On This Day, Jan. 4, 1965 – LBJ Reveals Vision for ‘The Great Society’

1965 – In his State of the Union address, President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed the building of the “Great Society.”

The Great Society was a set of domestic programs in the United States launched by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964-65. The main goal was the elimination of poverty and racial injustice. President Johnson first used the term “Great Society” during a speech at Ohio University, then unveiled the program in greater detail at an appearance at University of Michigan. New major spending programs that addressed education, medical care, urban problems, 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.

We worked for two centuries to climb this peak of prosperity. But we are only at the beginning of the road to the Great Society. Ahead now is a summit where freedom from the wants of the body can help fulfill the needs of the spirit.

We built this Nation to serve its people.

We want to grow and build and create, but we want progress to be the servant and not the master of man.

We do not intend to live in the midst of abundance, isolated from neighbors and nature, confined by blighted cities and bleak suburbs, stunted by a poverty of learning and an emptiness of leisure.

The Great Society asks not how much, but how good; not only how to create wealth but how to use it; not only how fast we are going, but where we are headed.

It proposes as the first test for a nation: the quality of its people.

This kind of society will not flower spontaneously from swelling riches and surging power.

It will not be the gift of government or the creation of presidents. It will require of every American, for many generations, both faith in the destination and the fortitude to make the journey.

And like freedom itself, it will always be challenge and not fulfillment. And tonight we accept that challenge.


1850 – The first American ice-skating club was organized in Philadelphia.

1884 – The socialist Fabian Society was founded in London.

1885 – Dr. William Grant performed the first successful appendectomy. The patient was Mary Gartside.

1896Utah became the 45th state.

1928 – NBC Radio debuted “The Dodge Victory Hour” which starred Will Rogers, Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra and singer Al Jolson.

1935 – Bob Hope was heard for the first time on network radio as part of “The Intimate Revue.”

1936 – The first pop music chart based on national sales was published by “Billboard” magazine.

1944 – The attack on Monte Cassino was launched by the British Fifth Army in Italy.

1948 – Britain granted independence to Burma.

1951 – During the Korean conflict, North Korean and Communist Chinese forces captured the city of Seoul.

1957 – “Collier’s” magazine was published for the last time. The periodical was published for 69 years.

1958 – The Soviet satellite Sputknik I fell to the earth from its orbit. The craft had been launched on October 4, 1957.

1962 – New York City introduced a train that operated without conductors and motormen.

1972 – Rose Heilbron became the first woman judge in Britain at the Old Bailey, London.

1974President Richard Nixon refused to hand over tape recordings and documents subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee.

1991 – The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to condemn Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians in the occupied territories.

1999 – Former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura was sworn in as Minnesota’s 37th governor.

2006 – Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. She was the first woman to hold the position.

2010 – In Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the Burj Dubai (Dubai Tower) opened as the world’s tallest tower at 2,625 feet.

 

Source: On-This-Day.com; Wikipedia.org; Presidency.ucsb.edu