Lady Bird Johnson Begins the America Beautiful Program (Great Events from History II: Ecology and the Environment Series)
Article abstract: The First Lady of the United States promoted numerous projects for the nation’s beautification and for the preservation of scenic beauty.
Summary of Event
On November 22, 1963, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy brought Lyndon B. Johnson into office as the thirty-sixth president of the United States. Lady Bird Johnson, his wife of twenty-eight years, had long been accustomed to the role of supportive spouse to an important political leader, but she had to decide quickly what issues she would promote as First Lady. Although she had served often as hostess in place of Jacqueline Kennedy during the previous administration, she would have found the unremitting role of hostess for the glittering artistic performances that graced the Kennedy White House uncongenial. Her aesthetic taste had been shaped more by nature than by high culture. As a young girl who had experienced the early loss of her mother, she had found a measure of solace for her grief in the natural beauty of flowers and trees in and around her native East Texas town of Karnack. Later, in 1936, she assisted her husband, during his brief period as director of the National Youth Association of Texas, in establishing and landscaping roadside parks in Texas, a project partly designed to provide youth employment during the Depression.
Mrs. Johnson resolved in 1964 to devote her efforts to enhancing the natural beauty of...
(The entire section is 2309 words.)
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