The First Family in the White House
This 10th floor exhibit provides an in-depth look at each member of the Johnson family during their White House years. Click on the first image to view the entire slideshow.
Lady Bird had a working office at the LBJ Library. In this office you will find a desk, coral sofa and matching armchair, a color Lady Bird loved because it brightened up a space. Behind her desk was a long row of drawers, on top of which rested her personal collection of photographs and a television set. Above her desk was a large painting her beloved Austin, a constant reminder of her love for the environment and the land she called home.
Along one wall are photos of Lady Bird and Lyndon Johnson’s personal life, as well as images of Mrs. Johnson and her life in politics. Johnson was known for her early and influential dedication to protecting the environment. She implemented programs to “beautify” the nation’s capital and highways, but she also dedicated a portion of her time to clean water, clean air, clean roadsides, safe waste disposal, historic preservation, and the protection of parks and wilderness areas.
Also in this gallery is The Lady Bird Special Flying Whistle Stop Drum, which decorated the train used by Lady Bird in a campaign tour in 1964. Prior to the 1964 presidential election, Mrs. Johnson took a four-day train trip through eight Southern states to campaign on behalf of her husband. This trip was the first time any First Lady had campaigned without her husband, and since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had just been signed, the tour was a tumultuous one. During this trip, called "The Whistle Stop Tour," Mrs. Johnson was repeatedly asked to defend her husband, and she did.
This exhibit also includes a telephone, where you can listen to conversations between Lady Bird and her husband.
A display about Lady Bird’s Legacy is one of this exhibit's highlights. She took a leading role in planning the LBJ Library and Museum and remained dedicated to the Library and its mission throughout her life. Her devotion to the American people and the environment did not end with her husband’s Presidency. She dedicated a large portion of her time to beautifying neglected areas of the nation’s capital, and many of her efforts are still visible across the city today.
In the center of the room are two cases filled with items relating to Lady Bird Johnson, including the motion picture camera Mrs. Johnson used to record the personal and political life of her family. Lyndon Johnson gave her this camera in early 1939 and she used it regularly. During her stay in the White House, she enlisted a Navy film crew to help her edit and add music to the films she recorded, like this one:
Did You Know…
The LBJ Library was the first Presidential library to be affiliated with an academic institution (The University of Texas at Austin) and the first to feature extensive use of film and video in the museum exhibits. Mrs. Johnson was instrumental in guiding the design of exhibits and proposed displaying the millions of pages of historic documents in red archival boxes, adorned with a gold Presidential Seal and stacked behind a wall of glass for everyone to see.