LBJ and The Assassination of Kennedy: 50 Years

As we all know, November 22, 1963 is a day that Americans will always remember. Today was the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated and Linden B. Johnson took over office. Between the mourning of a wonderful man and the confusion over conspiracies, there is one question Americans must ask in order to understand history just a little bit better: How did the actions of that day influence the next election.

The December 7, 1963 newspaper Star News article tells of how President Johnson looked like an adequate successor of President Kennedy due to his skill in being able to adjust and respond to certain scenarios quickly. This was imperative for the structure and reconstruction of the government after Kennedy’s death; if Johnson was not suitable as president, the citizens would not accept him and the political war Johnson had been fighting to get the presidency would be lost. The Democrats would have been lost forever in the “accidental presidency” of Johnson if he were to fail at becoming the image of renewal the Americans needed. Just like now, the Democratic Party could have been blamed for many governmental fallouts and shifts in governmental protocol. There are many issues relating back to class and what we are studying throughout the year, but now I would like to address the voting situation of the takeover presidency.

LBJ was an inspiring president, standing up and taking an important position in an increasingly difficult time. This contributed greatly to his success in the house and the further success of the Democratic Party in the future. The Electoral College and popular votes were gained during this rough time. Americans saw a man in LBJ that could stand up and overcome amazing obstacles. The statistics show that later in 1964, the results were overwhelmingly for the Democratic Party.


There are also many conspiracies covering the whole assassination that Johnson had to address when he went into office. Lee Harvey Oswald, the man accused and suspected of murdering Kennedy, was a prime example of the scandal America had been experiencing with Communist Russia at the time. The Cold War had begun, and relations with the Russians were slim and none, making the Russian defect Oswald even more suspicious. What had been scandalous about Oswald’s situation was the theory that Oswald had defected to America to kill the President for the KGB, and later was ‘silenced’ by a fellow Russian to keep his mouth shut. This entire theory created a scare among Americans, along with the already upcoming “Red Scare”. The way LBJ dealt with the theory and conspiracy created such a calming state of mind for the entire nation that LBJ’s popularity increased even more.

So in many ways, LBJ influenced the outcome of the elections based upon his actions and courage. I believe that LBJ, while among other things, was a fantastic example for Americans in a time of tragedy, building the public up and giving the public the reassuring President they needed.,1125156


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