American Experience: LBJ

About This Episode


Lyndon Johnson was the first president to appoint an African American to the Supreme Court when, on June 13, 1967, Johnson named Thurgood Marshall, the great-grandson of a slave, to sit on the highest court in the land. Lyndon Johnson exploited his mastery of the legislative process to shepherd a collection of progressive programs, rivaling those of FDR's New Deal, through Congress with astounding success. However, visions of a Great Society were swallowed up in the quagmire of Vietnam: the unpopular and costly war eroded his political base and left him an exile within his own White House.

American Experience reprises LBJ, a biography of the poor boy from rural Texas whose ascent to the very pinnacle of power is a version of the American dream. The documentary examines this controversial figure whose duality as both a seductive and fearsome man continues to fascinate and intrigue.