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December 22, 2022

Clauda Alta “Lady Bird” Taylor Johnson

December 22, 1912

Lady Bird JohnsonClaudia Alta Taylor “Lady Bird” Johnson—Born December 22, 1912 (Karnack, TX).  Died July 11, 2007 (West Lake Hills, TX).

White House Years: 1963-1969

  • Lady Bird Johnson grew up in Texas and suffered the loss of her mother at an early age. She was raised by her mother’s sister and spent much of her time outdoors gaining an appreciation of nature. This later influenced her agenda as first lady.
  • Lady Bird held two degrees from the University of Texas-Austin. One was in journalism, and that background enabled her to launch a career as an owner of radio and television stations. It also prepared her to work with the press as first lady.
  • Lyndon B. Johnson credited his wife with helping him in the political arena. He called her the “brains” and “money” of their family. She used part of her inheritance from her mother to help fund Lyndon’s first campaign for Congress.
  • Lady Bird was terrified of public speaking and purposely got a lower grade in a class so that she would not have to give a high school valedictorian’s speech. She took a public speaking course as a Congressional wife to get over her fear.
  • Lady Bird traveled extensively across the country to persuade people to support her husband’s policies. Her Whistle Stop Campaign through the South in 1964 was the first of its kind for a president’s wife. The tour is credited with helping her husband have a stronger showing in the South in the aftermath of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that his supporters expected
  • Lady Bird Johnson’s most enthusiastic cause in life was protecting the environment and improving the appearance of Washington, DC. The environment was something rarely talked about in the early 1960s. She created the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, joined the Highway Beautification Board, and joined the National Parks Advisory Board. Congress passed the Highway Beautification Act as a result of her efforts.
  • For her efforts in protecting the environment, President Gerald Ford awarded Lady Bird Johnson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977.

Firsts:

  • Lady Bird Johnson was the first first lady to be born in Texas.
  • Lady Bird Johnson was the first first lady to address environmental issues
  • Lady Bird Johnson was the first first lady to have a solo campaign tour.
  • Lady Bird Johnson was the first first lady to become a self-made millionaire.
  • Lady Bird Johnson was the first first lady to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977.

Quotes:

  • When I go into the poorest neighborhoods, I look for the flash of color - a geranium in a coffee can, a window box set against the scaling side of a tenement, a border of roses struggling in a tiny patch of open ground. Where flowers bloom, so does hope - and hope is the precious, indispensable ingredient without which the war on poverty can never be won.”

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2022-12-22 2022-12-22 America/Detroit Clauda Alta “Lady Bird” Taylor Johnson Claudia Alta Taylor “Lady Bird” Johnson—Born December 22, 1912 (Karnack, TX).  Died July 11, 2007 (West Lake Hills, TX). White House Years: 1963-1969 Lady Bird Johnson grew up in Texas and suffered the loss of her mother at an early age. She was raised by her mother’s sister and spent much of her time outdoors gaining an appreciation of nature. This later influenced her agenda as first lady. Lady Bird held two degrees from the University of Texas-Austin. One was in journalism, and that background enabled her to launch a career as an owner of radio and television stations. It also prepared her to work with the press as first lady. Lyndon B. Johnson credited his wife with helping him in the political arena. He called her the “brains” and “money” of their family. She used part of her inheritance from her mother to help fund Lyndon’s first campaign for Congress. Lady Bird was terrified of public speaking and purposely got a lower grade in a class so that she would not have to give a high school valedictorian’s speech. She took a public speaking course as a Congressional wife to get over her fear. Lady Bird traveled extensively across the country to persuade people to support her husband’s policies. Her Whistle Stop Campaign through the South in 1964 was the first of its kind for a president’s wife. The tour is credited with helping her husband have a stronger showing in the South in the aftermath of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that his supporters expected Lady Bird Johnson’s most enthusiastic cause in life was protecting the environment and improving the appearance of Washington, DC. The environment was something rarely talked about in the early 1960s. She created the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, joined the Highway Beautification Board, and joined the National Parks Advisory Board. Congress passed the Highway Beautification Act as a result of her efforts. For her efforts in protecting the environment, President Gerald Ford awarded Lady Bird Johnson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977. Firsts: Lady Bird Johnson was the first first lady to be born in Texas. Lady Bird Johnson was the first first lady to address environmental issues Lady Bird Johnson was the first first lady to have a solo campaign tour. Lady Bird Johnson was the first first lady to become a self-made millionaire. Lady Bird Johnson was the first first lady to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977. Quotes: “When I go into the poorest neighborhoods, I look for the flash of color - a geranium in a coffee can, a window box set against the scaling side of a tenement, a border of roses struggling in a tiny patch of open ground. Where flowers bloom, so does hope - and hope is the precious, indispensable ingredient without which the war on poverty can never be won.” ----

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