Signing of the Medicare Bill. [LBJ Library photo by Unknown. #34897-14]

Johnson created national programs that help older Americans

May 06, 2013

by Patrick J. Kiger
[posted on aarp.org on May 1, 2013]

Lyndon B. Johnson is remembered as president mostly for two things: ascending to the office after the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963 and drastically escalating U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. That controversial foreign gambit exacted a tragically high toll in lives and treasure and national unity. As a result, it's easy to forget that LBJ’s most lasting and important achievements may be the programs he created to help older Americans.

Johnson, a consummate legislative wheeler-dealer and former Senate majority leader, had the political savvy, connections and leadership ability to be one of the most effective presidents at getting his proposals through Congress.

He used those considerable talents to enact a sweeping agenda of programs aimed at eradicating poverty, ending racial discrimination, improving education and rebuilding crumbling urban areas. And there was much more. read more