: Photograph showing President Lyndon B. Johnson shaking the hand of Congressman John J. Gilligan of Ohio.
In 1953, John Gilligan embarked upon a career in politics, winning election to the Cincinnati City Council as a member of the Democratic Party. Gilligan served on the council from 1953 to 1963. In 1964, Gilligan won election to the United States House of Representatives, representing Ohio's 1st District. He only served one term (1965-1967). He lost his reelection bid because the Republican-controlled state legislature redrew his district, placing a much larger number of Republicans in it. In 1968, Gilligan unsuccessfully ran for the United States Senate.
Undaunted after these two defeats, Gilligan remained active in politics, winning election to the Ohio governor's office in 1970. During Gilligan's administration, Ohio adopted a graduated state income tax to overcome budget shortfalls. Gilligan also saw the implementation of the state lottery during his time in office, although he opposed this measure. In 1973, the state legislature and the governor concurred to lower the voting age to eighteen years, and Gilligan also secured funding to improve Ohio's transportation infrastructure. The governor sought reelection in 1974, but he lost to former governor James Rhodes.
In 1948, Lyndon B. Johnson won election to the United States Senate. He remained as one of Texas' two senators until 1960, when he ran for the vice presidency of the United States. John F. Kennedy was his running mate. Johnson helped Kennedy win the election of 1960 by helping convince white Southerners to vote for Kennedy, a Northerner from Massachusetts. The presidential election of 1960 was one of the closest elections in American history. While Johnson was a senator and as vice president, he was a supporter of space exploration, of extending civil rights to people of all races, and of increasing federal funding for education. He also became a strong opponent of communism.
On November 22, 1963, an assassin killed John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas. As vice president, Johnson succeeded Kennedy as president. Johnson urged the United States Congress and the American people to honor Kennedy by fulfilling the former president's call for a New Frontier in the United States. Johnson encouraged the Congress to eliminate racial discrimination, to end poverty and hunger in the United States, to redevelop dilapidated cities (Model Cities Program), to provide the American people with federally-financed health care (Medicare and Medicaid), and to increase funding for education (including the Jobs Corps and Project Head Start, among other programs). Ohioan Theodore Berry was instrumental in assisting Johnson in establishing Head Start. Johnson called his policy the Great Society, hoping to make the United States the greatest nation on the face of the earth. As part of this Great Society policy, Johnson also implemented the War on Poverty in 1964, hoping to eliminate poverty in the United States. Johnson experienced much success when it came to his domestic policy. The United States Congress implemented most of his budget proposals, and the number of Americans living in poverty declined during Johnson's administration. Because of his Great Society programs, Johnson won election to the presidency in 1964.
When it came to his foreign policy, Johnson experienced far fewer successes. Johnson was the president who escalated American involvement in Vietnam. This conflict divided Americans and helped lead to a sense of distrust for many Americans with their government. Students, among other Americans, protested the Vietnam War, and sometimes these protests turned violent, such as at Kent State University, in Kent, Ohio, in 1970. As it became clear to the American people in 1968 that the United States was no closer to winning the Vietnam War than it had been in 1964, Johnson announced that he would not seek reelection to the presidency. His presidential term ended in January 1969. Because of Johnson's actions in Vietnam, Ohioans cast their ballots for the Republican candidate for president, Richard Milhous Nixon, in 1968. Nixon had the widest margin of victory in Ohio than he had in any other state.s as the governor of Kansas. Gilligan and Sebelius are the only father and daughter to be elected as state governors. View on Ohio Memory.
: AL08024 Subjects
: Presidents; Governors; Ohio History--State and Local Government; Gilligan, John Joyce, 1921-; Places
: Lyndon B. Johnson and John J. Gilligan photograph