Lady Bird Johnson urged us to see America

Jul 14, 2012

Fifty years ago, Americans didn’t need jingles (“See the USA in your Chevrolet”), slogans (“America at its best”) or advertising campaigns (“See America first”) to pack up the family station wagon and head into the great outdoors. The availability of middle-class leisure, large cars and cheap gas, along with an interstate system that smoothed the way, meant that any spot in the continental U.S. was increasingly accessible to a large number of Americans.

Add another motivating factor: Lady Bird Johnson. 

The late First Lady, whose centennial is celebrated this year, teamed with Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall to stage tours of the country’s most camera-ready landscapes, sometimes giving a timely push to win them official designations as parks or wilderness areas. read more