Portrait of Lady Bird Johnson

Portrait of Lady Bird Johnson

Honoring Lady Bird Johnson’s Birthday

Jan 05, 2009

December 22 Ceremony at the LBJ Library to re-open Mrs. Johnson's office

What: Ceremony to re-open Mrs. Johnson's office

Who: Nicole Nugent Covert, Mrs. Johnson's granddaughter, will cut the ceremonial ribbon. Betty Tilson, who worked in the White House & LBJ Library with Mrs. Johnson, will give an eyewitness account of life and work in the office.

When: December 22, 2008, Mrs. Johnson's birthday 10 a.m.

Where: LBJ Library, 10th Floor, First Lady's Gallery

Contact: Anne Wheeler, Communications Director (O) 721-0216 (Cell) 731-2351 anne.wheeler@nara.gov

(Austin) - In honor of Mrs. Johnson's birthday, the LBJ Library & Museum will have a press conference and ceremony to re-open Mrs. Johnson's office.

Because of construction, Mrs. Johnson's office has been closed to the public for fifteen months. Now, repairs on that portion of the Library are complete, and visitors may once again enjoy Mrs. Johnson's office and the spectacular views of her beloved University of Texas, city of Austin, and the hills beyond. The office is exactly as Mrs. Johnson used it for over 25 years with its original desk, furniture, photographs, and working materials.

On what would have been Mrs. Johnson's 96th birthday, her granddaughter, Nicole Nugent Covert, will cut a ceremonial ribbon and officially open the office to visitors again.

Betty Tilson will describe objects in the office and regale us with stories of working with Mrs. Johnson in this special space. At the White House, Tilson worked as head of the Social Correspondence Office. In January 1969, Tilson began working for President Johnson. After his death, Tilson became Press Secretary and Assistant to Mrs. Johnson.

Some of Mrs. Johnson's former staff members will also attend the ceremony.

Mrs. Johnson's office is part of the First Lady's Gallery; a portrait of her legacy as a humanitarian, an unofficial diplomat, and a champion of the environment.

When cutting the ribbon, Mrs. Johnson's granddaughter, Nicole Nugent Covert, will use ceremonial scissors that are part of the LBJ Library collection. These gold-colored scissors were used to open the First Lady's Gallery in 1998. In addition, the scissors were first used by President Johnson during the Chamizal ribbon-cutting ceremony in 1967, which settled a border dispute with Mexico.

"The Constitution of the United States does not mention the First Lady. She is elected by one man only. The statute books assign her no duties; and yet, when she gets the job, a podium is there if she cares to use it. I did." - Lady Bird Johnson