Virginia Johnson

Born Jan 21, 1928

Virginia Lillian Morris Johnson was, in 1968, the first woman to seek the office of governor of Arkansas.

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Browse recent news and stories about Virginia Johnson.

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Virginia Johnson.


1928 Birth Born on January 21, 1928.


1947 19 Years Old On December 21, 1947, 19-year-old Virginia Morris married James D. Johnson, a 23-year-old attorney from Crossett in Ashley County in south Arkansas. … Read More


1950 22 Years Old In 1950, Jim Johnson was elected to the Arkansas State Senate, and his wife served on the Senate staff during the 1951 and 1953 legislative sessions.
1956 28 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1956, she headed her husband's successful petition drive to place a state constitutional amendment on the ballot calling upon the Arkansas General Assembly to oppose the 9-0 Brown v. Board of Education decision of the United States Supreme Court regarding school desegregation.


1968 40 Years Old 1 More Event
At the age of forty, Johnson ran in the 1968 Democratic primary election for the nomination to oppose the Republican incumbent Winthrop Rockefeller, younger brother of then Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller of New York. … Read More


1981 53 Years Old …  Jim Johnson had long been friendly with U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond, a South Carolina Republican who in 1981 had recommended the Arkansan for a vacancy on the U.S. Parole Commission.
1982 54 Years Old 1 More Event
In later years, Jim and Virginia Johnson supported Republican Frank D. White in his three gubernatorial races against the future Democratic President Bill Clinton. Talk had persisted in 1982 that Jim Johnson would formally switch parties and challenge White for renomination and then, if successful in a primary, lead the GOP banner against Clinton.


1990 62 Years Old The measure was repealed in 1990, though Johnson never wavered in her support for it.
2005 77 Years Old She wrote the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock in 2005 that Arkansas people "have solid convictions and, if offered the opportunity, they will demonstrate once again that they prefer their own," a reference to segregation.
2007 79 Years Old Died on June 27, 2007.
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