LBJ The Early Years Author essay

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It did not help matters that Johnson was photographed being sworn into office aboard the plane bringing the body of Kennedy back to Washington, D.C., with Kennedy's widow, and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, who was still wearing the suit stained with her husband's blood. Many people, right or wrong, took the photo as a statement by Mrs. Kennedy; even though she remained a close friend of Johnson's wife, Lady Bird, all of the years of their lives.

For his part, President Johnson placed the work of the investigation of the Kennedy assassination into the hands of the Warren Commission, and then he went about the work of creating his Great Society (Eavns and Novak, 2). If the assassination of Kennedy weighed on the minds of the people, it was no less troubling for the man from Texas who followed Kennedy. Johnson commented: "They say Jack Kennedy had style, but I'm the one who's got the bills passed."

Even today, however, much of what Johnson accomplished during his completion of the Kennedy presidency, and his own subsequent election to that office, remain in the shadows of a counter cultural metamorphous, the Viet Nam, and, of course, the assassination of a president before him whose untimely death left a nation to imagine and fantasize about the fallen man's greatness that was never fulfilled, but by the man who followed, and to whom little credit for accomplishment is given. There is, however, no denying that Johnson's own obsession with overcoming the image of a fallen hero impacted him adversely, hauntingly, in ways that caused the early years of his presidency to be perceived badly through the transition from the Kennedy administration to the Johnson administration.

Only today, as we look back at the specific works of this great man, do they speak for the hard work and dedication that it took, and perhaps even a little Texas tenacity, to see those programs through to fruition. Whether they were ideas in the mind of Kennedy that never reached paper, they became reality through the hard work and commitment to the country of Lyndon B. Johnson. He is a man whose legacy has endured, even if he has not received the recognition he deserves.

Works Cited

Conkin, Paul. 2008. The JFK Assassination Debates: Lone Gunman vs. Conspiracy. Journal of Southern History 74, no. 2: 515+.

Dallek, Robert. 1991. Lone Star Rising: Lyndon Johnson and His Times, 1908-1960. New York: Oxford University Press.

Dallek, Robert. 2003. JFK'S Second Term: Toward the End of His Life John F. Kennedy Increasingly Distrusted His Military Advisers and Was Changing His Views on Foreign Policy. A Fresh Look at the Final Months of His Presidency Suggests That a Second Kennedy Term Might Have Produced Not Only an American Withdrawal from Vietnam but Also Rapprochement with Fidel Castro's Cuba. The Atlantic Monthly, June, 58+.

Dugger, Ronnie. 1982. The Politician: The Life and Times of Lyndon Johnson: The Drive for Power, from the Frontier to Master of the Senate. New York W.W. Norton.

Evans, Rowland, and Robert Novak. 1966. Lyndon B. Johnson: The Exercise of Power. New York: New American Library.

Firestone, Bernard J. And Robert C. Vogt, eds. 1988. Lyndon Baines Johnson and the Uses of Power. New York: Greenwood Press.

Flanagan, Richard M. 2001. Lyndon Johnson, Community Action and Management of the Administrative State. Presidential Studies Quarterly 31, no. 4: 585+.

Giglio, James N. 2006. The Zapruder Film: Reframing JFK's Assassination. Journal of Southern History 72, no. 2: 523+.

Green, George N. 2003. Ralph W. Yarborough, the People's Senator. Journal of Southern History 69, no. 4: 982+.

Stone, Oliver (Dir). 1991. JFK, motion picture film, Warner Bros Pictures, USA.

Tyler, Pamela. 2006. The House I Live in: Race in the American Century. Journal of Southern History 72, no. 2: 491+.

Vogel, Jeffrey E. 2005. Redefining Reconciliation: Confederate Veterans and the Southern Responses to Federal Civil War Pensions. Civil War History 51, no. 1: 67+.[continue]

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