Tomorrow, Nov. 8 marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s signing of the Higher Education Act.
President Johnson signed the Higher Education Act on Nov. 8, 1965 at his alma mater, Southwest Texas State College, now Texas State University, in San Marcos, Texas.
Inside a packed gymnasium, he spoke of the lessons he learned in college, about his experiences as a teacher, and he called education the key to the future.
The act, which is the major law that governs federal student aid, was intended “to strengthen the educational resources of our colleges and universities and to provide financial assistance for students in postsecondary and higher education.” It increased federal money given to universities, created scholarships, gave low-interest loans to students, and established a National Teachers Corps. The original law, which was part of Johnson’s “Great Society” domestic agenda, has been reauthorized nine times through the years.
The LBJ Library is marking the anniversary by examining the passage and success of the act in 1965: A Legislative Revolution, on display this month in the Great Hall of the LBJ Library. Come see what President Johnson did to help further higher education for all. Plan your visit.
We’ve also put together an online media kit of related Higher Education Act archival materials including photos, text, and the daily diary from signing day; photos of Johnson as a student at Southwest Texas State College; and a 50th anniversary commemorative video by Texas State University. All are public domain.