Lady Bird Johnson, RIP

No way LBJ would have had the success he had without LBJ. She was a class act.

Austin (and Texas, and the US) would have been a much more drab place without Lady Bird's green thumb.

Lady Bird Johnson, Former First Lady, Dies at 94 - New York Times:
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 this afternoon at her home in Austin, Tex. She was 94.
... Mrs. Johnson was a calm and steadying influence on her often moody and volatile husband as she quietly attended to the demands imposed by his career. Liz Carpenter, her press secretary during her years in the White House, once wrote that “if President Johnson was the long arm, Lady Bird Johnson’s was the gentle hand.”

She softened hurts, mediated quarrels and won over many political opponents. Johnson often said his political ascent would have been inconceivable without his wife’s devotion and forbearance. Others shared that belief.

After Johnson became the Democratic nominee for vice president in 1960, James Reston, the Washington columnist of The New York Times, said, “Lyndon could never have made it this far without the help of that woman.”

Mrs. Johnson had one major cause during the Johnson presidency, highway beautification, and her husband pushed Congress into passing legislation to further the program.

Mrs. Johnson made many trips to explain her husband’s programs like Head Start, the Job Corps and the War on Poverty.

Mrs. Johnson developed her own public projects. She was an early supporter of the environment and, in championing highway beautification, worked to banish billboards and plant flowers and trees.

The Lady Bird Johnson Park in Virginia, across the Potomac River from Washington, is an outgrowth of her First Lady’s Committee for a More Beautiful Capital. She founded the $10 million National Wildflower Research Center in Austin, Tex., which opened in April 1995 and changed its name to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in 1998. The center conducts research and provides information on plants, landscaping and conservation.

Flowers at Chicago Botanic (Clerodendrum myricoides 'Ugandense')

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This page contains a single entry by swanksalot published on July 11, 2007 11:38 PM.

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