Johnson Daughters to Preside Over August 27 Birthday Commemoration
Contact: Sherry Justus, 830-868-7128 ext.245
Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park invites everyone to come out to the LBJ Ranch on Wednesday, August 27 in celebration of President Lyndon B. Johnson's life and legacy. On that date, our 36th president would have been 100 years old. In his honor, the annual wreath laying ceremony will be presented in the Johnson family cemetery on the LBJ Ranch near Stonewall. The public is invited to drive from the State Park to the ranch for this program, which will commence at approximately 10:30 a.m. Gates to the LBJ Ranch will open at 9:30 a.m. Drivers must display a permit to drive onto the ranch. Permits will be available at Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site's Visitor Center, one mile east of Stonewall or 14 miles west of Johnson City off U.S. Highway 290, where traditional old time games and refreshments will be served all day.
President and Mrs. Johnson's daughters, Lynda Johnson Robb and Luci Baines Johnson, will lay the wreath and share their personal reminiscences. Colonel Jacqueline D. Van Ovost of Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, representing the sitting president, will assist in laying the wreath and offer remarks suitable to the occasion.
Immediately following the ceremony, the public is invited to enter the famed Texas White House for the first time to view the newly restored presidential office and enjoy National Park Service tours of the room and the grounds. Tours will begin in the historic airplane hangar, a short walk from the house and grounds. Additional rooms in the house will be furnished and opened to the public on future dates.
Lynda Robb, the elder Johnson daughter, is a self-proclaimed "professional volunteer." She is currently President of the National Home Library Foundation and Chair Emerita of Reading is Fundamental. She has previously served as co-vice chair of America's Promise, a board member of Ford's Theatre, Chair of the President's Advisory Committee for Women, a member of the selection board of the President's Commission on White House Fellowships, Chair of the Virginia Women's Cultural History Project, Chair of the Virginia Task Force on Infant Mortality and Commissioner on the National Commission to Prevent Infant Mortality. She is a graduate of the University of Texas and recipient of numerous civic awards and honors. She and her husband, former Virginia Governor and U.S. Senator Charles Robb, have three daughters and two grandchildren.
Luci Baines Johnson is Chairman of the Board of LBJ Asset Management Partners, Inc. and Vice President of BusinessSuites, a nationwide office business service center. Her diverse community commitments include board member of the LBJ Family Foundation, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation. She is a co-founder of Children's Hospital Grandparent's Club, a board member of SafePlace, a Life Trustee of Children's Hospital Foundation of Austin and the Seton Fund, a member of the advisory board of Trinity School, and a former member of the advisory boards of the University Of Texas School Of Nursing and the School of Communication. She has received numerous awards including the YWCA of Greater Austin--Women of the Year 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award, the SafePlace 2006 Community Hero Award, the 2005 Girls Scouts of America's Women of Distinction Award, 1997 Top 25 Women Owned Businesses by the Austin Business Journal and the Distinguished Service Award from Georgetown University School of Nursing (1996). She is married to Ian Turpin and has four grown children, one stepson, and ten grandchildren.
Colonel Jacqueline D. Van Ovost is the Commander of the 12th Flying Training Wing (FTW), Randolph Air Force Base. The wing maintains approximately 150 aircraft and includes an infrastructure worth more than $3.1 billion for a work force of about 8,000 active duty, reservists and civilians. The 12th FTW hosts Headquarters Air Education and Training Command, 19th Air Force, Air Force Personnel Center, Air Force Recruiting Service and 30 other tenant units, while supporting an estimated 51,000 retirees. Colonel Van Ovost is the recipient of the Defense Superior Service Medal, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Aerial Achievement Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, and Air Force Commendation Medal.
President Johnson's birth date has been celebrated with a wreath laying since August 27, 1973. He died on January 22, 1973, and the National Park Service has been conducting public tours using a bus fleet since then. In contrast to the park ranger-guide bus tours of the LBJ Ranch, this year the public will access the ranch in their own vehicles. The ranch will be open for touring by private vehicle beginning August 27 and continuing until September 30, when this vehicular access will be evaluated.
For further information or driving directions, and for additional upcoming events during 2008, Lyndon B. Johnson's Centennial Year, please call (830) 868-7128, ext. 231 or 244, or log on to www.lbj100.org.
Did You Know?
An invasive plant that Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park has problems with just happens to be a non-native grass called Johnson Grass. Besides being tough to get rid of, it is poisonous to livestock if eaten just after a freeze. (photo ©Barry A. Rice/The Nature Conservancy)