson, marked by criticism of his handling of the Vietnam War.
January 4, 1965 Johnson gives his "Great Society" speech.

In his State of the Union address, Johnson explains his new platform called the Great Society. Modeled after the New Deal, Johnson introduces a series of programs designed to improve society, including fighting poverty and increasing access to education and healthcare.
March 31, 1968 Johnson announces he will not run for re-election.

In a televised address to the nation, Johnson announces that he will not seek another term in office. Senator Robert Kennedy emerges as a favorite in the upcoming election but he is assassinated in May.
January 22, 1973 Johnson dies at his ranch near Stonewall.

After years of declining health, Johnson dies at home of a massive heart attack. After lying state in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol, Johnson is buried in the family cemetery in Stonewall.