Remembering Lady Bird Johnson

Lady Bird Special train campaign tour Lady Bird Johnson in a field of wildflowers

Lady Bird Johnson aboard the "Lady Bird Special" train whistlestop campain tour during the 1964 election.  Public domain photo by Frank Muto courtesy LBJ Library.

Lady Bird Johnson in a field of wildflowers.  Public domain photo by Frank Wolfe courtesy LBJ Library


Table of Contents:


Famous Firsts
Further Research
















 Famous "Firsts" (from the National First Ladies' Library)

  • First lady to undertake a campaign tour independently of her husband.  On a train dubbed the "Lady Bird Special", she made a whistle stop tour of eight southern states over four days, delivering speechesfrom the caboose.
  • She was the first First Lady to hold the Bible for her husband at his swearing in ceremony during the 1964 inauguration

; every First Lady since then has followed suit.

  • First First Lady to have written speeches for her speaking engagements.
  • In 1967, Lady Bird became the first First Lady to visit Southeast Asia.



Biography of Claudia Taylor (Lady Bird) Johnson

 from the White House

Personal Biography

from Organization of American Historians gives insight into the personal traits of this First Lady

Lady Bird:  Biography of First Lady Lady Bird Johnson

          Rich biography from PBS.

Lady Bird Johnson Tribute

          Biography, quotations, pictures



Lady Bird's Audio Diaries -- Kennedy assassination

Lady Bird makes audio diary entryLady Bird maintained a regular audio diary of her experiences at the White House.  The first entry was an account of November 22, 1963 regarding her eyewitness account of the assassination of President Kennedy.  See the transcriptsand listen to excerpts of the audio recordings.  Alternate audio site:  American Radioworks archive



Head Start

Part of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, the

Head Start programemphasized the need to invest in the early education of disadvantaged children.  It offered funding for schools and school libraries, and tied education to practical goals.

See also: 

Head Start:  A Historical Perspective
                President's Remarks on Project Head Start

Highway Beautification Act of 1965

This legislation has been described as one of the most tangible pieces of law to emerge from President Johnson's national beautification campaign.  The current version is located at 23 USC 131.  Designed to control billboards and junkyards along the nation's highways, the bill pit big business and advertisers against environmentalists.  Lady Bird's personal involvement in lobbying for passage, by meeting directly with key members of Congress, marked a deviation from the passive role typically played by previous First Ladies.  This activity was not met favorably by many legislators.  After much lobbying, the bill was passed.  See the president's remarksupon signing.

See also: 

How the Highway Beautification Act Became a Law 
                Lady Bird Johnson's I-95 Landscape-Landmark Tour


Wildflower Research Center

Established by Lady Bird Johnson and actress Helen Hayes, this public garden and national research site emphasizes the value, beauty, and study of native plants (see

letter from Lady Bird).

See also: 

Video:  Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
               Video:  Butterflies and Other Wildflower Center Visitors



 Further Research

Books from Abilene libraries

Search Government publications online

LBJ Library and Museum

Thanks to a donation from an alumnus, the Special Collections at ACU's Center for Restoration Studies now houses two Ethiopian religious texts dating back to the turn of the 19th century.

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West Texas Digital Archive
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