Lady Bird Johnson
US Presidential First Lady
Lady Bird Johnson
Claudia Alta "Lady Bird" Taylor Johnson was First Lady of the United States from 1963 to 1969 during the presidency of her husband Lyndon B. Johnson. Throughout her life, she was an advocate for beautification of the nation's cities and highways and conservation of natural resources and made that her major initiative as First Lady.
Biography
Lady Bird Johnson's personal information overview.
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World War II vet turns 100 years old - KXII-TV
Google News - over 5 years
"She's a wonderful lady, Johnson said. "I was very lucky" "He's a very good christian man," said Maude, Johnson's wife. "It's been a good 23 years that we've had together." And after one hundred years of living Johnson offers up this advice
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Cayman remembers Dan Peek - Caymanian Compass
Google News - over 5 years
Our abiding love for such dear islanders as the late Mavis Powell, Sunshine Bodden and Sir Vassel and Lady Johnson who made us feel so welcome, embodied the true Camanian spirit,” she said. Peek's Bodden Town album was dedicated to those Caymanians and
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NEW JERSEY; Rescuing Lady Bird's Legacy
NYTimes - over 9 years
In the 1980s, drivers along parts of the Palisades Interstate Parkway, especially the New Jersey section that runs from Fort Lee north to the New York State border, began seeing an array of colorful wildflowers along the wide median strip. The plantings were part of a national highway beautification program promoted by Lady Bird Johnson when her
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OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR; Lady Bird's Lost Legacy
NYTimes - over 9 years
AT one in the morning on Oct. 8, 1965, the House of Representatives finally voted on the Highway Beautification Act -- ''Lady Bird's bill,'' as Representative Bob Dole, one of the leaders of the opposition, patronizingly called it. The representatives were supposed to have been at the White House six hours earlier for a ''Salute to Congress''
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Paid Notice: Deaths JOHNSON, LADY BIRD
NYTimes - over 9 years
JOHNSON--Lady Bird. Where she walked, flowers and friendships bloomed. To continue her work, visit www.wildflower.org. With admiration and love, Marybeth Weston & family
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NYTimes article
APPRECIATIONS; American Classic
NYTimes - over 9 years
Like many little girls in the early 1960s, I was dazzled by Jacqueline Kennedy's continental chic. But for classic American grace nothing for me could outdo Lady Bird Johnson and her Tiffany wildflower plates. I was 10 when Mrs. Johnson suddenly became first lady. And, as I recall, it was my mother -- who venerated Lyndon Johnson for Medicare,
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Lady Bird Johnson, 94, Is Dead; First Lady Eased Path to Power
NYTimes - over 9 years
Lady Bird Johnson, the widow of President Lyndon B. Johnson, who was once described by her husband as ''the brains and money of this family'' and whose business skills cushioned his road to the White House, died yesterday afternoon at her home in Austin, Tex. She was 94. Mrs. Johnson was hospitalized for a week last month with a low-grade fever.
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NATIONAL BRIEFING; Texas: Lady Bird Johnson Hospitalized
NYTimes - over 9 years
The former first lady Lady Bird Johnson has been hospitalized in Austin and is undergoing tests, but is awake and receiving visits from family members and friends, a family spokesman said. Mrs. Johnson, 94, who has been hospitalized with strokes in the past, did not suffer a stroke this time, said a longtime friend, Neal Spelce. He did not disclose
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Still in the Limelight, on Her Own Terms
NYTimes - about 10 years
''If I had any regrets, it would mean I had not learned anything,'' Eartha Kitt said, sitting in the empty New World Stages theater on 50th Street. Between performances as Madame Vallet in the Off Broadway musical ''Mimi le Duck,'' Ms. Kitt, who will turn 80 in January, talked about a busy year in which she was featured in the musical, appeared at
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LECH'S AMERICAN ANGEL
NYTimes - over 27 years
LEAD: IT WAS A PERFECT PLACE FOR AN EPIPHANY. THE SCENE WAS near St. Brygida's Church in Gdansk, the spiritual home of Poland's Solidarity movement. The date was May 25, 1989, the occasion the annual Corpus Christi procession. Among those leading the 25,000 marchers were Lech Walesa and Barbara Piasecka Johnson, the Polish-born American woman who
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Lady Bird Johnson
    THIRTIES
  • 2007
    The lake was renamed Lady Bird Lake on July 26, 2007.
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    In June 2007, she spent six days in Seton Hospital in Austin after suffering from a low-grade fever.
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  • 2006
    In February 2006, Lynda Johnson Robb told a gathering at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, that her mother was now totally blind and was "not in very good health."
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  • 2005
    In 2005, she spent a few days in an Austin hospital for treatment of bronchitis.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1999
    In 1999 she was hospitalized for a fainting spell and, in 2002, she suffered a second, more severe, stroke, which left her unable to speak normally or walk without assistance.
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  • 1993
    In August 1993, she suffered a stroke and became legally blind due to macular degeneration.
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    In 1993, Lady Bird's health began to fail.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1988
    She then received the Congressional Gold Medal in 1988, becoming the first wife of a President to receive the honor.
    More Details Hide Details In a 1982 poll taken of historians ranking the most influential and important First Ladies, Lady Bird placed third behind Abigail Adams and Eleanor Roosevelt for her work as a conservation activist. In addition to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, she was honored by the naming of the Lady Bird Johnson Park on Columbia Island in Washington, D.C., which was founded as a result of her efforts as First Lady to beautify the capital. She declined many overtures to name Austin's Town Lake in her honor after she had led a campaign to clean up the lake and add trails to its shoreline; following her death, Austin Mayor Will Wynn's office said it was a "foregone conclusion that Town Lake is going to be renamed" in honor of Lady Bird Johnson.
  • 1982
    In 1982, she and actress Helen Hayes founded the National Wildflower Research Center west of Austin, Texas, as a nonprofit organization devoted to preserving and reintroducing native plants in planned landscapes.
    More Details Hide Details In 1994, the center opened a new facility southwest of Austin; they officially renamed it the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in 1995 in acknowledgment of her having raised $10 million for the facility. In 2006, the center was incorporated into the University of Texas at Austin. For 20 years, she spent her summers on the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard, renting the home of Charles Guggenheim for many of those years. She said she had greatly appreciated the island's natural beauty and flowers. On October 13, 2006, Lady Bird made a rare public appearance at the renovation announcement of the LBJ Library and Museum. Sitting in a wheelchair and showing signs of recent health problems, she seemed engaged and alert, and applauded along with those present at the ceremony.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1977
    Lady Bird Johnson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Gerald Ford on January 10, 1977.
    More Details Hide Details The citation for her medal read:
  • 1971
    From 1971 to 1978, she served on the board of regents for the University of Texas System.
    More Details Hide Details She also served on the National Park Service Advisory Board and was the first woman to serve on National Geographic's Board of Trustees. President Nixon mentioned her as a possible ambassador in a circulated memo, but nothing came of that proposal.
  • 1970
    In 1970, Lady Bird published A White House Diary, her intimate, behind-the-scenes account of her husband's presidency spanning November 22, 1963, to January 20, 1969.
    More Details Hide Details Beginning with President Kennedy's assassination, she recorded the momentous events of her times, including the Great Society's War on Poverty, the national civil rights and social protest movements, her own activism on behalf of the environment, and the Vietnam War. Johnson was acquainted with a long span of fellow First Ladies, from Eleanor Roosevelt to Laura Bush, and was protected by the United States Secret Service for 44 years, longer than anyone else in history. Biographer Betty Boyd Caroli said of Lady Bird's contribution to history as First Lady that "She really invented the job of modern first lady. She was the first one to have a big staff, the first one to have a comprehensive program in her own name, the first one to write a book about the White House years, when she leaves. She had an important role in setting up an enduring role for her husband with the LBJ Library. She’s the first one to campaign extensively on her own for her husband."
  • 1969
    A majestic grove of coastal redwoods, named in her honor by President Nixon in 1969, is located just north of Orick, California. "Lady Bird Johnson Grove" is part of Redwood National Park.
    More Details Hide Details In April 2008, the "Lady Bird Johnson Memorial Cherry Blossom Grove" was dedicated in Marshfield, Missouri. The dedication took place during the city's annual cherry blossom festival. Johnson had been supportive of the rural community and their initiative to plant blossoming cherry trees. In 1995, she received an Honor Award from the National Building Museum for her lifetime leadership in beautification and conservation campaigns. She was also named the honorary chairwoman of the Head Start program. She held honorary degrees from many universities: Boston University, the University of Alabama; George Washington University; Johns Hopkins University; State University of New York; Southern Methodist University; Texas Woman's University; Middlebury College; Williams College, Southwestern University; Texas State University–San Marcos; Washington College; and St. Edward's University. On June 7, 2008, Texas honored Lady Bird by renaming the state convention's Blue Star Breakfast as the 'Lady Bird Breakfast'. In January 2009, St. Edward's University in Austin completed a new residence hall for upperclassmen bearing the name of Lady Bird Johnson Hall, or "LBJ Hall" for short.
  • OTHER
  • 1968
    She set March 1968 as the month her husband would announce he would not seek re-election, thinking back to Harry Truman's actions when he could have sought another term but chose not to do so.
    More Details Hide Details Lady Bird campaigned for Hubert Humphrey during the Vice President's unsuccessful presidential campaign.
  • 1967
    Toward the end of the second term, Lady Bird was anxious for her husband to leave office. In September 1967, Lady Bird voiced her concerns to her husband on the effect a second term would have on his health.
    More Details Hide Details President Johnson came to the decision not to seek re-election.
  • 1964
    Lady Bird continued her Whistlestop Tour in October 1964.
    More Details Hide Details However, this time it would be aboard a Braniff International Airways Lockheed L-188 Electra turboprop aircraft that would take her on a multi-state aerial tour including stops in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Indiana, and Kentucky. Braniff dubbed the Lockheed Electra "The Lady Bird Special" after the ground Whistlestop Tour Train. Besides the "The Lady Bird Special" script being painted on the sides of the aircraft, a special route map of the tour was also painted on the lower front part of the aircraft's fuselage near the main entry airstairs.
    During the 1964 election, Lady Bird traveled through eight Southern states in her own train to promote the Civil Rights Act, at one point giving 45 speeches over five days.
    More Details Hide Details It was the first solo whistlestop tour by a First Lady. President Johnson initially said he would turn down the Democratic Party nomination for president, having been unhappy during his service in President Kennedy's administration and believing the party did not want him. Despite aides not being able to sway him, the First Lady convinced him otherwise, reassuring him of his worthiness and claiming his dropping out would ensure that the Republicans took the White House.
  • 1963
    Lady Bird created the modern structure of the First Lady's office; she was the first to have a press secretary and chief of staff of her own and an outside liaison with Congress. Her press secretary from 1963 to 1969 was Liz Carpenter, a fellow University of Texas alumna.
    More Details Hide Details Carpenter was the first professional newswoman to become press secretary to a First Lady, and she also served as Lady Bird's staff director. Lady Bird's tenure as First Lady marked the beginning of the hiring of employees in the East Wing to work specifically for the First Lady's projects.
    On November 22, 1963, the Johnsons were accompanying the Kennedys in Dallas when JFK was assassinated; they were two cars behind the President in his motorcade.
    More Details Hide Details Lady Bird later described that day as unforgettable. Lyndon was sworn in as President on Air Force One two hours after JFK died, with Lady Bird and Jacqueline Kennedy by his side. Afterward, Lady Bird created a tape on which she recorded her memories of the assassination, dubbing it "primarily as a form of therapy to help me over the shock and horror of the experience." She submitted a transcript of the tape to the Warren Commission as testimony, joined by LBJ advisor Abe Fortas in creating notations on the document. In planning for their trip to Texas, the Johnsons had intended to entertain the Kennedys that night at their ranch. In the days following the assassination, she worked with Jacqueline Kennedy on the transition into the White House. While having great respect for Jacqueline and finding her strong in the aftermath of the killing, Lady Bird believed from the start of her tenure as First Lady that she would be unfavorably compared to her immediate predecessor. On her last day in the White House, Jacqueline Kennedy left Lady Bird a note in which she promised she would "be happy" there.
  • 1952
    She served as President of the company, LBJ Holding Co., and her husband negotiated an agreement with the CBS radio network. Lady Bird decided to expand by buying a television station in 1952 despite Lyndon's objections, reminding him that she could do as she wished with her inheritance.
    More Details Hide Details The station, KTBC-TV/7 (then affiliated with CBS as well), would make the Johnsons millionaires as Austin's monopoly VHF franchise. Over the years, journalists have written about how Lyndon used his influence in the Senate to influence the Federal Communications Commission into granting the monopoly license, which was in Lady Bird's name. Although LBJ Holding's two small banks failed and were closed in 1991 by the FDIC, the core Johnson radio properties survived and prospered. Emmis Communications bought KLBJ-AM, KLBJ-FM, KGSR, and three other stations from LBJ Holding for $105 million in 2003. Eventually, Lady Bird's initial $41,000 investment turned into more than $150 million for the LBJ Holding Company. She was the first president's wife to become a millionaire in her own right and remained involved with the company until she was in her eighties. John F. Kennedy chose Lyndon Johnson as his running mate for the 1960 election. At Kennedy's request, Lady Bird took an expanded role during the campaign, due to his wife Jacqueline's pregnancy. Over 71 days, Lady Bird traveled through 11 states and appeared at 150 events. Kennedy and Johnson won the election that November, with Lady Bird helping the Democratic ticket carry seven Southern states.
  • 1943
    In January–February 1943, Lady Bird Johnson spent $17,500 of her inheritance to purchase KTBC, an Austin radio station.
    More Details Hide Details She bought the radio station from a three-man partnership that included a future U.S. Secretary of the Navy and a future U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Robert B. Anderson, and Texas oilman and rancher Wesley West.
  • 1937
    She also had two stepmothers; the second, Ruth Scroggins, married Thomas Taylor in 1937.
    More Details Hide Details She was largely raised by her maternal aunt Effie Pattillo, who moved to Karnack after her sister's death. Lady Bird also visited her Pattillo relatives in Autauga County, Alabama, every summer until she was a young woman. As she explained, "Until I was about 20, summertime always meant Alabama to me. With Aunt Effie we would board the train in Marshall and ride to the part of the world that meant watermelon cuttings, picnics at the creek, and a lot of company every Sunday." According to Lady Bird, her Aunt Effie "opened my spirit to beauty, but she neglected to give me any insight into the practical matters a girl should know about, such as how to dress or choose one's friends or learning to dance." Lady Bird was a shy and quiet girl who spent much of her youth alone outdoors. "People always look back at it now and assume it was lonely," she once said about her childhood. "To me it definitely was not. I spent a lot of time just walking and fishing and swimming." She developed her lifelong love of the environment as a child growing up in the tall pines and bayous of East Texas and watching the wildflowers bloom each spring.
  • 1934
    The couple married on November 17, 1934, at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in San Antonio, Texas.
    More Details Hide Details After three miscarriages, the couple had two daughters: Lynda Bird (born in 1944), whose husband Charles S. Robb is a former governor of Virginia and former U.S. Senator, and Luci Baines (born in 1947), first married to Pat Nugent, then Ian Turpin. The couple and their two daughters all shared the initials LBJ. At the time of her death, Lady Bird had seven grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. When Lyndon decided to run for Congress from Austin's 10th district, Lady Bird provided the money to launch his campaign. She took $10,000 of her inheritance from her mother's estate to help start his political career. The couple settled in Washington, D.C., after Lyndon was elected to Congress. After he enlisted in the Navy at the outset of the Second World War, Lady Bird ran the congressional office.
  • 1933
    Lady Bird received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in 1933 and a second bachelor's degree in journalism cum laude in 1934.
    More Details Hide Details She was active on campus in different organizations such as Orange Jackets and believed in student leadership. Her goal was to become a reporter, but she also earned a teaching certificate. The summer after her second graduation, she and a girlfriend traveled to New York City and Washington, D.C., where they peered through the fence at the White House. Dallek described Lady Bird as having undergone a boost in her self-confidence through her years at the college, a departure from her timid behavior in her youth. Her goal of a career in media was deferred when a friend in Austin introduced her to Lyndon Baines Johnson, a young Congressional aide with political aspirations working for Congressman Richard Kleberg. Lady Bird recalled having felt "like a moth drawn to a flame". On their first date, at the Driskill Hotel, Lyndon proposed. Lady Bird did not want to rush into marriage, but he was persistent and did not want to wait. Lady Bird accepted his proposal 10 weeks later.
  • 1930
    After graduating from St. Mary's in May 1930, Lady Bird toyed with the idea of going back to Alabama, but another friend from Marshall, Texas, was going to the University of Texas, so she chartered a plane to Austin, Texas.
    More Details Hide Details As the plane landed, she was awed by the sight of a field covered with bluebonnets and instantly fell in love with the city.
  • 1928
    After graduating from high school in May 1928, Lady Bird entered the University of Alabama for the summer session, where she took her first journalism course, but being homesick for Texas, she did not return for the fall term at Alabama.
    More Details Hide Details Instead she and a high school friend enrolled at St. Mary's Episcopal College for Women, a strict Episcopal boarding junior college for women in Dallas, where she "converted to the Episcopal faith," though she waited five years to be confirmed.
  • 1912
    Born on December 22, 1912.
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