February 2013

Love letters, the Presidency in photos, and more

In honor of Valentine's Day on February 14, the LBJ Library archivists are preparing to open to the public some never-before-seen love letters handwritten by Lyndon Johnson and Lady Bird Taylor during their courtship. Also opening in February is a special exhibition presented by the Briscoe Center, News to History: Photojournalism and the Presidency.  On March 7, we will host our next Evening With program in recognition of the new exhibit, followed a reception in the Great Hall. You won't want to miss it! 

Please read below for details on upcoming events. I hope to see you at the Library soon.

Mark Updegrove


Photojournalism and the Presidency
Novelist Jodi Picoult Lectures
Love Letters from LBJ's Courtship Released
Get Involved

Our first exhibit opens in our new special exhibit gallery on February 15. News to History: Photojournalism and the Presidency will showcase the Briscoe Center for American History's photojournalism archives as a rich resource for study of the U.S. Presidents, presented in the historical context of their tenures. Approximately 115 photographic prints will portray 13 modern U.S. Presidents and specific events that occurred during their administrations. Read more about the exhibit.

On Thursday, March 7, Diana Walker and David Hume Kennerly, two internationally acclaimed photojournalists, will join us for our next Evening With program to celebrate the new exhibit. Walker and Kennerly have spent much of their professional careers covering the White House and will discuss their favorite photographs in the exhibit, as well as comment on their own experiences covering the presidency. The program will be held in the LBJ Auditorium at 6:00 p.m. Invitations will be mailed soon.

Novelist Jodi Picoult Lectures on March 19

The Harry Middleton Lectureship will present bestselling author Jodi Picoult on Tuesday, March 19 at 6:00 p.m. in the LBJ Auditorium. Ms. Picoult will discuss her novel The Storyteller (to be released February 26), which will be available for sale and signing in the upper Auditorium lobby that evening.  Ms. Picoult is the author of 19 novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Sing You Home, House Rules, Handle With Care, Change of Heart, Nineteen Minutes, and My Sister's Keeper.

Fellow, Legacy, and Lifetime members will receive invitations by mail. Other members of the Friends will not receive a mailed invitation and cannot request tickets by email or phone but may participate in the public ticket distribution. A limited number of public tickets will be available at the LBJ Library's Information Desk beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 28. Tickets will be available at the Information Desk from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day while they last. Limit two per person. Tickets are required for entry to the lecture; your Friends membership card will not admit you to this lecture.

The lecture is not part of our Evening With speaker series.  More information about Jodi Picoult and ticketing is available on our website.

More Upcoming Events

In addition to those listed above, please mark your calendars for the following upcoming events.  More details are available on our events page online.

    February 17: UT Day at the LBJ Library.  UT faculty, staff, and students will enjoy free admission with UT I.D.  UT visitors will also enjoy a 10% discount at the Store and a performance by the Longhorn Singers from 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.  Spread the word to your friends and colleagues at UT!

    March 2: Explore UT. The LBJ Library will participate in this open house day, during which the University offers a glimpse into university life in classrooms and laboratories, studios and performance halls, museums and extensive library collections. With approximately 400 events and activities scheduled, there is something for everyone!

    April 2: Evening With San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro and Representative Joaquin Castro.  Invitations will be mailed in early March.

Courtship Love Letters Open to the Public

In early September 1934, Lyndon Johnson was introduced to Claudia Alta "Lady Bird" Taylor by their mutual friend Gene Boehringer when both were visiting Austin.  During the next 10 weeks, the two wrote approximately 90 letters to each other before he returned to Texas, and they "committed matrimony," as Lady Bird described it, in San Antonio on November 17, 1934.

The Johnsons gave their courtship letters to the LBJ Presidential Library, and the Library will open those letters to the public on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2013. They will also be available in the Reading Room and posted, along with transcripts, on our website.