Written By: Lily Rothman, Liz Ronk

Lyndon B. Johnson’s first year as president was one for the history books: it began with President Kennedy’s assassination on Nov. 22, 1963, and ended almost exactly a year later with Johnson’s reelection to the White House, in a major victory over Republican candidate Barry Goldwater.

LIFE Magazine was tracking the presidential race as it was happening; that reelection was the subject of a Nov. 13, 1964 cover story about the “Mighty Landslide.” And, though the published issue would only include a couple of shots of the President and his family at their Texas ranch, LIFE’s photographer John Dominis captured the whole run-up to Johnson’s learning that he had won handily and how he celebrated.

Despite the eventual results and Johnson’s well-founded confidence, it was clear that the President wouldn’t consider the victory his until the results were official. And even then, one of American history’s biggest landslides wasn’t entirely satisfying.

“He wants,” a friend told LIFE before the results came in, “to make it unanimous.”

LBJ and Ladybird at home, 1964

Lyndon B. Johnson 1964

John Dominis / The LIFE Picture Collection

Lady Bird Johnson and daughter Lucy on election eve, 1964.

Lyndon B.Johnson 1964

John Dominis / The LIFE Picture Collection

Election night, 1964.

Lyndon B. Johnson 1964

John Dominis / The LIFE Picture Collection

Lyndon B. Johnson and wife Lady Bird on election night, 1964.

Lyndon B.Johnson 1964

John Dominis / The LIFE Picture Collection

Lyndon B. Johnson on election night, 1964.

Lyndon B. Johnson 1964

John Dominis / The LIFE Picture Collection

Lyndon B. Johnson on election night, 1964.

Lyndon B. Johnson 1964

John Dominis / The LIFE Picture Collection

Lyndon B. Johnson on election night, 1964.

Lyndon B. Johnson 1964

John Dominis / The LIFE Picture Collection

Election night, 1964.

Crowd on election night

John Dominis / The LIFE Picture Collection

Lyndon B. Johnson and wife Lady Bird on election night, 1964.

Lyndon B. Johnson 1964

John Dominis / The LIFE Picture Collection

Touch of Texas. A raucous rally greeted the President's election eve homecoming in Austin.

Lyndon B. Johnson 1964

John Dominis / The LIFE Picture Collection

Taking the reins. At the LBJ ranch, the President and vice president-elect saddle up. Johnson outfitted Humphrey with cowboy clothes and then mounted him on a frisky quarter horse, El Rey, while he rode his Tennessee walker, Lady B. Then they went out to round up cattle. Humphrey was game but not expert.

Lyndon B. Johnson 1964

John Dominis / The LIFE Picture Collection

(L-R) VP Hubert Humphrey, Texas governor John Connally and President Lyndon Johnson on Johnson's ranch morning after he and Humphrey won the national election. 1964.

Lyndon B.Johnson 1964

John Dominis / The LIFE Picture Collection

President Lyndon Johnson and VP Hubert Humphrey the morning after winning election. 1964.

Lyndon B.Johnson 1964

President Lyndon Johnson and VP Hubert Humphrey the morning after winning election, 1964 (John Dominis The LIFE Picture Collection)

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