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Table of Contents
Claudia Alta Johnson, famously known as Lady Bird Johnson, was an American socialite, environmental advocate, and civil rights promoter. She became First Lady of the United States when her husband Lyndon B. Johnson was president from 1963–1969. As First Lady, she was preceded by Jacqueline Kennedy and succeeded by Pat Nixon.
See the fact file below for more information on the Lady Bird Johnson or alternatively, you can download our 22-page Lady Bird Johnson worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
- Claudia Alta Johnson was born Claudia Alta Taylor on December 22, 1912, in Karnack, Texas.
- She was given the nickname Ladybird by the family nursemaid because she was as pretty as a ladybird. Her family called her Lady for short.
- Her father was Thomas Jefferson Taylor, a businessman, and her mother was Minnie Pattillo Taylor, who died when Lady Bird was only six years old. Lady Bird was raised by her aunt.
- She had two elder brothers: Thomas Jefferson Jr. and Antonio.
- At a young age, Lady Bird developed a passion for reading and the outdoors.
- She attended St. Mary’s Episcopal School for Girls in Dallas, Texas because there was no high school in Karnack. She graduated from high school in May 1928.
- She entered St. Mary’s Episcopal College for Women and graduated from the junior college in May 1930. Afterwards, she entered the University of Texas and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history in 1933, and a second degree in journalism in 1934. She graduated with honors.
MARRIAGE AND FAMILY
- In the summer of 1934, Lady Bird met Lyndon B. Johnson. They got engaged almost instantly and were were married on November 17, 1934 at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in San Antonio, Texas.
- Pregnancy was not easy for Lady Bird as she had several miscarriages before giving birth to her two daughters, Lynda Bird (1944) and Luci (1947).
- When Lyndon Johnson launched his first congressional campaign, Lady Bird used part of her inheritance to help fund the campaign.
- When Lyndon Johnson served in the military during the Second World War, Lady Bird was handled his congressional work.
- From being timid and shying away from delivering public speeches, Lady Bird developed her public speaking skills as her husband’s political stature soared.
- Lady Bird actively campaigned for her husband’s nomination for vice president.
- Lyndon B. Johnson was elected vice president and Lady Bird was key in hiring skillful staff in his office.
- One of the greatest acts of support Lady Bird showed her husband was right after then President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Lyndon B. Johnson had to step up and was quickly sworn into office.
BEING FIRST LADY
- As the new First Lady, Lady Bird worked with Jacqueline Kennedy (JFK’s First Lady) to help her transition into the role. Lady Bird rose above the harsh comparisons made between the two.
- During the 1964 election, Lady Bird went on a solo whistle-stop tour of the South to promote the Civil Rights Act and draw support for her husband. A whistle-stop tour is when a politician goes to numerous towns and delivers brief speeches.
- When LBJ was elected in 1964, Lady Bird continued to serve the public by initiating programs that aided disadvantaged children and improved the look of the country’s highways.
- As First Lady, she was key in passing the “Highway Beautification Act”, also known as Lady Bird’s Bill, with the main purpose being to beautify highways by limiting outdoor advertisements such as billboards.
- Lady Bird prepared for retirement when LBJ did not seek re-election in 1968.
- A personal account of her husband’s presidency was published as “A White House Diary” in 1970, based on her personal tape recordings while she served as First Lady.
- After Lyndon B. Johnson died of a heart attack in 1973, Lady Bird spent most of her time with her daughters but still served publicly in some ways.
- In the 1970s, Lady Bird became involved in the Town Lake Beautification Project in Austin, Texas.
- She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 for leadership. She also received the Congressional Gold Medal in 1988, making her the first First Lady to do so.
- She served as a member on the board of regents for the University of Texas System, the National Park Service Advisory Board, and the National Geographic Society’s Board of Trustees.
- As she devoted most of her time to her grandchildren, she was still an advocate for environmental matters, which is evident in her co-founding of the National Wildflower Research Center in Austin, Texas, which is now named the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
- For 20 years, Lady Bird spent her summers on Martha’s Vineyard at Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
- Lady Bird Johnson died on July 11, 2007, aged 94, in her home at West Lake Hills, Texas.
Lady Bird Johnson Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Lady Bird Johnson across 22 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Lady Bird Johnson worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Claudia Alta Johnson, famously known as Lady Bird Johnson, who was an American socialite, environmental advocate, and civil rights promoter. She became First Lady of the United States when her husband Lyndon B. Johnson was president from 1963–1969. As First Lady, she was preceded by Jacqueline Kennedy and succeeded by Pat Nixon.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Lady Bird Johnson Facts
- Early Life Symbols
- True or False?
- From South to Northwest
- Reacting to Events
- Lady Bird’s Leadership
- Women of Influence
- Beautification Project
- Lady Bird Once Said…
- Assessing Her Impact
- A Letter to Lady Bird
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Link will appear as Lady Bird Johnson Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, December 2, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.