when was lady bird johnson born

The White House Years

Lady Bird Johnson in her office. LBJ Library photo by Yoichi Okamoto.

When John Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, making Lyndon Johnson the 36th President of the United States, Lady Bird Johnson stood by her husband. Her gracious demeanor and Texas hospitality, according to her official White House biography, greatly lessened the agony of those difficult times.

Growing up and then attending to the numerous responsibilities of being the spouse of a rising political star, Mrs. Johnson frequently talked about the influence her natural beauty had on her life. However, she was unable to incorporate her love of the country into national policy until she assumed the position of First Lady of the United States. Once she got going, she became the Environmental First Lady and achieved a lifetime of success.

After establishing the First Lady’s Committee for a More Beautiful Capital, she broadened the scope of her initiative to encompass the entire country. She also played a significant role in the President’s fight against poverty, especially with regard to the Head Start initiative for young children.

Former Interior Secretary Stewart Udall attributes Mrs. Johnsons interest in conservation. When she traveled to Native American reservations in 1964 to dedicate the Flaming Gorge Dam in Utah, she told the crowd that the area’s natural beauty was its most valuable resource and that it needed to be preserved.

She concluded that “the whole field of conservation and beautification” appealed to her the most immediately following the 1964 election. Not long after, she was pressuring her spouse to investigate the junkyards lining the country’s highways.

Perhaps the majority of people today credit Lady Bird Johnson with bringing about the proliferation of wildflowers along the country’s highways in place of billboards and junkyards. The Beautification Act 1965 represented one concrete outcome of Mrs. Johnsons campaign for national beautification. Due to her strong support, the legislation was dubbed “Lady Birds Bill” and mandated restrictions on outdoor advertising, including the removal of specific kinds of signs from the nation’s Interstate system and the current federal-aid primary system. Additionally, it promoted roadside development and scenic enhancement and mandated the removal or screening of specific junkyards located alongside major or interstate highways.

Today’s Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987, which mandates that at least 0 The planting of native trees, plants, and flowers shall account for twenty-five percent of the funds allocated for landscaping projects in the highway system.

The term beautification concerned Mrs. Johnson, who feared it was “cosmetic” and “trivial. “Clean water, clean air, clean roadsides, safe waste disposal and preservation of valued old landmarks as well as great parks and wilderness areas” were among the many other things she stressed it meant. Meg Greenwood observed in the Reporter that beautification is a “deceptively sweet and simple-sounding name.” “.

Mrs. Johnson made it her goal to draw attention to the country’s natural beauty, and one of her most significant initiatives was in Washington, D.C. C. , which was much in need of a facelift.

In 1964 Mrs. In response to Mary Laskers’ recommendation that Johnson establish the Committee for a More Beautiful Capital, Washington, D.C. C. , a “garden city” and an inspiration to the country as a whole Soon afterward Mrs. Lasker, a philanthropist who championed both natural beauty and medical research, and Mrs. Johnson established the Society for a More Beautiful National Capital, which was funded for the project by individual donations. The first planting took place on the mall where Mrs. Johnson planted pansies. She then completed her first planting endeavor at a public housing project before planting dogwood and azaleas at Third and Independence Avenue in the Triangle.

Foreground L-R: Sec. Laurance Rockefeller, Lady Bird Johnson, and Stewart Udall examine an architectural model of the Washington, D.C. C. in 1967. LBJ Library photo by Robert Knudsen.

Mrs. To tackle the problem, Johnson assembled an outstanding group of people, including philanthropist Laurance S. Johnson, White House liaison for the National Park Service Nash Castro. Rockefeller, Kathleen Louchheim, a prominent Democratic woman and assistant secretary of state, and numerous others

Mrs. Johnson saw much more in this project than just putting in daffodil bulbs. Her concerns included public transportation, mental health, recreation, pollution, urban decay, and crime rates. The Committee decided to push for the preservation of Lafayette Park and the revitalization of Pennsylvania Avenue, as well as to plant flowers in triangle parks throughout the city and present awards for neighborhood beautification. Significant financial and plant donations, such as azaleas, cherry trees, daffodils, dogwood, and other plants that are still present in Washington’s beautiful parks and green areas, were also made possible by the Committee. Perhaps most importantly, Mrs. Businesses and others were inspired by Johnson’s initiative to start beautifying low-income areas that are hidden from the popular tourist destinations.

One of her main initiatives was to rid the Shaw neighborhood of Washington of trash and rodents. That led to the creation of Project Pride, which recruited students from Howard University and local high schools to clean up neighborhoods. Mrs. Johnson received a $7,000 grant from the Society for a More Beautiful Capital to help fund the project.

Later, Mrs. Johnson played a significant role in the May 1966 White House Conference on Natural Beauty, which Laurance S. Rockefeller. “Can a great democratic society generate the drive to plan, and having planned, execute projects of great natural beauty?” was the question she posed to start off the conference. It inspired more of these kinds of gatherings locally and gave the national conservation movement a boost.

As a result, Vice President Hubert Humphrey chaired the Presidents Council on Recreation and Natural Beauty, which served as a platform for promoting local initiatives like anti-litter campaigns and disseminating conservation messages.

In addition, President Johnson proclaimed 1967 to be a “Youth Natural Beauty and Conservation Year.” The Johnsons honored young leaders at a press conference held at the LBJ Ranch to start the year.

One method Mrs. Johnson used the media to accompany her on visits to significant locations in order to draw attention to them as part of her beautification campaign. She traveled to national parks, historic sites, and picturesque locales, frequently escorted by media, dignitaries, and Nash Castro of the National Park Service. Among her nine beautification trips were the Big Bend National Park, the California Redwoods, the Hudson River in New York, and historic sites in Virginia.

Mrs. Johnson’s opinions, which he shared in letters and conversations, had an impact on the creation of Redwoods National Park and stopped dam development in the Grand Canyon.

That since the administrations of Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Johnson Administration engaged in the most conservation Roosevelt is largely due to Mrs. Johnson. The Wilderness Act of 1964, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Program, numerous additions to the National Park system, and a total of 200 laws pertaining to the environment were among the significant legislative initiatives.

President Lyndon B. Johnson strolling amid a flower field with Lady Bird Johnson LBJ Library photo by Frank Wolfe.

On July 26, 1968, following his signature of the Department of the Interior Appropriations Bill, the President expressed gratitude to his wife for her commitment. He gave her a plaque that said, “To Lady Bird, who has inspired me and millions of Americans to try to preserve our land and beautify our nation,” along with 50 pens that were used to sign about 50 laws pertaining to conservation and beautification. With love from Lyndon. “.

Lady Bird Johnson Park was renamed Columbia Island in the Potomac River shortly before President Johnson departed office. She was a member of the Advisory Board on National Parks, Historic Sites, Buildings and Monuments beginning in 1969.

After leaving Washington, Mrs. Johnson focused her effort on Texas. She was the driving force behind the creation of Austin’s lovely hike and bike trail, which encircles the Town Lake section of the Colorado River for more than ten miles and is lined with blooming native plants and trees. A close family friend Carolyn Curtis said, “Shell say she got on a moving train, but she had the leadership to say it could be a jewel.” “Now, it serves as the hub for all of Austin…it welcomed the Four Seasons and the Hyatt.” She was the one with that vision. “.

Beginning in 1969 and continuing for 20 years, she personally presented awards to highway districts that made the best use of native Texas flora and scenery in order to promote the beautification of Texas highways. Her passion for native plants’ aesthetic appeal and ecological benefits led her to found the National Wildflower Research Center in 1982, the year of her seventieth birthday.

Mrs. In order to launch the center, Johnson recruited actress Helen Hayes, a friend, and contributed a personal sum of $125,000 along with 60 acres east of Austin. The center eventually attracted over 13,000 members. The Center quickly rose to prominence nationally in fields including education, research, and initiatives that promoted the use of wildflowers.

Spreading seeds at the National Wildflower Research Center site is Lady Bird Johnson. LBJ Library photo by Frank Wolfe.

Several years later, Mrs. Johnson identified a gorgeous 43-acre plot of land in Southwest Austin’s Hill Country to build a permanent structure on because he anticipated the need for a larger location. The new Center opened in 1995. It became the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in 1998. With 279 acres, over 650 plant species on exhibit, and a comprehensive education program for both adults and children, the Wildflower Centers have a significant national impact today.

Historian Rita G. Smith wrote a piece for the Organization of American Historians Magazine of History. According to Koman, “The legacy of Lady Bird Johnson was to establish environmental issues as a national priority.” Since then, the environmental movement’s conservation and preservation strategies have been influenced by the beliefs and measures she promoted. “.

Lewis L. “If a man in the 1960s had been involved with an environmental movement such as highway beautification, had changed the appearance of a major American city, had addressed the problems of black inner-city youth, and had campaigned tirelessly to enhance national concern about natural beauty, no doubts would be raised that he was worthy of biographical and scholarly scrutiny,” wrote Gould, a professor at the University of Texas and the author of Lady Bird Johnson and the Environmental Movement, in his preface. Lady Bird Johnson is entitled to an assessment of her attempts and successes because of her role as a catalyst for environmental ideas in the 1960s and beyond. “.

Mrs. Johnson passed away on July 11, 2007, at her Austin home.

In the years that followed, “Bird” served as Lyndon’s helpmate, confidante, and partner in his political career. When he volunteered for naval duty during World War II, she helped keep his congressional office open. After a serious heart attack in 1955, she assisted his staff in keeping things operational until he could resume his role as Senate Majority Leader. Voters “would happily have elected her over me,” he once said. “.

Following his term as President, the Johnsons moved back to Texas, where he passed away in 1973. Mrs. The First Lady: A Portrait of Lady Bird Johnson, a 1981 documentary film, and Johnson’s White House Diary, published in 1970, provide nuanced and comprehensive perspectives on her contributions to the president’s Great Society administration.

When Lady Bird’s mother, Minnie Pattillo Taylor, passed away when she was five years old, her father, her aunt, and household staff raised her. Her father, the successful Thomas Jefferson Taylor, taught her a lot about the business world. An excellent student, she also learned to love classical literature. She completed her undergraduate studies in journalism and the arts at the University of Texas.

When Lady Bird met Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1934, he was a Congressional secretary who was in Austin on official business. He asked her out on a date right away, and she agreed. He used phone calls, telegrams, and letters to court her while he was in Washington. When he returned to Texas seven weeks later, he proposed to her, and she said yes. As she put it: “There are moments when Lyndon just makes you gasp.” ” They were married in November 1934.

Born Claudia Alta Taylor in a rural estate close to Karnack, Texas, she was dubbed “Lady Bird” at a young age and became well-known and adored across the United States as Lady Bird. There hasn’t been a First Lady who is as sensitive to the natural world and the value of environmental preservation as she is, so maybe her name was prescient.

Biographies and Videos about Lady Bird Johnson

The Wildflower Center Store has a wide selection of products about Lady Bird Johnson. All of your purchases from the Store benefit the research and educational programs at the Wildflower Center.

In addition to a biography of Mrs. Johnson, the LBJ Presidential Library has an extensive collection of s and a section dedicated to the First Ladys Gallery in the museum.

FAQ

How old is Lady Bird Johnson?

Lady Bird Johnson died at home on July 11, 2007, at 4:18 p.m. (CDT) from natural causes at the age of 94, attended by family members and Catholic priest Father Robert Scott.

What was ladybirds real name?

Claudia Alta Taylor “Lady Bird” Johnson served as First Lady of the United States (1963–1969) as the wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson. A shrewd investor and manager, she broke ground for the role by interacting with Congress directly and advocating strongly for beautifying the nation’s cities and highways.

Where did Lady Bird Johnson go to school?

After graduating from Marshall High School in 1928, she attended Saint Mary’s Episcopal School for Girls in Dallas from 1928 to 1930. Lady Bird Taylor entered the University of Texas in 1930 and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1933 with a major in history. In 1934, she earned a journalism degree.