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|"Where flowers bloom, so does hope". – Lady Bird Johnson|
Wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson, Claudia Alta "Lady Bird" Taylor Johnson (1912-2007) was First Lady of the United States from 1963 to 1969. She is well known for her advocacy of beautification of the nation's cities and highways and conservation of natural resources. Her lifelong love of the environment came from growing up as a child in the tall pines and bayous of East Texas and watching the wildflowers bloom each spring. Communing with nature and reveling in the scenic beauty of the land filled many comforting hours for a child whose mother passed away when she was only five.
Lady Bird Johnson contributed in a big way towards legitimizing environmental issues as a national priority. Her dedication to forwarding the cause of the environment as a duty of the government went a long way in shaping the conservation policies of the USA government. It was also her contribution due to which ecological concerns retain any degree of relevance in the national mind. She was a staunch advocate for the preservation of the nation's environment when few people recognized its importance in our everyday lives.
Her Other Achievements include the following:
As First Lady, Johnson started a capital beautification project (Society for a More Beautiful National Capital) to improve physical conditions in Washington, D.C., both for residents and tourists by planting millions of flowers.
She became the first president's wife to advocate actively for legislation when she was instrumental in promoting the Highway Beautification Act, which was nicknamed "Lady Bird's Bill" and sought to beautify the nation's highway system by limiting billboards and by planting roadside areas.
From 1971 to 1978, Johnson served on the board of regents for the University of Texas System. She also served on the National Park Service Advisory Board and was the first woman to serve on National Geographic's Board of Trustees.
She and actress Helen Hayes founded the National Wildflower Research Center, a nonprofit organization devoted to preserving and reintroducing native plants in planned landscapes, located east of Austin, Texas.
Founder of LBJ Holdings Company, Lady Bird Johnson was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honors.