War on Poverty

The War on Poverty is the unofficial name for legislation first introduced by United States President Lyndon B. Johnson during his State of the Union address on Wednesday, January 8, 1964. This legislation was proposed by Johnson in response to a national poverty rate of around nineteen percent. The speech led the United States Congress to pass the Economic Opportunity Act, which established the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) to administer the local application of federal funds targeted against poverty.

As a part of the Great Society, Johnson believed in expanding the federal government's roles in education and health care as poverty reduction strategies.[1] These policies can also be seen as a continuation of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, which ran from 1933 to 1937, and the Four Freedoms of 1941. Johnson stated, "Our aim is not only to relieve the symptom of poverty, but to cure it and, above all, to prevent it".[2]

The legacy of the War on Poverty policy initiative remains in the continued existence of such federal programs as Head Start, Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), TRiO, and Job Corps.

Deregulation, growing criticism of the welfare state, and an ideological shift to reducing federal aid to impoverished people in the 1980s and 1990s culminated in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996, which President Bill Clinton claimed, "ended welfare as we know it."

Signing of the EOA
President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Poverty Bill (also known as the Economic Opportunity Act) while press and supporters of the bill look on, August 20, 1964

Major initiatives

The Office of Economic Opportunity was the agency responsible for administering most of the War on Poverty programs created during Johnson's Administration, including VISTA, Job Corps, Head Start, Legal Services and the Community Action Program. The OEO was established in 1964 and quickly became a target of both left-wing and right-wing critics of the War on Poverty. Directors of the OEO included Sargent Shriver, Bertrand Harding, and Donald Rumsfeld.

The OEO launched Project Head Start as an eight-week summer program in 1965. The project was designed to help end poverty by providing preschool children from low-income families with a program that would meet emotional, social, health, nutritional, and psychological needs. Head Start was then transferred to the Office of Child Development in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (later the Department of Health and Human Services) by the Nixon Administration in 1969.

President Johnson also announced a second project to follow children from the Head Start program. This was implemented in 1967 with Project Follow Through, the largest educational experiment ever conducted.[4]

The policy trains disadvantaged and at-risk youth and has provided more than 2 million disadvantaged young people with the integrated academic, vocational, and social skills training they need to gain independence and get quality, long-term jobs or further their education.[5] Job Corps continues to help 70,000 youths annually at 122 Job Corps centers throughout the country.[6] Besides vocational training, many Job Corps also offer GED programs as well as high school diplomas and programs to get students into college.

Results and aftermath

Number in Poverty and Poverty Rate 1959 to 2011. United States.
Number in Poverty and Poverty Rate: 1959 to 2015. United States.

In the decade following the 1964 introduction of the war on poverty, poverty rates in the U.S. dropped to their lowest level since comprehensive records began in 1958: from 17.3% in the year the Economic Opportunity Act was implemented to 11.1% in 1973. They have remained between 11 and 15.2% ever since.[7] It is important to note, however, that the steep decline in poverty rates began in 1959, 5 years before the introduction of the war on poverty (see figure 4 below).[8]

The 'absolute poverty line' is the threshold below which families or individuals are considered to be lacking the resources to meet the basic needs for healthy living; having insufficient income to provide the food, shelter and clothing needed to preserve health. Poverty among Americans between ages 18–64 has fallen only marginally since 1966, from 10.5% then to 10.1% today. Poverty has significantly fallen among Americans under 18 years old from 23% in 1964 down to less than 17%, although it has risen again to 20% in 2009.[9] The most dramatic decrease in poverty was among Americans over 65, which fell from 28.5% in 1966 to 10.1% today.

In 2004, more than 35.9 million, or 12% of Americans including 12.1 million children, were considered to be living in poverty with an average growth of almost 1 million per year. According to the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, since the Johnson Administration, almost $15 trillion has been spent on welfare, with poverty rates being about the same as during the Johnson Administration.[10] A 2013 study published by Columbia University asserts that without the social safety net, the poverty rate would have been 29% for 2012, instead of 16%.[11] According to OECD data from 2012, the poverty rate before taxes and transfers was 28.3%, while the poverty rate after taxes and transfers fell to 17.4%.[12]

The OEO was dismantled by President Nixon in 1973, though many of the agency's programs were transferred to other government agencies.

According to the Readers' Companion to U.S. Women's History,

Many observers point out that the War on Poverty's attention to Black America created the grounds for the backlash that began in the 1970s. The perception by the white middle class that it was footing the bill for ever-increasing services to the poor led to diminished support for welfare state programs, especially those that targeted specific groups and neighborhoods. Many whites viewed Great Society programs as supporting the economic and social needs of low-income urban minorities; they lost sympathy, especially as the economy declined during the 1970s.[13]

United States Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare under President Jimmy Carter, Joseph A. Califano, Jr. wrote in 1999 in an issue of the Washington Monthly that:[14]

In waging the war on poverty, congressional opposition was too strong to pass an income maintenance law. So LBJ took advantage of the biggest automatic cash machine around: Social Security. He proposed, and Congress enacted, whopping increases in the minimum benefits that lifted some two million Americans 65 and older above the poverty line. In 1996, thanks to those increased minimum benefits, Social Security lifted 12 million senior citizens above the poverty line ... No Great Society undertaking has been subjected to more withering conservative attacks than the Office of Economic Opportunity. Yet, the War on Poverty was founded on the most conservative principle: Put the power in the local community, not in Washington; give people at the grassroots the ability to stand tall on their own two feet. Conservative claims that the OEO poverty programs were nothing but a waste of money are preposterous ... Eleven of the 12 programs that OEO launched in the mid-'60s are alive, well and funded at an annual rate exceeding $10 billion; apparently legislators believe they're still working.

Reception and critique

President Johnson's "War on Poverty" speech was delivered at a time of recovery (the poverty level had fallen from 22.4% in 1959 to 19% in 1964 when the War on Poverty was announced) and it was viewed by critics as an effort to get the United States Congress to authorize social welfare programs.[15]

Some economists, including Milton Friedman, have argued that Johnson's policies actually had a negative impact on the economy because of their interventionist nature, noting in a PBS interview that "the government sets out to eliminate poverty, it has a war on poverty, so-called "poverty" increases. It has a welfare program, and the welfare program leads to an expansion of problems. A general attitude develops that government isn't a very efficient way of doing things."[16] Adherents of this school of thought recommend that the best way to fight poverty is not through government spending but through economic growth.[17][18][19]

Prof. Tony Judt, the late historian, said in reference to the earlier proposed title of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act that "a more Orwellian title would be hard to conceive" and attributed the decline in the popularity of the Great Society as a policy to its success, as fewer people feared hunger, sickness, and ignorance. Additionally, fewer people were concerned with ensuring a minimum standard for all citizens and social liberalism.[20]

Conservative Research Fellow at the Independent Institute James L. Payne followed this line of thinking when he wrote that "the war on poverty was a costly, tragic mistake [because]...abolishing poverty did not seem far-fetched to the activists ... [and] it was a perspective that led to intolerance ... The simple economic theory of poverty led to a single underlying principle for welfare programs ... In adopting the handout approach for their programs, the war-on-poverty activists failed to notice – or failed to care – that they were ignoring over a century of theory and experience in the social welfare field ... The war-on-poverty activists not only ignored the lessons of the past on the subject of handouts; they also ignored their own experience with the poor."[21]

Economist Thomas Sowell also criticized the War on Poverty's programs, writing "The black family, which had survived centuries of slavery and discrimination, began rapidly disintegrating in the liberal welfare state that subsidized unwed pregnancy and changed welfare from an emergency rescue to a way of life."[22]

Others took a different tack. In 1967, in his book Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? Martin Luther King "criticized Johnson's War on Poverty for being too piecemeal", saying that programs created under the "war on poverty" such as "housing programs, job training and family counseling" all had "a fatal disadvantage [because] the programs have never proceeded on a coordinated basis...[and noted that] at no time has a total, coordinated and fully adequate program been conceived."[23] In his speech on April 4, 1967 at Riverside Church in New City, King connected the war in Vietnam with the "war on poverty":

There is at the outset a very obvious and almost facile connection between the war in Vietnam and the struggle I, and others, have been waging in America. A few years ago there was a shining moment in that struggle. It seemed as if there was a real promise of hope for the poor –both black and white – through the poverty program. There were experiments, hopes, new beginnings. Then came the buildup in Vietnam and I watched the program broken and eviscerated as if it were some idle political plaything of a society gone mad on war, and I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such. Perhaps the more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home.[24]

This criticism was repeated in his speech at the same place later that month when he said that "and you may not know it, my friends, but it is estimated that we spend $500,000 to kill each enemy soldier, while we spend only fifty-three dollars for each person classified as poor, and much of that fifty-three dollars goes for salaries to people that are not poor. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor, and attack it as such."[25] The next year, King started the Poor People's Campaign to address the shortcomings of the "war on poverty" and to "demand a check" for suffering African-Americans which was carried on briefly after his death with the construction and maintenance of an encampment, Resurrection City, for over six weeks.[26] Years later, a writer in The Nation remarked that "the war on poverty has too often been a war on the poor themselves," but that much can be done.[27]

In 1989, the former executive officer of the Task Force on Poverty Hyman Bookbinder addressed such criticisms of the "war on poverty" in an op-ed in The New York Times. He wrote that:

Today, the ranks of the poor are again swelling ... These and other statistics have led careless observers to conclude that the war on poverty failed. No, it has achieved many good results. Society has failed. It tired of the war too soon, gave it inadequate resources and did not open up new fronts as required. Large-scale homelessness, an explosion of teen-age pregnancies and single-parent households, rampant illiteracy, drugs and crime – these have been both the results of and causes of persistent poverty. While it is thus inappropriate to celebrate an anniversary of the war on poverty, it is important to point up some of the big gains ... Did every program of the 60's work? Was every dollar used to its maximum potential? Should every Great Society program be reinstated or increased? Of course not ... First, we cannot afford not to resume the war. One way or another, the problem will remain expensive. Somehow, we will provide for the survival needs of the poorest: welfare, food stamps, beds and roofs for the homeless, Medicaid. The fewer poor there are, the fewer the relief problems. Getting people out of poverty is the most cost-effective public investment."[28]

In March 3, 2014, as Chairman of the Budget Committee of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan released his "The War on Poverty: 50 Years Later" report, asserting that some of 92 federal programs designed to help lower-income Americans have not provided the relief intended and that there is little evidence that these efforts have been successful.[29] At the core of the report are recommendations to enact cuts to welfare, child care, college Pell grants and several other federal assistance programs.[30] In the appendix titled "Measures of Poverty", when the poverty rate is measured by including non-cash assistance from food stamps, housing aid and other federal programs, the report states that these measurements have "implications for both conservatives and liberals. For conservatives, this suggests that federal programs have actually decreased poverty. For liberals, it lessens the supposed need to expand existing programs or to create new ones."[29][30] Several economists and social scientists whose work had been referenced in the report said that Ryan either misunderstood or misrepresented their research.[31]

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ These justifications and aspects of the war on poverty are discussed in Weisbrod, Burton, ed. The Economics of Poverty: An American Paradox, Prentice-Hall, 1965
  2. ^ Rector, Robert; Sheffield, Rachel (September 15, 2014). "The War on Poverty After 50 Years". The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved May 13, 2015.
  3. ^ "A Short History of SNAP – Food and Nutrition Service". usda.gov.
  4. ^ Maloney, M. (1998). Teach Your Children Well. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies.
  5. ^ "Congressman Chaka Fattah: National Job Resources". house.gov.
  6. ^ "Partnerships – Partners". new-corp.org.
  7. ^ Table B-1 page 56
  8. ^ "Poverty". census.gov.
  9. ^ "Children in poverty – Data Across States". Baltimore: KIDS COUNT Data Center, Annie E. Casey Foundation. September 2011. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
  10. ^ Cover, Matt (June 25, 2012). "Study: More Than Half a Trillion Dollars Spent on Welfare But Poverty Levels Unaffected". CNSNews.com. Alexandria, VA: Media Research Center. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
  11. ^ Zachary A. Goldfarb (December 9, 2013). Study: U.S. poverty rate decreased over past half-century thanks to safety-net programs. The Washington Post. Retrieved January 15, 2015.
  12. ^ Compare your country: Income distribution and poverty. OECD. Retrieved January 18, 2014.
  13. ^ Mankiller, Wilma; Mink, Gwendolyn; Navarro, Marysa; Smith, Barbara; Steinem, Gloria, eds. (1998). "Great Society/War on Poverty". The Reader's Companion to U.S. Women's History. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. p. 720. ISBN 9780395671733. Retrieved May 6, 2009.
  14. ^ Califano, Joseph A., Jr. (October 1999). "What Was Really Great About The Great Society: The truth behind the conservative myths". Washington Monthly. Archived from the original on March 26, 2014. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  15. ^ Clark, Elizabeth J. (January 2011). "Social Work's Poverty Imperative". NASWDC. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  16. ^ Friedman, Milton (August 9, 2002). "First Measured Century: Interview: Milton Friedman". PBS. Archived from the original on August 8, 2002. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  17. ^ Priest, George L. (April 11, 2013). "Poverty, Inequality and Economic Growth: Simple Principles" (PDF). Yale University. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  18. ^ Baetjer Jr., Howard (April 2003). "Does Welfare Diminish Poverty?". Foundation for Economic Freedom. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  19. ^ Loo, Dennis (April 2003). "Libertarianism and Poverty". The Ethical Spectacle. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  20. ^ Judt, Tony (December 17, 2009). "What Is Living and What Is Dead in Social Democracy?". The New York Review of Books. New York. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
  21. ^ Payne, James L. (January 1, 1999). "Why the War on Poverty Failed Handouts Provide the Wrong Incentives". Foundation for Economic Education. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  22. ^ A painful anniversary. Thomas Sowell, Townhall.com, 17 August 2004
  23. ^ Engler, Mark (January 15, 2010). "Dr. Martin Luther King's Economics: Through Jobs, Freedom". The Nation. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  24. ^ Rev. Martin Luther King. "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence". hartford-hwp.com.
  25. ^ "Social Activism Sound Recording Project". berkeley.edu.
  26. ^ Gates, Henry Louis (February 10, 1998). "The Two Nations of Black America". PBS. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  27. ^ Cersonsky, James (January 3, 2013). "What a Real 'War on Poverty' Looks Like". The Nation. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  28. ^ Bookbinder, Hyman (August 20, 1989). "Did the War on Poverty Fail?". The New York Times. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  29. ^ a b "The War on Poverty: 50 Years Later". Budget Committee of the House of Representatives. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  30. ^ a b Mascaro, Lisa (March 3, 2014). "Rep. Paul Ryan calls for cuts in anti-poverty programs". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  31. ^ Garver, Rob (March 4, 2014). "Economists Say Paul Ryan Misrepresented Their Research". The Fiscal Times. Retrieved March 5, 2014.

Further reading

  • Martha J. Bailey and Sheldon Danziger (eds.), Legacies of the War on Poverty. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2013. ISBN 9780871540072.
  • Elizabeth Hinton. From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America. Harvard University Press, 2016. ISBN 0674737237.
  • Annelise Orleck and Lisa Gayle Hazirjian (eds.), The War on Poverty: A New Grassroots History, 1964–1980. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2011. ISBN 9780820339498.

External links

Preceded by
1963 State of the Union Address
State of the Union addresses
1964
Succeeded by
1965 State of the Union Address
Community Action Agencies

In the United States and its territories, Community Action Agencies (CAA) are local private and public non-profit organizations that carry out the Community Action Program (CAP), which was founded by the 1964 Economic Opportunity Act to fight poverty by empowering the poor as part of the War on Poverty.

CAAs are intended to promote self-sufficiency, and they depend heavily on volunteer work, especially from the low-income community. The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) is the agencies' core federal funding. Agencies also operate a variety of grants that come from federal, state and local sources. These grants vary widely among agencies, although most CAAs operate Head Start programs, which focus on early child development. Other programs frequently administered by Community Action Agencies include Low-Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) utility grants and Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) funded through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Each CAA is governed by a board of directors consisting of at least one-third low-income community members, one-third public officials, and up to one-third private sector leaders. This board structure is defined by federal statute and is known as a tripartite board.There are currently over 1,000 CAAs, engaged in a broad range of activities; typical activities include promoting citizen participation, providing utility bill assistance and home weatherization for low-income individuals, administration of Head Start pre-school programs, job training, operating food pantries, and coordinating community initiatives.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Daniel Patrick "Pat" Moynihan (March 16, 1927 – March 26, 2003) was an American politician, sociologist, and diplomat. A member of the Democratic Party, he represented New York in the United States Senate and served as an adviser to Republican U.S. President Richard Nixon.

Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Moynihan moved at a young age to New York City. Following a stint in the navy, he earned a Ph.D. in history from Tufts University. He worked on the staff of New York Governor W. Averell Harriman before joining President John F. Kennedy's administration in 1961. He served as an Assistant Secretary of Labor under Kennedy and President Lyndon B. Johnson, devoting much of his time to the War on Poverty. In 1965, he published the controversial Moynihan Report. Moynihan left the Johnson administration in 1965 and became a professor at Harvard University.

In 1969, he accepted Nixon's offer to serve as an Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, and he was elevated to the position of Counselor to the President later that year. He left the administration at the end of 1970, and accepted appointment as United States Ambassador to India in 1973. He accepted President Gerald Ford's appointment to the position of United States Ambassador to the United Nations in 1975, holding that position until 1976, when he won election to the Senate.

Moynihan represented New York in the Senate from 1977 to 2001. He served as Chairman of the Senate Environment Committee from 1992 to 1993 and as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee from 1993 to 1995. He also led the Moynihan Secrecy Commission, which studied the regulation of classified information. He emerged as a strong critic of President Ronald Reagan's foreign policy and opposed President Bill Clinton's health care plan. He frequently broke with liberal positions, but opposed welfare reform in the 1990s. He also voted against the Defense of Marriage Act, the North American Free Trade Agreement, and the Congressional authorization for the Gulf War. He is tied with Jacob K. Javits as the longest-serving Senator from the state of New York.

Economic Opportunity Act of 1964

The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 (Pub.L. 88–452) authorized the formation of local Community Action Agencies as part of the War on Poverty. These agencies are directly regulated by the federal government. "It is the purpose of The Economic Opportunity Act to strengthen, supplement, and coordinate efforts in furtherance of that policy".

Elementary and Secondary Education Act

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was passed by the 89th United States Congress and signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on April 11, 1965. Part of Johnson's "War on Poverty," the act has been the most far-reaching federal legislation affecting education ever passed by the United States Congress.

Johnson proposed a major reform of federal education policy in the aftermath of his landslide victory in the 1964 United States presidential election, and his proposal quickly led to the passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The act provides federal funding to primary and secondary education, with funds authorized for professional development, instructional materials, resources to support educational programs, and parental involvement promotion. The act emphasizes equal access to education, aiming to shorten the achievement gaps between students by providing federal funding to support schools with children from impoverished families.

Since 1965, ESEA has been modified and reauthorized by Congress several times. The Bilingual Education Act provides support for bilingual education and educational efforts for Native Americans and other groups. The Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974 prohibits discrimination against students and teachers. The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) introduced a testing regime designed to promote standards-based education. The Every Student Succeeds Act retained some of the testing requirements established by the NCLB, but shifted accountability provisions to the states.

Frances Fox Piven

Frances Fox Piven (born October 10, 1932) is an American professor of political science and sociology at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, where she has taught since 1982.Piven is known equally for her contributions to social theory and for her social activism. A veteran of the war on poverty and subsequent welfare-rights protests both in New York City and on the national stage, she has been instrumental in formulating the theoretical underpinnings of those movements. Over the course of her career, she has served on the boards of the ACLU and the Democratic Socialists of America, and has also held offices in several professional associations, including the American Political Science Association and the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Previously, she had been a member of the political science faculty at Boston University.

Gillis William Long

Gillis William Long (May 4, 1923 – January 20, 1985) was a Democratic U.S. Representative from Louisiana's 8th congressional district, based about Alexandria, but since disbanded. He was a member of the Long family. Long served seven non-consecutive terms in the House but placed third in two campaigns for the Democratic gubernatorial nominations in 1963 and 1971. Long served in Congress between 1963 and 1965, and again from 1973 until his death from a heart attack in Washington, D.C. in 1985. Though he was elected to an eighth term in the House in 1984, he died seventeen days into that term.

In its April 29, 2007, edition, Long's hometown newspaper, the Alexandria Daily Town Talk, declared that Long, along with legendary attorney Camille Gravel and American Civil War General William T. Sherman, were the three most significant historical persons to have been associated with Alexandria.

Great Society

The Great Society was a set of domestic programs in the United States launched by Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964–65. The main goal was the total elimination of poverty and racial injustice.

New major spending programs that addressed education, medical care, urban problems, rural poverty, and transportation were launched during this period. The program and its initiatives were subsequently promoted by him and fellow Democrats in Congress in the 1960s and years following. The Great Society in scope and sweep resembled the New Deal domestic agenda of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Some Great Society proposals were stalled initiatives from John F. Kennedy's New Frontier. Johnson's success depended on his skills of persuasion, coupled with the Democratic landslide in the 1964 election that brought in many new liberals to Congress, making the House of Representatives in 1965 the most liberal House since 1938.Anti-war Democrats complained that spending on the Vietnam War choked off the Great Society. While some of the programs have been eliminated or had their funding reduced, many of them, including Medicare, Medicaid, the Older Americans Act and federal education funding, continue to the present. The Great Society's programs expanded under the administrations of Republican Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

Inez, Kentucky

Inez () is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Martin County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 466 at the 2000 census.

Job Corps

Job Corps is a program administered by the United States Department of Labor that offers free-of-charge education and vocational training to young men and women ages 16 to 24.

Lyndon B. Johnson

Lyndon Baines Johnson (; August 27, 1908 – January 22, 1973), often referred to as LBJ, was an American politician who served as the 36th president of the United States from 1963 to 1969. Formerly the 37th vice president of the United States from 1961 to 1963, he assumed the presidency following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. A Democrat from Texas, Johnson also served as a United States Representative and as the Majority Leader in the United States Senate. Johnson is one of only four people who have served in all four federal elected positions.Born in a farmhouse in Stonewall, Texas, Johnson was a high school teacher and worked as a congressional aide before winning election to the House of Representatives in 1937. He won election to the Senate in 1948 and was appointed to the position of Senate Majority Whip in 1951. He became the Senate Minority Leader in 1953 and the Senate Majority Leader in 1955. He became known for his domineering personality and the "Johnson treatment", his aggressive coercion of powerful politicians to advance legislation.

Johnson ran for the Democratic nomination in the 1960 presidential election. Although unsuccessful, he accepted the invitation of then-Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts to be his running mate. They went on to win a close election over the Republican ticket of Richard Nixon and Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. On November 22, 1963, Kennedy was assassinated and Johnson succeeded him as president. The following year, Johnson won in a landslide, defeating Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona. With 61.1 percent of the popular vote, Johnson won the largest share of the popular vote of any candidate since the largely uncontested 1820 election.

In domestic policy, Johnson designed the "Great Society" legislation to expand civil rights, public broadcasting, Medicare, Medicaid, aid to education, the arts, urban and rural development, public services and his "War on Poverty". Assisted in part by a growing economy, the War on Poverty helped millions of Americans rise above the poverty line during his administration. Civil rights bills that he signed into law banned racial discrimination in public facilities, interstate commerce, the workplace and housing; the Voting Rights Act prohibited certain requirements in southern states used to disenfranchise African Americans. With the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the country's immigration system was reformed, encouraging greater emigration from regions other than Europe. Johnson's presidency marked the peak of modern liberalism after the New Deal era.

In foreign policy, Johnson escalated American involvement in the Vietnam War. In 1964, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which granted Johnson the power to use military force in Southeast Asia without having to ask for an official declaration of war. The number of American military personnel in Vietnam increased dramatically, from 16,000 advisors in non-combat roles in 1963 to 525,000 in 1967, many in combat roles. American casualties soared and the peace process stagnated. Growing unease with the war stimulated a large, angry anti-war movement based chiefly among draft-age students on university campuses.

Johnson faced further troubles when summer riots began in major cities in 1965 and crime rates soared, as his opponents raised demands for "law and order" policies. While Johnson began his presidency with widespread approval, support for him declined as the public became frustrated with both the war and the growing violence at home. In 1968, the Democratic Party factionalized as anti-war elements denounced Johnson; he ended his bid for renomination after a disappointing finish in the New Hampshire primary. Nixon was elected to succeed him, as the New Deal coalition that had dominated presidential politics for 36 years collapsed. After he left office in January 1969, Johnson returned to his Texas ranch, where he died of a heart attack at age 64, on January 22, 1973.

Johnson is ranked favorably by many historians because of his domestic policies and the passage of many major laws that affected civil rights, gun control, wilderness preservation, and Social Security, although he has also drawn substantial criticism for his escalation of the Vietnam War.

Model Cities Program

The Model Cities Program was an element of U.S. President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society and War on Poverty. In 1966, new legislation led to the more than 150 five-year-long, Model Cities experiments to develop new antipoverty programs and alternative forms of municipal government. The ambitious federal urban aid program succeeded in fostering a new generation of mostly black urban leaders. However, the nation moved to the right after the urban riots of the late 1960s. This led to a shift in goals to bricks-and-mortar housing and building projects. The program ended in 1974.

National curriculum

A national curriculum is a common programme of study in schools that is designed to ensure nationwide uniformity of content and standards in education. It is usually legislated by the national government, possibly in consultation with state or other regional authorities.

National curriculum assessment generally means testing of students as to whether they meet the national standards.

Notable national curricula are:

Australian Curriculum is a planned curriculum for schools in all states and territories of Australia, from Kindergarten to Year 12. Its first stages were planned to start in 2013.

National Curriculum and Textbook Board for Bangladesh.

National Curriculum Framework (NCF 2005) for India

in the United Kingdom:

National Curriculum for England, current since 2014

Northern Ireland Curriculum

Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland

National Curriculum for Wales, current since 1999

Primary Curriclum for England since 2014The United States notably does not have one; the establishment of a national curriculum was explicitly banned in 1965, in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. This act provided federal funding for primary and secondary education ('Title I funding') as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty. However, most states in the United States voluntarily abide by the Common Core State Standards Initiative, which provides certain uniform standards, See Education in the United States.

Night Comes to the Cumberlands

Night Comes to the Cumberlands (1963) is a book by Harry Caudill that brought attention to poverty in Appalachia and is credited with making the Appalachian area a focus of the United States government's "War on Poverty". In Poverty in the United States: an encyclopedia of history, politics, and policy, the book is described as a "definitive text on poverty in Appalachia among journalists, academics, and government bureaucrats concerned with economic inequality in America."

Office of Economic Opportunity

The Office of Economic Opportunity was the agency responsible for administering most of the War on Poverty programs created as part of United States President Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society legislative agenda.

Poor People's Campaign

The Poor People's Campaign, or Poor People's March on Washington, was a 1968 effort to gain economic justice for poor people in the United States. It was organized by Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and carried out under the leadership of Ralph Abernathy in the wake of King's assassination.

The campaign demanded economic and human rights for poor Americans of diverse backgrounds. After presenting an organized set of demands to Congress and executive agencies, participants set up a 3,000-person protest camp on the Washington Mall, where they stayed for six weeks in the spring of 1968.

The Poor People's Campaign was motivated by a desire for economic justice: the idea that all people should have what they need to live. King and the SCLC shifted their focus to these issues after observing that gains in civil rights had not improved the material conditions of life for many African Americans. The Poor People's Campaign was a multiracial effort—including African Americans, white Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans—aimed at alleviating poverty regardless of race.According to political historians such as Barbara Cruikshank, "the poor" did not particularly conceive of themselves as a unified group until President Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty (declared in 1964) identified them as such. Figures from the 1960 census, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Commerce Department, and the Federal Reserve estimated anywhere from 40 to 60 million Americans—or 22 to 33 percent—lived below the poverty line. At the same time, the nature of poverty itself was changing as America's population increasingly lived in cities, not farms (and could not grow its own food). Poor African Americans, particularly women, suffered from racism and sexism that amplified the impact of poverty, especially after "welfare mothers" became a nationally recognized concept.By 1968, the War on Poverty seemed like a failure, neglected by a Johnson administration (and Congress) that wanted to focus on the Vietnam War and increasingly saw anti-poverty programs as primarily helping African Americans. The Poor People's Campaign sought to address poverty through income and housing. The campaign would help the poor by dramatizing their needs, uniting all races under the commonality of hardship and presenting a plan to start to a solution. Under the "economic bill of rights," the Poor People's Campaign asked for the federal government to prioritize helping the poor with a $30 billion anti-poverty package that included, among other demands, a commitment to full employment, a guaranteed annual income measure and more low-income housing. The Poor People's Campaign was part of the second phase of the civil rights movement. King said, "We believe the highest patriotism demands the ending of the war and the opening of a bloodless war to final victory over racism and poverty".King wanted to bring poor people to Washington, D.C., forcing politicians to see them and think about their needs: "We ought to come in mule carts, in old trucks, any kind of transportation people can get their hands on. People ought to come to Washington, sit down if necessary in the middle of the street and say, 'We are here; we are poor; we don't have any money; you have made us this way ... and we've come to stay until you do something about it.'"

Sargent Shriver

Robert Sargent Shriver Jr. (; November 9, 1915 – January 18, 2011) was an American diplomat, politician and activist. As the husband of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, he was part of the Kennedy family. Shriver was the driving force behind the creation of the Peace Corps, and founded the Job Corps, Head Start, and other programs as the "architect" of the 1960s "War on Poverty." He was the Democratic Party's nominee for vice president in the 1972 presidential election.

Born in Westminster, Maryland, Shriver pursued a legal career after graduating from Yale Law School. An opponent of U.S. entry into World War II, he helped establish the America First Committee but volunteered for the United States Navy before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. During the war, he served in the South Pacific, participating in the naval Battle of Guadalcanal. After being discharged from the navy, he worked as an assistant editor for Newsweek and met Eunice Kennedy, marrying her in 1953.

He worked on the 1960 presidential campaign of his brother-in-law, John F. Kennedy, and helped establish the Peace Corps after Kennedy's victory. After Kennedy's assassination, Shriver served in the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson and helped establish several anti-poverty programs as director of the Office of Economic Opportunity from October 16, 1964 to March 22, 1968. He also served as the United States Ambassador to France from 1968 to 1970. In 1972, Democratic vice presidential nominee Thomas Eagleton resigned from the ticket, and Shriver was chosen as his replacement. The Democratic ticket of George McGovern and Shriver lost in a landslide election defeat to Republican President Richard Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew. Shriver briefly sought the 1976 Democratic presidential nomination but dropped out of the race after the first set of primaries.

After leaving office, he resumed the practice of law, becoming a partner with Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson. He also served as president of the Special Olympics and was briefly a part-owner of the Baltimore Orioles. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2003 and died in Bethesda, Maryland in 2011.

The Other America

The Other America (ISBN 0-684-82678-X) is Michael Harrington's best known and likely most influential book. He was an American democratic socialist, writer, political activist, political theorist, professor of political science, radio commentator, and founding member of the Democratic Socialists of America. He believed that American Socialists could support certain Democratic Party candidates, including candidates for President.

Upward Bound

Upward Bound is a federally funded educational program within the United States. The program is one of a cluster of programs now referred to as TRiO, all of which owe their existence to the federal Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 (the War on Poverty Program) and the Higher Education Act of 1965. Upward Bound programs are implemented and monitored by the United States Department of Education. The goal of Upward Bound is to provide certain categories of high school students better opportunities for attending college. The categories of greatest concern are those with low income, those with parents who did not attend college, and those living in rural areas. The program works through individual grants, each of which covers a restricted geographic area and provides services to approximately 59,000 students annually. The program focuses on academic and nonacademic resources and activities like visits to museums or tutoring for school work. Students are encouraged to be involved in Upward Bound for the entire academic year and a 6-week long summer program. Many students who are also granted access into the Upward Bound program are labeled as first generation college students, who are students that are the first in their family to attend college. This program is set in place for students who come from low income families as well as underrepresented schools and gives them an opportunity to excel in college.

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