Mrs. Lady Bird Johnson

It is almost springtime in this part of Texas, soon we will see wildflowers bloom in parks, countryside, and along highways. During this time of year, I think of Mrs. Lady Bird Johnson.

“Born rich, she championed for social justice for the poor. A daughter of old south, she literally risked her life to advance civil rights.” –PBSMrsJohnson-1

Mrs. Johnson was the first one in history who made a solo railroad electioneering tour for her husband. During her railroad trip, she was threatened by bombs, but she was willing to risk her life to champion for the justice for the poor and advancing civil rights. At one point, she made 45 speeches for civil rights.

Mrs. Johnson, as the First Lady, began her campaign to beautify America.  The Highway Beautification Act became a law in 1965. Because of her vision and efforts, we can enjoy trees, plants, and grass while driving on highways.

In announcing the Act, President Lyndon B. Johnson said, “I want to make sure that the America we see from these major highways is a beautiful America.”

Ladybird in the Flowers

On December 22, 1982, her 70 years old birthday, Mrs. Johnson and Helen Hayes established a National Wild Flower Research Center to preserve the diminishing wild flowers and native plants. She also donated 60 acres of land and a lump sum of money for research.

Mrs. Johnson then opened her beautiful wildflower field to the public and loved to greet tour buses. When asked if she minded the intrusion of the tourists, she said, “No, not in the least. I’ve had a long, satisfying love affair with general public. Lyndon gave me that.”

In 1993, Mrs. Johnson was legally blind; she lost her joy of seeing wildflowers.  In 2002, she had a stroke and could no longer speak.  On July 11th, 2007, Mrs. Johnson passed away.  She was 94 years old.

MrsJohnson-10

Mrs. Johnson is ranked the most influential and important First Lady in the century.   — Lewis L. Gould

Wildflowers in the Hill Country are more beautiful than ever before. These are for you, Mrs. Johnson:

“The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share. It is not only a mirror of ourselves, but a focusing lens on what we can become.”  — Mrs. Johnson

Note: photos of Mrs. Lady Bird Johnson were downloaded from Internet.

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