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Contact: Sherry Justus, (830) 868-7128, ext. 245
The staff of Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park and Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site share with great sorrow the passing of Claudia Taylor "Lady Bird" Johnson, former First Lady of the United States and devoted supporter of the parks that bear her husband's name.
Her caring and commitment went well beyond the generous land donations that she and the late President began in 1972. Mrs. Johnson’s annual participation in two events--the wreath-laying ceremony at the Johnson family cemetery on the anniversary of Lyndon Johnson's birth and the Christmas tree lighting and evening ranch tours--were examples of her desire to maintain the treasured traditions that she and the President established for local residents and the visiting public. She chose to serve an active role in park events such as "Cowboy Songs and Poetry" and "A Timeless Christmas in Johnson City," enjoying them as much as the casual visitor. Over the years, a true highlight of the LBJ Ranch tour for visitors occurred when they were treated to the occasional wave and greeting from the former First Lady.
Her support of educational programs, generous donations to the park's museum collection (such as personal items, furnishings for the LBJ Boyhood Home and the Texas White House, and vehicles used and owned by her and the President) and her overall interest in park operations, will have a positive and profound impact on both parks for many years to come.
“She was committed to accomplishing the vision she and President Johnson shared for this park. Mrs. Johnson continued to help us ensure an enjoyable visitor experience and enduring protection of park resources,” remarked Russ Whitlock, Superintendent for Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park. According to Iris Neffendorf, Park Manager, Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site, “From making a donation to restore a wildflower trail on state park property in time for a busy spring season to taking an active part in the Christmas tree lighting ceremonies, she will always be remembered for her devotion and contributions to the park.”
The national and state parks, located in Johnson City and Stonewall, invite the public to pay their respects at either visitor center. The film, Lady Bird Johnson, will be shown on a continuous basis in the National Historical Park Visitor Center located at 100 Ladybird Lane (the corner of Avenue G and Ladybird Lane) in Johnson City, where a memorial exhibit is on display. Please visit www.nps.gov/lyjo for further information, or call (830) 868-7128 or (830) 644-2420.