“I look at Mrs. Johnson and I think that she is perhaps the only woman who ever lived who could have been married to him for that many years and remained a person.”
---Bess Abell, Assistant to Lady Bird
in "Lyndon, an Oral Biography" by Merle Miller
I have lots of Lyndon and Lady Bird memorabilia from my time in Austin, researching at the LBJ Presidential Library. This issue of Life Magazine is from August 13, 1965.
You can’t spend time at the LBJ without seeing Lady Bird’s influence. The ground floor of the library is a time capsule of Lyndon’s life and events from the 60s. But if you go up to the 8th floor, there’s a replica of Lyndon’s Oval Office and First Lady’s Gallery. Press a red button and Lady Bird will narrate portions of the tour.
The Reading Room was just around the corner from the Oval Office. I used to hear her voice over loudspeakers, just before I’d enter the double doors to the research library. It used to drive me a little crazy, to be honest. Her Texas twang would break my concentration as I headed in for long day of sifting through and photographing government documents.
While I was there in 2005-2006, Lady Bird was still active at the library. I remember one night when the guards and staff were nervous because of her impending arrival. It amazed me that she was still alive. Imagine what she must've lived through and how the world has changed since 1912.
Lady Bird's memories of the President Kennedy's assasination are chilling and emotional. The ground floor of the library has a short recording of her reading from her entries that day.
The following are more links to useful sites about Lady Bird:
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center has created a wonderful tribute site.
Lady Bird’s Bio on the Library page
At the bottom of this page, you can see one of Lady Bird's home movies