Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson became president following John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963. Not willing simply to continue Kennedy's reforms, which were largely stalled in Congress, Johnson declared a war on poverty and racial injustice in America. Using his considerable political skills and a good deal of arm-twisting, Johnson pushed through the 1964 Civil Rights Act outlawing discrimination in employment, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and the 1968 Civil Rights Act barring discrimination in housing. These were the most significant civil rights laws since the Reconstruction legislation following the Civil War.