|Title||Lady Bird (Claudia Alta) Taylor Johnson|
|Collection||First Lady Dolls|
Claudia A. "Lady Bird" Taylor Johnson (1912-2007)
Wife of Lyndon B. Johnson - served as first lady from 1963-1969.
Despite her legal name of "Claudia," Mrs. Johnson had been known as "Lady Bird" since childhood, when her nursemaid, Alice Tittle, commented that she was "as purdy as a lady bird." She was small in stature, had brown hair and brown eyes.
She graduated from the University of Texas with a bachelor of journalism degree with honors in 1934. Lady Bird Taylor expressed an interest in pursuing a career in writing or journalism, however, ten weeks after graduating she met Lyndon Baines Johnson and on November 17, 1934, at the age of 21, she married "LBJ."
When President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, Mrs. Johnson was in a car behind the Kennedy car, with her husband, she was thrust into the role of First Lady. After providing comfort to the widowed Mrs. Kennedy, she also determined to record her thoughts of the tragic experience. It was the first entry of what would become a unique historic document, a daily recorded diary of her life in the White House. Lady Bird Johnson was 51 years old when she became First Lady.
What marked Lady Bird as unique among her predecessors was her own interest and study of the First Ladies. She had become familiar with many of their biographies through her numerous visits since the 1930's to the Smithsonian Institution exhibit of their gowns.
Perhaps of the few women to assume the position of First Lady, she had a highly conscious sense of the public expectations, the limitations and the opportunities that came with it. "She's not elected," she reflected in 1987, "he is elected, and they are there as a team. And it's much more appropriate for her to work on projects that are part of his Administration, a part of his aims and hopes for America."
She was a strong and vocal advocate of women seeking higher education and was the recipient of many honorary degrees. The professional achievements of women became a touchstone of Mrs. Johnson's tenure.
The one project most closely associated with Lady Bird Johnson's White House years is "Beautification," an umbrella title for a wide variety of efforts, legislation and public campaigns.
Upon their retirement, the Johnson's returned to Texas, living in their ranch house in Stonewall, not far from Austin. In December 1972, the Johnsons deeded their ranch house and property to the National Park Service; they maintained the right to live there for life. Ironically, Lyndon Johnson died of a sudden heart attach just a month later.
Prompted by her concern that native plants and indigenousness wildflowers were rapidly disappearing from the American landscape, on her 70th birthday in 1982, Lady Bird Johnson together with Helen Hayes created the nonprofit National Wildflower Research Center.
Lady Bird Johnson died July 11, 2007 at her Austin, Texas home at the age of 94.
|Event||Bicentennial First Lady Doll Exhibit - Community Project|
|Creator||Park, Phyllis Juhlin|
|Costume||Costume by Edytha Johnson Gregory|
|Given||Given by Edytha Johnson Gregory in honor of Mary DeFriez Johnson|
|Source||Uintah County Library|