Upon becoming President, Johnson pushed forward sweeping social legislation to achieve his goal of creating the “Great Society.” Many of the proposals had been initiated by Kennedy. Sentiment after the assassination helped propel Congressional approval of the measures. But the legislation was more an extension of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. Johnson, who had grown up poor in rural Texas, looked upon Roosevelt as a hero and was determined to continue his legacy.
Johnson described his vision for the Great Society in a commencement address at the University of Michigan on May 22, 1964.
The American Experience: The History and Culture of the United States through Speeches, Letters, Essays, Articles, Poems, Songs, and Stories, edited by Erik Bruun and Jay Crosby.
Click on link to download the full text of LBJ’s Great Society speech delivered at the commencement address at the University of Michigan on May 22, 1964.