Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park

Lyndon Baines Johnson:

Born August 27, 1908 in Stonewall, Texas along the banks of the Pedernales River, Lyndon Baines Johnson was the oldest child of Sam Ealy Johnson Junior and Rebekah Baines Johnson. LBJ moved with his family to Johnson City when he was five years old, graduated from Johnson City High School on May 24, 1924 when he was fifteen years old, moved to California to seek his fortune, only to return one year later back to Johnson City, where he enrolled in the Southwest Texas State Teachers College in San Marcus. LBJ dropped out of school after one year to become a 5th, 6th, and 7th grade teacher, as well as the Principal of the Welhausen School in Cotella, Texas. Johnson earned his Bachelor of Science Degree on August 19, 1930, taught at Pearsall High School, then taught Public Speaking at Sam Houston High School in Houston. Johnson married Claudia Alta Taylor, known as Lady Bird, on November 17, 1934 in San Antonio, and became a parent for the first time on March 19, 1944 with the birth of his daughter Lynda Bird, who was followed by daughter Luci Baines on July 2, 1947.

Johnson was elected to the House of Representatives in November 1931, served three years as Congressman Richard Kleberg’s secretary, was appointed the Texas Director of the National Youth Administration on July 25, 1935 by President Roosevelt, was elected to the United States Congress on April 10, 1937, was appointed to the House Committee on Naval Affairs, was reelected to each Congressional term until 1948, was appointed a Lieutenant Commander in the US Naval Reserves on June 21, 1940, was the first Congressman to volunteer for Active Duty after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and reported for duty on December 9, 1941. Johnson also received a Silver Star for gallantry in action in New Guinea,

Johnson was elected Senator on November 2, 1948 in the Primary that earned him the name “Landslide Lyndon,” he was elected Majority Whip of the United States Senate, the Minority Leader of the Senate, Chairman of the Preparedness Investigating Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee during the Korean War, Senate Majority Leader on January 5, 1955. and was nominated as a “Favorite Son” candidate at the Democratic National Convention of 1956.

Johnson spearheaded the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957, and the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, before being nominated as the President of the United States on July 13, 1960 by Speaker of the House of Representatives Sam Rayburn. Johnson was nominated as Vice President of the United States on July 14, 1960, becoming John F. Kennedy’s running mate on November 8, 1960. In this capacity Johnson resigned as a Senator on January 3, 1961 after taking the Oath of Office and served in Kennedy’s Cabinet, as well as on the National Safety Council, as Chairman of the National Aeronautics and Space Council, as Chairman of the President’s Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity, and as Chairman of the Peace Corp Advisory Council. Johnson suggested to Kennedy the United States could be the first nation to land a man on the moon, and traveled on several missions to the Far East, the Middle East, Latin America, Europe, Southeast Asia, Africa, Viet Nam, and Germany.

Johnson became the President of the United States on November 22, 1963 after Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, being sworn in aboard Air Force one by Federal Judge Sarah T. Hughes, making him the first President sworn in by a woman, the first President sworn in on Texas soil, and using a Roman Catholic missal instead of a Bible for the swearing-in ceremony.

As President LBJ became famous for his “Great Society” agenda, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Economics Opportunity Act, the Wilderness Act that created a 9,200,000 acre Federal Wilderness System, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Medicare Bill for Senior Citizens, the Voting Rights Act that LBJ claimed was his greatest accomplishment while President, the Department of Housing and Urban Development Act, the Water Quality Act, the Immigration Act, the Highway Beautification Act, the Higher Education Act, the Freedom of Information Act, the Department of Transportation Act, the Food Stamp Act, the Public Broadcasting Act, the National Product Safety Commission Act, the Air Quality Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1968, the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act, the Land and Water Conservation Act, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, the National Trails System Act, the Gun Control Act, and Project Head Start.

Johnson established a National Teachers Corps, made his “Round the World” trip in December of 1967, signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, ordered air strikes against North Viet Nam in what became known as the Southeast Asia Resolution, committed the United States to the Viet Nam War in July of 1965, ordered a halt to all bombing of North Viet Nam on October 25, 1968, won the November 3, 1964 Presidential election with the largest percentage of popular votes ever achieved by a Presidential candidate, wrote his memoir The Vantage Point: Perspective of the Presidency, 1963-1969, and died from a heart attack on his ranch on January 22, 1973.

Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park:

Designated a National Historical Park on December 28, 1980, and located between two unique Visitor Areas known as the LBJ Ranch and Johnson City, the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, west of Austin in the Texas Hill Country, protects the birthplace and boyhood home of LBJ, as well as his Texas White House Ranch, a one room Junction schoolhouse, an interpretive center, an airplane hangar, a log cabin owned by his Grandparents, and the gravesite, in the Johnson Family Cemetary, of the 36th President of the United States.

Boyhome Home:

Built by W.C. Russell in 1901 the small, one story tall, framehouse boyhood home of LBJ possessed an east bedroom, a dining room, a hall, a front parlor, and a kitchen. Soon thereafter the house acquired a west wing, two additional bedrooms, two L-shaped porches, a screened porch, a bath, and an open porch, that were also built by Russell, providing it with a floor plan that remained largely unchanged until 1964 when the Johnson Family redesigned the house as a community center building a caretaker’s apartment out of the west wing, modernizing the kitchen, providing a large meeting room in the home’s eastern section, glassing in the rear screened porch, and redecorating the interior with Johnson Family heirlooms. Then in 1970 the house was once again restored to its original condition in 1925.

LBJ State Park:

Opened in August 1970, and located in Gillespie County east of Fredericksberg, the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site honors the former President as a National and World Leader. The park contains approximately 732 acres that feature a large Visitors Center, an Interpretive Center, tours of LBJ’s ranch, fishing in the Pedernales River, a nature trail, the Sauer-Beckmann living history farm, Texas lognhorn cattle and buffalo exhibits, a famous Spring wildflower display, the 1870s-built Behrens dogtrot cabin, an 1860s-built log cabin, a Hill Country botanical garden, and bat viewing at the Old Tunnel Wildlife Management Area, with the George Bush Gallary, the National Museum of the Pacific War, and the Admiral Nimitz Museum within easy driving distance of the park.

LBJ Library:

Dedicated on May 22, 1971, and administered by the National Archives and Records Administration, the LBJ Library, located on a fourteen acre campus adjacent to the University of Texas, at 2313 Red River Street in Austin, is the home of about 45 million pages of historical documents, a 7-8ths small replica of the Oval Office decorated as it was during LBJ’s term as President of the United States, an assortment of several cultural, historical, and traveling exhibits, including their currently featured Left To Right: Radical Movements of the 1960s Exhibit, a period of time that provided such wellknown catchphrases as “No Grapes,” “Make Love Not War,” “Generation Gap,” “States Rights,” “Silent Majority,” “Black Power,” “Women’s Lib,” and “Yippie”. The LBJ Library is also one of the most frequently visited of all Presidential Libraries.


This Article was compiled from several websites that provide much more information about the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park including:

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