The 100th anniversary of Lady Bird Johnson’s birth deserves nationwide celebration and recognition of her environmental leadership. The Texas Legislature and Texas Gov. Rick Perry have declared 2012 the Lady Bird Johnson Centennial Year. You can remember Mrs. Johnson by attending Central Texas events in her honor listed below, and by taking a Lady Bird legacy tour to the sites she called home for decades after the White House years.
December 11, 2011 – Holiday Reception and unveiling of the ground floor of the Texas White House, Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park.
December 22, 2011 – The entire ground floor of the Texas White House opens for public tours. The park with significant support from the Friends of LBJ National Historical Park has completed restoration of the remaining rooms at the LBJ National Historical Park.
December 2011 – The LBJ National Historical Park will install a one-year exhibit paying tribute to Mrs. Johnson’s contributions to education, conservation, and restoring the natural beauty of America which will be displayed in the park’s Johnson City headquarters/visitor center. A one-panel version of the exhibit is being developed for the LBJ Museum in San Marcos and may travel to the student union building at Texas State University and other venues.
March 17, 2012-May 28, 2012 – “A Bouquet for Mrs. J”: An outdoor sculpture exhibit of giant metal wildflowers by Logan Stollenwerck will be in on display in the gardens at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
April 27, 2012 – The Wildflower Center Centennial Gala will be a special party honoring Mrs. Johnson’s legacy. The theme is “A Bouquet for Mrs. J.”
May 5, 2012 – The LBJ National Historical Park will host a Barbeque on the Pedernales with the theme, “Heart’s Home,” the name Mrs. Johnson gave to the LBJ Ranch. The comedy and western group Riders In the Sky will provide entertainment with a meal from Salt Lick reminiscent of the 1960′s Head of State barbeques.
May 5, 2012 and May 12, 2012 – Join Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site park employees and volunteers on guided nature walks from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on the state park trails established with the help of Mrs. Johnson. Visitors will learn a little history along the way, and about the great outdoors and the flora and fauna of the Texas Hill Country. Participates are encouraged to bring water, binoculars and wear sturdy hiking shoes.
May 12, 2012 – As a charity event for the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, a Memorabilia Auction of items owned by Lady Bird Johnson and Lyndon B. Johnson will be held May 12 by Heritage Auction in Dallas. The items range from an 1850s peace medal with President Filmore on the face to a vase Lady Bird used for flower arrangements in her Austin home. All proceeds benefit the Wildflower Center, with multiple bidding options in advance and during the 1 p.m. auction.
May 19, 2012 – Opening of the Mollie Steves Zachry Texas Arboretum at the Wildflower Center. The arboretum will be the first major new attraction at the Wildflower Center since the Ann and O.J. Weber Butterfly Garden opened in 2002. The opening will honor Mrs. Zachry and demonstrate the arboretum’s role as a center for family fun, education and celebration of majestic Texas trees.
July 29, 2012 – Lady Bird Johnson Tribute Day at the Wildflower Center. During this free admission Sunday with extended hours, granddaughter’s Catherine and Jennifer Robb will unveil a new Lady Bird Johnson exhibit in the Wildflower Center’s Visitors gallery. A memorabilia tour, children’s play and storytelling are also among the offerings as we commemorate July 26, 1968, when President Johnson presented Mrs. Johnson with 50 pens used to sign major environmental legislation inspired by her work.
Sept. 1-Dec. 2, 2012 – “Lady Bird’s Lake”: Photos and mementos about Mrs. Johnson’s beautification of the banks of Town Lake (now called Lady Bird Lake) will be on display in the McDermott Learning Center at the Wildflower Center. The exhibit features photos by Jen Ohlson and Brenda Lindfors from the book “Every Town Needs a Trail,” as well as art by Margie Crisp and the late Diane Grammer.
September 22 and 23, 2012 – Children and their families are invited to come to the LBJ State Park to help scatter wildflower seeds provided by the park staff in the open areas and fields. Participants will learn more about the First Lady and her passion for nature, beautification, and the outdoors. The Seed Stomp occurs 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. both days.
September 30, 2012 – The Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College in Valhalla, New York, rededicates their Lady Bird Johnson Demonstration Garden and provides an environmental award as part of a Lady Bird Johnson centennial celebration from 2 to 4 p.m. The Native Plant Center was the first national affiliate of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
October 17, 2012 - Lady Bird Johnson was inducted into the Texas Transportation Hall of Honor at a reception and ceremony at the Wildflower Center that was co-sponsored by the Center of The University of Texas at Austin and the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. The award recognized her contributions to the beautification of Texas’ and the nation’s highways.
November 8, 2012 – Lady Bird Johnson Centennial Symposium on Early Childhood Education at Texas State University-San Marcos. This symposium will address the issues, progress and challenges of early childhood education in recognition of Lady Bird Johnson’s work as the honorary chair of the board of the original Head Start program. Keynote speaker will be Vivian Paley, a lauded teacher, author and MacArthur “genius grant” recipient.
November 15, 2012 – First Ladies Symposium and Evening Program. Laura Bush and Barbara Bush discuss their experiences following two panel discussions that feature historians and staff of present and former first ladies at the Lyndon B. Johnson Library & Museum.
November 30, 2012 – The U.S. Postal Service dedicates a souvenir sheet that includes a new Lady Bird Johnson stamp and the five Beautify America stamps she unveiled in the 1960s. The dedication at 11 a.m. is free and is indoors at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Stamp souvenir sheets and other memorabilia will be sold. Arriving early for parking is recommended.
November 30, 2012 – The U.S. Postal Service begins selling the Lady Bird Johnson centennial souvenir sheet in Texas and Virginia. The souvenir sheet will begin to be sold nationally sometime in December.
December 16, 2012 – Come join the Texas Hill Country community for the 43rd Annual LBJ Tree Lighting at the LBJ State Park. This is a fun evening you won’t want to miss as we celebrate Mrs. Johnson’s life and legacy, and bring in the holiday season. Enjoy music, a live nativity, Santa Claus and of course, the spectacular tree lighting. Then step back in time to the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm special German cookies and cakes, amid glowing lanterns, and a traditional candlelit German Christmas tree. Check the link above and the park’s facebook page for event updates.
December 22, 2012 – In celebration of Lady Bird Johnson’s 100th birthday, the LBJ Library will open newly redesigned exhibits on Saturday, December 22. On that day, visitors are invited to tour the new exhibits and enjoy birthday cake, music, and discounts at The Store at LBJ.
Spring 2013 – Presentation of Lady Bird Johnson Environmental Award by the LBJ Foundation and LBJ School of Public Affairs with dinner at the LBJ Library. An address to students or an LBJ School conference keynote speech by the award winner will likely occur the following day.
July 28, 2013 - The Wildflower Center honor its founder, Lady Bird Johnson, and all she has done for our nation’s treasured environment. Admission will be FREE this Sunday during Tribute Day, with extended hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Enjoy exhibits, children’s activities , a guided tour of treasures inside the Center’s buildings and more.
Through October 14, 2013 - Visitors to our nation’s capital can learn about Lady Bird Johnson’s conservation legacy at a small exhibit in the West Gallery of the United States Botanic Garden. The touring exhibit being displayed near the White House was developed by the Wildflower Center thanks to generous donor Margaret McDermott.
January 1, 2014 – Enjoy watching the Claudia Taylor “Lady Bird” Johnson High School Band from San Antonio, Texas, participate in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.
Spring 2014 - The recipient of the 2013 Lady Bird Johnson Environmental Award will be announced at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The award is slated to go to an individual, and is sponsored by the LBJ Foundation, the LBJ Presidential Library, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the LBJ School of Public Affairs. Next year’s award will go to a corporation, and a non-profit will be recognized in 2015.